Shar Pei

April 9th, 2008
Shar Pei


Care and exercise
Regular exercise in reasonable amounts is the order of the day with the Shar Pei. When exercising in public, the Shar Pei should be kept on a lead it may otherwise try to protect you from any other dog it sees. Regular brushing and the occasional bath should keep the Shar Pei’s unique bristly coat in good condition, but more important is frequent attention to any deeply wrinkled areas, especially around the face, to minimise skin problems.

While the Shar Pei is one of the most unusual and distinctive breeds, it should not be purchased simply because we wanted something different. It can be an excellent, appealing family dog and a worthy watchdog and will accommodate itself to most living situations. It can also be stubborn, self-willed and try to dominate its owner. The heavily wrinkled skin which gives this breed its unique appearance brings with it a heavy responsibility to take care of it. The Shar Peis propensity for arguing with other dogs also must be taken into account. This is definitely not a breed for novice dog-owners.

Hey, hey, Roley hang on!
Yes that’s right this adorable pooch is well known for toilet tissue commercials, and even wrinkle creams. With such an adorable face and easy going nature its no wonder this breed is such a big hit with the general public.

Perhaps best known nowadays as Roley, the rather rumpled star of a toilet tissue television commercial, the Shar Pei originated in China some 2000 years ago and until the 1970s was scarcely known elsewhere. It served the Chinese as a guard and herding dog, as well as being used in dog fighting and as food. With the passage of time and changing attitudes, the Shar Pei fell into disfavour in its homeland and by the mid 20th century had become almost extinct. In fact, the Guinness Book of Records listed it in 1978 as the worlds rarest dog and it was this mention that attracted some dog breeders outside China to begin the long, slow process of reviving this very distinctive breed. Apart from its profuse wrinkling and somewhat hippopotamus-like head, the Shar Pei shares another characteristic with only one other breed of dog it has the blue-black tongue of the Chow Chow, considered to be a related breed.

The Shar Pei, whilst in its state of redevelopment, became known for its suspicious and aggressive temperament, but with careful and responsible breeding, this problem has largely been solved. One rarely encounters a nasty Shar Pei nowadays, but puppy-seekers should ask to meet both parents, and as many other related dogs as possible, to make sure of their dispositions. The Shar Pei should be a calm, even-tempered, well-mannered, friendly dog with humans, but may retain some dislike of other dogs and a tendency to stubbornness. Its rather loose, wrinkly skin should have a harsh, bristly, short coat to protect it. It comes in solid colours only black, red, and light or dark shades of fawn or cream. Its adult height is in the range of 46-51cm at the shoulder and weight 18-25kg. The Shar Pei makes a good housedog and watchdog.

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One Response to Shar Pei

  1. What about a sharpei cross kelpie? Are they any good with children or not? I know you need to be careful with cross breeds but any advise would be helpful please?