Will adult Shar Pei stay wrinkled like Shar Pei puppies?
No. Shar Pei puppies grow into their wrinkles. Adult Shar Pei tend to retain wrinkle on the forehead, neck, and shoulders. Some adult Shar Pei have more wrinkles than others, and usually the horsecoat Shar Pei has fewer wrinkles than the brushcoat Shar Pei as an adult.
Are Shar Pei good with children, other dogs and cats?
Yes. When raised from puppy hood with children and other pets, Shar Pei are loving and devoted family members. Although some Shar Pei are aloof and standoffish towards strangers, they bond quickly to their new families. Socialization for Shar Pei puppies is very important. Puppy kindergarten and beginning obedience will socialize your puppy with other dogs, people and unfamiliar surroundings. Shar Pei thrive on attention and training school is a wonderful and rewarding way to bond with your dog.
Do Shar Pei shed?
Yes, but Shar Pei do not shed year around. They tend to shed in the spring and in the fall. The spring shed is the heaviest due to shedding of the winter coat. And the first spring shed for Shar Pei puppies is especially heavy because puppies are also shedding out their soft puppy coat. Some Shar Pei dogs will develop a moth-eaten appearance to their coat during shedding. This is particularly noticeable on the horsecoat Shar Pei. This is normal and is not a sign of skin disease. Bathing and brushing will get the old dead hair out and promote new hair growth.
How long does a Shar Pei live?
An average life is approximately 9 – 12 years of age, but some have been known to live as long as 15 years or more.
Are Shar Pei puppies expensive to buy?
In the early 70's there were only a few Chinese Shar Pei and they were considered the world's rarest breed. The Shar Pei became a fad with Shar Pei puppies selling for thousands of dollars. Today however, Shar Pei are no longer considered a rare breed. Prices for Shar Pei pets and show quality dogs are comparable to what you would expect to pay for any other pure bred dog. Shar Pei puppies are more expensive than adult Shar Pei when they are purchased as pets or companions. Remember that adult Shar Pei also make wonderful family members.
Do Shar Pei have a lot of medical problems?
The Chinese Shar Pei was the "Rarest Dog in the World" according to the Guinness Book of World Records when they were first brought over to the United States. And only a few Shar Pei dogs were sent to the United States, so in the beginning there was a very limited gene pool for a breeding program. Unfortunately, some of these first dogs had health problems. Dedicated Shar Pei breeders have carefully worked towards eliminating these health issues by researching pedigrees and communicating with other breeders so that they only breed Shar Pei dogs that are sound and healthy. Unfortunately, some of the diseases that affect Shar Pei dogs are recessive and they can appear in even the most carefully planned breedings.
Do you have to clean and powder the wrinkles on a Shar Pei?
No. This is a long-lived myth that continues to this day. Everybody knows "someone" that heard from "someone" who said you have to clean the wrinkles with a Q-Tip and powder between the wrinkles. And unfortunately you will come across veterinarians that choose to hang on to some old stereotypes from 30 years ago instead of learning about the Chinese Shar Pei today. The Shar Pei breed has evolved over the past 30 years and most of the Chinese Shar Pei today do not have the same chronic skin problems as the dogs from 30 years ago. A well bred Shar Pei from a knowledgeable and reputable breeder is not going to have chronic skin problems. Your Shar Pei dog needs to be bathed when they are dirty or when they smell. Like any other dog, you must rinse them thoroughly to remove all the shampoo from the coat. For Shar Pei dogs, do not use a shampoo that contains coat conditioners. Although most Shar Pei hate water, you can easily teach them to stand for a bath if you start training them as puppies. Shar Pei are very clean dogs and they enjoy how they feel after a bath. Wash them, rinse them thoroughly and dry them with a towel.
Are Shar Pei intelligent?
