I am absolutely sure, that you know about the Shar Peis, they are very easy to recognize and quite popular. But did you know that there are some differences between the Shar Pei types? There is the Bone Mouth and Meat Mouth Shar Pei, plus, the coat type can vary a lot as well. In this video i will tell you everything you need to know about the different Shar Pei types.
You are probably familiar with the Meat Mouth Shar pei, which is the typical type for the Western world. But it is not the original breed. The original, Chinese version of the breed is the Bone Mouth Shar Pei.
But if you will look to the AKC breed standard of the Shar Pei, you will not find a single word about the Bone or Meat mouth. On the other hand, if you will ask the professional breeders of the Shar Pei, they will tell you that the difference is definitely here.
So what is the difference? Well the most striking one is their muzzle. The Bone mouth shar pei has no pudding over its nose and cheeks are fleshy. There should be nothing extra between the teeth and jaws that would make the bite less efective and powerful. It is because this type, unlike the Meat Mouth type, was bred for working purpose, to be more specific, for hunting.
The Meat Mouth type, which is sometimes also reffered as the Western or American type is not built as a working dog, but more as a show ring dog. They always had to have the pudding over the nose and fleshy thick cheeks. A lot of time it is called as the hippopotamus head. This gives them the famous sweet and adorable look.
The Bone mouth shar pei is overall looking much more as working dog. Their skin is closer to the bone and they have only a little wrinkling at the shoulder and neck area and sometimes at the forehead. The muzzle of the Bone mouth shar pei is thinner.
The Meat Mouth shar pei muzzle is much wider muzzle and they have much more wrinkles. Sometimes they have wrinkles all over their body, but that is not always the truth. They definitely have a lot of fold skin in the head, around mouth and throat
Nostrils are another important difference. While the Bone mouth shar pei has wide nostrils, the Meat Mouth shar pei nostrils are much smaller and it creates health issues and difficulties while they exercise or play vigorously. They have problems with breathing.
The last difference on their head i will mention is their ears. The Meat Mouth shar pei ears are usually fold down and slightly forwards. The ears are very small in size. The traditional Bone Mouth Shar pei ears vary quite a bit. They can be small, but they can be large and they do not need to be folded down. It is not uncommon for the Bone Mouth Shar pei to have upstanding ears.
As i already said, the traditional Bone Mouth Shar pei is the working breed while the Meat Mouth Shar pei is the, lets say, show ring breed. And you can see the difference on their body. The Bone Mouth Shar Pei looks much more athletic, light and more powerful. They are also larger, with height between 19-23 inches, which is 48-58 cm.
The Meat Mouth Shar Pei is much smaller, with average height between 18-20 inches, which is 45-50 cm and they do not look athletic. They look more heavier and compact. They also have shorter legs.
Another difference is their coat. And it is important, because did you know that the Shar Pei got its name after its coat? It literally means sand – skin, which is how the Shar Pei coat should look like. But the truth is, that you can find many coat versions today.
The traditional Bone mouth shar pei coat is always very short and they are always in cream, brown or black color. The Meat Mouth Shar Pei can have the horse coat, which is rough to touch and prickly and it is similar to the original coat. Than they can have the brush coat, which is slightly longer and smoother. The last variety is the bear coat, which is long and it is similar to the Chow Chow coat. They can also be in many more colors, including blue, fawn or red.
The tail is little bit different as well. The tail of the meat mouth variety is is naturally quite short, and curls over either side of the back. The Bone mouth shar pei tail can be curled over the back, upright and curved, and an erect double-ring.
The temperament of both types is very similar, i would say that the Bone mouth type is more active, which can be advantage or disadvantage, it dependes on what do you expect from your dog. But overall, i would not say there are big differences in the temperament. It is also believed, and i think this is a big advantage, that the Bone-Mouth Shar-Pei is considerably healthier than the Meat-Mouth variety. Especially because they do not have that much breathing problems.