All About the Breed Chinese SharPei

Have you recently fallen for the Chinese Shar-Pei? Learn all about the breed here, including: breed history, personality traits, train-ability, benefits and disadvantages of the breed, and common health concerns.

Also known as the Chinese Fighting Dog and simply as the Shar-Pei, the Chinese Shar-Pei is an affectionate and protective breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Chinese Shar-Pei can be traced back as far as 200 B.C. ancient China through various sculptures and art works of the time. Enthusiasts believe that the Chinese Shar-Pei played a large role in the creation of breeds such as the Chow Chow, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Chinese Shar-Pei has been most commonly used as a watch and guard dog, for the sport of dog fighting, and as a pet and companion, proving its superior abilities to provide both protection and gentle friendship.

The Chinese Shar-Pei was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1988, categorized into the Miscellaneous Class. The breed was moved into the Non-Sporting Group in August of 1992.

Today, the Chinese Shar-Pei has attained a world wide popularity as a working dog, family pet, and companion alike.

Personality Traits

Best known for its friendly and outgoing nature, the Chinese Shar-Pei is a genuinely happy breed. These dogs thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and love to receive attention and play the role of guardian. This breed is highly intelligent, yet somewhat stubborn and independent at times, creating moderate difficulty in training.

As a pet, the Chinese Shar-Pei is loyal, loving, and very affectionate. The Chinese Shar-Pei adapts well to full-time indoor or apartment living, yet still enjoys spending time outdoors, playing games such as fetch, and taking long and leisurely walks.


Due to its stubborn and independent attitude, the Chinese Shar-Pei can prove somewhat challenging to train. This breed is known for growing bored and impatient with repetitive exercises and tasks.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Chinese Shar-Pei. These dogs require an experienced, confident, and patient handler with a stern yet gentle approach to repetitive exercises and tasks.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Chinese Shar-Pei. These outgoing dogs are always on the move, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. When properly socialized from a young age, the Chinese Shar-Pei gets along well with children and non-dog pets, known for its sweet and gentle approach to small children.

This breed is alert, territorial, and protective, making an incredible watch and guard dog by announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. The Chinese Shar-Pei is loyal, loving, and very affectionate, making an excellent working dog, family pet, and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Chinese Shar-Pei. While this breed adapts well to full-time indoor or apartment living, it does require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play, especially when under the age of two years.

Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Chinese Shar-Pei not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Chinese Shar-Pei has distinctive wrinkles, which can lead to a wide array of health problems. Special care is needed in order to treat this breed's coat and skin.

This breed is not recommended for households with other dogs. Even with proper socialization from a young age, the Chinese Shar-Pei may show excessive aggression, dominance, and jealousy towards other dogs.

Common Health Concerns

While the Chinese Shar-Pei is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: Shar-Pei Fever - a breed-specific condition causing fever and swelling of the hocks, frequent skin infection - often caused by lack of special care, skin allergies and sensitivity, amyloidosis - a condition which may cause renal failure, entropian - folding inward of the eye lid, ectropian - folding outward of the eye lid, obesity, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Chinese Shar-Pei?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.