What You Need to Know about Owning a Shar-Pei
The Confident, Loving and Assertive Shar-Pei
The Shar-Pei has a distinctive look, due to its wrinkly skin. Quiet, confident and protective, these unique dogs with wrinkles also have broad muzzles and triangular ears, along with a bit of a "scowl" due to the loose folds of skin that hang around their faces. The Shar-Pei is a great watchdog due to its natural wariness around strangers, although these dogs' independence can make them a bit stubborn. However, Shar-Peis are easy to train and can be socialized fairly easily.
The Shar-Pei is a medium-sized dog that can reach a height of about 20 inches and a weight of nearly 50 pounds. With a bristly coat that's a deep tan color, it's no wonder they're called Shar-Peis - meaning literally "sand skin" in Mandarin.
Living with a Shar-Pei
Shar-Peis don't require much exercise, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take yours out for a walk when you can! In fact, Shar-Peis will need to take a half-hour walk every day, especially if they don't have a yard to run around in. Shar-Peis are naturally a bit unfriendly and will require socialization when they are introduced to new people. They should always be kept on a leash when near unfamiliar people or dogs. Fortunately, Shar-Peis are very intelligent and eager to please, which is why they're also easy to train.
Unlike bulldogs or pugs, Shar-Peis are not flat faced, but they have short noses that are considered brachycephalic. This means that you'll need to pay your Shar-Pei extra attention while it is exercising or experiencing hot weather to make sure that it doesn't overheat. Shar-Peis can live in apartments or urban environments, although they might bark at passing pedestrians or cars, so just remember that you'll need to work on socializing them. That said, if you're looking for a loyal dog that will want to spend all its time with you, a Shar-Pei is a perfect choice.
Coat Care and Bathing Requirements
The Shar-Pei has a short coat that sheds regularly during the summer, meaning you won't need to worry too much about taking yours to a groomer or brushing it. Shar-Peis only need a bath every month or so, so make sure to stock up on shampoo that does the job right when your dog does need to be bathed. Shar-Peis' nails should be trimmed once a week, using either a grinder or clippers. Taking them to a professional groomer for nail trimming may be an option, but this should be started early and done consistently so that your dog can grow to trust the groomer.
Shar-Peis have many skin folds all over their bodies that need to be cleaned regularly to avoid build-up of dirt and debris, which can cause irritation and infection. The folds on their faces and bodies should be cleaned carefully with the proper products - like wrinkle cleaning wipes that gently clean away dirt and, in the case of Eye Envy® wrinkle wipes, help kill the germs that can thrive in dark places without airflow. This should be done at least a few times each week.
In addition, like other dogs with wrinkles, Shar-Peis are susceptible to developing unsightly tear stains on their faces. Keep safe, non-irritating tear stain remover products on hand to help keep your Shar-Pei's face clean.