The Shar Pei is a distinctive dog with plenty of loose folds of skin. It has a blue-black tongue, making it one of the most identifiable dog breeds in the world. Weighing 18 to 25 kilos and standing 46 to 51 centimetres at the withers, Shar Peis are compact dogs with a square shape.
The Shar Pei breed has a large head, a flat, broad skull with a moderate stop, a relatively broad muzzle, and a large and wide nose. It has almond-shaped eyes that show its frowning expression and small triangular ears that are set high.
While Shar Pei dogs' noses and eyes are typically black, lighter colours are allowed in paler shades.
Do Shar Peis shed?
Shar Peis are minimal shedders, but they shed whole-year-round. In spring, you can expect your dog's coat to become lighter, as they need less of a coat in warmer weather. Similarly, in autumn, they need to prepare their coat to grow out slightly longer for the colder months.
Although they don't shed much, Shar Pei dogs are non-hypoallergenic. If you are an allergy sufferer, you may want to look for hypoallergenic breeds.
The Chinese Shar Pei has a straight and off-standing extremely harsh coat, which is flatter on the limbs. It also has no undercoat. According to KC standards, all solid colours are accepted except for white.
The breed has low grooming needs as it is naturally clean with minimal odour. However, brushing frequency may vary as it has three coat varieties: horse, brush, and bear.
- The horse coat has the shortest fur and sheds the least among the three. It has a prickly texture and can cause skin irritations in people with sensitive skin.
- The brush coat has the longest fur, which is about one inch in length.
- The bear coat is composed of thick fur similar to that of the Chow Chow's fur.
Both brush and bear coats shed heavily.
Frequent brushing is required for Shar Pei with brush and bear coats to manage their shedding. The horse coat only needs a thorough weekly brushing. No matter the coat type, brushing becomes a daily task once shedding season begins.
The Chinese Shar Pei's folds should be cleaned and dried to avoid infections. However, never place baby powder, baby oil, or corn starch on its wrinkles. Rather bathe the Shar Pei dog 3 to 4 times a year. Avoid frequent washing since it can cause skin irritations.
An important aspect of its grooming routine is dental hygiene. Make sure its teeth are brushed daily to prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and gum diseases.
Check the Shar-Pei dog's ears for wax build-up as the ears can harbour infection-causing bacteria. Lastly, make sure to trim its nails when you hear clicking sounds on the floor since overgrowth can be uncomfortable.