Breeds

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What you need to know about the Shar Pei

When someone sees a Shar Pei for the first time, they commonly react, "My goodness ? what is wrong with that dog?" Shar Peis have a distinctive look that you either love or hate. The puppies are deeply wrinkled all over their bodies, but lose most of the body wrinkles as they age. They keep almost all of the deep folds and wrinkles around the face. Their eyes are almost invisible, their ears are incredibly tiny and they usually drool most of the time. The breed standard prefers a head that looks too large for the body.

These are big, muscular dogs that often tip the scales at fifty to sixty pounds. They were originally bred for dog fighting, so their personalities are far different than most other breeds of dogs. They are single person dogs and usually do not get on well with other dogs, but usually do well with children. They have strong wills to match their strong bodies. These are not dogs for the first time dog owner, for those with physical problems, or those with a submissive nature.

The breed standard for Shar Peis (also called Chinese Shar Peis) described the ideal Shar Pei as standoffish. They should act superior, as if they know they are worth a lot more money than you are. This is not a breed that eagerly greets strangers or easily wags his tail. However, they can be affectionate and playful with their people, usually preferring one family member above the rest. Puppies need to be introduced to other dogs and other people very early in life in order for them not to be aggressive.

Another quirk that Shar Peis have ? besides their eye opening about the wrinkles ? is that they have a blue-black tongue, sometimes described as purple in some reliable Shar Pei information sources. This is a trait shared with the breed thought to be the ancestor of the Shar Pei, the Chow Chow. In size and build, the two breeds share a lot in common. Shar Pei tails are left undocked and naturally curl over the back in much the same way as a Pug's.

The breed standard for the Shar Pei is not conducive to everybody's idea of a family pet. Their temperament is very much like a Rottweiler's, only they are even more aggressive with other dogs. They usually are good with kids, but wary of adults. If you need a guard dog or a dog to round up livestock, they are ideal.

Chinese Shar Peis are a lot like Japanese Sumo wrestlers. They were also bred to fight off human and animal predators from livestock.

They have very strong wills coupled with very strong bodies. If you have never lived with a dog before, the Shar Pei is not for you.

They are fearless dogs that feel superior to the rest of the world that need few excuses to ignore you. These are not the dogs for first time dog owners.

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