Shar Pei are very intelligent. Their high intelligence may cause them to become bored with overly repetitive training. And they are independent which can translate into stubbornness. So training sessions should be brief and varied to maintain their interest and combined with play. Shar Pei respond best to positive reinforcement and praise. Food as a reward can make training easier for some Shar Pei dogs.
Are Shar Pei easy to housebreak and train?
Yes. Some people think that Shar Pei are the easiest dogs to housebreak. It isn't unusual for an 8 week old puppy to "ask" to go outside. Patience and persistence is the key and you should be able to housebreak your Shar Pei puppy in a week. Puppies need to go outside first thing in the morning, after eating, when they wake up from naps and after playing. Approximately every 2 - 4 hours when they are awake. Always take your Shar Pei puppy out the same door and to the same location while housebreaking, so they will understand quickly where to go and why. Some 8 week old Shar Pei puppies can sleep through the night and not need to go outside as often. Shar Pei are very clean dogs and will not want to soil their homes. And they are highly intelligent and eager to please their family.
Do Shar Pei have bad temperaments?
Temperament problems are not an affliction of the Chinese Shar Pei breed as a whole. Any breed of dog can have temperament problems when bred improperly. Shar Pei can be aloof and standoffish with strangers if not properly socialized as a puppy. But aloof and standoffish does not translate into aggressive. While it is true that some of the original Shar Pei dogs brought over to the United States had nasty dispositions, conscientious breeders over the past 25 years have all but eliminated aggressive tendencies. The Chinese Shar Pei is bright, affectionate, and loyal and devoted to its family. The Shar Pei dog needs to be socialized as a puppy so they are less territorial and standoffish towards strangers and are more confident in unfamiliar surroundings. If your Shar Pei puppy grows up and is only familiar with your home and yard, then as an adult Shar Pei the first venture out into the big world full of strange people and animals can be very frightening.
Chinese Shar Pei also have an abundance of wrinkle on their head and around their eyes which causes many of them to be hooded or have "tunnel vision." Their peripheral vision is limited and they may not be able to see people approaching from the side. The seemingly sudden appearance of a person may startle the dog and cause them to shy away. The same thing can happen when a person reaches out to pet the dog on top of its head. The Shar Pei does not see the hand moving and then suddenly something is touching its head. This startles the dog and causes them to shy away. The best way to approach a Shar Pei is directly from the front so they can see you and to reach under their chin to pet them. Always let the dog sniff your hand first and allow them time to familiarize themselves with you before reaching out to touch them. A quick and sudden forward approach towards any breed of dog could feel threatening. Part of socializing a Shar Pei puppy is getting them used to different people approaching them and touching them so that as an adult Shar Pei they are not alarmed or startled when approached and touched.
Do Shar Pei snore or drool?
Yes, Shar Pei snore. Some are louder than others and Shar Pei puppies can be the worst ones. Some Shar Pei puppies have an elongated soft palate, which they grow into as they mature. This can cause more and louder snoring when they are young.
Shar Pei do not drool continuously like some breeds. But they can get a little slobbery after eating and drinking. Shar Pei puppies tend to drip water down their chin and chest when drinking. But they out grow this – just like a child needs a bib when younger, but outgrows the need. A towel placed under the water bowl will catch most of the dripping water.
Can a Shar Pei live in an apartment?
Yes, Shar Pei adapt well to apartment living. Most Shar Pei are wonderful couch potatoes by the time they are a year old. They enjoy playing and going for walks and are equally happy lazing about the house.
Does a spotted or pink tongue mean the Shar Pei is from a mixed breeding?
No, this does not mean the dog is from a mixed breeding. If the Shar Pei has a spotted tongue it is a major fault for the ACK show ring. The tongue should be solid black or bluish black in pigmented Shar Pei dogs. A Shar Pei with a dilute color will have a lavender tongue. A solid pink tongue is a disqualification from the AKC show ring. This does not mean the Shar Pei dog is from a mixed breeding, nor does it indicate health problems.
