Breed Standard effective January 1,
2006 as approved by the CKC.
Origin and Purpose
It is generally
accepted that the Chinese Shar-Pei originated during the Han Dynasty
(202 BC-220 AD) in the village of Dah-Let near the South China Sea.
These dogs were all purpose working dogs to guard the family, farms and
An alert, dignified, active, compact dog of medium size and substance,
square in profile, close-coupled, the well proportioned head slightly
but not overly large for the body. The short, harsh coat, the loose skin
covering the head and body, the small ears, the "hippopotamus" muzzle
shape and the high set tail impart to the Shar-Pei a unique look
peculiar to him alone. The loose skin and wrinkles covering the head,
neck and body are superabundant in puppies but these features may be
limited to the head, neck and withers in the adult.
Regal, alert, intelligent, dignified, lordly, scowling, sober and
snobbish, essentially independent and somewhat standoffish with
strangers, but extreme in his devotion to his family. The Shar-Pei
stands firmly on the ground with a calm, confident stature.
Size, Proportion, Substance
The height is 18 to 20 inches (45-50 cm) at the withers. The weight is
40 to 60 pounds (18-27 kg). The dog is usually larger and more square
bodied than the bitch but both appear well proportioned. Proportion: The
height of the Shar-Pei from the ground to the withers is approximately
equal to the length from the point of breast-bone to the point of rump.
Coat and Colour
Coat: The extremely harsh coat is one of the distinguishing
features of the breed. The coat is absolutely straight and offstanding
on the main trunk of the body but generally lies somewhat flatter on the
limbs. The coat appears healthy without being shiny or lustrous.
Acceptable coat lengths may range from extremely short "horse coat" up
to the "brush coat", not to exceed one inch in length at the withers. A
soft coat, a wavy coat, a coat in excess of 1" (2.5cm) in length at the
withers or a coat that has been trimmed is a major fault. One coat type
is not to be preferred over the other. The Shar-Pei is shown in its
Colour: Only solid colours and sable are acceptable and are to be
judged on equal basis. A solid coloured dog may have shading, primarily
darker down the back and on the ears. The shading must be variations of
the same body colour (except in sables) and may include darker hairs
throughout the coat. A pigmented dog may have a darker mask on the face.
Large, slightly but
not overly, proudly carried and covered with profuse wrinkles on the
forehead continuing into side wrinkles framing the face.
Eyes Dark, small, almond-shaped and deep set, displaying a scowling
expression. In the dilute coloured dogs the eye colour may be lighter.
Ears Extremely small rather thick, equilateral triangles in shape,
slightly rounded at the tips, edges of the ear may curl. Ears lie flat
against the head, are set wide apart and forward on the skull, pointing
toward the eyes. The ears have the ability to move. Skull - Flat and
broad, the stop moderately defined. Muzzle - One of the distinct
features of the breed. It is broad and full with no suggestion of
snipiness. The length from nose to stop is approximately the same as
from stop to occiput. Nose Large and wide and darkly pigmented,
preferably black but any colour nose comforming to the general coat
colour of the dog is acceptable. In dilute colours, the preferred nose
is self-coloured. Darkly pigmented cream Shar-Pei may have some light
pigment either in the centre of their noses or on their entire nose. The
lips and top of muzzle are well padded and may cause a slight bulge at
the base of the nose. Tongue, Roof of Mouth, Gums and Flews Solid
bluish-black is preferred in all coat colours except in dilute colours,
which have a solid lavender pigmentation. A spotted tongue is a major
fault. A solid pink tongue is a disqualification (Tongue colors may
lighten due to heal stress; care must be taken not to confuse dilute
pigmentation with a pink tongue).
Strong, meeting in a scissors bite. Deviation from a scissors bite is a
Medium length, full and set well into the shoulders. There are moderate
to heavy folds of loose skin and abundant dewlap about the neck and
Shoulders - Muscular, well laid back and sloping. Forelegs - When viewed
from the front, straight, moderately spaced, with elbows close to the
body. When viewed from the side, the forelegs are straight, the pasterns
are strong and flexible. The bone is substantial but never heavy and is
of moderate length. Removal of front dewclaws is optional. Feet -
Moderate in size, compact and firmly set, not splayed.
Topline The topline dips slightly behind the withers, slightly rising
over the short, broad loin. Chest - Broad and deep with the brisket
extending to the elbow and rising slightly under the loin. A level,
roached or swayed topline shall be faulted. Back - Short and
close-coupled. Croup - Flat, with the base of the tail set extremely
high, clearly exposing an uptilted anus.
Muscular, strong, and moderately angulated. The metatarsi (hocks) are
short, perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other when
viewed from the rear. Hind dewclaws must be removed. Feet as in front.
Tail - The high set tail is a characteristic feature of the Shar-Pei. A
low tail shall be faulted. The tail is thick and round at the base,
tapering to a fine point and curling over to either side of the back.
The absence of a complete tail is a disqualification.
The movement of the Shar-Pei is to be judged at a trot. The gait is free
and balanced with the feet tending to converge on a centre line of
gravity when the dog moves at a vigorous trot. The gait combines good
forward reach and a strong drive in the hindquarters. Proper movement is
Deviation from a
A soft coat, a
wavy coat, a coat in excess of 1" (2.5 cm) in length at the withers
or a coat that has been trimmed.
Absence of a
Not a solid
colour, i.e. Albino; Brindle; Parti-coloured (patches); spotted
(including spots, ticked or roaning); Tan-Pointed Pattern (including
typical black and tan or saddled patterns or shading that has a
defined pattern i.e. distinct butterfly pattern on the chest).
Chinese Shar-Pei Club of Canada's WebMaster