The Shar Pei is a breed originating in China and recognized for its peculiar wrinkled appearance and loose skin. They are brave and loyal dogs, with a protective and affectionate temperament.
Males of the Shar Pei breed usually weigh between 20 and 27 kilograms, and females between 16 and 23 kg. The height of males is from 46 to 51 cm, and in females from 41 to 46 cm. Their life expectancy is estimated between 9 and 11 years, and they are not recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).
Breed history in brief
The Chinese Shar Pei is an ancient breed of dog originating in China. They are believed to have a history dating back more than 2,000 years. Originally, these dogs were bred for a variety of purposes, such as hunting, guarding and companionship. Their name "Shar Pei" means "sandy skin" in Chinese, in reference to their distinctive, wrinkled coat.
For many years, the Chinese Shar Pei was on the verge of extinction due to political changes and economic difficulties in China. However, a group of breeders and breed lovers in Hong Kong and the United States worked diligently to preserve the breed. In the 1970s, these efforts paid off and the Chinese Shar Pei began to gain popularity around the world. Today, it is considered a unique and valuable breed, prized for its distinctive appearance and loyal, protective temperament.
The Shar Pei is a medium-sized dog with a compact body. It is characterized by a large, wrinkled head and small, dark almond-shaped eyes. The ears are of moderate size, triangular and are held erect when the dog is alert. At rest, the tail is carried low and curved, while in movement or action, the tail is carried high and may curve over the back.
The coat is short, harsh and slightly bristly in texture. The outer coat is harsh and straight, while the undercoat is soft and dense. The coat is longer and more abundant around the neck and rump, forming a sort of mane and a feathered tail. As for coat color, a variety of solid colors are acceptable, such as red, cream, black, blue, sand and chocolate. Particolor patterns are also allowed.
The Shar Pei is a courageous and loyal dog, with a unique and distinctive temperament. It is independent and reserved with strangers, but affectionate and protective of its family. Their intelligence and willingness to learn make them obedient dogs, although they can be stubborn at times. They require early socialization and a firm but gentle upbringing.
Common health problems
The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) of OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) recommends an eye examination and a series of tests to assess the following diseases: elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and autoimmune thyroiditis.
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