Can Shar Pei tolerate temperature extremes?
No. Shar Pei should not be left in the sun for long periods of time. If it is extremely hot and humid, it can even be too hot for your Shar Pei dog outside in a shaded area. Shar Pei are also not winter dogs and can not be outside for long periods of time in the extreme cold. Just be aware of how hot or cold it is outside. If it is too hot or cold for you to be outside, then it is too hot or cold for your Shar Pei to be outside too.
Why should I spay or neuter my Shar Pei?
Puppies placed in homes as pets and companions, and are on a spay/neuter contract, must be spayed/neutered at 6 months of age. Sometimes people are reluctant because it is a surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia. And of course, people have heard horror stories about dogs not recovering from surgery. However, the risks involved with not spaying or neutering outweigh the slight possibility of a surgical complication. Anesthesia used to be a risk factor, but with today�s advances it has been greatly reduced. Make sure that your veterinarian is using an anesthetic such as isoflourine, which is reversible in case of complications. Your Shar Pei will be feeling normal and fully recovered from the spay or neuter surgery in just a couple of days, but it is important to limit their activity for a week to 10 days following surgery.
Female dogs come into heat every 6 – 8 months. There is a bloody discharge and they attract local male dogs which could get them pregnant without you even knowing. There are too many "unwanted" dogs in this world to take chances. Spaying removes both the uterus and both ovaries and not only eliminates the messy heat cycle, but a female dog spayed before her first heat will have a near zero chance of developing mammary cancer and it will totally eliminate the chances of her developing uterine or ovarian cancer and pyometra. Older unspayed females are at considerable risk of developing pyometra. Pyometra is a life threatening infection of the uterus that can occur approximately 6 weeks following a heat cycle. Bacteria enter the uterus causing it to swell dramatically, fill with pus, dying tissue and toxins. Pyometra is extremely common in older female dogs. Spaying will not change her temperament and she will not get fat. Spayed females make better pets. And overeating and lack of exercise causes a dog to be fat, not spaying.
Male dogs start to experience hormone changes after 6 months of age that could lead to him becoming territorial and urine marking the inside and outside of your home. He may also become more prone to running off to follow the scent of females in heat in your neighborhood. One of the most important medical concerns is prostate cancer. Neutering your male dog will eliminate the chance he will develop prostate cancer and certain types of hernias and tumors of the testicles and anus. Excessive perpetual discharge is reduced by neutering, as is aggressive behavior towards other male dogs, and inappropriate mounting. Your male dog will still be playful, friendly and active. And he may grow to be a little bigger. Testosterone is involved in causing the bones to stop growing. So dogs neutered before puberty (usually 6 months) tend to grow a little bigger than dogs neutered after puberty.
The Chinese Shar-Pei and Their Eyes
Another topic of great debate, to tack or not to tack, to have entropion surgery or not.
The Chinese Shar-Pei are born with wrinkled faces. Some pups more than others. The eyes are closed at birth and open from about 14-19 days........and then some never open, or open a little and shut tight again........what to do, if this is a show puppy we want natural untouched eyes, and yes many lines have successfully had generations, eye tack and surgery free, but it is not easy to get. I have bred tack and surgery free lines and adults and still not been able to get tack free eyes. For a breeder it is very frustrating, but even more so for the puppy buyer that has these situations crop up. Eyes can shut at any time during your dogs life and there are many reasons for it, including stress, walks where debris or pine needles can get into the dog or pups eyes. Just because a puppy is born with tack free eyes does NOT MEAN it will be free of this for the rest of its life, and just because a puppy does have eye tacks does not mean you will have any further problems with this condition either.
What is Entropion? Entropion is the inward rolling of the eyelid, most commonly the lower lid. This irritates the surface of the eye (the cornea) and may ultimately cause visual impairment, by way of scratching this cornea and causing the same affect as taking sandpaper to a smooth surface, thus small scratches. See illustration.
