Chinese Shar-Pei

45-60 lbs
Chinese Fighting Dog

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a large dog marked by their wrinkled head and face. They weigh an average of sixty pounds and stand at about twenty inches high. This interesting looking pup may be a descendant of the Chow-Chow; both dogs have a blue-black tongue. Some people often confuse the two breeds. We do know the Chinese Shar-Pei was a farm dog used by the Chinese for hunting, tracking, herding, protecting stock, and as a guard dog. Unfortunately, some owners used this strong canine in dogfighting as it was believed that their wrinkly skin and prickly coat made them harder for the other dog to grab on to. The breed almost became extinct during the Communist Revolution; however, with the help of a Hong Kong businessman, Americans became interested in the breed. The American Kennel Club accepted the dog as a recognized breed in 1992, and now this curious pup one of the most recognized breeds in the United States.

Multipurpose Working Dog
Date of Origin
206 BC
Chow Chow

Chinese Shar-Pei Health

Sketch of Chinese Shar-Pei
Average Size
Male Chinese Shar-Pei size stats
Height: 18-20 inches Weight: 45-60 lbs
Female Chinese Shar-Pei size stats
Height: 18-20 inches Weight: 45-60 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Kidney Problems
  • Chinese Shar-Pei Fever
  • Mast Cell Tumors
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Demodectic Mange
  • Skin Problems
  • Heat Sensitivity
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Blood
  • Knee
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Chinese Shar-Pei Breed History

Believed to be a descendant of the Chow-Chow because of their blue-black tongue, the Chinese Shar-Pei is found pictured on pottery dating back to 206 B.C. Strong and hardworking, they were used in hunting, guarding the family, herding livestock, and as ratters. They had great endurance and could work all day alongside their masters. The Chinese believed that the wrinkles and dark mouth of this canine warded off evil spirits. Once near extinction, the Chinese Shar-Pei (meaning sandy coat) was accepted by the American Kennel Club as a recognized breed in 1992, an event which helped spur the proliferation of the breed. There are now over 70,000 dogs registered with the AKC as foundation stock. These dogs have characteristics of old ingrained in their instincts. They are extremely loyal and they are great watchdogs. Human handlers must establish that they are in control; if a Chinese Shar-Pei views the handler as “soft” or “inconsistent,” they will try to become “the boss.” It is of the utmost importance that the handler establishes a consistent leadership role. 

Chinese Shar-Pei Breed Appearance

The Chinese Shar-Pei is characterized as having a large body, a large, square head, and wide muzzle. They have a blue-black tongue and a scissors bite. Their eyes are small and sunken in a sea of wrinkles. They have high-set, triangular ears which are small and rounded at the tips. Puppies of this breed tend to have more wrinkles than the adult dogs. Chinese Shar-Peis have three coat variations: horse-coat, brush-coat, and bear-coat. The bear-coat is rare, and is thought to be related to the Chow-Chow ancestry. The bear-coat is not recognized by the American Kennel Club as the standard for the breed, and so the rarity is not something show dogs should have. The horse-coat is also unusual, rough to the touch, and extremely prickly and off-standing. The brush-coat has longer hair and a smoother feel. The coat on all varieties is up to one inch in length, and all solid coat colors and sables are standard.

Appearance of Chinese Shar-Pei
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Chinese Shar-Pei eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Chinese Shar-Pei nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Chinese Shar-Pei coat
fawn Chinese Shar-Pei coat
cream Chinese Shar-Pei coat
red Chinese Shar-Pei coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Chinese Shar-Pei straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Chinese Shar-Pei Breed Maintenance

Because these wrinkly canines are prone to skin infections and skin issues, this breed should be brushed daily and washed weekly. Care should be taken when cleaning and drying the many folds characteristic to this breed; dirt and moisture can build up within the folds, providing a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria. Chinese Shar-Peis are sensitive to heat and should be kept cool at all times. The wrinkles on their heads serve as insulators. If the dog is outside, shade should always be provided. They require daily exercise, but handlers should be careful not to over-exercise them. Exercise is welcome though, these curious pups love backyard time and especially enjoy human companionship which should always be the case when a pet is outside. Leash walks and dog park socialization are additional activities that should be a regular part of their day.

Brushes for Chinese Shar-Pei
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Chinese Shar-Pei requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Chinese Shar-Pei Temperament

Intelligent, playful, active, and courageous, these furry companions are also quite dominant. Handlers should work to establish consistent leadership early on in the relationship. These canines are easygoing and calm. They are also good watchdogs because they are so devoted to their masters. They may or may not take commands from other family members (other than their primary handler) if the family member appears to be too uncertain, soft, or mild in the opinion of the dog. Masters or handlers must be extremely consistent and firm with their charge. Because they tend to be dominant, they will try to “take over” if they feel the human handler is not authoritative enough. Fortunately, the Chinese Shar-Pei is one of the easier breeds to housebreak; however, they are not fond of water. Raised with cats and children, this dog will accept them into their family group with no problems. Strong willed, they must be socialized with other dogs from an early age; they tend to be dominant in dog relationships.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Chinese Shar-Pei Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00

