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Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix: Care, Pictures, Info & More

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

Parent breeds of the Shar Pei German Shepherd Mix

Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix: Care, Pictures, Info & More

The Chinese Shar-Pei and the German Shepherd easily make it onto the list of the best breeds. These four-legged champs are loyal, intelligent, and confident, and they can make their owners proud by serving as watchdogs, herders, and guardians. More importantly, both Shepherds and Shar-Pei create strong, long-lasting bonds as domestic pets. That’s exactly why the Shepherd Shar-Pei, the hybrid, is a great choice for dog parents!

Breed Overview

Height:

16–23 inches

Weight:

40–90 pounds

Lifespan:

8–13 years

Colors:

Black, tan, creamy, sandy, fawn, red, sable

Suitable for:

Active families with adult kids, experienced pet parents, rural life

Temperament:

Protective, faithful, dominant, stubborn, aggressive toward strangers

With this dog at your side, you won’t have to worry about intruders, no matter how big or small. The Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix is confident and courageous and has a witty brain. That said, they can be territorial and aggressive, and they must be socialized via proper training. So, how do you get started with that? Also, can the Shar-Pei Shepherd crossbreed get along with other pets? What kind of food do you feed them? Read on to find out!

Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix Characteristics

Energy
+
High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
+
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
+
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
+
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
+
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix Puppies

This is a rare crossbreed, and they’re not that popular among dog parents in the States or the EU. Therefore, don’t be surprised if there isn’t a Shar-Pei German Shepherd at your local shelter, rescue organization, or adoption center. Most likely, you’ll have to turn to breeders for a pup. The important thing to remember here is to not buy from the cheapest sellers in the area. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an ill-treated, poorly-mannered canine.

Another common mistake among first-time dog buyers is trusting the breeder too much. Instead, ask for access to the “dog quarters,” and request their medical records. A reputable breeder will have no problem sharing all that information with a potential buyer. If they refuse, that likely means you’re dealing with a puppy mill. Shepherd Shar-Pei puppies require obedience training and socialization. If the breeder doesn’t handle that, it will take tremendous effort to tame the pet.

Parent breeds of the Shar Pei German Shepherd Mix
Image Credit: Left – Marcelino Pozo Ruiz, Shutterstock | Right – Osetrik, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix

Hybrid dogs often prove to be a handful for a first-time dog owner, as you can never be 100% sure about their character and personality. For example, if the Shepherd Shar-Pei takes after their Chinese mom, you’ll get a stubborn and self-willed companion. However, if they turn out to be extremely smart and talented, that means they are more like their German dad. Most likely, your pup will be a bit of both: witty, steadfast, loyal, and headstrong.

The Shar-Pei German Shepherd is a multi-talented dog that can guard the property, watch over the livestock, track down bad guys, and be a gentle, loving pet that follows commands. That said, they also tend to be hostile around other animals, especially cats and male dogs. Thankfully, these behavioral patterns can be altered through early socialization and obedience training sessions.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

German Shar-Pei dogs are best suited for active and experienced owners who know how to interact with a rebellious pet. The good news is that these canines aren’t clingy, but they expect you to spend at least an hour or two with them. We’re talking about playing games, doing some morning runs, or enjoying the local park. Single dog fans and large families looking to get a strong, capable companion will find this hybrid to be a great choice.

As for seniors, they might be a bit overwhelmed by the Shar-Pei Shepherd’s temperament. If the dog takes after the German parent, they will be a perfect fur baby for an older couple: docile, helpful, and loyal. However, if they get the “insurgent” genes of a Chinese Shar-Pei, it will be much harder to control their instincts and avoid trouble with neighbors and other pets. Even your visiting relatives might not always get a warm welcome from this moody pup!

What About Little Children?

We don’t recommend adopting a Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix if you have small children in the house. While the German Shepherd is officially recognized as one of the best breeds to have around kids, Chinese Shar-Pei aren’t nearly as patient or tolerant because of their above-average prey drive and upbringing. That’s why you should only consider welcoming this mixed-breed home once the children become older.

