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Shar pei - Get to know this ancient breed from China

Shar pei - Conoce esta raza milenaria proveniente de China

Lobo Azul |

We know that dogs are man's best friend , but what very few know is that this friendship goes back thousands of years. There are some breeds of dogs that have been known since ancient times, as evidence has been found in everyday utensils obtained in excavations. One of these breeds is the Shar Pei , which is believed to originate in China and of which drawings have been found made on ceramic vessels dating back to more than 200 BC. Sharpei breed dogs
This breed has common body characteristics with other breeds also considered ancient, which are supposed to have allowed them to adapt and resist the very diverse environmental conditions that they may have faced for so many years. Let's learn a little more about this breed of dog that had a great boom in ancient times as a companion animal.
  • Medium size .
  • Weight : Between 18 and 30kg.
  • Hair type : Very short and straight.
  • Character : Distrustful, Devoted, Affectionate, Reserved, Independent, Loving
  • Health : Quite delicate health
  • Life expectancy : Between 9 and 11 years.

History of the Shar Pei

There is an unproven hypothesis that Shar Peis are descendants of the Chinese Chow Chow breed because they both have a bluish-black tongue. However, this information is not certain because, during its greatest peak at the time of the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) , Central Asia was a commercial traffic route between the colonies of the Roman Empire and that could have allowed the arrival to China of dog breeds that were originally from the Roman colonies. sharpei dogs
Some breeds of mastiffs have also been considered among their ancestors, such as the Tibet Doge , and the Pyrenean Mountain breed has even been pointed out, which shares with the Sharpei the presence of double supplementary toes, although this last relationship is not as strong, since there are breeds in France, Mongolia and other regions of Asia that also have this characteristic. Many of the physical characteristics of the Shar Pei suggest that this breed could have been used as a guard dog, although the Chinese considered it a fighting dog and also used it for hunting. They were later used as companion dogs , so when the People's Republic of China and the communist regime were established, the Sharpei were persecuted and almost extinct because they were considered a symbol of capitalism. This persecution caused some specimens to be taken outside of China and some varieties were obtained, such as the American one. Some specimens were also rescued in Hong Kong, but the line that was reproduced was of lower quality than the one that currently exists. sharpei

Characteristics of the Shar Pei

The most distinctive characteristic of the Shar Pei is the number of folds or wrinkles that form on its skin , especially when it is a puppy. In fact, its Chinese name means “ sand skin ” in reference to the movement of wrinkles when moving and being rough to the touch. It is considered a medium-sized dog, with a square and stocky body build, a large head in proportion to the body, wrinkles on the forehead and cheeks and towards the tail area. Its colors can be varied, among them are black, gray or blue, lilac, which is a very light shade of gray, sand, cream, red, fawn and chocolate. With few exceptions the coat is uniform and solid. Only the white color is not recognized by the FCI . The chocolate color is highly valued due to its rarity. Shar pei feeding
The most common shape of its tail is a rounded base, becoming narrower towards the tip, while the way it is carried can be varied: curved over the back, falling to one side or the other, high and curved or like a corkscrew. The shape of the snout is also peculiar and characteristic of this breed; It is wide from the base to the tip and may present a bulge. Another of its distinctive characteristics is the color of the tongue, palate, gums and lips, which are between blue and black. The lips are very fleshy. The shape of its ears is striking, in the shape of a triangle, with a rounded tip, directed towards the eyes. They are small and thick, close to the skull and very far apart. Shar Pei Characteristics

Shar pei temperament

Shar Peis are described as dogs with a calm and independent nature , although always alert and active. They are affectionate with familiar people, but can be unfriendly with strangers. It is not considered an aggressive dog , but its nature is a hunter, so it must be well trained to control its aggressiveness during play. Puppies are rambunctious and like to play, but that changes once they get older. Dogs of this breed must be subjected to quite strict and careful training because their hunting nature can make them unsociable and irreverent. During their training and growth they must be subjected to noise, the presence of other dogs and groups of people to overcome their natural suspicion of the unknown. They can have very active behavior , efficiently performing many tasks that are taught to them. Shar pei temperament

Shar pei care

Shar pei feeding

Shar Pei dogs are very sensitive to allergies and have a delicate stomach, so their diet should be based on rice and fish, mainly, foods that are more digestible for them.

