With their unique appearance and deep-rooted Chinese heritage, Shar-Peis have long been a symbol of allure and charm among dog lovers. Their wrinkly skin and hippo face set them apart from the rest, making them a truly special breed. Dive into the world of Shar Pei puppies with us as we reveal 20 intriguing facts about these ancient and adorable dogs.
1. The name “Shar Pei” means “sandy skin” in Chinese.
The term Shar Pei, derived from the Cantonese language, aptly describes the dog‘s coarse, sandpaper-like coat. This unique texture was originally a defense mechanism against wild predators, making it difficult for them to grab onto a dog‘s loose skin during a confrontation.
2. Shar-Peis have a rich history that dates back to ancient China.
Historical artifacts and ancient statues indicate that Sharpeis have been around since the Han Dynasty (around 200 BC). They were revered by Chinese royalty and nobles, but they also served practical roles as hunting and guard dogs in rural communities.
3. The breed was once considered the rarest in the world.
In the 1970s, the Sharpei was on the verge of extinction. Matgo Low, a passionate breeder from Hong Kong, launched a global call to save the breed, leading to an influx of interest and efforts to restore the Shar Pei population.
4. Their iconic wrinkles have a purpose.
While wrinkles are undoubtedly cute on puppies, they originally served a functional purpose. Loose, sagging skin made it difficult for predators to get a firm grip on the dog, which allowed the Shar-Pei to defend itself more effectively.
5. Sharpeis can boast a blue-black tongue.
One of the Shar-Pei’s distinguishing features is its blue-black tongue, a trait it shares with only one other breed, the Chow Chow. The exact reason for such a unique coloring remains a mystery, but it adds charm to the breed.
6. They come in three different coat types.
Not all Shar-Peis have the same coat texture. The breed can boast horsehair (very coarse), hair (slightly longer and less stiff) or the rare bear hair (which is soft and fluffy). Horse and bush hair are the most common among Shar Pei.
7. Sharpeis are known for their independent character.
Although they can be affectionate with their families, Shar-Peis are also known for their independence and aloofness. Early socialization is essential for them to grow into well-rounded and communicative adults.
8. They have a strong protective instinct.
Historically used as guard dogs, Shar Pei are naturally protective and can be wary of strangers. This instinct makes them great watchdogs, but it also means they need consistent training and restraint.
9. The breed may be prone to certain health problems.
Shar-Peis are prone to certain health problems, including skin infections in the folds and a condition called “entropion,” where the eyelid rolls inward. Regular veterinary examinations and proper care are very important for this breed.
10. Sharpeis are not too barky.
Although Shar Pei are alert, they do not bark without reason. They usually alert their owners to strangers or potential danger, but they are not noisy by nature.
11. They are surprisingly agile.
Despite their stocky appearance, Shar Pei are agile and playful. They love to play and can be quite active, especially in their puppy years.
12. Their loyalty is unmatched.
Shar Pei are incredibly loyal to their family. Once they form a bond, it is for life and they will go to great lengths to protect and be with their loved ones.
13. The breed has a calm demeanor.
Although they can be playful, Shar Pei are generally calm and collected. They enjoy a peaceful environment and make great companions for quiet households.
14. Their care needs are moderate.
Despite the many folds, Shar-Peis have relatively easy care needs. Regular debridement is important to prevent infections, but they don’t require frequent baths.
15. They have a strong prey drive.
Historically, Shar Pei were used for hunting, and this instinct has remained. They often chase small animals, so a safe yard is a must.
16. Early learning is critical.
Given their independent and protective nature, early training is essential. Positive reinforcement techniques work best to ensure a well behaved and social Shar Pei.
17. They can be reserved around other dogs.
18. The breed has a rich cultural significance.
In Chinese culture, Shar Pei has long been considered a symbol of loyalty and courage. Throughout history, they have appeared in various works of art and stories.
19. They adapt to different life situations.
Although they appreciate space to roam, Shar-Peis can adapt to apartment living as long as they receive regular exercise and mental stimulation.
20. Their popularity continues to grow.
After almost completely disappearing in the 1970s, the popularity of Shar Pei has increased again not only in China, but also around the world. Their unique appearance combined with their loyalty makes them a favorite among many dog lovers.
In summary, the Shar-Pei is a breed steeped in history, mystery and undeniable charm. From their ancient Chinese roots to their distinctive wrinkled appearance, these dogs offer a combination of beauty and resilience that is hard to resist. Whether you’re a potential owner or a curious fan, there’s no denying the allure of the Shar-Pei.
Frequently asked questions about Shar Pei puppies
1. What is the origin of the Sharpei breed?
Sharpei originates from China, and its history goes back to ancient times. Artifacts and statues dating back centuries depict dogs with wrinkled Shar-Pei-like appearances, indicating their long-standing presence in Chinese culture. They were originally used for a variety of tasks, including hunting, herding, and guarding.
2. Why do Sharpeis have so many wrinkles?
Shar-Pei are naturally born with many wrinkles, which historically served a purpose. The loose, wrinkled skin was an advantage in dogfighting, allowing the Shar-Pei to wriggle and retaliate even when bitten by an opponent. Over time, selective breeding has exacerbated these wrinkles, especially in show dogs.
3. How often should I groom a Shar Pei puppy?
Despite their short coat, Shar-Peis require constant grooming due to their wrinkled skin. It is important to clean between the skin folds regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria and potential skin infections. Weekly grooming combined with regular baths and ear canal checks will keep your Shar Pei in top condition.
4. Do Shar Pei get along well with children and other pets?
Sharpeis are loyal and often protective of their family, including children. However, they can be aloof or wary of unfamiliar and unfamiliar animals. Early socialization is critical to ensure they are well adjusted and comfortable around children and other pets.
5. What is “Shar Pei fever”?
“Shar Pei Fever” or Familial Mediterranean Fever is a hereditary disease that affects some Shar Pei dogs. Symptoms include intermittent fever and hock swelling. If left untreated or uncontrolled, it can lead to serious complications, including kidney failure. Regular examinations by a veterinarian are necessary for early detection and treatment of this disease.
6. How active are Shar Pei puppies?
Sharpeis have a moderate level of activity. They enjoy regular walks, games and mental stimulation. However, they are not as hyperactive as some other breeds and can be content with entertaining at home once their exercise needs are met.
7. Is it difficult to train a Shar Pei?
Shar-Peis have an independent nature, which can sometimes make training difficult. However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, they can be effectively trained. Early socialization and enrollment in puppy training classes can be helpful.
8. What to feed a Shar Pei puppy?
It is very important to feed a Shar Pei puppy a balanced and complete diet. Because of their unique skin and allergy potential, many owners choose hypoallergenic or breed-specific foods. Always consult your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your individual puppy.
9. What is the average lifespan of a Shar-Pei?
The average lifespan of a Shar-Pei varies from 8 to 12 years. As with other breeds, their lifespan can be affected by genetics, diet, environment and general health care. Regular vet visits and a healthy lifestyle can help your Shar-Pei live a long and happy life.
10. Are Shar Pei good apartment dogs?
Yes, Shar Pei can adapt well to living in an apartment. They do not show excessive activity indoors and are often satisfied with moderate physical exertion. As long as they get regular walks and mental stimulation, they can thrive in an apartment environment.