Resembling a miniature hippopotamus, the Shar-Pei is short in the body, has small triangular ears which flop down, a square head, short muzzle and short tail curling over and set high on the body. His wrinkles also give him a rather big frown.
The breed originates from China and as well as it’s overly wrinkled skin, it also has a blue/black tongue. The Shar-Pei is either fawn, black, red or cream. His short coat does shed and needs grooming at least once a week. He stands up to 25cm at the shoulder and weighs up to 25kg.
He is a member of the utility group of dog breeds and it is believed he may have descended from the mastiff type dog. Friendly and playful, Shar-Peis have a lot of energy and like to guard their property and have been used in the past as effective guard dogs.
They need up to an hours exercise a day and can live in the town or the country. Shar-Peis almost always suffer from entropian or ‘cherry eye’, which is a painful condition where the eyelid turns inwards and irritates the eye ball. The condition can be corrected with surgery by a vet. The dog’s skin folds also make him susceptible to skin conditions such as skin fold dermatitis. A Shar-Pei’s life span is around 10 years.