The Chinese Shar Pei can be identified by its unique profile, wrinkles, and “hippopotamus” head shape. As the name suggests, the dog comes from China and was once known as the rarest dog breed in the world. The term “Shar-Pei” means sandy coat, referring to its harsh and off-standing coat. The dog has become increasingly popular over time, and is a favorite among people looking for a unique pet. Although often stubborn, the Shar-Pei is extremely intelligent and a quick learner. However, it is also known for its aloof behavior and requires a range of breed-specific care. In this article, we are going to look at a few special tips for taking care of the Chinese Shar Pei.
The Chinese Shar-pei requires slightly more grooming than the occasional bath. Their nails grow fast and should be trimmed on a regular basis to prevent cracking and overgrowth. You also need to clean their ears frequently and check for a buildup of wax and debris that can lead to an infection. The teeth should also be brushed regularly. The skin of a Chinese Shar-pei looks more like that of a cat, particularly because of the substantial amounts of mucin that gives the skin its wrinkles and flexibility. As a result, it has the ability to tear easily and heal rapidly with minimal scarring. A simple bath should be enough to clean the wrinkles.
When they are young, the Chinese Shar-Pei puppies look like squirming, wrinkly baby hippos. Once they grow into adulthood, they become strong, regal, and independent dogs with good guarding instincts. They are generally calm but can be highly suspicious of strangers, retaliating with vigor and tenacity. As such, it is essential to provide early training and socialization to prevent undesirable results. The main tool you need when training a Chinese Shar-Pei is patience. The dog breed is naturally independent and does not like being told what to do. It will take positive reinforcement, consistency, and lots of treat to produce a positive response. You also need to reinforce rules and boundaries at all times. With that in mind, the Chinese Shar-Pei is probably not ideal for the first time owner, as it can be difficult to work with – even with experienced owners.
Like most other breeds, the Chinese Shar-Pei needs some exercise every once and then. Daily thirty minute walks should be enough. However, avoid exercising the dog when they are still a young pup as this can lead to joint problems. The dog is generally fine with apartment living. It tends to move around the house and does not really need a yard. Being extremely sensitive to heat, it is advisable to keep the dog away from the sun.
Sadly, the Chinese Shar-Pei is highly susceptible to eye problems and may require entropion surgery. The dog usually comes with deep-rooted eyes that tend to tear. This can worsen when the eyes swell until shut or the dog experiences constant pawing and rubbing of the eyes. Entropion is characterized by excessive skin around the eye that causes the eyelids to fold in and the eyelashes to scratch the cornea. This can be damaging to the cornea and may cause the dog to lose his eyesight when not treated. The entropion surgery involves removing a small section of the eyelid in order to separate the eyelashes from the cornea. In worst case scenarios, the surgery can be done on the actual skin above the eyes. In any case, it is usually advisable to wait until your Chinese Shar-Pei is at least one year old before conducting the surgery, should it be needed. Surgery done in a very young dog often needs to be corrected when the pup reaches maturity.