If you are a Highschool Musical fan, you probably know of Sharpay. But no, this article is not about her. This is not even her dog “Boi”, which is a Yorkshire Terrier, by the way.
This is about Shar Pei, the strong, regal, and independent dog of Chinese origin and its possible mixes. Let’s get to know more about this breed first for better appreciation.
But of course, you can jump right into the mixes if you want.
What is a Shar Pei?
Shar Peis are the 64th most popular breed in the list of 197 of the American Kennel Club (AKC). It is also called “Chinese Fighting Dog” or “Golden Lion”. It is known for its intelligence, suspicion of strangers, and that serene calmness. Although except when threatened.
Origin of the Shar Pei
As you may have guessed, Shar Pei is of Chinese descent. It has lived in the Southern parts as far as 2,000 years ago during the Han Dynasty. Yes, they have a common ancestry with the breed Chow Chow. And that’s not the only common thing they share but also their blue-black tongue which only the two of them have!
The word Shar Pei translates to “sand skin” referring to its rough coat.
They were believed to be peasant dogs and were expected to be versatile. As such, they worked as guard dogs, hunters, fighters, and workers.
In 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was established, owning a dog was frowned upon. As such, systematic killing slaughtered the purebreds of the mainland. Only a few good specimens were preserved in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
In 1973, the Hong Kong breeder Matgo Law appealed to the US breeders to save Shar Pei from extinction. Luckily, America’s response was enthusiastic and thus the breed lives on.
American Kennel Club Officially welcomed Shar Pei in 1992 as its 134th breed.
What Does a Shar Pei Look Like?
This medium-sized breed is compact and robust. In a way also, it is described as a bit odd. It has a broad “hippopotamus” muzzle, blue-black tongue, sunken eyes that look like scowling. Plus tiny but triangular ears, and an abundance of folds around its head, neck, and shoulders.
Do not forget its Shar Pei coat or that “sandpapery” coat.
As a medium dog, it grows from 18 to 20 inches (or 46 to 51 cm) in height and 40 to 55 pounds (18 to 25 kg) in weight.
Grooming Needs of a Shar Pei
This breed is not hypoallergenic but it only sheds a negligible amount perfect for those who do not want to deal with much hair.
Yes, it only needs minimal grooming, every other month of bath, once a week nail trimming, daily brushing, and weekly cleaning of ears!
What is the Temperament of a Shar Pei?
If there are words best to describe a Shar Pei, it is the characteristics below:
This breed is not for the first-time dog owners but you will be amazed that it is a natural problem solver. Affectionate to their family, they can get aggressive to other people and animals. They are quiet dogs and will bark only to alert.
Are they good with small kids then? Well, they might not be the best option for that, either.
Is the Shar Pei Highly Trainable?
It is in the 51st spot in the race to the most intelligent dogs. They are considered to have an average working intelligence which can understand new commands at 25 to 40 repetitions only.
Yes, they may be a smart breed but they are also independent. Start with early training and socialization and do not let this dog boss you around or it will be a big headache. Too smart, way stubborn, they are always on the lookout for thrilling activities.
But with early training and socialization, with positive training techniques, they can grow to be well-adjusted and well-mannered pets.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Shar Pei?
Shar Peis have an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years.
Shar Pei Mixes
Are you looking to bring a Shar Pei home or looking for other mixes? Well, this list of the most popular Shar Pei mixes is for you! Again, a Shar Pei, and even its mixes may not be for the first-time owners so decide on it carefully.
1. Cocker Spaniel Shar Pei Mix
Also called Cocker-Pei, this medium-sized mix is a loving and protective family member! Since Cocker Spaniels are bright, alert, energetic, great with children, and one of the best breeds for training, it is not a wonder why it is always a choice to be mixed.
The Cocker Pei can be very loyal or very stubborn or a mixture of two depending on the parent it will get most of its traits from. Other great adjectives to describe its temperament are also:
2. Shar Pei Bulldog Mix
Or a Bull-Pei, it is a strong and athletic dog that makes a great family pet. Both the Shar Pei and the Bulldog also have similar physical features like short hair, wrinkled skin, and crumpled-like face. Both the breeds are bryachepahic, which makes breathing hard for them.
While they are protective, loving, playful, affectionate, energetic, and alert, this mix is not recommended because of its probable health issues.
3. Shar Pei Lab Mix
You can also call them Lab Pei! Labs are very popular and they are a great choice for mixes.
