The Chinese Shar-Pei has a distinct, dignified look and is famous for its wrinkly coat. The Shar-Pei makes a great family pet and is loyal to its owners and is a natural guard dog. They are extremely intelligent and loving. They are quick to learn and easy to house train and usually live along side other dogs if care is taken in the early stages. The Standard Shar-Pei is 18 to 20 inches tall at the shoulders. The weight is 40 to 55 pounds. The Miniature Shar-Pei is over 14 inches to 17.5 inches. The Toy Shar-Pei is under 14 inches.
The smaller Shar-Peis will look just like the Standards only smaller even when they are adults. A Shar-Pei can have three different coat lengths. The horse coat is the shortest and can irritate some sensitive human skin. The brush coat is a little longer and is always soft to the touch. The bear coat will crop up from time to time. This coat favors a Chow coat. It is long, soft, and fuzzy and not acceptable in the show ring but makes for a good pet quality pup. The Shar-Pei's coat is one of those cannine coats which tends to not give off a "doggy" smell, even when wet. Its natural coarsenss also has a tendency to repel dirt, which is an added bonus.
This is the case whether it is a horse or brush coated dog. Because the coat is so short, it does not mat, and so constant brushing is unnecessary. A light brush with a pure bristle will keep the coat healthy, provided our Shar-Pei is being fed a balanced diet. We recommend that you feed your Shar-Pei a soy-free feed. Most Shar-Peis are allergic to soy and will reak out.
The Shar-Pei is a breed which needs careful attention to its eyes, and breeders should tack the eyes of some of their puppies to avoid serious problems. Many breeders are working hard to eliminate these problems. Neglect of this condition can lead to an eye ulcer. With out doubt, there are some Shar-Pei which encounter no eye problems at all throughout their lives and dedicated breeders are striving to make this the norm. We keep a close watch on our Shar-Pei puppies eyes and if they show any signs, have our vet tack the eyes immediately.
The Chinese Shar-Pei originated in China. They were used for fighting and guarding. The Chinese phesants used them for guard dogs, herders, and companion dogs. They were and still are--alert, reliable, and intelligent. This is exactly what the pheasants needed for the protection of themselves and their property.