Chinese Shar-PeiThe Chinese Shar-Pei is a dog with loose skin that hangs in wrinkles. They are protective of their family and were bred to hunt, guard, fight and herd.

The Chinese Shar-Pei has a blue black tongue just as the Chow Chow does. These are the only two breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) with a blue black tongue.


Although the Chinese Shar-Pei was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1992, they have been around for hundreds of years.

They originated in southern China and a few Shar-Peis entered the United States in 1973. The Shar-Pei Club of America in 1974.


The Chinese Shar-Pei is a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC)’s non-sporting group of dogs.


According to the AKC, Chinese Shar-Peis are 18 to 20 inches tall to the shoulder and they weigh from 40 to 55 pounds.


The American Kennel Club recognizes 18 colors and 7 markings for the Chinese Shar-Pei including apricot dilute, black, black sable, blue, blue dilute, brown, chocolate dilute, cream, cream dilute, cream sable, fawn, fawn sable, five point red dilute, isabella dilute, lilac dilute, red, red fawn, red sable, blue sable, brown sable and white.

The 7 markings are brindle, mask, pointed, sable, saddle pattern, spotted on white, and white markings.


The Chinese Shar-Pei is a calm dog that is loyal, independent, alert, stubborn and can be suspicious of strangers and other dogs so they must receive training not to be aggressive. Early training and socialization is especially important with this dog breed.


Chinese Shar-Peis have a medium energy level but with their short nose they are prone to overheating. Keep your Shar-Pei cool during hot weather.


The Shar-Pei dog breed will have an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years. Shar-Peis are prone to Shar-Pei fever that causes a high fever and swelling around the hock joints. Kidney failure is common in many Shar-Peis.

With all of those wrinkles, skin problems arise with yeast and bacterial infections developing in the crevices of the skin. They are prone to hypothyroidism, cancer, bloat, glaucoma, elbow and hip dysplasia.


Shar-Peis are naturally clean dogs with a short coat that you can brush once a week.. When you do bathe them, thoroughly dry the folds of the skin to help prevent infections.

Other Grooming

You must clean and dry the folds of the skin and their ears regularly. They have fast growing nails that will need trimming and you can brush their teeth several times a week.


Training is very important for a Shar-Pei as they tend to overreact to strangers and strange dogs or animals. They are protectors, not friends at first sight and they may be stubborn with their independent thinking.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is not a problem for most Chinese Shar-Peis, although some will develop it. With some training and patience, separation anxiety can turn around.

Chinese Shar-Pei walking on sand


If you have interest in the Shar-Pei dog breed, please consider adoption. There are many purebred dogs and puppies that are available for adoption.Search for a Shar-Pei rescue group in your area by starting here at PetFinder.

What do you think about the Shar-Pei dog breed? Share a story about your dog or leave a comment below. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.