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Chinese Shar-Pei |China|

Chinese Shar-Pei |China|

There is no mistaking the distinctive furrowed brow of the lovely Shar-Pei, whose frown, according to folklore, was enough to ward off evil spirits. These calm and dignified dogs were originally bred as all-purpose farm dogs to herd and guard livestock, to hunt, track, and protect the home. Today they are mostly found as companion animals and make a wonderful addition to the family. Shar-Peis are often aloof with strangers but fiercely loyal and protective of their families, and they will get along with other pets and children if correctly introduced. They are affectionate in nature, plucky in spirit, and love a good game, a romp, or an agility circuit.

History

The Shar-Pei is an ancient breed tracing back to at least the Chinese Han period, 206 BCE–220 CE, and they are depicted on pottery from this period. They may be related to the Chow Chow and share many similarities with the Tibetan Mastiff. Historically, they were used for farming and fighting, with the village of Tai Leh in southern China famous for its dog fights; the Shar-Pei is often said to have developed there. The breed was almost destroyed in 1911 during the Communist Revolution and again in 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was established and dogs were deemed an unnecessary luxury, leading to their mass extermination. Some were smuggled out of the country to Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan in the 1960s, and during the same period, a few Shar-Pei were imported to the United States. In 1978 Guinness World Records recorded the breed as the rarest dog breed in the world. Breed numbers have since increased, and the Shar-Pei is now enthusiastically supported in the United States, England, and across much of the world.

Shar-Pei puppies grow into their wrinkles as they mature.

Chinese Shar-Pei |China| Chinese Shar-Pei |China| Chinese Shar-Pei |China| Chinese Shar-Pei |China| Chinese Shar-Pei |China|
From Dogs Unleashed, Copyright by Tamsin Pickeral, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with Thunder Bay Press

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