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CHINESE SHAR-PEI

Life span: 9-11 Years

Height: 46-51cm (Male); 46-51cm (Female)

Weight: 25-30kg (Male); 18-25kg (Female)

Chinese Shar Pei is dog breed which has deep wrinkles with blue-black tongue. They are not hypoallergenic dog breeds. By the name, the breed originated from China. These dog breeds are loving, affectionate, devoted, independent dogs. The deep wrinkles make them look like toys.

Physical Characteristics

Their relatively large bodies are covered in skin wrinkles, and they tend to have a blue-black tongue, similar to the Chow Chow. Its ears are small and bend down, and its tail curls over its body. Their eyes are brown with a black nose. Their coats can be either bear-coat, which is rare and not accepted in show dogs; brush-coat, which is made up of longer and softer hair; and the horse-coat, which is rough and prickly. Shar-peis can only be in solid colors, which can be black, brown, light brown, red, and cream colored.

History

Originating in China, these dogs are believed to have the Chow Chows in their ancestry, due mostly to their black-blue tongue and the bear-coat variation. Their history dates back to 206 B.C, when they were used as hunters, herders, and to guard both the home and the livestock. Many believed they could ward off evil spirits. Due to them almost becoming extinct in 1992, the American Kennel Club accepted them, leading to them gaining popularity.

Personality

This breed is smart, loyal, and playful. They do well with children and other household pets, even though they would rather spend time with humans than with other dogs, establishing a dominant relationship with the latter. They are calm tempered and good watchdogs, given their protective nature towards their owners. Housetraining them is easy, but training in itself might be difficult, unless the owner establishes dominance and lets the dog know they are the primary handler. Commands by other family members need to be told firmly and with confidence, especially since they don’t come directly from the primary handler, or the dog might decide not to follow them.

Health

Shar-peis can suffer from many diseases, some of which are:

Cancer, noticeable through unusually swollen bumps, bleeding from any orifices, or sores that do not heal, along with difficulty breathing.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.

Demodectic Mange, or demodicosis, a disorder in which mites (which would otherwise be harmless), passed from the mother to the puppies with weak immune systems, cause hair loss and red, scaly skin. This disease usually passes on its own, but should be checked by a professional in any case.

Entropion, which affects both lower eyelids, is an inward rolling of the eyelid and is treated through various surgeries to prevent ectropion (a rolling out of the eyelid).

Glaucoma, which causes pressure to build up in the eye and may lead to blindness or cause severe harm in just a few hours. Symptoms can include squinting, red eyes, tearing, eye rubbing, etc. It must be treated as soon as possible.

Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.

Hypothyroidism, a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.

Luxating Patella, in which the kneecaps may dislocate or move from its proper place.

Osteochondritis Dissecans, in which the cartilage does not grow properly in the joints, causing pain and stiffness. It is usually seen on the elbows and shoulders.

Cutaneous Mucinosis, in which Mucin, a substance in the skin causing wrinkles, is excessive in a dog’s skin, causing clear bubbles that may burst and ooze.

Pyoderma, a bacterial skin infection that may or may not be caused by a previous condition, such as hypothyroidism.

Seborrhea, usually derived from allergies, infections or other skin conditions. It can be recognized through a fetid smell and flaky skin.

Swollen hock syndrome, in which one or both hock joints swell, causing pain, not wanting to move, diarrhea, vomiting, shallow breathing and high fevers.

Care

This breed needs monthly bathing, and their nails trimmed weekly, as well as their ears cleaned and teeth brushed. Their activity level depends on their owner, they can be highly active if the owner is so, or barely active. Training may be difficult, since this breed tends to be stubborn and attempt to do things you might not like, but with positive reinforcement, love, and patience, it can be achieved. Early socialization is especially important with this breed.

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