Shar-Pei: Dog Breed Information

Country of origin: China
Shoulder height: 44 – 51 cm
Weight: 18 – 28 kg
Age: 11 – 12 years
Color: all except white
Usage: companion dog, the family dog

The Shar-Pei – also known as the Chinese wrinkled dog – is a medium-sized dog from China and belongs to the group of Molosser / mastiff-like dogs. Its most striking feature is the many folds and flaps of skin. He is considered to be calm, intelligent, cheerful, and easily trainable.

Origin and history

The Shar-Pei is a very old breed of dog from China, where it was primarily used as a hunting and guard dog. In the 1950s, the original Shar-Pei was almost extinct. The breed owed its continued existence to a Chinese breeder who saved it from extinction in the 1970s – via worldwide publications. However, the massive advertising with the cute, wrinkled puppies led to the breeding of dogs with exaggerated and pathological wrinkles. The adult Shar-Pei must have only moderate wrinkles on the body and the eyes must not be covered by skin.


With a shoulder height of up to 51 cm, the Shar-Pei is a medium-sized, short-haired dog. Characteristics of its appearance are the many folds and flaps of skin and the very small, close-fitting ears. The tongue, gums, and palate are blue to blue-black. Its hair is short, rough, and bristly. Except for white, all uniform colors are permitted. The tail is curled tightly or carried over the back or to either side.

In contrast to puppies of other breeds, the puppies have a lot of superfluous furs. The folds form between the 2nd and 16th week and the dog grows into his coat. The wrinkles should be close-fitting and never excessive, leaving a few wrinkles on the forehead and shoulders for an adult Shar-Pei.


The Shar-Pei is considered a calm, balanced and undemanding family companion dog. It is intelligent, affectionate in the family, and reserved to be suspicious of strangers. The Shar-Pei needs to be close to “its” people. It is considered easy to train. It likes to go for walks but doesn’t demand top athletic performance or a lot of exercise. The rough fur is easy to care for, the skin folds must be kept clean.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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