Are Shar-Pei Dogs Expensive? The Truth Revealed

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Shar-Pei dogs are an ancient breed originating from China, known for their distinctive loose, wrinkled skin, and friendly nature. As unique and eye-catching as they are, potential owners often wonder if the cost of owning a Shar-Pei is equally as noteworthy.

In this article, we will explore the expenses associated with purchasing and raising a Shar-Pei to determine if they are an expensive breed choice.

The initial cost of a Shar-Pei puppy can vary greatly depending on factors such as pedigree, breeder reputation, and location. Generally, one can expect to pay between $800 and $2,500 for a Shar-Pei puppy.

While the price tag can seem steep, the investment includes the extensive care required during the early stages of the dog’s life, such as vaccinations, deworming, and thorough health checks.

After the initial purchase, there are ongoing expenses to consider, such as food, grooming, training, and potential health issues specific to the breed. Shar-Pei dogs are prone to certain health conditions that may require proactive care and regular veterinary check-ups.

By understanding the costs associated with owning a Shar-Pei, potential owners can make an informed decision on whether this unique breed is worth the investment.

Understanding the Shar-Pei Breed

The Shar-Pei, also known as Chinese Shar-Pei, is a unique dog breed with a rich history. The breed first originated in China, where it was primarily used as a guard dog.

These medium-sized dogs are known for their wrinkled skin, which gives them a distinctive and instantly recognizable appearance.

One of the most striking features of the Shar-Pei is their tightly packed wrinkles, particularly on their forehead and muzzle. In fact, the name “Shar-Pei” means “sand skin” in Chinese, referring to the rough feel of their coat.

The breed’s coat can come in various colors, such as black, cream, fawn, and red, making them visually diverse and appealing to dog lovers.

Over time, the Shar-Pei breed has evolved but it remains a popular choice for families and individuals who appreciate its unique looks and loyal nature. The breed is also known for being intelligent, which makes them relatively easy to train.

However, potential owners should be aware that this breed can sometimes be aloof or reserved, especially with strangers.

Due to the distinct features of the Shar-Pei, such as their wrinkled skin, they can have some health issues that may require a bit more attention and care compared to other breeds.

These issues can include skin allergies, ear infections, and eye problems. Consequently, potential Shar-Pei owners should be prepared for possible additional costs associated with their care and medical attention.

In summary, the Shar-Pei breed is a fascinating and unique dog breed with a deep-rooted history in Chinese culture. Its medium-sized build, distinctive wrinkles, and various coat colors make it an appealing choice for dog enthusiasts who value both the breed’s appearance and its loyal, intelligent nature.

Personality and Temperament

The Shar-Pei is a breed with a unique temperament that sets it apart from other dog breeds. They are generally known for being calm, loyal, and protective of their family.

Despite their somewhat intimidating appearance, these dogs can be affectionate and devoted companions.

One critical aspect of Shar-Pei’s personality is their aloofness towards strangers. This characteristic makes them excellent watchdogs, as they are naturally wary of unfamiliar people and animals.

However, it is crucial to properly socialize Shar-Pei from a young age to prevent them from becoming overly aggressive or fearful.

While they may appear calm and composed, Shar-Pei dogs have a strong need for mental stimulation. Providing them with enough information on their environment and engaging them in activities such as playtime or obedience training will keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom.

In terms of living with other pets, it can be a hit or miss. Some Shar-Peis get along well with other animals, while others might display territorial or even aggressive behaviors.

Proper socialization and training are crucial for ensuring a harmonious relationship between your Shar-Pei and other pets.

To summarize, the personality and temperament of Shar-Pei dogs can be described as calm, loyal, protective, and occasionally aloof.

With proper training, they can be excellent family companions and watchdogs, but owners should be aware of their natural wariness towards strangers and other animals.

Training and Socialization

Shar-Pei dogs are known for their distinctive wrinkles and unique appearance. Training and socialization are essential aspects of raising a well-behaved and happy Shar-Pei.

These dogs are intelligent and can learn quickly, but they also have a stubborn streak which can make training challenging at times.

It is important to start socializing your Shar-Pei at an early age to overcome their natural wariness of unfamiliar people, animals, and environments.

