The Chinese Shar-Pei, also referred to as the Chinese Fighting Dog, is a Chinese breed that originated during the Han Dynasty of 202 B.C. This breed was originally developed as a fighting dog and as a hunting dog. Today they are used as family dogs, watch dogs and guard dogs. They are known for being very stubborn and needing extra patience when teaching them obedience commands. They can be aggressive if they are pushed to hard with training and should be treated with fairness.
This breed is known for their characteristic skin folds. Their eyes are set towards the sides of their head which gives them an unique look. They stand between 18 and 20 inches and weigh between 35 and 45 pounds. They have a short bristly coat that comes in solid colors of dark fawn, light fawn, cream, black, and red. Some of the health concerns that you should look out for with this breed include skin problems, allergies, and entropion.
The Chinese Shar-pei is an ancient Chinese dog with the aptitude to guard and work in your household. It can be amusing to look at but they can be aggressive if threatened.
Origin of the Chinese Shar-Pei
The Chinese Sharp-pei is an old breed of dog that can be traced back to the province of Kwun Tung in China. It was used as an overall helper of its peasant masters. It worked as guard dog, herder, or hunter.
It is thought to be descendants of the Chow-chow breed due to its purple tongue. It is widely believed that the breed’s scowl and its purple to black colored mouth would scare off evil spirits.
The Chinese Shar-pei was also used in dog fighting. Their loose skin and extremely prickly coat was proven to be difficult to get a grab and hold on to.
Appearance and Abilities
The Chinese Shar-pei has a hippopotamus-like head. It also has a high set tail, exposing its anus.
There are two varieties of Shar-peis in terms of the wrinkle of their skins. One is covered in large folds of wrinkles, even to adult hood. The other variation has a tighter skin and only have wrinkles on their faces and they wither as the dog matures.
They also come in three different coats; horse, brush, and bear coat. In general, the coats are rough to the touch and extremely prickly. They come in different colors that include black, cream, fawn, red-fawn, red, sable, apricot, chocolate, isabella, and blue. AKS only recognize 16 colors and it should be of solid make-up and well blended throughout the whole body of the dog.
Chinese Shar-Pei Temperament and Tendencies
Chinese Shar-peis have great guarding instincts. They are very suspicious of strangers. They are compelled to protect their owners and property. They are always alert and have a confident stature. Shar-peis are bred to intimidate and they take pride in their purpose.
They are extremely devoted to its masters. Shar-peis will do anything for their masters but they can become independent if not trained and socialized well. Naturally, Shar-peis are easygoing towards their owners. They are calm and mild-mannered inside the house with their families.
Shar-peis, in contrast to their extreme wariness of strangers, are naturally friendly with other dogs. They tend to be less dog-aggressive especially the show type Shar-peis.
Shar-peis hate water and they try their best to avoid it.
They tend to get dominant. Handlers must establish the correct pecking order and Shar-peis should know their place.
Training and Care of the Chinese Shar-Pei
Firm and consistent leadership is the key in handling Chinese Shar-peis. Never let the Shar-peis believe that they are the boss. Shar-peis who develop dominance behavioral problems are aggressive and very difficult to manage.
As an owner, keep in mind that you must constantly show to the Shar-pei that you are the “Top Dog”. It may become difficult for other family members to establish dominance over the breed, especially, the children.
As working dogs, they need regular but not vigorous exercise. Daily walks are adequate to keep them in line.
Good Shar-Pei lines will not have skin problems, which is a hereditary condition. Bathe only when needed.