Shar Pei Characteristics

By: Melissacoleman
Originally from China, the Shar Pei can easily be distinguished because of its wrinkles and a tongue that is blue-black. This particular breed has a very rough and coarse coat and that is how it got its name, which in the Chinese language means sand skin. When you first get your Shar Pei puppy, you will notice that it has a lot of wrinkles, though once your puppy begins to grow older and matures, many of these wrinkles will have faded away, and its coat will have become smoother.

Because of this coarseness it got its name, which in Chinese translates to sand skin, which is a close approximation of its body skin. As puppies, they are sure to have plenty of wrinkles, though as they grow in age, these will slowly lessen and are not so pronounced.

You can expect the Shar Pei to come in a variety of colors including rose red, sand as well as blue, black and also cream and it also shares its blue-black tongue color with that of its relative the Chow Chow.

The skin is certainly very wrinkled and is seen mostly in the large folds on its head, though some varieties of Shar Peis are also known to have tight skin with not much wrinkling.

The Shar Pei has three different types of coats including the brush, bear and horse coats. They are also prone to suffering from health problems that may be due to irresponsible breeding. One such malady it is known to suffer from is entropion, which causes the eyelashes to curl inward and thus irritates the Shar Pei's eyes. To lessen the risk of health problems, manufacturers of dog foods have even created special dry foods for the Chinese Shar Pei that will prevent common skin allergies and also sores from affecting the breed.

The Shar Pei also has an independent mind, while also being very aloof and reserved, and not given to easily making friends with strangers. This could be attributed to the fact that the breed was originally bred to serve as watchdogs. However, the Shar Pei will show much devotion to its master and is generally affectionate and also loyal to its family members. However, despite socialization, it will still keep its watchdog proclivities, and it is also very territorial and possessive.

For prospective Shar Pei owners, it is important to bear in mind that even though it has many characteristics common to watchdogs, and despite being somewhat aggressive, it is nevertheless a good learner and thus takes well to being trained, though it will show its boredom if something is repeated too often. The bottom line is that your Shar Pei will show you a lot of love and is possessive and a good guard dog, though certainly an independent creature as well.

Hailing from the ancient land of China and more particularly from Guangdong province in that country, it is easily a wonderful fighter and even better watchdog, which was its main calling in the early years when it lived in China and served the Royal family as a watchdog. It is also fondly referred to as the "Golden Lion" and has even survived attempts at stopping its breeding altogether.
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