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Miniature Shar-Pei

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The Miniature Shar-Pei shall be short, broad, almost square in proportion of body length to height. The most notable characteristic is the abundant, tight wrinkling about the head and body. The head should be slightly large in proportion to the body. Eyes should be dark, clear, and almond shaped being neither sunken nor protruding. In dilute dogs, the eye color may be slightly lighter. Eye tacks will not be allowed in the ring. Ears should be small, triangular, thick, lying close to the head and preferably curled back at the edge. They should set wide apart and forward on the skull and angle toward the eye. They may show a slight degree of mobility. Prick ears are a disqualification. The skull should be flat and broad with a moderate stop, with the plane of the forehead and top of the muzzle parallel. The muzzle should have adequate bone with enough padding to give a square appearance to the head with no hint of snipiness. The flews should be slightly flared. The nose is large and wide and may be darkly pigmented or conform to the general coat color of the dog. On lighter colored dogs, a brick nose is acceptable. Tongue and inside of the mouth is preferably bluish-black. The tongue may lighten somewhat due to heat stress. Teeth - a scissor bite is preferred. Deviation is a fault. The neck is of medium length, muscular, set well into the shoulders with abundant dewlap. Topline dips slightly behind the withers and rises somewhat over the loin. The chest is broad, deep, with the brisket extending to the elbow, rising somewhat under the loin. The Croup curves slightly downward to the high set tail. The tail is thick at the base tapering to a point and should curl. Tail carriage should be up and over the back. The absence of a complete tail is a disqualifying fault. The shoulders are muscular, sloping and well laid back. Forelegs when viewed from the front should be straight, moderately spaced with elbows close to the body. Viewed from the side, the forelegs are straight with adequate bone, the pasterns strong and flexible. The feet are proportionate to size. Removal of front dewclaws is preferred. Thighs are muscular, full and well defined with moderate angulation. The well let down hocks are short and perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other when viewed from the rear. Rear dewclaws must be removed. The acceptable coat length may be short horse coat up to a brush length not to exceed 1 inch at the back of the neck. Texture may range from moderately harsh to soft without being wavy or excessively thick. Only solid colors are acceptable. A solid color dog may have darker shading down the back and on the ears or darker hairs throughout the coat as in the sable. Not a solid color is a disqualifying fault. The gait is balanced and free flowing. Both front and rear legs should tend to converge on a center line with strong forward reach and rear drive.


The Miniature Shar-Pei should be alert, confident, playful, adaptable, affectionate, easily trained and inherently clean and quiet. The Mini Shar-Pei is very loyal to hishandler. Intelligent playful, active, dominant, and brave. They bond with their family, but are notunfriendly toward strangers. If the dog meets cats and children while it isstill young, it usually will not have a problem with them. The Miniature Shar-Peihas a frowning expression, but is surprisingly easy-going, calm, independent,and devoted. They make a delightful companion and good watchdogs. The Miniature Shar-Peineeds a confident handler. If you are uncertain, inconsistent, too soft,or mild, in the dog's eyes, it will take over as the boss. Shar-Pei needa firm, but gentle, extremely consistent authority figure. The dog must be taught all humans are above him in the pecking order. Those who see themselves as above humans will be stubborn and bold. This breed needs firm obedience training to establish your leadership. They may refusecommands from family members who have not established leadership over them. Theyneed an owner who as the ability to be "Top Dog".Miniature Shar-Pei generallyhate water and try as hard as they can to avoid it. Mixing other dogs can sometimes be a problem if one of the dogs is displaying dominant behaviors. Socialization is important. SomeMiniature Shar-Pei are less dominant then others. The dogs temperament depends on how the owner treats the dog. Dogs who are allowed to believe they are the boss over humans will developed behavior issues. Dogs who are not taken for daily pack walks will also begin to display a varying degree of issues. A lot of this breeds health issues depends on the lines it comes from. Good Shar-Pei lines will not have skin problems, which is a hereditary condition. 

Height, Weight

Height:  17 inches and under (43 cm.)
25-40 pounds (11-18 kg.)

Health Problems

Fevers of unknown origin or swollenhocks syndrome may be the early stages of amolydosis (kidney failure). Onemisconception is that the Miniature Shar-Pei have skin problems due to their wrinkles. Yessome Miniature Shar-Pei have skin problems, but it is not because the dog has wrinkles,but rather a hereditary condition. Due to over popularity in the 1980's, someShar-Pei do have hereditary skin problems. However if you buy from a reputablebreeder, this condition should not be a problem. Be sure to find a breeder whostrives for healthy dogs.

Living Conditions

The Miniature Shar-Pei will do okay inan apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is moderately active indoorsand will do okay without a yard. Because of their padded head, the Miniature Shar-Pei isvery sensitive to heat. Shade and water must always be available. Provided theyget enough exercise, they will be very peaceful indoors.


The Miniature Chinese Shar-Pei have aconsiderable need for exercise, which include a dailywalk. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as instinct tells a dog that the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Do not over exercise them in the heat, as they aresensitive to it.

Life Expectancy

Up to 10 years.


The Miniature Shar-Pei should be brushedregularly. Their coat is never trimmed. This breed does not have an undercoat.The "bush" coat sheds a little year round, but the "horse"coat tends to shed only during molting periods. Molting may leave the doglooking unkempt. Bathing about once a week and brushing the coat daily duringthis period will remove the old dead hair and allow the new coat to grow in.Some owners are allergic to the harsh coat.


The Miniature Shar-Pei is being developed as a downsized version of the Shar-Pei. It is a purebred Shar-Pei and the miniatures size comes from a recessive gene that these dogs carry in their DNA. The hope by breeders is that by selective breeding the recessive gene will soon become dominant in the breed. The Mini Shar-Pei is recognized by the AKC as a Shar-Pei, however the size of this dog is not recognized by them and is considered a fault in the show ring. The ancestry of the Shar-Pei isuncertain. It may be a descendant of the Chow Chow, however, the only clear linkbetween these are the purple tongue. However, pictures on pottery suggest thebreed was present even in the Han Dynasty (206bc). For many years the Shar-Peiwas kept as a general-purpose farm dog in the Chinese countryside, used forhunting, protecting stock, and guarding the home and family. During that timethe Shar-Pei was breed for intelligence, strength and scowling face. Later, itwas used in dog fighting. The loose skin and extremely prickly coat weredeveloped to aid the dog in fighting, making the Shar-Pei difficult for theopponent to grab and hold on to. During the Communist Revolution, dogs wererescued by a Hong Kong business man named Matgo Law, who appealed to Americansin 1973 though a dog magazine to save the breed. From those few specimens, theShar-Pei fancy has grown tremendously over the past decades. Now the Shar-Pei isin the Non-Sporting Group of the AKC with over 70,000 dogs registered asfoundation stock. When first introduced, Shar-Pei were astronomically expensive.Now they cost about the same as any other purebred dog.


Southern, AKC Non-Sporting



Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei

Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei
Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei
Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei
Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei
Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei
Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei
Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei
Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei
Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei
Pictures of Miniature Shar-Pei