The name Shar Pei translates as ‘harsh sandy coat’ or ‘sandpaper skin’, meaning that the breed is named after their loose wrinkled skin and bristly coat – the look the Shar Pei is now famous for. The breed originated in China and descends from the ancient Han Dog, which was a guard dog dating back 2000 years. As times have moved on, the Shar Pei is now a loyal and beloved companion who is devoted to his family.
The Shar Pei’s loose wrinkled skin proved useful for fighting as it prevented its rival from getting a strong grip. The wrinkles along with the characteristic bristly coat proved uncomfortable on the mouth of its opponent. The once rare breed is becoming ever-more popular now that modern breeders have addressed the problem of excessive wrinkle and eye problems within the breed.
The best way to describe the look of a Shar Pei is ‘interesting’. The dog is just a mass of loose wrinkles with tiny ears a-top a big head and a thick, round tail that curls up over the bottom of their back.
But behind the unique exterior there is a very intelligent breed of dog. Although rather aloof, the Shar Pei makes an excellent guard dog, meaning that early training is a must and it’s essential that the owner can establish leadership firmly, but kindly. The dog is likely to respect and create a firm connection with said owner and will soon become ‘devoted’ to their family – often said to appreciate the company of humans more than other dogs.
It is advised that the Shar Pei isn’t cleaned too regularly as they are a naturally clean dog. The wrinkles mean that they can be very prone to skin problems, which may need extra attention and aren’t always solved by excessive cleaning with unnatural products.
Breed Group: Utility
Size: Medium – 20kg on average
Recommended Grooming: Once a week at most
Average Lifespan: Over 10 years
Common Sensitivities: Allergies to common dog food additives
Common Symptoms to Sensitivities: Usually skin irritation. The wrinkled coat means that the breed are more prone to skin problems caused by dietary sensitivity.
Want to learn more about dietary sensitives in dogs and how to use an exclusion diet to treat them? Take a look at our article ‘What is Dietary Sensitivity?‘
You May be Wondering…
Which Wafcol recipe should I be feeding my Shar Pei?
Wafcol Adult Salmon & Potato for Small and Medium breeds is great for Shar Pei’s weighing under 20kg with sensitivities. The food is also fantastic for your dogs’ skin and coat as it contains Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids.
Am I able to feed my puppy Wafcol dog food?
Yes. Wafcol Puppy Salmon & Potato for Small and Medium breeds is great if your Shar Pei puppy is showing signs of dietary sensitivities.
How much dry kibble should I be feeding my Shar Pei each day?
The average weight of a Shar Pei is 20kg. We recommend feeding medium dogs weighing between 10kg and 25kg, 200g – 395g of kibble per day.