Even then, it will be your responsibility to provide supervision to both parties. Early socialization is a powerful tool for raising dogs, but that doesn’t mean the pet won’t suddenly become aggressive when mistreated by the kids. This is a large animal with a loud bark and a tendency to become aggressive toward potential threats, and that’s a disaster waiting to happen. Also, please remember that this hybrid dog likes to have some alone time now and then.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

By default, the German Shar-Pei isn’t particularly happy to be in the company of other pets, especially if they take after their Chinese parent. This breed was brought up as a hunter, and the centuries-old pattern isn’t going anywhere, even after being mixed with another breed. On the bright side, the hybrid will probably tolerate a fellow dog if you raise the two fur babies together. Show the dog that it’s okay to be friends, and they might just agree!

This way, you can ensure that the dog won’t start a fight the second you leave the house. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to cats, as they can trigger canine hunting instincts. What if you already have a dog at home? Will the Shar-Pei German Shepherd be able to get along with them? The answer is most likely yes, but it will take more time and dedication.

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Things to Know When Owning a Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix

Food & Diet Requirements

Although this mixed breed hails from Germany and China, you won’t have to feed them fancy or exotic meals. Just like most large dogs, the Shar-Pei German Shepherd likes to chew on premium-quality, tasty food. Make sure it includes little to no filler ingredients and has the right protein-carbs-fats mix (plus vitamins and minerals) for your dog’s activity level, sex, age, and medical conditions, if any.

Talk to a veterinarian about finding the best dry or wet food to keep your pet fed and help them avoid obesity. This crossbreed is not particularly prone to gaining extra weight, but it could still be a problem. Also, feed the dog three to four times a day. This is a highly effective countermeasure against bloat.

Exercise

So, how much time should you spend with this dog? That greatly depends on which parent your four-legged companion ends up leaning toward. Shepherds are more active and energetic than Shar-Pei and need at least 1–1.5 hours of exercise to burn off excess energy. In contrast, Shar-Pei will do just fine with only 30–40 minutes or even less. This can be a walk around the block, a short yet intensive jog, or a game of fetch.

If you’re not sure exactly how energetic your dog is, discuss the matter with a veterinarian, ideally someone who’s seen and examined the pet before.

Training

A bold, unyielding dog like the German Shar-Pei requires obedience training to learn appropriate social behavior. Without it, the pup will always try to be aggressive with other pets instead of friendly. So, start by teaching the dog basic commands like “come,” “sit,” “stop,” and “no.” Don’t forget about the “don’t bark” command, as the Shar-Pei German Shepherd hybrid tends to get vocal.

Start while the dog is still a puppy, as their character will develop at a very tender age. In training, strive to be a capable leader with a strong hand, yet praise the dog’s good behavior with treats and positive reinforcement, as they don’t like to be pushed around. In addition, socialize the pup by introducing them to different places and faces. Encourage them to interact with other dogs to build confidence and boost their social skills. For that, consider joining a puppy class.

Grooming ✂️

Does your mixed-breed dog have a short coat? Then, you’re in luck! It should only take a single weekly brushing to keep it in shape. Medium-sized fur, however, should be groomed once every 4–5 days or even more often. A comb to keep the coat tangle-free will come in handy. Brush your dog’s teeth two to three times a week, clean their ears once or twice a week, and trim their nails every month. Don’t overdo it with the bathing: Once in 1–2 months will do. This dog has somewhat sensitive skin (inherited from both parent breeds) that can get itchy and irritated if you wash it too often.

