shar pei infront of trees

The Shar Pei: thinking of getting a Shar Pei? reading-time-icon 2 min read

Stubborn, intelligent and powerful, Shar Peis make for incredibly loyal and devoted pets – although they do need firm instruction.

Let’s take a closer look at the Shar Pei.

Place of origin: Canton, China

How big do Shar Peis get? 46 – 51cm

How heavy are Shar Peis? 18 – 30kg

Life Expectancy: 9 – 11 years

Types of Shar Pei: Horse-, Brush- & Bear-coat

Colour: Black, Lilac, Fawn, Cream, Sand, Red


Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does a Shar Pei need?

Shar Peis aren’t very demanding when it comes to exercise. 2 brisk walks a day should suffice.

Shar Peis are intelligent and can become destructive if not properly stimulated, so although they aren’t major athletes, it’s important to maintain their twice-daily walks to keep their minds and bodies active.

Training: how to train a Shar Pei

Shar Peis respond well enough to training, but they’re naturally wary and suspicious dogs. You’ll need to earn their respect!

Shar Peis aren’t always big fans of other dogs. Aim to socialise them as much as possible when they’re young: take them everywhere you go, familiarising them with lots of sights, sounds, smells, people and pets.

With enough determination and positive reinforcement, you’ll find that Shar Peis like to please their owners, and that they can respond very well to training.

shar pei on grass

Grooming: do Shar Peis shed?

A Shar Pei’s coat will need a great deal of care. They’re characterised by their wrinkled coats, but these wrinkles/skin folds can lead to skin problems if not properly cared for. Skin problems can be a major, lifelong issue which is both expensive and time consuming to manage. To keep your Shar Pei’s coat in tip-top condition, you’ll need to clean the folds of skin regularly and make sure they stay dry at all times.

Brush your Shar Pei every week or so and treat them to a bath every once in a while – especially if they’ve rolled through something smelly.

Complete your Shar Pei’s grooming routine with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks.

Shar Pei temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Shar Peis are typically very loyal and loving towards those they know well, but suspicious and stand-offish of those they don’t.

They’re ideally suited to quiet households with no children or other pets, but this isn’t the be all and end all. If you introduce a young Shar Pei to a household with existing pets and children, they’ll learn to get along pretty quickly. The trick is to be wary of strangers.

Because their exercise needs are fairly modest, Shar Peis are suited to life in a flat/apartment or urbanised area.

If you’re looking for a loyal companion who’ll gladly spend all of their time with you and only you, a Shar Pei may be just the breed for you!

Cost of owning a Shar Pei

When considering the lifetime cost of owning a Shar Pei, remember to take into account:

As a rough guide, allow £100 to £150 a month for the ongoing costs of Shar Pei ownership.

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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