Shar Pei

The Shar Pei is originally from China, and its name means “sandy coat.” The Chinese thought that this dog’s natural frown was mean looking and would scare away evil spirits.

Common Characteristics

  • Size: 51 to 100 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6 to 15 years
  • Pet purchase cost: $1000 to $1000
  • Allergies: Moderate
  • Shedding: Mild
  • Primarily suited for indoors


Common Reasons for Surrender

A lack of training often results in a Shar Pei developing bad habits that continue into adolescent and later in life. The owner becomes frustrated and, instead of investing time in training, surrenders the Shar Pei to a shelter or a rescue. Some Shar Peis enter rescue because their families can no longer financially afford to care for them, or the dog has costly medical problems.


Shar Peis are generally a laid back breed that is loyal and protective of their humans. Some Shar Peis love to cuddle while others do not; it all depends on the individual dog’s personality. While Shar Peis can be aloof sometimes, most are extremely intelligent and love to entertain people with their antics. Their ability to learn quickly often makes training easier, if you use positive reinforcement.


Often stubborn, Shar Peis have a tendency to be overprotective of the ones they love. For successful training and integration into the family, they require a good leader who sets boundaries and sticks to them. Some Shar Peis are prone to numerous health issues, including allergies and skin problems.


Opt for a high quality food for your Shar Pei, which will help him stay lean and healthy. Choose a food that contains no grain as this dog especially does not do well with grains. Offer treats, such as a baby carrot or green beans, in moderation. Regardless of what type of treat your give your Shar Pei, always avoid those that contain grains.


Your Shar Pei won’t need an abundance of exercise but he will require a way to expend his energy. Generally, if you take your Shar Pei for at least one walk and play with him several times a day, he’ll get all the exercise he needs.

Possible Health Issues

Shar Peis are susceptible to allergies, skin issues, thyroid problems, and “Shar Pei Fever,” which means your dog will suffer from a fever and swollen sore hocks.


A Shar Pei belongs indoors with his family and can do well in an apartment, a condo, or a home. Keep your dog inside with air conditioning on hot days as Shar Peis generally do not fare well in the heat.


Shar Peis require minimal grooming. Give him a bath regularly and be sure to trim his nails as needed. It’s also extremely important to brush your Shar Pei’s teeth regularly.


Shar Peis are extremely intelligent and will easily succeed with training if you discover what motivates your dog and use that as positive reinforcement. Most Shar Peis respond well to food as a reward. Set a routine for your Shar Pei as the breed typically does best in a home with consistency and less busy schedules.  

Never punish your dog or try to intimidate him, or you risk him becoming aggressive. Training can be an ideal bonding experience, provided you remain positive and shower your Shar Pei with praise for a job well done.


Be sure your Shar Pei gets plenty of socialization. A well-socialized Shar Pei will want to go to the dog park and play with other dogs. Most Shar Peis enjoy a good game of tug-of-war and to fetch a ball and bring it back.

We want to thank Shar Pei Savers for help with this profile.

Read Full Pet Profile