1) Ancient origin
Chinese Shar Pei is a dog breed originated in China, but its history is mysterious. And its no wonder, since its very old dog breed. Many people believed, that their roots date back to the Han Dynasty 200 years before christ.
The most distinctive feature of the Chinese Shar Pei is their wrinkles. You just can not confuse them with any other breed. But other than the wrinkles are super cute, they served a purpose. One of the main purpose of Chinese Shar Pei was to be a protector of Chinese royalty. And the Shar Pei wrinkles and loose skin were its body armour. When another animal attacked the Shar Pei, they could still get away, and his internal organs wouldn't be damaged.
3) Versitale dogs
But Chinese Shar Peis were not only guards and protectors for the chinese royalty. They served many purposes, and they were pretty good at most of them. They were used as hunters and herders and sadly, they were also used in dog pit fights. Luckily, this so called sport is banned in most of the countries nowadays and it lost most of its popularity.
4) Almost extinct
It is hard to believe that shar peis were once close to extinction but it is true. When the Chinese communists become the leaders of the country, owning a dog became a „decadent luxury“ and breeding of dogs were eventually banned. And if you owned a dog, there were a big taxes for it. Only the richest people could afford to own a dog and the shar pei was nearly wiped out. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Chinese Shar Pei was one of the rarest dogs in the world.
If you are not familiar with the Chinese shar pei and you will see its tongue for the first time, you might be scared that something wrong is going on with your dog. It is because Shar peis are one of the two dogs, which have blue – black tongue. The second breed is the Chow Chow.
6) Snout problems
Shar Pei noses are slightly pushed in, which is definitely cute, but it can lead to some serious health problems. When they are older, the might have difficulties with breathing, and even when they are younger and run for longer distance, they can have these troubles and they tend to snore. And do not exercise them in hot weather, because of their short snouts, they are also prone to get overheated.
You can find Chinese Shar pei in many different colors, according to the AKC breed standard in 21 colors including red, cream, black and fawn, but also blue sable. And have you ever wondered why they are named Shar pei? The name Shar-Pei means sand skin, because their coat looks and feels like sandpaper.
The Chinese shar pei is a dog with large body and big square head with wide muzzle. Their height should be between 18-20 inches which is 46-51 cm and their weight should be between 40-65 pounds which is 18-30 kgs. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
Chinese shar pei is definitely not a pushover to train. They are strong willed independent dogs that have stubborn streaks. That is why you must be absolutely consistent, firm and patient leader. But if you will be like that, Shar Pei is intelligent student, which will learn the commands fairly easily.
Chinese Shar Pei original purpose was to protect, and they have it in their blood even today. They are loyal and devoted to their owner and they make excellent guards for the owner and their family. But since they were also bred for the pit fights, the shar peis mmight be agressive towards other dogs. That is why early and proper socialization is needed.