Description

Illustration of Shar Pei

This Chinese breed probably shares some of the ancestry of the Chow Chow, descending from the ancient Han Dog, a guard dog in China 2000 years ago. The Shar-Pei was developed as a fighting dog and as a hunter.

The loose wrinkled skin was useful for a fighting dog as it prevented a rival from obtaining a strong grip and the characteristic bristly coat was uncomfortable to the mouth (Shar-Pei translates as 'harsh sandy coat' or 'sand paper skin'). The 20th Century saw the breed almost wiped out when the communist regime destroyed thousands of domestic dogs but there has been a revival and modern breeders have addressed the problem of excessive wrinkle and eye problems in the breed.

Breed Group
Utility
Vulnerable Native Breed
No
Size
Medium
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
Short
How much grooming?
Once a week
Supposedly sheds? *
Yes
Town or Country
Either
Type of home
Small House
Minimum Garden Size
Small/Medium
Lifespan
Over 10 Years

* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.

The Utility Breed Group

This group consists of miscellaneous breeds of dog mainly of a non-sporting origin, including the Bulldog, Dalmatian, Akita and Poodle.

The name ‘Utility’ essentially means fitness for a purpose and this group consists of an extremely mixed and varied bunch, most breeds having been selectively bred to perform a specific function not included in the sporting and working categories. Some of the breeds listed in the group are the oldest documented breeds of dog in the world.


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