Shar Pei

The Chinese Shar Pei can definitely be described as unusual. It is characterized by its loose and wrinkled skin, by it "hippopotamus" nose, its short coat, its highly inserted tail, and its small seashell ears. Oh, and of course, it's blue tongue. However, this does not mean that this dog has an exaggerated or a miserable look, to the contrary. The wrinkles on an adult can be limited to its head, neck and wichers. This dog's head is very large and tall; its eyes should be as dark as possible and should have an almond shape to them. The ears on this dog are extremely small, thick and slightly rounded on the tips but not lifted upwards. The muzzle is moderate in length, wide and should not be pointy. The tongue, the palate, the gums and the lips should all be blackish blue, if it does not have this, the dog has a defect, except for those that are a light color or crème, these can have a spotted or pink tongue. The neck of this dog is strong and muscular and has a medium size length and is inserted over the shoulders with moderate to thick creases that form into a jowl. The top part of its body sinks a little behind the wichers. The chest should be wide and long; the back short and compact. The tail is one of the characteristics of this breed. There are several types; the most common is the one that has a curled tail forming a double ring. A Shar Pei that does not have a tail is disqualified as a show dog. The front legs should be straight and its bone structure should look strong but not heavy; the elbows must be closed to the body having a moderate space between them, not too open or too close to each other. The paws should have a moderate size and should be compact and firm. The hind legs should have a moderate angle and the hocks should be low. The coat is very wiry, and should not be shiny or soft but should look healthy. The length of the coat is usually around one to one and a half centimeters. This dog can only be one color, except for the white one. The tail and the interior part of the extremities are frequently a lighter tone than the actual coat.

Ideal owner:
This dog definitely has its likes and dislikes. It has a very vivid mind and can be very stubborn when it wants to, as well as aggressive, territorial and sometimes will even get into fights. A well-socialized and trained Shar Pei though can be a very charming companion that is great with children. This dog cannot and should not be put in a place with other dogs. It needs to be inside the house and it absolutely hates cold weather. It also hates getting into the water so bathing it might be quite a problem. This dog is loved because of its intelligence and aspect, not to mention its sense of humor.

At around eight weeks, a Shar Pei should weigh around five or six kilograms. This dog tends to grow quickly, reaching its maximum height when it is a year old, although it takes another year for it to mature completely. This dog is as intelligent as it is independent, meaning it can be quite challenging when it is an adolescent. However, it is a charming puppy, and it's quite easy to teach it to be clean inside the house. During puberty this dog will go gaining body substance and will grow along with its puppy wrinkles, but you will need to be aware that most of its adorable puppy wrinkles disappear when it becomes an adult. During its coat change stage, the coat might seem somewhat uneven and have a sort of patchy look or spotted look to it as its soft puppy coat is replaced with the rougher darker adult coat. Training a Shar Pei will definitely help this dog to become the perfect companion, never attempt to mess up what this dog has learned through training by mistreating it; an angry Shar Pei is worse than a furious demon.

General health:
The Shar Pei went from being one of the strangest dogs to a very popular breed in very little time. This increase as well as with a limited liter size, along with its body structure peculiarities, has brought about many health problems in the breed. It is very important for the future owner to investigate on this breed before getting one and before picking out a puppy. One disease this dog can have is skin related including demodex, which is induced by stress and occurs between four and eight months of age. Local hair loss and dermatitis has also been observed. An excess amount of skin around the eyes often times causes ectropion and might need to be surgically corrected. Deformation of the jaw can also occur. Twisted paws, joint dislocation, hip dysphasia, and other bone problems are also frequent. Renal disease has also been informed as well as IgA deficiency, amyloidosis and hypothyroidism. A Shar Pei that has been well bred can live up to eight or ten years. Breeders are getting a better consistency of the type, which is what was needed when its popularity began. The care its coat requires are special because of this dogs very unique skin. The nails of a Shar Pei grow very rapidly and most of them absolutely detest getting a manicure. Training and socializing it is vital. It is also important to feed it a routine diet so as to not alter its delicate digestive system. Avoid feeding it soy dog food. Dry dog food is highly recommended.

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