THE MANY COLORS OF THE CHINESE SHAR-PEI
by IRIS GONZALEZ
A s I sit ringside for the 2018 Chinese Shar-Pei nationals, with the familiar smell of coffee in hand, and the feel- ing of excitement that only seeing such a large collection of Shar-Pei from across the country can bring. I watch and wait in hopes that this year may be a little different than others, I am not talking about the judges or who the win- ners will be but only the hope to see more vari- ety of dogs being exhibited this year. Shar-Pei are acceptable in any color, every color, but even at the nationals, the variety is limited, a long-term effect of personal tastes, rumors, and misguided breeding. A series of small decisions which over generations of the breeding, now active in the US since 1979, has become a sea of fawn dogs, with an occasional “odd man out” dilute in the ring. I began this article thinking of all the ways I could share my love and affection for the color dogs. As I began to contemplate how I could explain my frustration for the lack of color in the ring, I came to wonder how we ended up here, was it the irresponsible breeders who bred only for color, creating a gene pool we feel is lesser than the show bred dogs, or was it the show breeders who allowed the color dogs to leave their breeding program so they would not be thought of as a “color breeder”. It is no secret that I love all the colors of the Shar-Pei, and so I realized that perhaps the best way was to show my appreciation of all the colors of the Shar- Pei and hope more will learn to appreciate them as well. CREAM DILUTE Striking and bright, with its own subset of shades, from a tinge of blue to an almost gold shade, its pigment can also vary from clear to lavender. APRICOT DILUTE I think of it as a dilute fawn, the pigment can be either chocolate dilution or a clear pigment. FIVE POINT RED DILUTE A dilute red, beautiful and elegant, a red car- rying a chocolate dilution, is big crowd favorite in the Shar-Pei community, although not seen as often as its counterpart in Red.
Winners Pic Photo by Tammie
Five Point Red Dilute (left), Red (middle), Apricot Dilute (right)
288 • S how S ight M agazine , F ebruary 2019
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