Shar Pei Breed Information and Buying advice

Shar Pei

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Shar Pei?

Quick Shar Pei Facts

Average Size of Adult
Medium (3/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Utility (6/8)
No (2/2)

Why Shar Peis are great

These crinkly looking canines are loyal and loving companions. They are happy and fun members of a household, as long as they are socialised well from a young age. They enjoy playing with the family and will usually only bark if they are excited or nervous. Some highlights:

  1. Shar Pei puppies and adults are loving family dogs as long as they are trained and taught how to socialise when they are very young.

  2. The Shar Pei is a dog that does not need a lot of space. This means that they are ideal for homes where living space is limited.

  3. Despite being friendly and sociable, Shar Peis are also independent and determined. They also love to protect their family. This makes them a good choice as a guard dog.


Things to consider when looking at Shar Peis for Sale

Some downsides to the Shar Pei:

  1. Although a Shar Pei can stay healthy throughout their life, there are some health problems that can be an issue. These problems can affect the eyes, stomach and joints of a Shar Pei.

  2. Shar Peis are not big fans of the heat. This means that they should be kept away from hot weather conditions and exercise should be limited when conditions are too hot. During the heat of the summer, it's best to keep Shar Peis indoors, in an area where there is a fan.


History of Shar Peis

This adorable looking breed of dog originates from the southern provinces of China. In the early days, Shar Peis were known as incredible herders, guardians and hunters. Only a small number of Shar Peis survived when the dog population was decimated following the creation of the People's Republic of China. These dogs continue to be bred in Hong Kong and Taiwan. A small number of Shar Peis were taken to America in 1973 and the breed started to become more popular in the West. Today, Shar Peis are popular as guard dogs and as household companions.  


How big is the Shar Pei? 

Anyone who is looking to buy Shar Pei puppies needs to understand the size that they will grow to. Adult Shar Peis grow to between 46 and 51 cm so they are not excessively big dogs.  

How heavy is a Shar Pei?

Although male and female Shar Peis are similar in height, females are lighter in weight. Adult males tend to weigh between 25 and 29 kg whereas adult females weigh between 18 and 25 kg.  

What Colour is the Shar Pei?

Shar Peis are known for their wrinkles and their bristly coat. Their coat varies in length from a "horse" coat which is very short to a "brush" coat which is longer. The colour of the coat varies. Many different colours can be found including black, cream, fawn, red, blue and sable.  


Do Shar Peis make good guard dogs?

Shar Pei puppies and adults are independent and strong-willed. Therefore, they're an ideal choice as guard dogs, especially as they used to be trained as pit-fighting dogs, so they are tough and resilient.  

Are Shar Peis easy to train? 

For anyone who is training Shar Pei puppies, positive reinforcement is the best option. This is because these stubborn dogs do not take well to over assertive instruction. They can become nervous and aggressive if people are too strict with them. A system of teaching and reward works best. If this type of system is used, it's possible to train a Shar Pei puppy, as long as patience is maintained.  

Are Shar Peis good with children?

Shar Peis are very protective of the people that they live with. This includes children that are in the home. However, Shar Peis that are intended to live with children should be raised with them. Ideally, Shar Peis are best suited to a home where any children are 10-years-old or more.  

Can I leave a Shar Pei Alone?

Shar Peis enjoy being with their humans. However, they are also very independent dogs. This means that they can happily be left alone while people are out for a few hours, as long as they get plenty of attention at some point during the day.  


How long do Shar Peis live?

Shar Peis have an average lifespan of 9 – 11 years. The best way to make sure that a Shar Pei lives for as long as possible is to ensure that they are well cared for and provided with the exercise that they need.  

How much exercise does a Shar Pei need?

Shar Peis should have up to an hour of exercise each day. This helps to keep them healthy and in good condition. If the weather is hot outside, Shar Peis should not be exercised outdoors. This is because the heat can cause them to become ill.  

What are Shar Pei Common health issues?

There are certain health conditions that Shar Pei puppies and older dogs are prone to. This does not mean that a dog will suffer from any of these conditions, but they could do at some point in their life. Some of the health issues that can be a problem include:

  • Shar-Pei Fever. This is a swelling of the hock joint that is accompanied by symptoms including a fever, vomiting and pain in the abdomen.

  • This is a problem with the thyroid gland of a Shar Pei. It can cause problems such as obesity and epilepsy.

  • As with humans, cancer can be a problem for Shar Peis. Treatments include surgery and chemotherapy.

  • Elbow and hip dysplasia. This happens when the joints do not develop as they should. The issue can lead to arthritis.

  • Demodectic Mange. This issue is caused by the demodex mite which can be passed from a mother to her puppies. Sometimes the problem clears up on its own. On other occasions, treatment is needed.

  • This happens when an eyelid rolls inward. It normally occurs in Shar Pei puppies before they are a year old. The problem can be corrected with surgery.



How much space do I need for a Shar Pei?

Shar Peis are quite contented with any amount of space. They are perfectly at home in an apartment. However, they do need to be able to get out and stretch their legs for around an hour each day.  

How much grooming do Shar Peis need?

Shar Peis are naturally clean dogs. This means that they do not need a lot of grooming. It's fine to brush them once a week, to remove any dead hair and debris. They only need to be bathed around once every 12 weeks, unless they decide to get a mud bath while they are out being exercised.  The most important thing about grooming a Shar Pei is that they should always be dried off completely afterwards. If moisture is left in the folds or wrinkles of a Shar Pei, it can lead to a fungal infection.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Shar Pei?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £900-£1,500  for a well-bred Shar Pei puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £80 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Shar Pei Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Shar Pei puppy buying advice:

  1. It's important to check the pedigree of Shar Pei puppies. Doing so should help to identify any health issues that seem to have commonly been passed down. It's important to know to look out for these conditions so that they can be treated as soon as possible.

  2. Shar Pei puppies need to be socialised and trained straight away. If this does not happen, the stubborn and independent personality of the dog can make training very difficult. Any training should be based on teaching and reward and should not be too strict.


Other reading, Adopting Shar Pei Puppies and Rescue Organisations

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