Shar Pei

The Shar Pei is a medium-sized dog with a short bristly coat and distinctive wrinkled skin. It is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. The Shar Pei forms part of the utility group of dogs.

Shar Pei breed group


Size of the Shar Pei


Country of Origin


The Shar Pei through history

The Shar Pei is a very old breed, with references going back to the 1200s. The Shar Pei was originally used for herding, guarding, hunting and fighting. Today it is kept simply as a companion pet.

Shar Pei temperament, socialisation with children, other dogs and other pets

The breed is known to be reserved and independent, but forms a strong bond with the family unit. It is a dog that can be aloof with strangers, and be aggressive towards other dogs, especially unfamiliar dogs. Care should always be taken around young children with the Shar Pei, and contact with cats and other small pets should be avoided.

Training and socialisation should be introduced from an early age to ensure a balanced temperament. Harsh training methods should be avoided. The Shar Pei makes an excellent guard dog around the home, and is extremely protective of its owner/s.

Colour Varieties of the Shar Pei

The breed comes in a wide variety of colours which include:

  • Apricot
  • Apricot Dilute
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate Dilute
  • Cream
  • Cream Dilute
  • Fawn
  • Fawn Dilute
  • Isabella
  • Lilac
  • Red
  • Red Dilute
  • Red Fawn
  • Sable

Size and weight of the Shar Pei

Height bitch 46-51cms

Height dog 46-51cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 18-25kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 25-29kgs

Exercise requirements of the Shar Pei

The Shar Pei requires an hour of exercise daily. Lack of exercise and mental stimulation may result in unwanted behaviour.

Is a Shar Pei a good dog for a first time dog owner?

No, the Shar Pei requires a competent, experienced owner with a good understanding of the needs of the breed.

Shar Pei coat length

Short. The short bristly coat stands away from the skin. The Shar Pei does not have an undercoat.

Grooming requirements of the Shar Pei

Low. The short no-fuss coat requires little grooming, although a regular brushing with a good quality bristle brush will add a lovely sheen to the coat.

The folds of skin should be kept clean with warm water and dried thoroughly to prevent yeast and bacterial infections. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly.


No. The Shar Pei sheds hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health issues in the Shar Pei

Owners should check with their breeder about the following known health issues in the breed that include:

  • Ear problems
  • Skin problems
  • Swollen hock syndrome

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Shar Pei

A healthy Shar Pei should expect to enjoy a lifespan of up to 15 years of age.

Approximate Shar Pei pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around £750-£1,000 for a puppy, and litters are often available.

There are generally 4-6 puppies in the average litter.

Estimating how much a Shar Pei would need to be fed each day

A dog or bitch weighing between 25kgs will require around 330gms of complete dry food daily.

A dog or bitch weighing 25kkgs will cost around £8 per week to feed.

Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the utility group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment