We all know the Shar-Pei dog breed. But did you know, that they might look like this as well? It is because Shar-Peis come in three different coat types. The traditional very short, bristly and harsh „horse“ coat, the slightly longer, about 2 cm long „brush“ coat and the rarest of all, long and fluffy „bear“ coat.
It is important to say, that the bear coat variety is not officially recognized in the breed standard, so you wont be able to participate in dog shows with the bear coat Shar pei. The long and fluff bear coat is caused by a recessive gene, which both parents must carry. We do not know on 100% what is causing this gene, but the most likely theory is, that it is throwback to their Chow Chow ancestors. And indeed, the coat of a Chow Chow and bear coat Shar Pei is very very similar.
It is important to say, that this gene can be carried by the horse and brush coated Shar Peis as well, which means, that rarely, a bear coated pup might be born in a litter of short coated parents. Most breeders do not encourage breeding bear coated Shar Peis, mostly due to the fact, that this kind of a coat is not standardized and it is by far the rarest of the three coat types.
But even though the bear coat Shar Pei is not officially recognized by majority of kennel clubs, it is still a Shar Pei. Their temperament is the same as the temperament of horse coat and brush coat types and the only main difference is the coat. The bear coat Shar Pei also have a soft undercoat under the beautiful fluffy outer coat. It is also harder to see the traditional wrinkles of Shar Pei, but they are present under the coat.
The dense coat makes the bear coat Shar Pei little bit better for colder climates as well. The bear coat Shar Pei does shed some deal of fur, more heavily during shedding seasons. You should definitely brush their coat regularly to remove any dead and loose hair, which will help to minimize the shedding.
The grooming routine is slightly harder with the bear coat than other coat varieties. Longer fur can be prone a little bit to matting and tangling and again, regular brushing will help with this possible issue.
You should also take proper care about the wrinkles and skin folds and ensure that they are clean and dry. Otherwise, they might develop skin fold infections or mange. It is adviced to start cleaning the skin folds from the puppyhood, so the dog is used to it.
The wrinkles might not be that visible as with other Shar Pei coat types, but they are there and you should take care of them. Other than that, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
There are not many other differences between the bear coat and traditionally coated Shar Peis. The height, weight and body type, face type, it should all be the same. The typical temperament is also identical for all coat types. The official breed standard describes the temperament as calm, independent, loyal and affectionate to his family.
And indeed, this is amazing loyal family companion. They might be alert and suspicious towards strangers and they might have stronger protective instincts. Some of them are also very independent, some even say stubborn, but this is vastly influenced by early socialization. But overall, this is very loving, gentle, curious and affectionate dog towards its own family.