Are Shar Peis Rare Dog Breed?

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Is a Shar Pei a rare dog? What is the rarest color, Shar Pei?


Shar Peis are gorgeous dogs, famous for their wrinkles and sand-like coats (hence, their name!). They seem pretty rare, but are Shar Peis rare dog breeds? You would be surprised to know the history behind these glorious canines. Shar Peis have a rich history and a powerful underdog story worth telling. Let’s take a look!

History of Shar Peis

Shar Peis are an ancient Chinese breed that has a history of over 2000 years! Shar Peis are thought to have originated in 200 BC in China, during the Han Dynasty. The Shar Pei was originally a peasant breed, being used to hunt and guard. The breed was also a popular fighting dog, but that didn’t last long thanks to larger dog breeds from the West.

When the communist regime took over in China, the Shar Peis, along with all other dog breeds suffered from massacres. The Shar Pei in particular suffered a lot and almost went extinct. Shar Peis survived in Hong Kong and Taiwan and were later brought back into the mainstream by American breeders, who were fascinated by the dogs’ coat and wrinkles.

The breeders nearly overbred them, without caring about the health of the dogs they were breeding. Shar Peis were often cross-bred with Pugs, Bulldogs, and Bull Terriers, which eventually led to much deeper wrinkles, or rolls than the original breed. The difference in wrinkles and coats gave rise to two different types of Shar Peis. The original, bone mouth, and the new, or western, meat mouth. Their popularity eventually came down to a respectable level and their population has enjoyed stability since the 2000s.

Shar-Pei the rare dog breed

Are Shar Peis rare dog breed?

A little-known fact is that Shar Peis were once one of the rarest dog breeds, until an artificial boom in their population in the late 20th Century. In the late 60s and 70s, the Guinness Book of World Records gave the Shar Pei the title of the rarest dog breed in the world! Unfortunately, this beautiful breed had come down to the double digits, reaching as low as 60 dogs!

What about now? Are Shar Peis rare dog breeds in the 21st century? Well yes, but not really. When compared to their earlier numbers, they’ve enjoyed a massive jump in population, coming up to 70,000 in the United States alone! Even when compared to Norwegian Lundehund, at 1400, Shar Peis don’t seem so rare.

However, if you compare them to something like the Golden Retriever, with Numbers upwards of 70 million! Then, yes, they are pretty rare.

Did you know? Shar Peis were on the road to extinction until a Hong Kong breeder called Matgo Law requested and pleaded for their survival to the world which ultimately saved these adorable dogs.

What is the rarest Shar Pei color?

Shar Peis are one such dog breed that comes in a wide variety of stunning colors. According to the American Kennel Club, there are 18 different colors of Shar Peis and 3 more! These colors are, Isabella Dilute, Five-Point Red, Blue Sable, Blue Dilute, Lilac Dilute, Black, Cream, Brown, Cream Sable, Black Sable, Fawn Sable, Red Sable, Red, Fawn, Blue, Apricot Dilute, Cream Dilute, White, Brown Sable.

Out of these, there are 18 standard and 3 nonstandard ones, with the Non-Standard ones being Brown Sable, White, and Blue Sable.

The rarest Shar Pei colors among these are Five-Point Red. Shar Peis with patchy colors is also pretty rare!

Does color matter?

We’re not trying to get political here, but the color might just matter when it comes to Shar Peis. Research suggests that Shar Peis with recessive colour genes, are more likely to have significant health issues in their life and have overall shorter lives! This holds especially true with chocolate-colored Shar Peis.

Below is a table that shows about Are Shar Peis Rare Dog Breed?

Breed Rarity AKC Popularity Ranking
Shar Pei Considered a rare breed 58th out of 197

How many Shar-Peis are there in the world?

It’s estimated that there are around 100 thousand Shar-Peis worldwide that’s a lot of wrinkly cuteness! Due to the unique nature of their appearance, many owners and breeders regard them as highly desirable pets. The popularity of Shar-Pei has grown so much over the years that it’s now considered one of the most sought-after breeds in many countries. 

For those who have ever encountered this adorable Chinese breed in person, it’s truly an unforgettable experience. So if you’re thinking about getting a pet, consider giving a Shar-Pei a forever home – they’ll make your life more exciting and fun!

Where to find a Shar-Pei?

One of the best places to start is by searching online. You can look up local breeders in your area who specialize in Shar-Pei puppies, or check out reputable rescue organizations near you that have Shar-Pei pups available for adoption. 

There are also many forums dedicated to Shar-Pei owners where you can find helpful information and advice on finding a good breeder or rescue organization. Additionally, it’s worth looking into attending dog shows—you may be able to meet some owners with Shar-Pies and get some great recommendations for breeders or rescues. 

