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9 Amazing Shar Pei Facts

1. Ancient Origins and Wrinkled Skin

The Shar-Pei is one of the oldest dog breeds, with its origins tracing back to the Han Dynasty in China (around 200 B.C.). They were originally used for farming, hunting, and later, dog fighting, due to their loose, wrinkly skin, which made it hard for opponents to get a firm grip.

2. Famous Wrinkles

Their most distinctive feature is undoubtedly the loose, wrinkled skin that adorns their bodies. This skin served as more than just an aesthetic trait; it had a functional purpose in protecting the breed during their roles in hunting and guarding. Their wrinkled appearance has cultural significance too, with the Chinese valuing these traits as symbols of good luck and prosperity.

3. One-of-a-Kind Coat Texture

Shar Peis come in two main coat varieties: the “horse coat” and the “brush coat.” The horse coat is characterized by short, prickly hairs that give the dog a unique sandpaper-like texture. On the other hand, the brush coat boasts slightly longer hair that is smoother to the touch. Both varieties possess a protective double coat that helped shield them from the elements during their outdoor duties.

4. Adaptable Size

Shar Peis exhibit a versatile size range, making them suitable for various living environments. Ranging from small to medium-sized dogs, their adaptability ensures they can comfortably fit into apartments or houses with yards. This flexibility is one of the reasons why Shar Peis have garnered a loyal following among urban and suburban dog enthusiasts alike.

5. Blue-Black Tongue

A fascinating genetic trait that Shar Peis possess is the blue-black tongue. This trait is shared with only a few other breeds, such as the Chow Chow. While the exact reason for this unique tongue color remains a mystery, it adds to the breed’s overall intrigue and uniqueness.

6. Near Extinction

The Shar-Pei breed nearly became extinct during China’s Communist Revolution when the population plummeted due to the dog’s association with the bourgeois lifestyle. A Hong Kong businessman is credited with saving the breed in the 1970s by appealing to Americans to adopt Shar-Pei puppies, which led to a resurgence in popularity.

7. Socialization Challenges

Shar Peis can sometimes display reserved or aloof behavior around strangers. Early socialization is crucial to ensure they grow up to be well-adjusted dogs. Exposing them to various people, places, and experiences during their early developmental stages helps curb any potential shyness or apprehension.

8. Health Considerations

Shar Peis have their share of potential health concerns. These may include hip dysplasia, entropion (a condition where the eyelids roll inward), and skin issues. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and proper grooming practices can help mitigate some of these concerns.

9. History of Fighting Heritage

Unfortunately, Shar Peis have a history tied to dog fighting due to their tenacious nature and guarding instincts. While this history has left an imprint on their temperament, responsible breeding and ownership practices have led to significant improvements in their behavior, making them gentle and loyal family pets.

Shar Pei Facts – 9 Amazing Facts You Won’t Believe