Expose your dog to a variety of situations, such as meeting new people, encountering other dogs, and visiting different locations. This will build their confidence and help them adapt well to different circumstances.

When it comes to training, it is crucial to use positive reinforcement methods, such as praise, treats, and play. Consistency and patience are key when working with Shar-Pei dogs.

Since they were originally bred for hunting and guarding on farms, it is essential to channel their energy into constructive activities like exercise and play. Regular walks and interactive toys can provide mental and physical stimulation, preventing boredom and behavioral issues.

Proper leash training is vital for any dog; this is especially true for Shar-Pei dogs, who can become aggressive or leash reactive. Introduce your puppy to the collar and leash gradually, using positive reinforcement to make the experience pleasant.

Teach your dog to walk calmly by your side, without pulling on the leash or showing aggression towards other dogs or people.

Given their distinctive ears and tendency to develop infections, it is important to monitor your Shar-Pei’s ears routinely. Clean their ears gently and regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt and wax, which could lead to infections. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any signs of ear discomfort or infection.

In conclusion, training and socialization are essential aspects of raising a well-rounded and content Shar-Pei dog. By using positive reinforcement methods, keeping an eye on their ears, and ensuring they get enough exercise, you can help your Shar-Pei grow into a confident and well-behaved pet.

Grooming and Care

Caring for a Shar-Pei involves regular grooming and attention to their unique needs. It is essential to brush their coat at least once a week, using a soft-bristle brush or a grooming mitt. This helps remove dead hair, distribute natural oils, and prevent matting. Regular brushing also minimizes shedding and keeps their coat looking healthy.

Providing your Shar-Pei with a comfortable bed and environment is essential for their overall well-being. Make sure they have a clean, dry, and cozy sleeping area where they feel safe and secure.

A crucial aspect of caring for a Shar-Pei is ensuring they have a balanced and nutritious diet. High-quality dog food, specifically tailored for their breed and size, promotes optimal health.

It’s important to carefully measure their food portions and establish a consistent feeding schedule to prevent weight gain and obesity-related health issues.

Caring for a Shar-Pei also involves regularly cleaning their ears. Their small ear canals are prone to infections and require weekly inspections and cleaning with a gentle ear-cleaning solution. You should also trim their nails regularly to avoid cracking and overgrowth.

Investing in supplies and items for your Shar-Pei is essential for their well-being. Some must-have items include:

  • Grooming tools (brush, nail trimmers, ear cleaning solution)
  • High-quality dog food
  • Durable toys for chewing and playtime
  • Comfortable bed and blankets
  • Leash and collar or harness for walks

Shar-Pei dogs can be reserved with strangers but are generally good companions for families. They require moderate exercise and can adapt well to apartment living.

However, their independent and sometimes stubborn nature can make them a bit challenging for first-time dog owners. Adequate socialization and consistent training are crucial for their development into well-behaved family pets.

Common Health Issues

Shar-Pei dogs are known to have a predisposition to certain health conditions. Being aware of these issues can help potential owners prepare for potential vet fees and health screenings.

Hypothyroidism is a common issue found in Shar-Peis. It occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, leading to symptoms such as lethargy, weight gain, and hair loss. Regular monitoring and medication can manage this condition effectively.

Entropion is another health condition that affects Shar-Peis. This hereditary issue causes the eyelids to roll inward, resulting in irritation and potential damage to the dog’s eye. Surgical correction may be needed to address this condition.

Shar-Pei fever, or Familial Shar-Pei Fever (FSF), is a unique condition that affects this breed. Symptoms include bouts of high fever and swelling in the hocks. Monitoring your pet closely for any signs of fever is crucial, as untreated FSF can lead to serious complications, such as kidney or liver failure.

Allergies are also common in Shar-Pei dogs, and they can be particularly susceptible to skin-related allergies due to their unique skin folds. These folds can trap bacteria, leading to infection and discomfort. Regular cleaning of the skin folds and attention to any signs of inflammation is essential to keep allergies at bay.

Lastly, as with any breed, routine health screenings and regular visits to the veterinarian are important for maintaining overall health in a Shar-Pei. Addressing any potential health concerns in a timely manner can aid in the long-term well-being of your pet, as well as potentially minimize the cost of vet fees.

