There is no dog with a look quite like that of the Chinese Shar-Pei. They have broad heads with wide, padded muzzles and very loose, wrinkled skin. They have small, triangular ears that lie flat agrainst the head and a blue-black tongue. They have high-set tails that taper to a point and curl over the back or off to the side. Shar-Peis have a distinctive coat that stands straight up in the air and is prickly to the touch, though not rough. Some have a longer “brush” coat that is softer and smoother to the touch. Shar-Peis come in all colors of the canine rainbow and all colors are allowed for showing.
Size and Weight
The ideal size for a Shar-Pei is anywhere from 18 to 20 inches at the withers and weighing between 45 and 60 pounds. Males are usually larger than females, but both should be well-proportioned if they are to be shown.
Coat and Color
Shar-Peis sport a bristly coat that stands straight up in the air. It can vary in length from short, like a horse (hence the term “horse coat”), to a slightly longer, softer brush coat. Shar-Peis come in all colors of the canine rainbow including black, fawn, cream, red, blue or sable.
Chinese Shar-Peis are naturally clean animals who do not emit an order and only require minimal brushing once a week to remove dead hair from his minimally-shedding body. They don't require frequent bathing; every 12 weeks is about the average. Over-bathing a Shar-Pei can cause skin ingratiation.
The most essential part of grooming a Shar-Pei is the maintenance of his wrinkles. After a bath, the wrinkles must be dried quickly and thoroughly to prevent yeast or fungal infections.
Check a Shar-Pei's ears regularly for signs of infections, but when caring for the ears, never use a swab. This breed has short ear canals that can easily be damaged. A veterinarian can teach the proper technique for cleaning a Shar-Pei's ears. Additionally, regular tooth brushing should be part of the Shar-Pei's grooming regimen. It keeps teeth and gums healthy, and wards off dreaded doggie breath.