Everything about your Chinese Shar-Pei - LUV My dogs

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Everything about your Chinese Shar-Pei

  Though the Chinese Shar-Pei is the 134th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, the dog breed has been around for hundreds of years. He was developed to guard, hunt, herd, and later, fight, and is known for his characteristic short, bristly coat, loose, wrinkled skin, and devotion to his family. Today, the Shar-Pei mostly enjoys life as a beloved companion.

Overview
  The Chinese Shar-Pei, also known as the Chinese Fighting Dog or simply the Shar Pei, is an ancient breed that has existed for centuries in the southern provinces of China. “Shar-Pei” literally translates as “sand skin” but more loosely means “rough, sandy coat” or “draping sandpaper-like skin.” In addition to their strange wrinkled appearance, they have a characteristic solid blue-black tongue, a feature shared only with another ancient Chinese breed, the Chow Chow. The Chinese Shar-Pei was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1988 as a non-sporting dog and fully approved in 1992.
  The average Chinese Shar-Pei stands 18 to 20 inches at the withers and weighs between 45 and 60 pounds, with females typically being smaller than males. Their extremely rough, short, wrinkled coat is unique to the breed. It should be neither shiny nor lustrous and comes in solid colors and sable. It should be brushed regularly, and the folds of skin should be cleaned and checked frequently to avoid moistness, irritation and infection. Shar-Peis are compact and sturdy, and they normally do not bark unless they are threatened or feel the need to alert their owners.

Highlights
  • The Shar-Pei was once a guard dog and pit fighter. Today he is primarily a companion, though he retains fighting toughness. He can be aggressive toward other dogs or people, so it's imperative that he be socialized and trained from an early age.
  • Due to his short nose, the Shar-Pei is prone to overheating. Keep him inside with fans or air conditioning during hot summer months. Like other short-nosed breeds, he tends to snore and wheeze, and makes a terrible jogger.
  • Like the Chow, the Shar-Pei has a dark tongue. This is considered normal, even desirable, by dog show enthusiasts.
  • Frequent bathing isn't necessary for the Shar-Pei, but when you do bathe him, dry him thoroughly. The wrinkles and skin folds are an ideal breeding ground for fungal infections.
  • Though devoted to his family, the Shar-Pei can be willful and stubborn. He must learn right away who the pack leader is or he's likely to compete for the job.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • The name Shar-Pei means "sand-skin" but translated more as “sand-paper-like coat.”  No other breed shares the short, rough coat of the Shar-Pei.
  • A Shar-Pei is a poor choice for a novice dog owner.
  • A Shar-Pei housetrains earlier than most breeds because of his natural cleanliness and ease of training. 
  • The Shar-Pei enjoys and does well in obedience, agility, herding and tracking. He would rather be with people than other dogs.
  • Those famous wrinkles need to be looked after carefully to prevent skin infections. They should be wiped out with a damp cloth and dried well to prevent infection.
  • Like other flat-faced breeds, the Shar-Pei can easily overheat.

Breed standards
AKC group: Non-sporting Group
UKC group: Northern Breed Group
Average lifespan: 9 - 11 years
Average size: 45 - 60 pounds
Coat appearance: Horse or brush-coat
Coloration: Sandy with black muzzle
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Large with wrinkled skin; blue-black tongue; dark, almond-shaped eyes; rounded, triangular ears; large muzzle with dark coloration; thick tail
Possible alterations: May have lighter eyes based on coloration

History
  The Chinese Shar-Pei originated in the southern provinces of China where he was valued as a hunter, herder, guardian, and fighter. Some historians believe the Shar-Pei is an ancient breed, though there is no definitive evidence to prove this. Statues that look a lot like the Shar-Pei have been dated to the Han Dynasty (200 B.C.), though these statues also resemble the Chow and Pug.
  Following the creation of the People's Republic of China, the dog population in the country was practically wiped out. A few Shar-Peis, however, were bred in Hong Kong and Taiwan. If not for the efforts of one man, Matgo Law, of Down-Homes Kennels in Hong Kong, the Shar-Pei might be extinct.
  Thanks to him, a small number of Shar-Peis were brought to the United States in 1973 and breed fanciers formed the Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America, Inc., in 1974. The first National Specialty show was held in 1978. The Shar-Pei was accepted in the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous Class in 1988, and recognized by the AKC in 1991 as a member of the Non-Sporting Group.

Personality
  The large head and wrinkled face of the Chinese Shar-Pei has oven been compared to the head of a hippopotamus. They are independent and willful dogs, but when exposed to confident, consistent leadership are respectful companions and clean housemates. Their ever-present scowl coupled with their alert nature, makes them an imposing looking guard dog. The Shar-Pei's tenency toward independence them good companions for single people or working families with older children. They don't require much attention or exercise to keep them happy, and can entertain themselves with lots of chew toys or sun to bathe in.

