Chinese Shar-Pei Photo

Chinese Shar-Pei Dog Breed Info & Pictures

The Chinese Shar-Pei is instantly recognizable. No other dog has their unique profile or heavy wrinkles on their face and body. These medium-sized dogs are smart, strong-willed, and, despite their serious personalities, look a lot like a cute hippopotamus. Their loose, wrinkled skin bunches up sometimes, especially around the face. This is especially apparent in Chinese Shar-Pei puppies, whose wrinkles sometimes bunch up over their faces. Most dogs have to grow into their paws, but these little guys have to grow into their skin!

Chinese Shar-Peis have tiny ears, and their head is large and broad with a square muzzle. The wrinkles fall slightly over their eyes, giving them a scowling or sad expression. Overall, their whole body has a blockish feel. There are three types of coats: short, fur that grows up to an inch long, and fur that grows longer than an inch (this latter variety is called “bear”). Their coats can be any solid color. If you ever see a Chinese Shar-Pei dog panting with their tongue out, they haven’t been eating blueberries. This breed has a natural blue-black tongue, which is pretty rare in the dog world!

Chinese Shar-Pei Fast Facts

9 - 10 years
50 - 60 lb
45 - 50 lb
19 - 20"
18 - 19"
Chineese Shar-Pei, Chinese Sharpay or Chinese Shar-pay.
Chinese Fighting Dog


The Chinese Shar-Pei takes itself seriously, and demands that others do likewise....

The dogs ever present scowl is indicative of its attitude toward strangers or anything else it sees as a threat to its family, including other dogs. This is not to say the dog cannot be socialized quite the contrary, in fact but its first instinct toward outsiders is definitely suspicion. Once the newcomer has been brought into the fold, however, he will have a proud, loyal and devoted friend. The Shar-Peis independent nature can make training a chore, as the dog is unlikely to obey anyone it sees as weak or not in control. Though not a particularly playful breed, the Shar-Pei gets along well with children and other pets. Take care when training your Shar-Pei that it does not become antisocial or too much of an alpha dog.

Caring For a Chinese Shar-Pei

Training a Chinese Shar-Pei takes a lot of dedication and patience....

Chinese Shar-Pei dogs want to be the alpha, so it's important to curb their enthusiasm during training. You should never let them show aggression toward strangers, pets, or kids. To train them, you have to be a strong, calm, and patient leader. Its a lot to take on, but in return, youll get a dog who will be devoted to you for life.

Shar-Peis were bred to be general purpose farm dogs in China, so they need a fair amount of exercise. They want to go on a long walk every day, and if possible, they should play off-leash in the yard or a dog-friendly park. Like most working breeds, they will benefit from some mental stimulation, so give your Chinese Shar-Pei dog a project or something fun to learn.

Chinese Shar-Pei History

Breed History

Originating in ancient history, the Chinese Shar-Pei nearly went extinct, but persevered....

The ancient ancestors of the Shar-Pei made their humble beginnings during the Han Dynasty in China, way back in 200 BC. The exact details of the Chinese Shar-Peis origins are lost in time, but there is a good chance they are related to the Chow Chow because they are one of the only other breeds to have that distinctive blue-black tongue.

By the time the 13th century rolled around, the dog was mentioned in various writings. The Shar-Peis of olden times were guard dogs and warriors, and their rough, wrinkly skin made it tough for anyone to hold onto them. They were doing great until, during sudden a rough patch in Chinas history, this breed was almost completely wiped out!

In 1968, the Hong Kong Kennel Club starting telling people about the breeds dire situation. As recently as the 1970s, just as things were looking really bad for Shar-Peis, a few pioneering dogs found their way to the United States and became an instant hit. Within a few decades, they found their way from the brink of extinction by becoming a happy, dedicated member of many homes. In fact, Chinese Shar-Peis have become one of the most popular dogs in the US! They were recognized by the AKC in 1992, but dont let the relatively recent date fool you. These dogs have been around for literally thousands of years.