Is a Shar Pei a Chow? What is a bear coat Shar Pei?
Shar Peis and Chow Chows look like distant cousins, don’t they? Their coats, noses, sturdy bodies and facial structures, all share resemblance with eachother. This begs a question to be asked. Are Shar Peis related to Chows? We will uncover this question in today’s article!
A rough understanding of the history of both the Shar Peis and the Chow Chows will help us discover the link between the two. Let’s take a look at their history!
Shar Peis are an ancient chinese breed that dates back to over 2000 years. Evidence of their presence has been discovered from the time period of the Han Dynasty, which is 200 BC.
Shar Peis originally had three main goals; fighting, hunting and guarding. They were a peasant dog species that were also used to pull heavy weight on farms and guard temples.
The rise of the communist regime in China almost ended the Shar Pei population. The Guiness Book of World Records declared Shar Peis to be the world’s rarest dog breed, when their population got to as low as 60 dogs in the 60s and 70s!
Fortunately, Shar Peis survived in Hong Kong and Taiwan and were saved by plea of Matgo Law to American Breeders. American breeders took a liking to the stunning dog breed and bred it into the mainstream. Shar Peis enjoyed a massive boom in popularity in the late 20th century, which slowly came down with time. Now, in the 21st century, Shar Peis are a fairly rare dog breed that enjoy a stable population.
Chow Chows are a really interesting breed. This breed finds its origin in the cold temperatures of Northern China or Siberia and has also been linked to the Han Dynasty. The Chow Chow, genetically, is one of the closest dog breeds to the wolf. Some people suggest the breed to be as old as 8000 years, while others go for a more modest 3000 year period. This makes the Chow Chow one of the oldest dog breeds to still exist.
The Chow Chows were a royal dog breed, used by the royal family for hunting. These dogs were even sent to attack wolves and leopards! Chow Chows also found themselves at home in Tibetian monasteries, where they would be courageous guards.
Their popularity among western royalty started and grew when the East India Company brought them over to the west.
As with the Shar Peis, Chow Chow numbers struggled during the same time period of the communist regime, but their condition wasn’t as grave.
Currently Chow Chows are popular dogs that are well loved and adored!
Did you know? The Chow Chow’s original names included, Hsiung Kou or Lang Kou, meaning Bear Dog or Wolf Dog, respectively. However, when they were shipped to Europe from China, their name stuck as Chow Chow, which was a reference to shipments coming from the Orient.
Chow Chows and Shar Peis not only share common origins, but they also share similar characteristics. So are Shar Peis related to Chows?
DNA analysis and research has shown that Shar Peis and Chow Chows are close relatives, with Shiba Inus and Akita also being a part of the family.
While they’re close relatives and may look similar to the untrained eye, a Shar Pei is not a Chow.
Bear coat Shar Peis stand in contrast to regular short, coarse coated Shar Peis. These dogs have a long and soft coat, thanks to a recessive gene passed on from Chow Chows! The bear coat Shar Pei possesses a soft, long coat, which varies from the course, short coat of traditional Shar Pei dogs. Their coats are the result of a recessive gene that originated from Chow Chows.
To answer the question; are Shar Peis related to Chows? Yes, yes they are. In fact the two are very closely related, have similar origins and share plenty of characteristics. There’s no denying that both of these dog breeds are extremely cute!