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Shar Pei

Active, dignified and brave  (other names: Chinese Shar-Pei, Chinese Fighting Dog)

Shar Pei
origin:China
life expectancy:11-12 years
classification:Non sporting
height:46 to 51 cm
weight:18 to 25 kg
exercise: Mediumtraining: Reasonableclimate: Temperategrooming: Needs groomingfeeding: Mediumsize: Medium
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History [ edit ]

The Chinese Shar Pei is one of the most ancient dog breeds, which is confirmed by recent DNA analysis. Pottery and statues found in the southern provinces of China and dating back to the Han dynasty (200 B.C.) depicted a dog similar to the Shai Pei and there are also some Chinese ancien manuscripts with references to "wrinkled dogs" . Its distinctive characteristics are deep wrinkles, a blue-black tongue that is  shared only with the Chow-Chow, and an extremely rough and short coat  that make the breed unique in the canine world. The name Shar Pei, which means " Sand Skin " or "sandpaper-like skin", derives from the texture of its coat and not from the colour. The Shar Pei breed comes from the Guangzhou province of China where it was well-known as an guard dog but its ancestry is uncertain. The purple tongue suggests that it descended from the Chow-Chow, and mastiff and spitz-type dogs may also be parents of the breed. Originally, the Shar Pei was an all-purpose dog used for hunting, protecting stock, and guarding the home and family. In the 19th century when the British introduced the dog fighting to China, the Shar Pei was considered the best suited breed for this purpose due to its size and strength and its rough coat that make the Shar-Pei difficult for the opponent to grab and hold on to. During the Communist Revolution in China the breed became close to extinction, but was rescued by a Hong-Kong breeder, Matgo Law, and has today a large number of followers all over the world.
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General Appearance [ edit ]

The Shar-Pei is a strongly built, medium-sized dog with a unique appearance given by the hippopotamus-shape muzzle and the loose skin and wrinkles that cover the head, the neck and the body.The body is short-coupled, compact and well-balanced, with a broad, deep chest that gives the dog a square appearance. The back is short and close-coupled and the topline dips slightly behind the withers, rising slightly over the short, broad loin. The head is large and full and is covered with profuse wrinkles on the forehead continuing into side wrinkles. The skull is flat and broad and the stop moderately defined.The muzzle is well padded with a bulge at the base of the “butterfly” nose, which is large and wide and darkly pigmented. The small, dark, almond-shaped eyes are sunken and have a sullen expression.The triangular ears are small, rather thick, set high and wide apart and fall forward hanging close to the cheeks. The tail is set high, thick and round at the base, tapering to a fine point and is carried in a curl. The coat is extremely harsh, short and straight, neither slick or glossy. Coat length ranges from extremely short bristly harsh coat up to the brush coat, which should not exceed one inch in length at the withers. Shar Peis come in various colours that range from light to dark fawn, red fawn, cream,black, chocolate and sable.
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Temperament [ edit ]

The Shar-Pei is an active, intelligent, dignified and brave dog, independent and somewhat suspicious of strangers although they do not tend to overreact.  They are extremely devoted to their families. They want to please and to be close to their masters whenever possible, but they are a dominant breed and should receive basic obedience training from puppywood in as much as they may refuse commands from family members who have not secured leadership over them. Shar-Peis are quick learners and are easy to train, but they often do not respond well to repetitive tasks. Puppies are very tidy and they nearly housebreak themselves. Despite their frowning expression, Shar-Peis are surprisingly outgoing by nature, calm, happy in and outdoors and love to ride in cars.  This breed is not a barker but they are outstanding as watchdogs as their sense of smell and sight are superior to most breeds. When properly socialized from an early they will get along well with other dogs and cats and will be good with children. With firm, but gentle and consistent training Shar-Peis make a great guards and enchanting companions.
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Health [ edit ]

The Chinese Shar-Pei is prone to entropion, skin allergies and amolydosis.
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Dog trivia [ edit ]

Some famous Shar-Peis: Satchel, from the syndicated comic strip Get Fuzzy; Lao-Tzu, Martin Prince´s dog in The Simpsons, which appeared in the episode; " Bart´s Dog gets an F”.
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