Finally, don’t forget about family and friends—it never hurts to ask around if anyone knows of any potential sources for finding your new pup!  Good luck with your search!

How many types of Shar-Pei are there?

Well, there are three distinct coat types: the brush coat, the horse coat, and the bear coat. The brush coat is short and smooth, while the horse coat is slightly longer and wiry. The bear coat is a combination of both – it’s short but has some texture to it. All three types can come in any color or pattern, ranging from light fawn to chocolate brown. 

So while they may be different in appearance, one thing that all Shar-Peis have in common is their signature wrinkles! No matter which type you choose, know that these loyal companions will bring lots of love and entertainment into your life! Enjoy them for all the joy they can bring!

How can you tell a Chinese Shar-Pei?

How to recognize a Chinese Shar-Pei

Chinese Shar-Pei dogs have a few key distinguishing features. They are a medium-sized dog breed with a wrinkled, blue-black tongue and skin folds around the face and body. The head of the Shar-Pei should appear broad and square, while they often have prominent eyes and large ears that hang close to their cheeks. 

Their coat is typically short and has an oily texture which helps it repel water. Finally, the tail of the Shar-Pei should bend inwards towards its back!  With these traits in mind, it’s easy to tell when you see one!

What class is a Shar-Pei?

A Shar-Pei is a breed of dog classified as a non-sporting breed. They are known for their distinctive blue and black facial wrinkles, deep chest, and broad muzzle. These dogs have an independent spirit and can be quite aloof to strangers, making them good guard dogs.

 Although they do require regular grooming, Shar-Peis are generally low maintenance when it comes to their coat and doesn’t need frequent bathing or other treatments. They usually weigh between 40 – 55 pounds and stand 17 – 20 inches at the shoulder. Overall, these dignified dogs make excellent companions for those willing to put in the time to train them properly.

Is A Shar Pei pure breed?

The answer to this question is a bit of a tricky one. While there are many registered pure-bred Shar Pei, some have been crossbred with other breeds over the years, making the overall breed somewhat less ‘pure’. Typically, if you get your Shar Pei from a reputable breeder then it should be considered a pure-bred dog. However, it is always important to ask questions and look into pedigrees when deciding whether or not your pup is 100% purebred.

Regardless of their lineage though, all Shar Pei are amazing dogs and will bring years of love and companionship to their lucky owners. They are loyal, intelligent and make great family pets. Make sure to give them lots of exercises, mental stimulation, and most importantly – love! 

What are the rarest Shar-Pei eyes?

The rarest eye color for a Shar-Pei is blue. Blue eyes in Shar-Peis are caused by a recessive gene, so they are not very common. But if you do find a Shar-Pei with blue eyes, you’ll be sure to make heads turn! Blue-eyed Shar-Peis often stand out from the crowd and make their owners proud. 

While blue may be the rarest eye color for this breed, black, brown, and hazel are also quite common. So whether you’re looking for an unusual pup or just want one with soulful brown eyes, there’s sure to be a perfect pooch out there just waiting to come home with you!

Are rare Shar-Pei expensive?

Yes, rare Shar-Pei can be quite expensive. The cost of a rare Shar-Pei puppy depends on the age, type, and rarity of the breed. Generally speaking, an adult Shar-Pei is more expensive than a puppy. Rare breeds also command higher prices due to their scarcity. 

Additionally, the color of the coat can affect pricing as well—the more unique or desirable it’s coloring, the higher it will cost. If you’re looking for a rare Shar-Pei puppy or adult dog, expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 or even more depending on its exact lineage and characteristics. Getting one of these special dogs may take some time and effort since there aren’t many around. But ultimately, it will be worth the wait when you finally get to bring your rare Shar-Pei home!

Is it hard to acquire Shar-Pei?

Acquire Shar-Pei is not easy

Yes, it’s not easy to get one of these unique-looking canines. First off, the Shar-Pei is a rare breed that has seen its population dwindle in recent years. As such, finding a breeder is hard and there may be long waiting lists for puppies. In addition, because of their rarity, high demand and limited supply have resulted in some unethical breeders taking advantage of unsuspecting buyers by inflating prices and providing poor-quality pups. 

To make sure you’re getting an ethically bred pup, do your research and only buy from reputable breeders or rescue groups who are committed to the long-term welfare of their animals. Doing so should ensure that you get a healthy puppy that will bring lots of love and joy to your home.

Final Thoughts

All in all, Shar Peis deserve the love and attention they get today, after surviving massacres and near extinction. However, is Shar Peis a rare dog breed? We think it’s safe to say that while not as rare as they once were, they are still quite rare.

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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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