be harsh like sand. Th ese were the origi- nal Shar-Pei. Th e other acceptable coat, the “brush coat”, while not as short as the “horse coat”, can be up to one inch in length at the withers. It should also have a harsh texture. Another of the unique features of our breed is their natural instinct to keep themselves and their living area clean. Most puppies will housebreak themselves by 8 weeks of age. Th ey don’t like soiling the area that they live in. Many go to the furthermost corner of the yard to do their business. Often when you get a new puppy, it takes them a few days to get used to the new home, but after 3-4 days of adjust- ment, they should be asking you to go out- side at the correct door. Th ey make great family dogs but you should understand that they are guard dogs. Th ey are 100% devoted to their families and live to be with the family members and to protect them. I have seen the hair on a Shar-Pei stand on end when a stranger got out of a car to ask “his” kids playing in the yard where someone lived. Th ey become on full alert if they sense that someone is up to no good. A lady used to take her Shar-Pei with her to make her bank deposits at the drop o ff box at night. One night her dog started barking like crazy as she was pulling up to the drive thru. Next thing she knows, the dog has jumped out of the car and is attacking something in the bushes. Th ere was a robber with a gun that was wait- ing to rob her. Th ey have an uncanny sense of knowing when things are not right. Most of the breed love children and naturally become their guardian and protectors. Th is breed does not do well being left alone all day and night. Th ey require human companionship to thrive. You can be sure that as soon as you leave the house, they are waiting and alert for your return. Shar-Pei are full of energy as puppies, but as they grown up and mature they set- tle down to be a pretty calm dog. If you are looking for a lap dog, I’d advise you to look at another breed. Even though this breed is extremely devoted to their family, they require a little bit of sep- aration or independence from the owner
as well. Th ey may sit in your lap for a short time just to please you but they had much rather be at your feet. Th ey often like to sleep where they have the best view of all the activities in the house. If every- one is settled in and busy in the den, they are happy to stay in the den to watch over the family. However if a member is away from the house, then they like to sleep and rest where they can keep a watch over the people in the house as well and watch the doors for the arrival of those that are not there. Th ey are vigilant in watching over their families. Shar-Pei can be quick to learn but they also are very independent. Owners need to let them know who the boss is early on. If the owner doesn’t establish themselves in the leadership role, then the Shar-Pei surely will. Th ey are very trainable but you should also expect that from time to time they may also be stubborn as well. Th ey do well in obedience, rally and agility. Th ey also make great therapy and R.E.A.D dogs. All puppies benefit with early socialization and puppy kindergarten classes as well as obedience classes. Th ere are some Shar-Pei that do lure coursing, tracking, herding, fly ball and canine freestyle dance. As you can see they can participate in a variety of things. You may have seen them in com- mercials as well. Th ey are often used in commercials and advertising because of the ease of working with them. Shar-Pei come in a variety of colors including dilutes. Almost any solid color is acceptable as well as sable. Several dif- ferent colors of puppies can be born in the same litter as well as both coat types. Th ey should have a solid black tongue and mouth including the gums, flew and roof. In the case of dilutes, those areas in the mouth will be a lighter lavender color. Some other unique features to the look of the breed are the triangular shaped ears pointing towards the eyes, a tail that curves over the back and the dip in the top-line just behind the withers. Just a word of cau- tion when buying a Shar-Pei—do not fall for the scams of paying an exorbitant price for a “rare color”. Th ere is no such thing as a rare color. Although Shar-Pei don’t require much in the area of grooming, they do need
an occasional bath. Th ey also need their nails trimmed and their ears cleaned weekly. Th e breed sheds about twice a year with the changes of the seasons. In our breed we call that “blowing their coat”. Other than that, they are a wash and wear breed. Shar-Pei are great family dogs and should work out in most families. Once people have owned their first one, they usually never get any other breed. If you would like more information about our breed you can find it on our website at: www.cspca.com. A Sample of Working Shar-Pei: Flyball, Tracking, Agility, Therapy, R.E.A.D., Service, Herding, Lure Coarsing, Freestyle Dancing, Obedience, Modeling and Rally.
BIO Alice Fix is a gradu- ate of Texas A & M University and has owned Shar-Pei for 28 years. She has written articles that have been
published in over 110 dog club and organi- zation magazines as well as cat, rabbit and horsemanship magazines. Currently she is a Director-at-Large for the Chinese Shar- Pei Club of America, Co-Chairman of the Public Education Committee, Chairman of the CSPCA A ffi liated Club Presidents Group, President of the Centennial Chi- nese Shar-Pei Club in Colorado, Editor for Th e Barker magazine and serves on the CSPCA Health Testing Committee. Alice resides in Aurora, Colorado with her Shar-Pei.
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