Shar Pei breed profile
Aisha (left) and Kai (right) - photo by Deborah van Rees and Robin de Waal
Click on photo for larger image.
Training and intelligence
Shar Peis get bored very easily, so be sure to use lots of treats and praise. They are very easy to housebreak as they are naturally very clean. They are clever dogs, but can be determined - taking the time to establish yourself as leader of the pack will pay dividends with training.
The Shar Pei is one of the most individual looking dogs, and they love the attention their looks get them. They are devoted to their people, with whom they are affectionate. It advisable to approach unfamiliar dogs slowly because of their limited vision (see general comment).
Attitude towards strange dogs and people
The Shar Pei is aloof with strange people. It should be well socialised with other dogs, or they can have a tendency to aggression. They do have natural guarding instincts.
Grooming and shedding
Shar Peis are actually high maintenance, despite the short coat. There are three types of coat - horse, brush and bear. The horse coat is shortest and harshest, and can cause some skin irritation in humans. The brush coat is slightly longer and softer.The bear coat is the longest.
They do need exercise, but enjoy playing as well as running and walking. Shar Peis do not like to get wet, and bad weather may well put them off going out.
Need for company
Shar Peis are utterly devoted to their family, and want to be with them as much as possible.
The folds in the skin over hang the eyes, meaning that a Shar Pei's field of vision can be limited. There fore is advisable for strangers, and especially children, to approach carefully, so as to not surprise the dog. Breeding is important for this breed, as individuals with good temperaments should be bred from. The folded skin of this breed needs a lot of attention to keep it in good condition, and stop skin problems developing.