Entropion is a common hereditary disorder in dogs. Selection for a particular conformation, of exaggerated facial features with prominent eyes and/or heavy facial folds, has created or worsened this problem in many breeds. What is ectropion? Ectropion is a defect of conformation in which there is a sagging or rolling-out (eversion) of the eyelids. This results in abnormal exposure of the eye, which often leads to irritation, the opposite to entropion and can also be caused by eye surgery and if too much skin is removed from the eye, but I have also seen pups with this condition in the chinese shar pei as well.
More on Both Conditions
It is likely that entropion is influenced by several genes (polygenic inheritance) that affect the skin and other structures that make up the eyelids, the way the skin covers the face and head, and the conformation of the skull. This problem occurs in many breeds. Entropion is seen in the Shar-Pei, Mastiffs, Akita, American Staffordshire Terrier, Pekingese, Bulldogs, Pomeranian, Pug, Japanese Chin, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dalmatian, Old English Sheepdog, Rottweiler, Siberian Husky, Vizsla, Weimaraner, Toy and Miniature Poodle and also seen in hounds (Basset Hound, Bloodhound), spaniels ( Clumber spaniel, English and American cocker spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, English Toy Spaniel, Tibetan Spaniel), and sporting breeds Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Flat-coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever.
Entropion is common in giant breeds such as the Great Dane, Bernese Mountain Dog, Mastiff, Saint Bernard, Newfoundland, and Great Pyrenees. In these breeds the central lower lid is often ectropic while the lid at the corners of the eye is entropic, which means you have both conditions occurring. The corner is rolling in and the center is hanging too low. For many breeds and many disorders, the studies to determine the mode of inheritance or the frequency in the breed have not been carried out, or are inconclusive. We have listed breeds for which there is a consensus among those investigating in this field and among veterinary practitioners, that the condition is significant in this breed.
What does entropion mean to your dog & you? The problem is usually evident before a year of age. Discomfort from entropion will cause increased tearing and squinting. Your dog may be sensitive to light and may rub at its eyes. Chronic irritation by the turned-in eyelid may cause corneal ulceration and scarring which is painful and, if not corrected, can impair vision. Dogs who have had surgical correction for a defect such as entropion may not be exhibited in the show ring.
How is entropion diagnosed? The inrolling of the eyelid is readily apparent. Generally both eyes are affected. Depending on the degree of corneal irritation and the duration, there will be other signs such as those mentioned above. Your veterinarian will evaluate the degree of entropion and use flourescein dye to determine if there is any corneal ulceration. FOR THE VETERINARIAN: The use of topical ophthalmic anaesthetic to anaesthetize the cornea and conjunctiva will enable eliminatation of the spastic component of the entropion in order to better evaluate the anatomic component. This is important before surgery is performed.
How is entropion treated? Entropion is corrected surgically. If possible it is best to delay surgery until the dog is an adult since the involved facial structures are still growing and changing. More than 1 operation may be required. It is better to correct the entropion conservatively andrepeat the operation later if necessary, than to overcorrect causing ectropion. In breeds such as the chow chow that have particularly severe entropion related to heavy facial folds, several surgeries may be required.
Breeding advice- Entropion is one of the eye conditions that is a result of selection by breeders and a demand by the public for such features as excessively prominent eyes and heavy facial folds. A responsible breeding programme will choose animals for breeding with a more normal head conformation, so as to select away from these exaggerated facial features and the problems associated with them. The Vizsla Club of America has recognized entropion as an unacceptable problem in their breed, and advises breeders not to breed affected animals. Such leadership by breed clubs is important in discouraging this and other undesirable traits.
Temporary Entropion- Entropion is an eye problem that causes the puppy's eyelids to roll inward. As a result, the eyelashes rubbing against the cornea cause acute distress. Symptoms of eye problems include pawing at the eyes and excessive tearing, leading to a cloudy discharge. I have found it very useful to use lubricating eye drops in the puppies eyes once a day, or polysporin or even castor oil. Especially when still teething, blowing coat, when in season or around females in season, or during stressful stays at kennels etc. There is a chance that your Shar-Pei's eyes may blink or water slightly, something which can also happen if your Shar-Pei is stressed. This will usually subside when the temporary problem has been solved. The face, and around the back of the ears, can be bathed with a mild solution of salt water and polysporin drops may be used if necessary. Always take care not to transfer infection from one eye to the other and be sure to use a different piece of cotton wool to bathe each eye. Usually 48 hours will allow the eye to return to normal, otherwise vet attention may be required to prevent an ulcer from forming, which is caused from continual rubbing of the eyelashes on the eye, and this will be visible to the human eye as it appears as a white area.
Even when you have all the posts in place for great eyes, you are still facing other health problems that may be more concerning than eyes. My rule of thumb was and still is, if a pup requires eye tacking, it is done, and if it does not then it is not done, but the bottom line here is health should never be sacrificed for good eyes, a good breeding program requires all concerns to be monitored and if I had to choose tacking eyes over fevers, amyloidosis, cancers and allergies, then that would be my decision, as is all breeding decisions amongst breeders. Any decisions on puppy or dog owners to pursue entropion surgery should always be discussed with an experienced breeder, all surgeries and consultation should be discussed with an experienced veterinarian, that is familiar with this breed and this disorder.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS DISORDER, PLEASE SEE YOUR VETERINARIAN. Where to find more information?
What is ectropion? - Ectropion is a defect of conformation in which there is a sagging or rolling-out (eversion) of the eyelids. This results in abnormal exposure of the eye, which often leads to irritation.
How is ectropion inherited?- It is likely that ectropion is influenced by several genes (polygenic inheritance) that affect the skin and other structures that make up the eyelids, and that affect the way the skin covers the face and head.
What breeds are affected by ectropion? -Ectropion is most commonly seen in dogs with exaggerated facial features where it is often a breed characteristic. It is found in the Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Boxer, Bulldog, Clumber Spaniel, English and American Cocker Spaniel, Gordon Setter, Labrador Retriever, Springer Spaniel, and Shih Tzu. Ectropion is also common in giant breeds such as the Great Dane, Mastiff, Saint Bernard, Newfoundland, and Great Pyrenees In these breeds the central lower lid is often ectropic while the lid at the corners of the eye is entropic.
For many breeds and many disorders, the studies to determine the mode of inheritance or the frequency in the breed have not been carried out, or are inconclusive. We have listed breeds for which there is a consensus among those investigating in this field and among veterinary practitioners, that the condition is significant in this breed.
What does ectropion mean to your dog & you? - Because of increased exposure of the eye, dogs with ectropion are prone to develop allergic or bacterial the surface of the eye and lines the eyelids. Affected dogs may develop keratoconjunctivitis sicca because of reduced efficiency at wetting and cleaning the cornea.
Dogs who have had surgical correction for a defect such as ectropion are prohibited from exhibition in the show ring.
How is ectropion diagnosed? - In addition to the sagging of the eyelids, dogs with ectropion commonly have a mucopurulent discharge in the eye, reddening of the exposed conjunctiva, and decreased tear production. To check the latter, your veterinarian will do a Schirmer tear test.
How is ectropion treated? With mild ectropion, no treatment may be necessary. If secondary problems such as conjunctivitis develop, these are treated as required. More severe ectropion can lead to chronic problems associated with eye irritation. In these cases, surgery is performed to remove a small wedge of tissue from the margin of the eyelid.
Breeding advice - Ectropion is one of the eye conditions that is a result of selection by breeders and a demand by the public for such features as excessively prominent eyes and heavy facial folds. A responsible breeding programme will choose animals for breeding with a more normal head conformation, so as to select away from these exaggerated facial features and the problems associated with them.