Shar pei body care

There are many myths about the body care that Shar Pei dogs should have . However, their care is not very different from that which must be followed with some other breeds of dogs. The bath should not be excessive so as not to eliminate the layer of fat that surrounds your body and provides protection. It is suggested to bathe them every month and a half or two months. Of course, after bathing or if you get wet for any other reason, special care must be taken to dry each of the folds of your skin to prevent the appearance of fungus. Since their fur is very short, they can be exposed to sunburn and must also be protected from excessive cold. Shar pei care
With them, more care must be taken to avoid attack by fleas and ticks, because the folds of the skin are a perfect hiding place for these parasites. It is recommended to use an anti-parasite spray once a week, but only in those areas most prone to annoying bugs. The Sharpei's hair should also be brushed weekly and should not be cut, to avoid possible injuries to the roughest areas of the skin. Eye and ear care should be a little more detailed. Again, the folds of the Shar Pei's skin can be somewhat annoying, as they stimulate the formation of rheumatism in the eyes, which must be eliminated with boiled water or chamomile to prevent its accumulation and the occurrence of infections. shar pei
For its part, the small ear canal that Sharpeis have due to the peculiar shape of their ears makes it very easy for wax and dirt to accumulate, which you should watch to remove every day if necessary. Sometimes, you may smell a strong odor that will require a visit to the vet.

Physical activity

Shar Pei dogs require daily exercise as they are very energetic animals that have a tendency to become overweight. Three walks a day are recommended to help them drain their energy. It is a dog that loves to walk, with an agile and balanced step.

Diseases suffered by Shar Pei dogs

Many of the diseases suffered by specimens of this breed are related to the presence of wrinkles in their skin. This characteristic favors the appearance of fungi and other skin problems, such as dermatitis, dryness and the formation of skin flaps or warts on the eyelids, both upper and lower, which can even affect the functioning of the eye. shar pei puppies
A disease that can be important in dogs of this breed is the so-called Shar Pei Fever, which is hereditary, but not fatal if it is detected when they are puppies and treated properly. The origin of this disease is not very well known, only that it occurs when the dog is suffering from an infectious process. The characteristic symptoms are high fever (over 39° C), inflammation of the joints, mainly in the extremities; inflammation of the muzzle and stomach discomfort. Symptoms generally appear before one and a half years of age. Treatment for these symptoms should be indicated by a veterinarian, who can give the dog antipyretics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for joint pain, along with antibiotics. Since this is a disease that has no cure, all prevention and care necessary to control symptoms and avoid complications should be considered. Although there are some other illnesses associated with the eyes, mouth, nostrils and body deformations or physiological dysfunctions, the work carried out by serious and responsible breeders has managed to eradicate some of the most serious problems that dogs of the Shar breed had. pei. sharpei dog

Facts and curiosities about Shar Pei dogs

What is the best environment for a Shar Pei?

A Shar Pei dog can adapt to almost any situation , whether it be life in the countryside or in an apartment, as it is a neat dog , not at all scandalous and very independent. Of course, he prefers to live in shelter with his family, even though he needs his daily walks.

What are the phobias of Shar Pei dogs?

They don't like water at all! They are also not very fond of excessive heat, as it causes breathing difficulties. train shar pei

What is the relationship of the Shar Pei with other “little ones”?

It is considered that Shar Peis can maintain “ good relationships ” with children and other pets as long as they are raised with them. However, certain precautions should be taken, especially when playing, because they can have somewhat aggressive tendencies. It is also advisable to teach children to treat their pets well.

Shar peis are believed to be fearful

Sometimes, Shar Pei dogs can run away when someone suddenly approaches them, but they do not run away because they are scared, but rather because of the lack of good peripheral vision due to the presence of the skin folds around the eyes. In fact, they are considered excellent watchdogs , so you should not get carried away by the calm appearance they present.

Shar peis have a loud snore

Almost like any dog, specimens of this breed snore . Sometimes they have a way of snorting that can be mistaken for growling. Both are characteristics present in flat-faced dogs.

Are Shar Peis slimy?

Shar Peis are not considered drooling dogs, although they can produce drool after drinking water, as it gets trapped in the folds that surround their mouth. Plus, as you might expect, they drool when you show them some food they know is delicious. famous shar peis

Some famous Shar peis

During the 1970s , dogs of this breed were used in countless advertising campaigns , which led them to become one of the most fashionable dogs at that time. The consequences were disastrous, as breeders wanted to develop Shar Pei specimens with more wrinkles, causing major skin and eye complications. They also developed an as yet unrecognized variety called Mini pei which, as its name indicates, is much smaller in size. If you are thinking of acquiring a Sharpei, you should know that the decision to buy one of these dogs should have more to do with your willingness to take care of its training than with its characteristics, since we have seen that it is a very familiar and affectionate animal . It can be a good companion animal, but also a good guard dog that needs great care and attention.
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