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Hill’s Brand Horizon

Shar-pei Dog

dog Breed Profile

Although loving, shar-peis have a dominant streak and need a confident, assertive pet parent to be their teacher.


Dark brown eyes small triangular ears short broad nose normal mouth long, high-set and tapered tail



50-60 lbs.

45-55 lbs.


17-19 in.

(at withers)

18-20 in.





All solid colors and sables




Energy level



8-12 yrs.












Grooming Needs


Social Needs


Club recognition

AKC Class.


UKC Class.

Northern breed



Young shar-pei puppy in blue collar in park.

About the Shar-pei Dog

Although loving, shar-peis have a dominant streak and need a confident, assertive pet parent to be their teacher.

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Shar-pei Dog personality

Originally bred to guard livestock, shar-peis are alert, intelligent and protective dogs who make excellent guardians. They possess a calm and devoted nature that makes them loving companions. They tend to be aloof with strangers, but are fiercely loyal and affectionate with their own people and love to spend time in the company of their families.

While shar-peis can be aggressive toward other dogs, says Dogtime, early socialization can help them learn to get along with other pets. Providing them with socialization and obedience training as puppies can also make them easier to handle as adults, as shar-peis are strong-willed dogs whose personalities may overwhelm an unprepared pet parent. These dogs do best with confident, assertive leadership to help them know how to properly behave.

What to expect

Shar-peis are laid-back, low-energy dogs. Because they don't require much exercise, they can make good apartment dogs. Just keep in mind that they need short walks to stretch their legs if a backyard isn't available.

Due to their stubborn streak, shar-peis need lifelong reinforcement of training and socialization. Their propensity for aggressiveness toward other dogs means they should always be kept on leash and allowed near strange dogs only under strict supervision. The good news is that the shar-pei dog breed is intelligent and eager to please their pet parents, which makes them fairly easy to train. Consistency is key to successfully training shar-peis and preventing them from unlearning their training.

Although shar-peis are not flat-faced like bulldogs or pugs, they do have shorter-than-normal noses and are considered brachycephalic. Because of this, shar-peis don't do well with vigorous exercise like running or jogging. Stay extra vigilant to ensure they don't overheat in warm weather, especially in high humidity.

The coat of the shar-pei is extremely easy to groom. They only require brushing once a week to remove shedding hair, dirt and excess dander, and only need bathing once every few months — unless they get excessively dirty. After bathing, take the time to thoroughly dry between their folds and wrinkles to prevent a fungal infection. Gently wipe their ears on a weekly basis and check them for signs of infection, such as odor or redness.

History of the Shar-pei Dog

The shar-pei is an ancient breed, dating back more than 2,000 years to China's Han Dynasty. It's thought to have been bred by peasants to perform tasks including hunting, herding and guarding livestock from predators and thieves. Unfortunately, shar-peis were also frequently used as fighting dogs, which accounts for their aggression toward other dogs.

Matgo Law, a breeder from Hong Kong who was passionate about the shar-pei breed, introduced them to American breeders in the early 1970s. This resulted in shar-peis becoming extremely popular in the U.S., especially in the 1980s. The AKC recognized it as an official breed in 1992. Since then, the shar-pei has declined in popularity but still enjoys a broad base of fanciers. Today there are over 70,000 shar-peis registered with the AKC in the U.S.

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