Pet Advisor Blog

Shar-Pei – Ancient Chinese Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium
Weight: 45 to 60 pounds
Height: 18 to 20 inches
Longevity: 10
Bark Tendency: Low
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: Medium


Shar-Pei dogs are ancient Chinese dog breeds that serves various purposes from farm works to guarding dogs as well as blood sport combatants. They got their name from their sandy coat, which when translated in Chinese is “Shar-Pei”

Official Name



Date – 200 B.C.E.
Country – China
Family / Group: Southern, Non-sporting

Recognized By:

Continental Kennel Club
Fédération Cynologique Internationale
American Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Kennel Club of United Kingdom
Canadian Kennel Club
Australian National Kennel Council
National Kennel Club
Dogs New Zealand (formerly New Zealand Kennel Club)
America’s Pet Registry, Inc.
American Canine Registry
Dog Registry of America, Inc.
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.



During the year 200 B.C.E. when China was ruled by the Han Dynasty, villagers of Tai Li the Chinese province of Guangdong, an ancient dog breed was used as an all purpose dog. They serviced villagers as utility, guarding and companion dogs. Historical records and artifacts about these ancient Chinese dogs bear very similar traits and appearances to the contemporary Shar-Pei. Proof of this is an ancient manuscript dating back from the 13th Century which writes about a domesticated dog that has wrinkles all over its body. Today, the Shar – Pei has shown resiliency as a dog breed. They survived near extinction and turned into one of the world’s most famous companion pets. Shar – Pei although considered as one breed, comes in two varieties: the Short Coated and the Long Coated Shar-Pei.


Shar – Pei dogs will choose the company of humans than other dogs. They are dog-aggressive if not properly trained. Trained dogs will be aloof when around other dogs as well. Around family, these wrinkled Chinese dogs are known to show affection and devotion. When around strangers, they will show wariness. All in all, this dog breed possesses intelligence that is higher than most other breeds. These serious and always alert dogs are one of China’s most loved and most popular companion pets around the world today.

Bred For

Various purposes including hunting, tracking, as a ratter, herding, protecting stock, and guarding property and people. They were also used in dog fighting matches.


They will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised.


They should be brushed regularly.


These dogs must be taught all humans are above them in the pecking order. These are dogs needs firm obedience training to establish owner’s leadership.


Amyloidosis, cancer, immune system problems and the Shar – Pei fever are the health issues that concerns this Chinese dog breed.


This breed has a considerable need for exercise, which includes a daily walk.


Adopt a Shar-Pei