Health and Conditions

Hybrid dogs are often leaner and healthier than their parent breeds, and the Shar-Pei German Shepherd is a great example of that. This is a tough, well-built dog that’s no stranger to hard work or a harsh climate. As for common medical issues, the list includes dysplasia, eye problems, and bloat, among other things. Here’s a closer look at the signs and treatment suggestions:

Minor Conditions
  • Infections
  • Weight gain
  • Dental diseases
Serious Conditions
  • Dysplasia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis

Male vs. Female

The biggest difference between male and female dogs is, of course, the size. We’re talking about 5–6 inches and 15–20 pounds here, plus a deeper chest and heavier bones for the males. More importantly, the boys are known for scent marking, mounting, and being extremely territorial. They are also more aggressive, especially around same-sex canines. Therefore, if you’re in the market for a natural-born, fear-inducing guardian, a male Shepherd Shar-Pei mix will be the obvious choice.

In contrast, females are not only smaller, but they’re also more peaceful and docile. It takes less time and effort to train a female dog. That said, female dogs in heat are often slow yet restless and aggressive. Other common side effects include frequent urination, “flirting” with the boys, and even attempts to leave the house. So, don’t be afraid if your female dog is acting a bit strange: She’s looking for a father for her future babies!

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix

1. This Is a Flexible, Quick-to-Adapt Breed

For most dogs, a change of environment can be rather stressful, as it takes time to adapt to new circumstances. As creatures of habit, they can get anxious or depressed when moved to a different home, introduced to new pets, or taken to an unfamiliar veterinarian clinic. You likely won’t have these problems with this hybrid, though.

German Shepherds have always been praised for their ability to handle changes, no matter how big or small. They’re always excited about new experiences, be it a change in the schedule, living conditions, or something else. The Chinese Shar-Pei aren’t particularly lazy either: they like adventures just as much as their German relatives and won’t cause trouble on a camping trip or even on a plane to a different country. As a bonus, the Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix doesn’t mind being alone for a couple of hours, away from their owners.


2. Shepherd Shar-Pei Are Exceptional Guardians

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a breed that’s more protective than this one. They might not be very open (or trusting) with outsiders, but when it comes to the people they care for, Shepherd Shar-Pei are fearless and ruthless guardians. Now, this hybrid isn’t the biggest dog out there—far from that. That said, on average, they weigh 50–70 pounds and reach 20+ inches in height. It’s their imposing presence, strong and muscular body, and domineering mentality that get the job done.

Thus, if you have a large property in a rural area and need a faithful, reliable “gatekeeper,” the Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix will always have your back.


3. These Mighty Dogs Are Heavy Droolers

German Shepherds aren’t that big on drooling, but the same can’t be said about Shar-Pei pups. They have loose jowls, wrinkled faces, and hanging lips. So, see that you have a towel or two at the ready if you’re planning on making the Shepherd Shar-Pei a part of the family. Or you can buy the dog a bib/bandana (crafted from absorbent cloth) as a birthday present: It will soak in all that spit and minimize the mess.

Another great idea is to put a large rug on the floor right next to the pup’s bowls. Next, make sure it’s been 3–4 hours since the Shar-Pei German Shepherd’s latest meal before hopping on a road trip. It’s no secret that our furry buds can get motion sickness, and a full tummy won’t exactly help with that! Lastly, don’t forget to clean the dog’s teeth and have them checked at a vet clinic at least once every 6–8 months.

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Final Thoughts

Faithful guardian: That’s the best way to describe the Shar-Pei German Shepherd. Brought into this world by some of the most capable protectors in the canine kingdom, these dogs are ready to put their lives at risk for the sake of the family. That said, this is a dominant breed, a strong-willed and stubborn dog that will only follow people they respect. So, if you don’t have previous experience as a dog owner, the Shepherd-Shar-Pei hybrid might prove to be a challenge to handle.

They don’t take kindly to strangers and won’t tolerate noisy, rambunctious children. Ideally, you should only adopt this hybrid if you live on a large property and need a smart, courageous dog to keep watch while you’re away. They’re ideal for big, active families with adult kids who like to get busy and don’t mind putting effort into obedience training. Earn their trust, and the Shar-Pei German Shepherd Mix will become your most loyal (and affectionate) companion!

See also:


Featured Image Credit: Left – Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock | Right – Anna Dudkova, Unsplash

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