Origin & Early History



Shar-Pei literally translates to mean sand skin
The Shar-Pei originated in China and has a history dating back 2000 years, It has been accepted that the origin of the Shar Pei took place in the territory surrounding a small village in the Kwongtung Province, making them a native to the South China Sea area. Some say Tibet or Northern China as the location of their birthplace. It obviously would be almost impossible to prove for certain which is the correct as it was so many years ago.

The Shar Pei of today has inherited a lot of the physical characteristics of his ancestors. Though now a smaller dog those from the ancient times weighed three times more than today's Shar Pei, the similarities are still unmistakable. The blue colour of the tongue, the hippopotamus muzzle, small ears along with the various other mutual characteristics between then and now.

Chinese peasants were the early owners of the Shar Pei, who then found them very useful as herding dogs, guard dogs and family companions. For generations these dogs distinguished themselves by their intelligence reliability and alertness, exactly what was needed for the protectors of themselves and of their property.

Unfortunately there came a period when the Chinese owners attempted to make fighting dogs of their wonderful workers, not with very good success. As Fighting dogs, and effort was made to develop fighting instincts where the inclination on the part of the dogs, it was heard that they were some what lacking.

Physically they were well equipped, the same features which made them successful hunters, such as the deep-set eyes, the tiny ears, which present little area for injury, and the looseness of the skin and also the harsh bristly coat which made it unpleasant for the opponent.

Despite all these assets, the Shar Pei did not seem to have much heart for fighting, causing the gamblers to lose interest .

Then they took up life again where they left off and where they had been missed on the farm and with the family. The numbers who actually were used for fighting were not many, as numerous of the farmers who depended on their services were not about to let their reliable protectors go off to the pits.

Unfortunately there came a period when the Chinese owners attempted to make fighting dogs of their wonderful workers, not with very good success. As Fighting dogs, and effort was made to develop fighting instincts where the inclination on the part of the dogs, it was heard that they were some what lacking.

Physically they were well equipped, the same features which made them successful hunters, such as the deep-set eyes, the tiny ears, which present little area for injury, and the looseness of the skin and also the harsh bristly coat which made it unpleasant for the opponent. Despite all these assets, the Shar Pei did not seem to have much heart for fighting, causing the gamblers to lose interest .

Then they took up life again where they left off and where they had been missed on the farm and with the family. The numbers who actually were used for fighting were not many, as numerous of the farmers who depended on their services were not about to let their reliable protectors go off to the pits.

A sad situation for the dogs in China was created when the Communist Party took over the country.

While the Chinese had always owned and been associated with dogs, it was the Communist point of view that food should not be wasted by them. The heavy taxation was levied on the owner of even one, and the amount of this taxation periodically increased until by the late 1940s to see a dog in China was not possible. The maintenance of a dog had become so major an expenditure that in almost no time the Shar Pei population had been reduced to zero, and this was the first step towards the Shar Pei ceasing to exist. This was the point at which Matgo Law became concerned, with full justification. It was discovered, upon re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the Peoples Republic of China and the United States, which took place in 1972, that the dog population at the time of the takeover of China had been practically eliminated. No dogs at all were seen in the cities, and few in the countryside. It was during that period of the Shar Pei's disappearance from China that a few were bred in Hong Kong and Taiwan. This is said to have been the period during which some Hong Kong breeders may have bred to other breeds which would be a compatible with what pitifully few Shar Pei still existed in order to preserve that which was left.

The breed was recognized and registered by the Hong Kong Kennel Club until 1966, at which time registration ceased.

The establishment of a dog registry by Hong Kong and Kowloon Kennel Association has made it possible for the Chinese Shar Pei again to be registered there. In addition, they are also recognized in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. It was then that Matgo Law, the fancier from Hong Kong who feared for the dogs there after what he had seen happen as a result, in China of the takeover by the Peoples Republic. Obviously similar events were a possibility for Hong Kong and as devoted to the Shar Pei as Matgo Law was he know that should this prove to be the case, the last of the Shar Pei breed would very likely vanish.

Most people are familiar with the Shar Pei listed in the Guinness Book of World Records doomed to extinction. This is when Matgo Law decided he must take action promptly. His letter to Dogs magazine is now famous, and the response to the letter is what brought the early Shar Pei breeding stock to the United States. Mr. Law had around 200 response to his letter with people who were anxious to help establish these dogs in the country 
The first registered Shar-Pei were imported into Australia in 1981 with the first litter in 1985. 

Aust.CH.Silkston Causin Kaos & Aust.CH.Silkston Sizzlin Aff Air



AVERAGE LIFESPAN

The average lifespan for a Shar-Pei is 10 to 12 years. 

AVERAGE SIZE & WEIGHT

46cm to 51cm
20kg 

BREED PERSONALITY, CHARACTERISTICS & TEMPERAMENT

Shar-Peis are intelligent dogs needing little training. Although they are somewhat aloof, snobbish and reserved in the presence of strangers, they are extremely loyal and devoted to their family. Essentially they are an independent, regal, alert, dignified, animal with a calm and confident stature.

COMPATIBILITY WITH OTHER PETS

The Shar-Pei is primarily a working dog, although it is placed in the non-sporting classification. Socialisation with other animals is important. Personality and temperament is an individual thing. Some Shar-Peis will live quite happily around smaller animals and  They are generally good with children and other pets when they are reared with them. 

CARE REQUIREMENTS

They are easy to look after and contrary to common misperceptions they do not require special maintenance of their abundant wrinkles. Normal dog management, vaccinating, worming, treating for fleas, bathing, and general welfare will ensure you a healthy dog. They are not a smelly dog and the length of the coat means no brushing is required. Attention needs to be paid to the ears as they can get dirty due to the lack of air circulation. Dietary requirements are a simple well-balanced dog diet with special attention paid to avoiding artificial colours, preservatives and red meat. 

PLEASE TAKE NOTE

Being an exceptionally intelligent dog makes the Shar-Pei an ideal companion. Whether your intention is to exhibit at conformation shows, participate in obedience trials, or just to own a loving, loyal pet. The Shar-Pei is sure to bring great satisfaction.

They enjoy both the open spaces of a country life and the suburban neighbourhood life, and are equally happy indoors or out. They excel at obedience work and delight in pleasing their owners, which makes them a pleasure to train. Shar-Peis have been called the Chinese Fighting dog, this is a misnomer of sorts as they are not a dog that will savagely seek out disputes with other animals, they will, however, retaliate with fervour should they be aggravated. 

IDEAL OWNERS

Shar-Peis are a one-man dog, although living in a family situation they will love everyone & are Great with kids, they will always have their own person and it may not be the one you choose but the one they choose to bond with. The ideal owner will appreciate the loyalty this breed exhibits and also respect its need for space with new situations. They need exercise, socialisation, love and attention to be a happy, well-balanced pet. 

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