Shar-Pei: Advantages and Disadvantages

by Lisa

The Shar-Pei, with its distinctive wrinkled skin and ancient Chinese origins, is a breed that has captured the hearts of many dog enthusiasts worldwide. Known for their loyal and protective nature, these dogs have become increasingly popular as family pets. However, like any breed, Shar-Peis come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages that potential owners should carefully consider. In this article, we will explore the key characteristics and traits of Shar-Peis, shedding light on both the positive and negative aspects of sharing your life with this unique breed.

Advantages of Owning a Shar-Pei

Loyalty and Bonding


One of the most endearing qualities of Shar-Peis is their unwavering loyalty and deep bonding with their owners. These dogs often form strong attachments to their human companions, making them ideal family pets. Their affectionate nature and desire to protect their loved ones create a sense of security and companionship that many owners cherish.


Low Maintenance Coat


The distinctive wrinkled appearance of Shar-Pei skin sets them apart from other breeds. While their skin requires regular cleaning to prevent skin-fold dermatitis, the breed boasts a relatively low-maintenance coat. Shar-Peis have a short, bristly coat that sheds minimally. This means less fur around the house and fewer allergy concerns for those with sensitivities to pet dander.


Moderate Exercise Needs

For individuals or families with busy lifestyles, the moderate exercise needs of Shar-Peis can be a significant advantage. These dogs are not overly demanding in terms of physical activity and can thrive with daily walks and playtime in the yard. This characteristic makes them suitable for urban living as well as homes with smaller outdoor spaces.

Protective Instincts

Shar-Peis are known for their protective instincts, which can be a valuable asset for those seeking a watchdog or guard dog. They are naturally wary of strangers and will alert their owners to any potential threats. However, proper training and socialization are essential to ensure that this protective instinct doesn’t lead to aggressive behavior.


Shar-Peis are adaptable dogs that can thrive in various living situations. They can adapt to apartment living as long as their exercise needs are met, and they receive enough mental stimulation. Their calm and composed demeanor makes them well-suited for households with older adults or families with children.

Disadvantages of Owning a Shar-Pei

Skin Issues

The most well-known feature of the Shar-Pei breed—their wrinkled skin—can also be a source of health concerns. The folds in their skin can trap moisture and debris, leading to skin infections and irritations. Owners must be diligent in cleaning and drying their Shar-Pei’s skin to prevent dermatological issues. Additionally, some Shar-Peis may develop a hereditary condition known as “Shar-Pei fever,” which can cause periodic fever episodes and joint pain.

Pronounced Temperament

While the loyalty and protectiveness of Shar-Peis can be a pro, it can also be a con in certain situations. Their protective nature can lead to aggressive behavior if not properly managed through training and socialization. Shar-Peis can be wary of strangers, which can result in unpredictable reactions if not addressed early in their development.

Grooming Challenges

Despite their low-maintenance coat, Shar-Peis have specific grooming needs that can be challenging for some owners. The folds in their skin require regular cleaning to prevent infections, and their ears should be cleaned to prevent ear infections. Additionally, their eyes may be prone to entropion, a condition where the eyelids roll inward, causing discomfort and potential eye issues.


Shar-Peis are known for their independent and sometimes stubborn nature. This can make training a bit more challenging compared to more eager-to-please breeds. Owners need patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement techniques when training a Shar-Pei to ensure they respond well to commands.

Limited Socialization

Shar-Peis tend to be selective in their social interactions, and they may not always get along with other dogs or animals. This can be a disadvantage for households with multiple pets or for those who frequent dog parks. Early socialization is crucial to ensure a Shar-Pei is well-adjusted and can coexist peacefully with other animals.

Health Considerations

In addition to the breed-specific advantages and disadvantages, it’s essential to be aware of some common health concerns that Shar-Peis may face. These include:

Hip Dysplasia: Shar-Peis are prone to hip dysplasia, a condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop correctly. This can lead to pain and mobility issues, particularly in older dogs.

Respiratory Issues: The breed’s flat face and wrinkled skin can contribute to brachycephalic syndrome, which may result in breathing difficulties, especially in hot weather.

Eye Problems: As mentioned earlier, Shar-Peis can be prone to eye issues like entropion and other conditions that require veterinary attention.

Obesity: Due to their calm nature, Shar-Peis may be prone to obesity if not provided with a balanced diet and regular exercise.


Owning a Shar-Pei can be a rewarding experience for the right individual or family, but it comes with both advantages and disadvantages. The breed’s loyalty, low-maintenance coat, and protective instincts are appealing qualities that make them excellent companions and potential watchdogs. However, their skin issues, pronounced temperament, grooming requirements, stubbornness, and limited socialization can pose challenges for some owners.


You may also like


IDOGWO OFWOOF is a comprehensive dog dog portal. The main columns include dog training、dog grooming、keep a dog、feed the dog、dog knowledge etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

© 2023 Copyright