Though the Chinese Shar-Pei is the 134th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, the dog breed has been around for hundreds of years.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about Chinese Shar-Pei.
The Chinese Shar-Pei has been around since at least 200 B.C. Archeologists discovered statues that bear a strong resemblance to the Shar-Pei and have dated them to that time period. The breed is thought to have originated in the area around the village of Tai Li.
The ancient Chinese originally bred Shar-Pei to guard the royal palace and protect the royal family. The Shar-Pei's loose skin was designed to protect him in dogfights. If another dog grabbed onto the Shar-Pei's skin, he could still get away, and his internal organs wouldn't be damaged.
3) World Rarest Breed
As the dogs were edged out of the fighting pits, breeding slowed and the Shar-Pei population dwindled. The breed took another hit when China became a communist country. The government decided that pets were a luxury item and instilled a hefty tax on owning one. Eventually, owning a dog became known as a "decadent bourgeois luxury" and dog breeding was banned altogether. In 1947 the tax skyrocketed. Since only the super wealthy could afford to keep their pooches, the Shar-Pei was nearly wiped out. From the late ‘60s to mid ‘70s, the Shar-Pei was listed by Guinness World Records as the rarest dog breed in the world.
Chinese Shar-Pei need only moderate exercise (several brisk daily walks), so they do quite well in the city or suburbs. In fact, unless they are securely fenced, they are not the best choice for a farm or rural setting, for they have strong hunting instincts and may run deer or molest livestock if they get loose.
A Chinese Shar-Pei's tongue is a blue-black color, and the only other dog to have this color tongue is the Chow Chow. There is no known genetic link between the two breeds though. The dark-colored tongue apparently made these guard dogs look more ferocious. Some also thought the blue-black tongue warded off evil spirits when the dog barked.
Chinese Shar-pei come in three coat varieties. The horse coat is very short and prickly, and can irritate the skin of sensitive people. The brush coat is thicker, about an inch long. The bear coat is very heavy, like that of a Chow Chow dog. All three coats shed, with the brush and bear coats shedding the most.
7) Independent Mind
Chinese Shar Pei have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Many Chinese Sharpeis are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
When the breed was being perfected, the rough fur was added as a means of protection. The bristly texture would create an unpleasant sensation in an enemy’s mouth as they bit down, thus making their grip (hopefully) weaker. The name Shar-Pei means sand skin, because their coat looks and feels like sandpaper.
According to the American Kennel Club, Shar-Pei come in 21 different colors, including interesting shades like five point red, blue sable, and red fawn.
Shar-Pei have slightly pushed in snouts, which is endearing but can cause health problems. Breathing can be a little difficult for the dogs, so they have trouble running long distances, tend to snore, and get overheated easily.