Initial Costs of Ownership

When considering adding a Shar-Pei to your family, it’s vital to evaluate the initial costs. These costs can include the price of the puppy, insurance, and various factors influenced by the location, age, and reputation of the breeder.

The price of a Shar-Pei puppy varies based on several factors. A reputable breeder may charge more for a purebred puppy with registration papers, while adoption from a rescue can cost less. On average, Shar-Pei puppies cost between $800 and $1,500.

However, show-quality puppies or those with a renowned pedigree can be significantly more expensive.

Purchasing pet insurance for your Shar-Pei can help prepare you for any potential health concerns. The breed is prone to specific health issues, such as skin conditions and entropion.

Pet insurance costs for Shar-Peis can range from $30 to $50 per month, depending on the insurance provider and level of coverage you choose. Factors such as the dog’s age, location, and pre-existing conditions can influence the insurance premium.

When acquiring a Shar-Pei, it is crucial to consider the breeder’s reputation and location as well. Researching a breeder’s reputation can help you find a healthy puppy and avoid potential future health or behavioral issues. The location can impact the price too due to regional demand and transportation costs.

In summary, while the initial costs of owning a Shar-Pei can vary greatly, they typically include the price of the puppy, insurance premiums, and costs associated with reputable breeders or specific locations. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect Shar-Pei for your family.

Finding a Reputable Breeder

When looking for a Shar-Pei dog, a reputable breeder plays a significant role in ensuring you get a healthy, well-socialized pet. Here are a few tips to aid your search:

Research: Thoroughly research the Shar-Pei breed to understand the breed’s unique traits and requirements. This will help you create a list of questions to ask potential breeders, ensuring they are knowledgeable and dedicated to maintaining the breed’s standards.

American Kennel Club (AKC): The AKC provides a breeder referral program that can help you locate reputable breeders. These breeders adhere to AKC guidelines and are committed to maintaining high breed standards.

Demand and factors: Understand that the demand for authentic Shar-Pei dogs may lead some breeders to price their puppies higher. Be cautious of unusually low prices, as these can be an indication of poor bloodlines or breeders cutting corners in care and health.

Reputation: Seek recommendations from trusted sources, including friends, family, veterinarians, or even online forums dedicated to Shar-Pei enthusiasts. Reputable breeders often have a positive reputation, and their former clients will be more than happy to share genuine experiences.

Bloodlines: Reputable breeders will be transparent about the bloodlines of their Shar-Pei dogs and provide detailed information about their breeding practices, including health screenings and parental test results. Do not hesitate to request documentation to verify the quality of their bloodlines.

Visit the breeder: Always visit the breeder before making a commitment. This will give you a chance to observe the environment in which the puppies are raised and judge if the breeder prioritizes cleanliness, socialization, and health care.

Ask questions: A reputable breeder will be upfront about any potential health issues and will be happy to answer any of your questions. Do not hesitate to ask about vaccinations, health guarantees, and the return policy.

In summary, finding a reputable Shar-Pei breeder will require research, patience, and due diligence. By following these steps, you increase your chances of finding a healthy, well-bred Shar-Pei puppy who will be a delight to have in your life.

Adoption and Rescue Options

When considering adding a Shar-Pei to your family, you have several options, such as adoption from a rescue organization or purchasing a puppy from a breeder.

Adopting a Shar-Pei from a rescue can be a more affordable option compared to buying from a breeder.

Many Shar-Pei rescue organizations specialize in rescuing and rehoming these unique dogs. Adopting from a rescue typically costs between $200 and $400, which is significantly less than purchasing a Shar-Pei puppy from a breeder, who may charge anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500 for a puppy.

An adult dog from a rescue can be a great option if you’re looking for a dog with an established temperament and personality. Adopting an adult dog also means you can often skip the challenging puppy stage, including housebreaking and basic training.

Keep in mind that some rescued Shar-Peis might have specific care or health needs. These needs will be openly disclosed by the rescue organization, ensuring you’re prepared for any medical or behavioral challenges that might occur.

It is important to consider pet insurance for your Shar-Pei, regardless of whether you adopt or purchase from a breeder. This breed is prone to certain health conditions, such as entropion, hip dysplasia, and skin fold infections. Pet insurance can help offset the costs of both routine and emergency veterinary care.

In summary, adopting a Shar-Pei from a rescue organization can be a more affordable option and a way to give an adult dog a loving home. Be sure to research pet insurance options to ensure your Shar-Pei is covered for any health issues that may arise in the future.

Additional Expenses for a Shar-Pei

Shar-Pei dogs are not only pricey to purchase, but they can also come with various additional expenses throughout their life. Responsible dog owners should consider these costs and make sure they have a budget for their canine companion.

Shar-Peis often require regular grooming to maintain their unique coat. Though the breed is generally low-shedding, they tend to have skin and coat issues that require special attention.

Quality grooming tools or professional grooming services may be necessary to keep their wrinkles clean and prevent skin infections.

As a medium-sized breed, Shar-Peis have a moderate energy level. They may benefit from the services of a dog walker if you cannot consistently provide daily exercise and engagement. Dog walker fees vary depending on location and frequency, which can add up over time.

It’s essential to budget for medical expenses, as Shar-Peis are prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, allergies, and eye disorders. Preventive care, such as regular deworming and vaccinations, will also contribute to these expenses.

You’ll want to ensure that you have adequate funds for both routine check-ups and any unexpected medical treatment.

To find a healthy Shar-Pei puppy, avoid purchasing from puppy mills. These unscrupulous sources prioritize profit over the well-being of the dogs, resulting in lower quality of life and increased health issues.

Instead, opt for a reputable breeder who screens puppies for health problems and takes good care of their breeding stock, even if this means paying a higher price.

As with any dog breed, ownership costs extend beyond the initial purchase price. It’s necessary to budget for a high-quality diet, toys, training, and essential equipment like a crate, leash, and collar.

Being aware of these expenses and planning accordingly ensures a happy, well-cared-for Shar-Pei.

Preparing for Your Shar-Pei Puppy

Bringing a Shar-Pei puppy into your home is an exciting time, but it requires careful preparation to ensure a smooth transition. This section will guide you through the essentials of gathering necessary items, understanding costs, and ensuring your puppy’s health.

First, create a comfortable space for your puppy with a crate. The crate serves as a shelter and a safe haven, promoting feelings of security.

Choose a crate that is large enough for them to stand, lie down, and turn around in but not so big that they may soil one end. Make it cozy with blankets and soft bedding within.

Your puppy will need food and water bowls. Consider investing in stainless steel or ceramic bowls, as they are hygienic and resist chewing. It’s also important to select a high-quality, age-appropriate diet tailored to the nutritional needs of Shar-Pei puppies. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations.

Equip your new puppy with essential items and supplies, including:

  • A collar and leash
  • Identification tags
  • Grooming tools (brush, shampoo, nail clippers)
  • Poop bags

Personalize their space with toys that promote physical and mental stimulation, such as durable chew items and interactive puzzles. Introducing various toy types encourages healthy play habits and lessens the chance of destructive behaviors.

Plan for the costs associated with owning a Shar-Pei. While the initial purchase is a significant expense, don’t overlook ongoing expenses, such as food, grooming, and veterinary care.

Set aside a budget for unexpected health issues that may arise due to this breed’s predisposition to certain conditions, like skin infections and joint problems.

An important step in ensuring your pet’s security is getting a microchip. A small, painless procedure, the microchip contains your contact details and can be scanned by a professional to facilitate a reunion if your pet becomes lost.

Finally, ensure your puppy receives the necessary vaccinations to protect them from contagious and life-threatening diseases. Puppies typically receive a series of vaccinations during their first months of life, followed by regular boosters.

Discuss a vaccination schedule with your veterinarian to keep your Shar-Pei healthy and happy throughout their life.

Keeping Your Shar-Pei Healthy and Happy

To maintain your Shar-Pei’s well-being, providing them with the appropriate care is vital. Here are some key aspects that contribute to your dog’s happiness and overall health:

Food: A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for Shar-Peis, as they can be prone to food allergies and intolerances. Choose a high-quality dog food that offers essential vitamins and minerals needed for their size, age, and activity level. Consult your vet to ensure the right food choice for your Shar-Pei.

Exercise: Regular exercise is crucial for this breed. They are moderately active dogs that need daily physical activities, such as walks, playtime in the yard, or adventurous hikes. Engage your Shar-Pei in mental stimulation exercises too, like puzzle toys, to keep their minds sharp.

