We’ll forgive you for thinking of your pet as your child if you have a Shar-Pei. They are dominant, strong-willed and need to be constantly taught right from wrong. But they are as cute as a button and loyal to a fault. What more could you want from a dog?


Stubborn strong-willed and independent, this breed is not for timid or mild owners. Shar-Pei are playful, affectionate and loyal to a fault – they are worth the time and training at the end of the day.

Shar-Peis have naturally wrinkled skin which makes them look like they’re continually frowning. They are protective toward their family and while they won’t be hostile nor aggressive, they will not happily tolerate strangers. They make good watchdogs and rarely bark, so neighbours will love them too. Shar-Peis are good with older children and pets if socialised well and early (even cats). Be firm, assertive and confident when training them or you’ll end up with an aggressive and territorial Shar-Pei.

Fun fact: In 1978, the Shar-Pei was an endangered breed and

listed as the world’s rarest dog in the Guinness Book of Records.

Historically, they were bred as a hunting dog in China before they were outlawed as a pet.

Keep an eye out for specials on tissue boxes, wipes and mops – this distinctive, wrinkly breed drools a lot. They are suited to apartments, but you will have to install an air-conditioner. Shar-Peis are sensitive to heat due to the wrinkles on their head. They do not need a yard if you promise them a daily, non-sunny walk. Refill their water bowl often. They are quite active indoors so keep the fine china locked away. Shar-Peis shed little to no hair.

Scheduled six monthly health check visits with your vet are important to ensure that your dog is healthy and happy throughout all life stages. Boxed legs, joint dislocations and kidney disease are some ailments that affect this breed. Together with your vet, you can determine and maintain a preventative health care program based on the individual needs of your canine companion.


They are a medium-sized dog weighing around 18kgs, with an average height between 46-51cms.


A Shar-Pei will be happy curled up in an apartment. They prefer to be indoor dogs.

Energy Levels

The equivalent of a gym-bunny. They love a good workout, but also love napping. Daily walks and games are ideal for keeping this breed fit.  

Difficulty Of Training

While intelligent, they are very stubborn and will test your boundaries. Consistent training is the key.

Family Suitability

Shar-Peis are great family pets, loyal companions and excellent watchdogs.

Compatibility with other Pets

They will befriend other cats or dogs if socialised from a young age. You may find your Shar-Pei hostile to other dogs at the park though.

Need for Company

They have a moderate need for company and enjoy spending time with their family.

Hypoallergenic Dog Breed?


Coat and Grooming Needs

This breed is high-maintenance. They have a short, smooth coat in solid colours such as black, red, light or dark fawn, or cream. Brush them weekly, inspect their tails and clean if necessary due to their tight wrinkles. Trim their nails and check their eyes often.  


They shed little to no hair.

Tendency to Bark

They have a moderate tendency to bark, so expect some conversation.

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