Even though the precise origins of the Chinese Shar-Pei is unknown, experts concur that the breed may be linked to the Chow Chow. Both breeds stand a good chance of sharing the very same ancestry, and of course both of them are from China.

Miniature Shar Pei

Even more evidence shows that the Chinese Shar-Pei was in existence by the 13th century. Stout, wrinkly dogs were depicted in writings during this period. The breed could have even existed in the southern provinces of China, roughly 200 B.C.

The explanation of why its history is so hard to trace is mainly because almost all of the records that relate to the Chinese Shar-Pei were lost or destroyed when China became a communist country. During this time the breed was used by peasant farmers dog fighters, guard dogs, and also as a hunter of wild boar.
Shar-Pei (6 weeks old)
Shortly after China became communist, almost all of the country’s dogs were entirely eliminated. A few breeds were left surviving outside of city areas and several Shar-Peis were bred in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The breed was officially identified by the Hong Kong Kennel Club in 1968.

It was actually during this same period of time that groups of Chinese Shar-Pei dogs made their way to the United States. But it was in 1973 that more dog fanciers became acquainted with the breed when an article was published that describes the breed’s alarmingly low numbers.

The Chinese Shar-Pei was regarded as one of the world’s rarest dogs at that time and dog lovers made their best efforts to regenerate the breed. These attempts paid off. The Chinese Shar-Pei went from the brink of extinquishing and raised to new heights of level of popularity. Actually, they are probably the most recognizable breed of dogs in the United States today.

Shar Pei Temperament

The Chinese Shar-Pei has a personality that can best be identified as independent, bold, and tenacious. These dogs have a serious temperament which many individuals summarize as “self-possessed”. However, do not let its rough-edged attitude fool you. The Chinese Shar-Pei is a highly loyal pet that is devoted and protective of its family. It is normally well-behaved around other pets in the house but may be overly aggressive when it comes to unfamiliar dogs and other animals.

Taking Care Of Your Chinese Shar-Pei

This breed will require daily exercising and lots of mental stimulation. Activity such as fetching games and long walks are plenty to satisfy these needs. The Chinese Shar-Pei is not necessarily fitted to all-around outdoor living, so it’s best to divide its time between being outside and inside.
Grooming demands are minimal, with the occasional brushing needed roughly one time weekly. Yet, some additional attention will be necessary for the dog’s wrinkles on the face. Examine the skin folds to ensure that no irritation is breaking out.

Health Information

Healthy Shar-Pei dogs have an average expected life of around 10 years. Major health issues that may come up are CHD and entropion. Minor issues include amyloidosis, otitis externa, patellar luxation, skin fold pyodermas, allergies, and hypothyroidism. Fever breakouts are also quite common in this breed.

Shar-pei personality on Wikipedia