BREED 101 SHAR PEI! Everything You Need To Know About The Shar Pei
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Where does the Shar Pei come from? One of the most ancient dog breeds on the planet, the Shar Pei originated in Southern China. More than 2000 years ago, this dignified breed started out as an immensely versatile utility dog. Shar Peis were filling just about every role available to a dog back in the day: Chinese farmers utilized them as hunting assistants, herding dogs, and livestock guardians. In the 1960s,,dog lovers in the United States took note of this truly unique Chinese breed. And ultimately, it was the efforts of American dog enthusiast that saved the Shar Pei from extinction. In the year 1992, the American Kennel recognized the Chinese Shar Pei as an autonomous breed of the non-sporting group. What is their temperament like? The Shar Pei is an absolutely fascinating dog: Strong-willed, independent, and absolutely fearless. Born with an unfaltering loyalty towards their owners, Shar Peis are wary – and even suspicious - of strangers. This makes them perfect natural guardians: These very self-assured dogs do not need any training to defend their territory (and their owners) from harm, should the need occur. As they are also prone to dog-aggression, early socialisation is a must for this confident breed. Unless they sense a danger, these dogs are easy to live with: Not prone to excessive barking, they are usually calm and settled in the house. How intelligent and trainable are Shar Peis? Though highly intelligent and willing to learn commands, Shar Peis are not the easiest breed when it comes to training. Coupled with their wariness of strangers and other dogs, this makes them comparatively challenging to raise and train. But with that said, the Shar Pei will follow a leader whom he trusts and respects. And with calm, consistent effort, this strongly independent dog can be taught the basics of obedience and manners. The Shar Pei is an amazing dog for the experienced owner – ideally someone who has lived with strong-willed guardian breeds before. Are Shar Peis healthy dogs? Shar Peis are known to live between 8 and 12 years, but they are not the healthiest of breeds: Because of their deep skin folds, they are quite prone to eye disorders, such as glaucoma, entropion and retinal dysplasia. In addition, some Shar Peis can develop skin- and digestive problems (which is why a high-quality nutrition is even more important for them than for the average dog). Also, they are known to sometimes develop cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders. Exercise and Grooming Needs of the Shar Pei When it comes to energy levels, play- and prey drive, this noble Chinese breed is well-balanced: Neither over-active nor lazy, Shar Peis enjoy spending active time with their owners. And they absolutely can adapt to the lifestyle of their people: These dogs love their walks, but they do not need hours and hours of them every single day. Their generally calm and quiet nature as well as their medium size makes them ideal dogs for apartments and smaller houses. In terms of grooming, the short coat of the Shar Pei requires only minimal effort. As long as they receive a good once-over with a soft bristle-brush 2 – 3 times a week, they should be fine. Of course, the occasional bath helps to keep them clean, but once every 4 – 6 weeks is sufficient. Overview Loyal, calm and independent, the Shar Pei is a wonderful dog. Suspicious towards strangers, this breed is absolutely devoted to its owners. Shar Peis are very protective dogs that require no training to guard their territory – and their loved ones. All in all, this unique breed is an ideal companion for experienced owners who value a strong-willed canine best friend.