Eliteroly's Shar-Pei (Australia)

About the Shar-Pei






The Sharp-Pei is believed to have descended from, or shared, a common origin with the Chow Chow (because of the blue-black mouth and tongue) possibly the Great Pyrenees (a source of the double dew-claws) and the Tibetan Mastiff. The first Shar-Pei may have appeared as a mutation.

Translated, the name 'Shar-Pei' becomes 'Sandy Dog' - SHAR, meaning sand of a gritty texture and PEI, meaning dog. This presents us with a very definite description of the unique prickly texture and extreme short length of the coat, which resembles a piece of sandpaper. This rare coat was of such importance to the early developers of the breed that it became the instrument through which the Shar-Pei was described and named. No other canine possesses this extraordinary type of hair.

The correct texture of the coat, as described by the Chinese, should be extremely harsh to touch but at the same time deceive the eye by appearing soft, like velour. The coat does have a velvety texture when one strokes the dog from head to tail, but if this same coat is stroked against the grain (from tail to head) it may become abrasive.

This desirable trait was sought after and perpetuated by breeders of fighting dogs, as the coat discouraged other animals from grasping them with their mouths.

Coats do come in two different types:



Both types of coat require little or no grooming. An occasional bath is all that is needed .

Viewed from the front, the head of the Shar-Pei, reminds one of a hippopotamus. The face appears almost flat, with little or no stop from the broad, blunt muzzle. The tongue of the Shar-Pei ranges from lavender to blueish-black, similar to that of the Chow Chow. A pink spotted tongue is permissible, though a solid pink tongue is undesirable. The Shar-Pei mouth is described as having, teeth - strong and level, closing in a scissor bite, the canine teeth may be curved. Supposedly, this was to cause difficulty in freeing the grip. Small ears and widely set, medium size, almost almond shaped eyes with a frowning expression complete the picture.

Although the small ears are set tightly to the head, they still have a great deal of maneuverability and are independent of each other. While listening to different noises, a Shar-Pei, flicks it's ears in and out to the side, in much the same way as a horse does.

The neck is strong and full, set well on the shoulders. The shoulders should be muscular, well laid and sloping. Forelegs should be straight and flexible, ending with feet that are compact and well knuckled. Hind quarters are strong and muscular with moderate angulation and well let down hocks. The Body of the Shar-Pei should be square, with the chest broad and deep.

The Shar-Pei tail should denote bravery. Three descriptions are mentioned, the first is the tightly curled tail described as a 'coin tail', the second tail is the 'loose curl' and the third tail is carried in an 'arch' over the back. The common denominator for all three is that they are carried high, exposing the anus.

The all important folds of skin on a Shar-Pei are just that : ALL IMPORTANT. The adult dog should retain winkling on the face to present a scowling and dignified countenance. The heavy dewlaps (folds of skin around the throat) provided protection for the throat. The shoulders and back in the tail region should retain some wrinkling, which may extend down the legs. Too little in the way of loose skin offered little protection and too many folds of skin on the body were detrimental, as they could be a hindrance to the maneuverability. So the right amount of wrinkles was and still is, imperative in the breeding of Shar-Pei.

Puppies are more wrinkled than adults and may appear to be engulfed in a coat many sizes too large for their pudgy frames.

Average size is 18-20 inches at the shoulder and between 30-40 pounds. Colours range from all shades of red, white, cream, apricot, chocolate and blue.

Being sturdy, compact and intelligent, the Shar-Pei is perfectly suited to city or country living. They adapt well to hot or cold climates. They are outgoing by nature and are happy indoors or out. They love to ride in cars and are not barkers (but they will alert you if anyone is about). They are homebodies and rarely stray. Known for their deep loyalty to their family, they are ideal dogs to raise with children, being both calm and obedient, they do not tend to overreact. The Shar-Pei is an enchanting creature, possessing many qualities sought after in an all-round dog for security as well as companionship.


Contact Details

Contact Details
Tony & Sue Mallia
14 Fraser Road Canning Vale, WA, Australia
Phone : 0402-944-000
Email : [email protected]