Chinese Shar-Pei: The Dog with Excessive Skin

The apparently crotchety Chinese Shar-Pei is not as surly as it may seem. The perpetual scowl, hippopotamus head and wrinkled skin on Shar-Peis often mislead people and trick them into believing that these fluffy dogs of a Chinese origin are to be appreciated from afar. While Shar-Peis can be aggressive and hard to sway at times, but if appropriately trained, they can be highly manageable pets.

The Chinese Shar-Pei is known to have a strong personality that’s hardly flexible, making it a lousy pet choice for first-time dog parents. But if you want to be a parent to a dog with an independent character and firm will, you should definitely consider adopting a Shar-Pei. With that said, anyone thinking of adopting a Chinese Shar-Pei should know everything about it so that they can handle any tantrums that their new pet might throw their way.

Here are all the Shar-Pei traits that you need to know before adopting one


Shar-Peis are one of the most loyal breeds a person can own. They will always look out for you and stay close. However, you need to spend time with them to familiarize them with their new home and family.

Sharp Hunting Skills

Shar-Peis have a sturdy built and sharp hunting instincts, which make them a bad choice for farms and rural settings because they could harm livestock if left unattended. However, having a Shar-Pei as a pet in a city is fine as long as you train it well and cater to its needs.

Bulky Breed

Although Shar-Peis are a medium breed, they have a bulky body that must be well-fed along with adequate exercise. If you want to adopt a pet that needs substantial physical activity and a healthy meal plan, or if you think you can manage such a pet, then getting a Shar-Pei would probably be ideal for you. As long as you are willing to take your doggo out for regular walks and feed it well, you are good to go and will make a good parent.


Shar-Peis do not like to mingle much and mind their own business unless provoked. They like to stay quiet and typically just go about doing their business without harming anyone. However, if you poke them or instigate them or anyone else does, then be prepared for the commotion that will ensue.

If you are someone who likes peace in their houses, a Shar-Pei will be an ideal choice for you. You can snuggle with your fluffy companion when you want, and for the remainder of the day, they’ll mind their own business and won’t even bark much.

Aggression Toward Other Animals

Since Shar-Peis tend to have a dominant personality, they can get aggressive with other animals, especially of the same sex. They love to chase and attack cats, so if you have other pets, raising a Shar-Pei may not be right for you. Moreover, if provoked or mishandled, a Shar-Pei can severely harm and even kill other animals.

Thick Skin

Shar-Peis can overheat quickly, thanks to their thick coat. They like to stay in a considerably cooler environment that is soothing for their skin. If you live in a warm city, you will have to keep you Shar-Pei indoors as much as possible to keep it happy and sweat-free.

Clean and easily trainable

Shar-Peis like to stay clean and have a routine, so they are easy to potty train. If you are consistent, you’ll be able to housebreak a Shar-Pei much faster than any other dog.

Health Problems

Unfortunately, Shar-Peis are predisposed to chronic health issues, which can lead to complications if left untreated. The body structure of a Shar-Pei is quite deformed that is responsible for the health concerns it develops. The wrinkled, thick skin traps moisture, causing bacterial infections and a bunch of other skin conditions. Additionally, Shar-Peis may also suffer from various eye diseases and severe kidney disease.

Adopting a Shar-Pei means you need to always be in touch with your vet to mitigate the chances of complications. But doing so can be hard on your bank account, so if you can (and are willing to) spend hundreds of dollars on medical bills, only then bring home a Shar-Pei.


The fluffy Chinese dogs can have three types of coats: the horse coat, the brush coat, and the bear coat. The horse coat is very short and prickly; it can lead to skin problems in people with sensitive skin tissue. Brush coat is relatively thicker and about an inch long. And the thickest of all the layers is the bear coat; it’s incredibly dense like the skin of a Chow Chow dog.

All three coats on a Shar-Pei shed considerably, but the brush and bear coat shed the most. You can use a good quality brush to get rid of loose hairs on your Shar-Pei and manage its shedding.

Hard to budge

As mentioned earlier, Shar-Peis have a strong personality and cannot be forced to do something against their will. However, if you consistently stick to a training routine, your Shar-Pei will start listening to you.

Aggressive to Strangers

Shar-Peis do not trust strangers right away. In fact, they can get aggressive if they feel unsure about a stranger. Therefore, if you adopt a Shar-Pei and invite friends over to introduce them to your new pup, be sure to stay close to avoid any unpleasant accident.

Legal liabilities

Shar-Peis are labeled as dangerous or harmful dogs like bulldogs and mastiffs, which is why they are banned in certain areas. You should look into the local laws on Shar-Pei domestication in your region to stay out of any legal trouble. And be sure to get a permit before getting a Shar-Pei, if the state regulations require that.

Since Shar-Peis have a reputation for being intimidating, people are quick to sue owners if they feel threatened. So, you must bear all the legal implications of owning a Shar-Pei before getting one.


While sharpies do not bark much, they do, however, snore quite loudly. They also tend to snort and grunt occasionally. Some dog parents may find the sounds made by a Shar-Pei unsettling, so that’s also a factor to consider before getting a Chinese Shar-Pei.

Although it may seem that Shar-Peis are not ideal for keeping as pets, they are quite loving once they get comfortable with their owners. If you want to have a poised pet that struts around and looks dignified, then, by all means, get a Shar-Pei. But remember a confident pet needs an assertive parent, so if you think you can enforce your authority and get your fuzzy fella to listen to you, only then think about getting a Shar-Pei.

by Maria A Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: