Today the Shar Pei is
known for its distinct loose wrinkled skin covered with a short bristly coat,
it’s name translating to “sand skin”. The Chinese Shar Pei is devoted to its
family and can be a protective watchdog and loyal best friend. A member of the
AKC Non-Sporting Group since 1992, Shar Pei’s enjoy mental and physical
stimulation from participating in obedience, tracking, agility and rally.
Much of China’s long history is shrouded in mystery and was
protected from outside influences allowing for its own unique culture to
develop. This isolated culture is apparent in Chinese dog breeds. The Chinese
Shar Pei is one member of this ancient clan of distinctive dogs. Shar Pei’s
date back over 2000 years to the Han Dynasty where they began as peasants’ dogs
that served many purposes including: hunting, herding, and safeguarding
livestock. It is believed the intelligent, loyal guardians became protectors of
the palace and imperial family as evidenced by statues strongly resembling the
Shar Pei dating back to 200 B.C. and manuscripts that write of “wrinkled dogs”.