It is a breed that can be affectionate, intelligent, loyal, and playful. But of course, its Shar Pei blood can also turn it into somewhat stubborn.
This mix must be trained properly with socialization as they may also show signs of aggression.
4. Shar Pei Pitbull Mix
How cute can the Pit Pei be?! Both its parents have a history as fighting dogs thus they both have the reputation of being aggressive. But with proper training, it may not be necessarily true.
Unfortunately, because of that reputation, this mix may be banned in your area. So if you are keen on getting one, make sure to do some extra research.
Again this mix can be stubborn but smart and loyal. Here are also some of the traits of this mix:
- Good Family Pet
If you have small children also or household pets though, it may not be the best option.
5. Shar Pei Pug Mix
Pugs are very much loved breeds! They are also friendly, outgoing, charming, and have that comical attitude! Mixing it with a Shar Pei, you can have an intelligent pet but are mischievous all the same.
While it may be exciting to own one, because both the parents can be prone to a serious health issue including the Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, this mix is not really encouraged to own.
6. Shar Pei Chow Chow Mix
Call it by its cute moniker: Chow Pei! Of course, if they are the only two breeds around with a blue-black tongue, then it only is fitting to mix them!
This mix of two ancient Chinese breeds is loyal, brave, and highly intelligent. On the downside, it can tend to be aggressive towards strangers and other dogs, if not trained properly while still young.
While cute, this mix is not great for first-time owners and homes with kids. You may also have to do extra research as this mixed breed may also be banned in your location.
7. Shar Pei German Shepherd Mix
Also called Shepherd Pei because both parents are police or guard dogs with an unmatched devotion to work, this mix makes a great guard dog!
This mixed breed is also best suited for experienced owners who will love this smart, loyal and courageous dog.
8. Shar Pei Husky Mix
Interestingly, it is also called the Sharberian Husky! This mix is indeed wrinkly, fluffy, and oozing with cuteness! It is a powerful dog that will require lots of exercises. It is also a smart breed but will also require constant socialization and obedience classes beginning while still young!
So if you are looking for an energetic breed with a strong drive, this mix may be it!
9. Shar Pei Rottweiler Mix
Say hello to the Rott Pei! It may look really strong and aggressive at first but it has a relaxed, confident, and mellow soft heart!
It has a great guarding instinct but can be family-oriented who will love its owners but wary of strangers! This mix needs plenty of obedience training and socialization to grow as a well-rounded dog!
10. Shar Pei Poodle Mix
Of course, the Poodle mix! Meet Shar-Poo! It is a fun-loving dog that is ultra-smart and can grow devoted like its Shar Pei parent. Here are some of its characteristics:
One of the reasons why a purebred is mixed with a Poodle aside from its intelligence is because of its hypoallergenic coat. Well, the outcome can be yes or no since Shar Peis does not fit the bill.
11. Shar Pei Golden Retriever Mix
The Golden Pei is also a brilliant mix! Just note though that both parents have opposite personalities. Golden Retrievers are like sunshine, eager to please and friendly; but a Shar Pei is wary of strangers. Golden Retrievers are also goofy and very affectionate but Shar Peis can be aggressive.
On the bright side, here are some great characteristics of the mix:
Your Golden Pei will fall on either side or somewhere in between. Training is the key for this mix to grow well-rounded.
12. Shar Pei Akita Mix
This mix is also a gorgeous breed with a distinctive look! This mix is faithful and a trusted guard dog. It will best thrive in a home without children, though.
While they do not make the best family pet, they also won’t be necessarily aggressive.
13. Shar Pei Beagle Mix
Have you heard of the Sharp Eagle mix? Well, this is it: a Shar Pei and Beagle mix! Some of its traits are:
- Fun Loving
This breed is best for experienced handlers as the combination of this breed can be a real handful! Even for those experienced ones, they can be a real challenge!
14. Shar Pei Boxer Mix
Also called as Box-a-Shar, this breed boasts of these characteristics:
- Good family dog
They also make a great family pet and a guard dog that will be wary of strangers!
15. Shar Pei Basset Hound Mix
They are also cutely called Ba-Shar with these endearing personalities:
Again, this mix can get stubborn, and will also not like it to be left alone.
Conclusion: Ready to Get a Shar Pei?
First, getting a Shar Pei is not for first-time owners and you’ve seen that this can also manifest even in its mixes. They also require lots of exercises and a truckload of training. Are you ready for the challenge?
Have you decided on which Shar Pei mixes you’d like to bring home? Share it with us in the comments section.