Dog Breed

Chinese Shar-Pei

BraniacConfidence King
Primary image of Chinese Shar-Pei dog breed
Full Name
Chinese Shar-Pei
Alternate Names
Chinese Fighting Dog
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Life Span
8 - 12 years
45 - 60 pounds

Shar-Pei are famous ancient guardian dogs known for their intelligence and loyalty. Guarding is in their blood and that means they are always suspicious with strangers, but once they start trusting you, you have a life companion.
Shar-Pei are strong and regal and need training and socialization.

Bred For
Hunting, guarding and fighting
Family Considerations
Child Friendly

Is the Chinese Shar-Pei good with children? Nearly all dogs enjoy playing with small children, but some can play too rough, or be a bit careless. In some cases dogs can get jealous of small children, or try and "herd" them due to their natural instincts.

Stranger Friendly

Is the Chinese Shar-Pei friendly with strangers? Getting a dog that is friendly with people really depends on what your lifestyle is. Dogs who are more cautious with strangers oftentimes make good guard dogs, which can be a great fit for some owners. If you are social, live in the city, or frequently have guests over, you may want to consider getting a stranger friendly dog.

Dog Friendly

Is the Chinese Shar-Pei friendly with other dogs? Of course this is particularly important if you already have another dog at home. However, it's an important factor to consider as well if you plan on frequently going to the dog park. Otherwise, even a dog who is not automatically friendly with other dogs can be an excellent fit, as they can still be affectionate with their human family.

Likes to Cuddle

Does the Chinese Shar-Pei like to cuddle? All dogs want love, but they have different boundaries when it comes to physical affection. If you plan on frequently having a dog on your lap or pushed up against you, then you should consider whether this breed enjoys that.


Does the Chinese Shar-Pei like to play? All puppies are playful, but as adults certain dogs are more playful. If you have children, or otherwise want to keep your dog active with plenty of play, there are plenty of options of breeds who will be happy to play all day.

Service Dog Ability

Does the Chinese Shar-Pei make a good service dog? When looking to train a service dog it's important to consider how they were historically bred, and if their personality makes a good fit. A service dog must be smart, patient, and obsessed with pleasing their owner. Working dogs are a good fits since service dog 'work' gives them a feeling of accomplishment from doing a job.

Overall Ease of Breed
Ease for Novice

Is the Chinese Shar-Pei good for first time owners? Dogs that are good for first time owners are ones who are easy to train, and are eager to please their owner. Very large dogs, or dogs with very high energy may also not be the best for first time owners since it adds a layer of complexity.

Training Potential

How well can the Chinese Shar-Pei be trained? This rating is about the training potential of the Chinese Shar-Pei. Dogs with high training potential oftentimes are good service dogs, police dogs, and dog show competition dogs. This does not necessarily mean they are the easiest to train, since many will be very intelligent and demanding.

Amount of Shedding

Does the Chinese Shar-Pei shed a lot?

Ease of Grooming

Is the Chinese Shar-Pei easy to groom?

Exercise Need

Does the Chinese Shar-Pei need a lot of exercise?


How smart is the Chinese Shar-Pei?

Amount of Barking

How much does the Chinese Shar-Pei bark? Does the Chinese Shar-Pei bark too much? It depends on your lifestyle, and where you live. Dogs use barking to communicate, keep guard, and alert. A strong bark can be a good characteristic for guard dogs, or flock guardian dogs who need to be vocal.In apartment living you should consider getting a dog who is less vocal.

Guard Dog Ability

Is the Chinese Shar-Pei a good guard dog?

Tolerates Being Alone

Is the Chinese Shar-Pei good at staying alone? Is the Chinese Shar-Pei independent?

Home and Environment Considerations
Good for Apartment Living

Is the Chinese Shar-Pei a good apartment dog? Can the Chinese Shar-Pei live in an apartment without becoming frustrated or destructive? Typically people immediately consider the size of the dog, but energy level and historical habitat are also factors.


How big is the Chinese Shar-Pei?

Tolerates Heat

How much does the Chinese Shar-Pei tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Chinese Shar-Pei?

Tolerates Cold

How much does the Chinese Shar-Pei tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Chinese Shar-Pei?

Potential to Run Away

Does the Chinese Shar-Pei try to run away? Some dogs have natural wanderlust and are escape artists... they will do everything to get out and explore.

Physical Characteristics
General Health

Is the Chinese Shar-Pei a healthy dog? The general health of a Chinese Shar-Pei should be measured not just by how many years they live, but how often they have health issues during their lives. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

Energy Level

How energetic is the Chinese Shar-Pei? Is the Chinese Shar-Pei too energetic for your lifestyle?

Amount of Drooling

How much does the Chinese Shar-Pei drool?

Prey Drive

Does the Chinese Shar-Pei have a large prey drive? Does the Chinese Shar-Pei like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals? Prey drive can be bothersome at the park, but really an issue at home if you have small animals, since this comes as a natural instinct for dogs with high prey drive, to chase cats, birds, etc.


Is the Chinese Shar-Pei atheltic? Is the Chinese Shar-Pei fast and strong?

Breed Variations

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a purebred dog that belongs to the Ancient sub group, which falls under the larger Non-Sporting dog breed group.
Non-Sporting group: The Non-Sporting group of dogs is probably the most diverse in the sense that it has a variety of dogs, and they were not all bred for one specific purpose. Each breed in the non-sporting group is unique! They have been primarily bred as house pets, and because of that make excellent additions to the family. Exercise is still important for them, but the typical non-sporting dog does not have the energy of of a sporting or working group dog.
Ancient sub-group: These dogs are unique as they are some of the oldest dogs! Dogs in the ancient world have been documented, both for work, and companionship. Dogs have been recorded to be living alongside humans dating as far back as 12,000 BC, which can be seen from temple paintings. Ancient dogs have been recorded in ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Persia, and ancient Turkey and India. Ancient dogs are generally medium sized, healthy, and well-rounded. They are friendly but somewhat reserved with strangers- all characteristics that sense for a dog that has survived through thousands of years.

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