head, neck and body are superabundant in puppies but these features may be limited to the head, neck and withers in the adult.” In this section, one of the distinctive characteristics mentioned is the well-pro- portioned head, slightly but not overly large for the body. Judges sometimes get confused by the reference to the “hippopotamus” muzzle shape and perhaps take this refer- ence literally in looking for a head that is not well –proportioned and appears too large for the body. Th e Chinese Shar-Pei should have a broad and full muzzle with no suggestion of snippiness. Th e length from nose to stop is approximately the same as from stop to occiput. Th e stop is moderate and the skull is flat and broad. It is important that the
head is proudly carried and covered with wrinkles on the forehead that continue into the side, framing the face. Th e wrinkling on the headpiece along with small, tightly set triangular-shaped ears, abundant dewlap and dark, deeply set, almond-shaped eyes contribute to the classic scowling expression. (Dilute colored dogs may have a lighter eye.) Regarding overall wrinkling, it is important to note that the while loose skin and wrinkles may be superabundant in puppies; they are often limited to the head, neck and withers in the adult. A judge could certainly penalize an entry with a lack of visible wrinkling in those areas, but an adult should not be penalized for having more wrinkling than others in the
entry, as long as the skin and coat appear healthy and the dog has a balanced look. Another defining breed characteris- tic mentioned in the general appearance paragraph is the short, harsh coat. In addi- tion to checking the coat length (a coat in excess of 1" at withers, or a coat that has been trimmed is a major fault,) a judge must evaluate the coat’s texture. Breed- ers are pleased when producing dogs with extremely harsh coats. Th e name Shar-Pei loosely translates to sand-skin and refers to the sand-paper-like coat. It is recommended that the judge run his or her hand from the rear forward to the withers after com- pleting the individual examination. Soft coats and wavy coats are also major faults.
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