Health
  The Chinese Shar-Pei, which has an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years, suffers from minor health issues like lip and skin fold pyodermas, otitis externa, hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, allergies, and amyloidosis, and minor problems such as entropion and canine hip dysplasia (CHD). To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip, eye, knee, elbow, and thyroid tests on the dog.
  Megaesophagus is sometimes seen in this breed. The Shar-Pei is also prone to fevers, and although its cause is unknown, it often occurs with Shar-Peis suffering from swollen hocks .

Care
  The Shar-Pei lives comfortably in the city or country. He does well in a limited space, such as an apartment or condo, as long as he gets daily exercise. A backyard is not required, but he does appreciate getting out and stretching his legs. In general, the Shar-Pei is fairly happy just hanging out with his owner, wherever he may be.
  Begin training and socializing your Sharpei the day you bring him home, and commit to continuing the process all his life. He'll need the constant reinforcement since he's not naturally friendly to other dogs. He can also be stubborn and owners must be consistent and firm in order to establish leadership. He is generally eager to please, though, and responsive to training.
  The best kind of socialization exercise is to take your Shar-Pei with you everywhere — to puppy classes, outdoor events, busy parks, friends' homes — and as often as possible. This will help prevent him from becoming overly shy or overprotective. Since this breed can be aggressive toward other dogs, the Shar-Pei should be kept leashed in public.
  The Shar-Pei is classified as a short-nosed, or brachycephalic breed, similar to the Bulldog, Boxer, Pug. Their short noses make them highly sensitive to heat, which means they make lousy jogging companions. To prevent heat stroke, these dogs should be kept inside with fans or air conditioning in hot weather.

Living Conditions
  The Chinese Shar-Pei will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is moderately active indoors and will do okay without a yard.
  The Shar-Pei is sensitive to warm weather, partly due to the wrinkles on its head holding in the heat.
  On hot days shade should always be provided. Water should be available at all times. Provided they get enough exercise, they will be very peaceful indoors.

Training
  The proper training and socialization of a Chinese Shar-Pei from a young age is very crucial in its development. Because it can have a higher propensity to territorial aggression and can be a little worried around strangers, it should get used to the idea of other humans and should be able to realize that being around them is safe. Training will also require a good degree of patience. If you’re a first-time dog trainer, the Chinese Shar-Pei is not the ideal dog to “cut your teeth” on.

Activity Requirements
  Despite their large size, the Chinese Shar-Pei does not need a lot of vigorous exercise to maintain good health. Several walks a day will suffice, making them good city dogs. It is recommended Shar-Peis, despite their watchdog capabilities, not be raised on a farm. Their natural instinct to hunt means they can take off into the wild blue yonder after deer or other wild animals.

Grooming
  Grooming requirements depend on the individual Shar-Pei. Weekly brushing can meet the needs of both the “horse-coated”  variety and the “brush-coated” type , but some Shar-Pei of either type can be prone to skin problems. Shar-Pei with skin problems may need weekly bathing and daily brushing.
  All Shar-Pei need regular wrinkle care. The wrinkles must be wiped out with a damp cloth and then dried thoroughly to prevent infection. Do not oil the skin.
  Shar-Pei have small, tight, triangular ears that predispose them to chronic ear problems because there isn’t enough air circulating in the narrow ear canal. Although it’s not as easy to clean the ears of a Shar-Pei as it is for most breeds, regular cleaning should be done to help prevent recurrent yeast or bacterial infections.
  Bathe the Shar-Pei as you desire or only when he gets dirty. With the gentle dog shampoos available now, you can bathe a Shar-Pei weekly if you want without harming his coat.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks. Brush the teeth for overall good health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  The Shar-Pei is a devoted family dog who is protective of his family, including children. To best teach him to get along with kids, he should be raised with them; if he doesn't live with them, he should be exposed to children as he grows up. Because he is such an independent breed, he's best suited to families with children 10 and older who know how to treat a pet respectfully.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  In order to provide the best chances for getting along with other dogs and animals, the Shar-Pei should be raised with them from an early age. Since he tends to be aggressive with other canines, supervision is essential.

Is this breed right for you?
  A good guard dog, the Shar-Pei does not require much space, making him a great fit for apartment life. For exercise, a daily walk will suit this pet just fine. Doing well with children and cats if raised with them, this breed bonds well with any and all immediate family members. Aloof and rude to strangers, he will need to be socialized well. In need of a dominant master, the Chinese Shar-Pei requires a good leader to avoid any untoward behavior. A clean breed, he doesn't shed often and requires only brushing and regular bathing.

Did You Know?
  After teetering on the brink of extinction, the Chinese Shar-Pei made a comback: in 1983, the Neiman Marcus catalog chose the dog as its his-and-hers fantasy gift, offering a pair of Shar-Pei puppies for $2,000 each.

A dream day in the life of a Chinese Shar-Pei
  A simple breed, the Chinese Shar-Pei will be happy to wake up in the comfort of his own home, surrounded by family members. Enjoying a nice, brisk morning walk, the Shar-Pei will return ready to guard his home from any possible dangers or strangers. Partaking in a bit of play and yard-romping, the breed will end his day sleeping at the foot of his master.


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