Shar-Peis are very willful, independent and protective animals. They are devoted to their owner but can be distrustful of people they do not know. They are excellent guard dogs but should be trained and socialized at an early age to prevent problems.
The Shar-Pei was bred to guard, hunt, herd and fight. Aggressiveness toward other dogs and strangers can be a problem. The natural tendencies of the dog must be curbed by the owner so the dog does not overreact. The Shar-Pei can be difficult to train and requires a firm, consistent and kind trainer.
Standing 18 to 20 inches tall and weighing between 45 and 60 pounds, the Shar-Pei is compact and sturdy. Shar-Peis are quiet dogs that don't normally bark unless they feel threatened. The dog has masses of loose, wrinkly skin all over the body. The breed has tiny ears, a large, powerful head with a short muzzle and a tail that curls over the back.
The Shar-Pei originated in China. After the creation of the People's Republic of China, the breed's numbers were drastically reduced, and a small number were brought to the United States for protection. The breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous Class in 1988.