Chinese Shar-Pei


The Chinese Shar-Pei goes back to ancient China, when the dogs were general farm dogs, used for hunting, herding, and guarding. The Chinese believed the breed’s characteristic scowl and black pigmented mouth would scare off evil spirits. Although most dogs were eliminated after China became communist, some Shar-Peis survived in other countries. American fanciers rescued the breed from extinction, and the breed is one of the most recognizable in the U.S.


Medium; 18 to 20 inches, 45 to 60 pounds.


Any solid color.


Dignified, sober, self-assured, self-possessed. Independent and stubborn. Devoted and protective; suspicious of strangers and aggressive with other dogs.

Energy level:

Low to moderate.

Best owner:

Confident owners with previous training experience.


Daily mental and physical exercise, training and socialization, weekly brushing, attention to ears and wrinkles, regular nail clipping.

Life expectancy:

8 to 12 years.