Chinese Shar-Pei Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Chinese Shar-Pei at six months
Male Chinese Shar-Pei size stats at six months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 24 lbs
Female Chinese Shar-Pei size stats at six months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 24 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Chinese Shar-Pei at 12 months
Male Chinese Shar-Pei size stats at 12 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 42 lbs
Female Chinese Shar-Pei size stats at 12 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 42 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Chinese Shar-Pei at 18 months
Male Chinese Shar-Pei size stats at 18 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 52 lbs
Female Chinese Shar-Pei size stats at 18 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 52 lbs

Top Chinese Shar-Pei Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Chinese Shar-Pei breeders of 2019.
Top Chinese Shar-Pei breeder Laurens Chinese Shar-pei
Laurens Chinese Shar-pei
Palm Beach, Florida
Top Chinese Shar-Pei breeder Margem Hills Chinese Shar Pei
Margem Hills Chinese Shar Pei
Tualatin, Oregon
Top Chinese Shar-Pei breeder Brekkukots Chinese Shar Pei
Brekkukots Chinese Shar Pei
Santa Clarita, California
Top Chinese Shar-Pei breeder Tuck N Roll Acres Chinese Shar Pei
Tuck N Roll Acres Chinese Shar Pei
Tualatin, Oregon
Top Chinese Shar-Pei breeder Royal Chinese Shar Pei
Royal Chinese Shar Pei
Provo, Utah
Top Chinese Shar-Pei breeder Blessings Shar Pei
Blessings Shar Pei
Spokane, Washington
Top Chinese Shar-Pei breeder China Skye Shar Pei
China Skye Shar Pei
Apache Junction, Arizona
Top Chinese Shar-Pei breeder Waltmans Wrinkles and Wrinkles
Waltmans Wrinkles and Wrinkles
Wichita, Kansas
Top Chinese Shar-Pei breeder Destiny Chinese Shar Pei
Destiny Chinese Shar Pei
Rochester, Minnesota
Top Chinese Shar-Pei breeder Oki-pei
Luther, Oklahoma

Chinese Shar-Pei Owner Experiences

LAVAs Peek a Boo Peking & Boomerang of Bang
12 Years
5 People
Been breeding and showing the Peis well before AKC recognized them. Had a puppy from one of the original Peis that were brought to the states. They were originally bred to guard the Chinese temples, not to fight, the meaning of their name stands for sand skin. They are extremely loyal animals who will go the extra mile for their families. Very easily trained, if you don't like a behavior your Pei is showing give a firm shake of their upper lip and firm voice saying no, and leave it at that, most the time got Pei will act as though you just beat him turn his back and go sulk. They are very clean as well which makes house training very simple. All of our pups are trained before they went to their forever homes. With this breed you DO NOT want to bathe them more than once a month, excessive bathing dries out their oils in their skin which is what then causes all of the major skin problems. Most people will notice that after petting a Pei that still get a type of prickly rash that itches, generally due to the oils in their skin which is released when excited or in a situation they are unsure of. Their diet is very simple, if you go back to the original traditions the main restriction is no soy of any type. We have always just stuck by this diet. The only downside to the breed is the many many possible health problems, if you decide to get a Pei make sure you get one from a reputable breeder and that your pup comes with a health guarantee.
9 months ago
2 Years
The Chinese Shar-Pei is such a sweet dog! I loved walking the Star-Pei because they are very affectionate and loving. They love to be around you and they love attention. They are calm but love to play. They did not jump on me and they listened well to commands. They are easy to walk because they are a smaller size. They do tend to drool a lot after drinking and exercise.
1 year, 6 months ago
11 Years
4 People
Laying in the sun
Eating Snacks
chewing bones
going on walks
Riding in the car
Huey is one heck of a dog. For about a year, the first year we resuced him, he was the only dog in the house. Then we rescued our Old English Bulldog. Anyway,he's a good boy. just very stubborn, jealous, and sometimes nuts. ALso, hes very vocal! i love him to death. OG Hue
1 year, 6 months ago
8 Years
Walking, running, playing with toys
The Chinese Shar-Pei has mid-level energy, loves to walk and explore and also loves to enjoy the company of humans. The Chinese-Shar-Pei is considered a medium sized dog. This breed requires consistent grooming. They are prone to ear infections due to the shape of their ears. The Shar-Pei sniffs and examines the surroundings very closely along their walks. Activity is crucial to the health of a Chinese Shar-Pei and can help to lessen the chronic health conditions they often face as a result of their breed. This breed can pull on walks so a harness is recommended for easier control. Once accustomed to daily walks the Shar-Pei is quite the companion! Shar-Peis can be easy to train and are often very treat motivated. The Shar-Pei can be curious of other dogs but not aggressive though in most cases they will evade another dog while out on a walk. Shar-Peis do best around older children but can also do well with younger children if introduced slowly and properly. A Chinese Shar-Pei makes a wonderful loyal companion.
1 year, 6 months ago
3 Years
I walked two at once before and that was quite challenging. They have tons of energy and love to pull and run when they can. They are super sweet but get easily distracted and love to sniff around at everything and anything.
1 year, 7 months ago
1 Year
My Chinese Shar-Pei mix is extremely energetic when exposed to new stimuli. After he calms down, he is very affectionate and attentive. The breed learns quickly, are treat motivated, and are loyal to their owners.
1 year, 7 months ago
8 Years
The dog I walked was very excitable and didn't listen well. He wasn't aggressive though.
1 year, 7 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
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