Friday, July 17, 2015

Dog breed spotlight: Shar-Pei

The Shar-Pei is a wrinkly dog with triangular ears and a blue-black tongue. There are only two breeds in the world with blue tongues: the Shar-Pei and the Chow-Chow. Both these breeds stem from China.

The origins of the Shar-Pei are unknown, but there are images on pottery in China from the Han Dynasty (206 BC) with strong resem- blances to the breed. The breed was originally kept as diverse farm dogs in the countryside, used for hunting, herding, and guarding. The dogs were bred for intelligence and strength. The unusual skin and coat stems back to this time too; the loose skin and prickly coat helped the dogs fend off wild animals.

The Shar-Pei is known for being calm, independent, and loyal. These dogs are devoted to their family, but can be reserved amongst strangers.

Puppies have many wrinkles, but the dogs “grow into” their skin as they mature, and adults generally only have wrinkles on the face, a few on their shoulders, and some at the base of the tail. The wrinkles need some extra care, make sure to keep the skin clean and dry.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

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