Shedding: Although Shar-Peis have short coats, they still shed year-round, so it’s necessary to brush their fur at least once a week. This will not only help remove the dead hair but also promote good skin health and reduce the risk of infections.

Companions: Shar-Peis are known to be loyal and protective of their family, making them wonderful companions. However, they can be aloof when exposed to strangers. Provide proper socialization early on to help them get along with other people and animals.

Other dogs: With their naturally reserved nature, Shar-Peis may not be the best playmate for other dogs. They can coexist with other pets if they grow up together or if properly trained and socialized, but one should always supervise interactions.

Bed: A comfortable dog bed is essential for your Shar-Pei’s well-being. Providing them with a supportive and soft resting spot will contribute to their overall comfort, reducing the risk of joint and muscle pain.

Behavior: Establishing a consistent training routine is crucial to managing your Shar-Pei’s behavior. They are intelligent and stubborn, so using positive reinforcement with treats or praise can help you teach them obedience commands and avoid any undesirable behavior.

Affectionate: Shar-Peis may not be overly affectionate like other breeds, but they still require love and attention from their humans.

Be sure to form a strong bond and spend quality time with your dog, engaging in playtime or just enjoying each other’s company. This will ultimately contribute to their overall happiness and health.


In summary, Shar-Pei dogs can indeed be relatively expensive compared to other dog breeds. Their unique features and heritage make them an appealing choice for many people.

However, it’s important to remember that the initial cost of purchasing a Shar-Pei is only the beginning of the financial commitment involved in dog ownership.

When considering the cost of a Shar-Pei, it’s crucial to factor in ongoing expenses such as grooming, food, preventative healthcare, and potential medical treatments specific to this breed.

Some of these expenses can be mitigated by adopting a shelter or rescue organization, but owners should still be prepared for the ongoing costs.

Ultimately, whether a Shar-Pei is the right fit for your lifestyle and budget depends on a variety of factors. It’s essential to take the time to research and understand the unique needs of this breed before making a decision.

Finding a reputable breeder or rescue organization can also help ensure that you bring home a healthy and well-adjusted companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Shar-Pei puppy typically cost?

Shar-Pei puppies usually cost between $1,500 to $4,500, depending on factors such as lineage, breeder reputation, and regional differences in demand. High-quality puppies from reputable breeders with a strong pedigree will generally be more expensive.

What is the price range for Shar-Pei dogs in the USA?

In the United States, the price of a Shar-Pei dog ranges from $1,500 to $4,500. Again, factors like lineage, breeder reputation, and regional variations will affect the cost of the puppy.

What factors influence the cost of a Shar-Pei dog?

Factors that may impact the cost of a Shar-Pei dog include the breeder’s reputation and experience, the puppy’s pedigree and bloodline, the dog’s age, and regional demand for the breed. Additionally, some potential health issues related to the breed may necessitate more expensive veterinary care.

Do different Shar-Pei colors affect their price?

Shar-Pei dogs come in several colors, including black, red, blue, cream, and apricot. While some rare coat colors may be more sought after by enthusiasts or collectors, color generally does not have a significant impact on the price of a Shar-Pei puppy.

Are there more affordable options for adopting a Shar-Pei?

Yes, there are more affordable alternatives for adopting a Shar-Pei. You can search for Shar-Pei rescue organizations and animal shelters where dogs in need of a new home can be found. Adoption fees for rescue Shar-Peis are usually much lower than the prices of puppies from breeders and can range from $200 to $500.

How do Shar-Pei expenses compare to other dog breeds?

While the initial cost of a Shar-Pei puppy may be higher than many other breeds, ongoing expenses such as food, grooming, and regular vet visits are comparable to those of other breeds. However, Shar-Peis are prone to certain health issues, which may lead to additional veterinary costs throughout their lifetime.

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Mozzie Kellerman

Mozzie Kellerman

We all love our wrinkled bundle of joy! So I decided to share everything that I know about Shar Pei from what I've researched before we got Ronnie (our dog) and from our experience with her for the past couple of years.

About Me

We all love our wrinkled bundle of joy! So I decided to share everything that I know about Shar Pei from what I’ve researched before we got Ronnie (our dog) and from our experience with her for the past couple of years.

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