Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix: A Comprehensive Guide to This Unique Breed

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The Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix, also known as the Shar Tzu, is an adorable and unique hybrid breed resulting from crossing the loyal and affectionate Shih Tzu with the devoted and intelligent Shar-Pei.

With its distinct traits like wrinkled skin, expressive eyes, and friendly disposition, the Shar Tzu is gaining popularity as a loving family companion for those who appreciate the characteristics of both parent breeds.

While the Shih Tzu is known for its outgoing and sociable nature, the Shar-Pei is known for being reserved and protective. The Shar Tzu inherits qualities from both its parents, making it a well-rounded and adaptable breed that is suitable for various households and living situations.

As a bonus, this designer mix is also less likely to suffer from certain health issues that can affect purebred dogs, thanks to the genetic diversity introduced by mixing the two breeds.

As with any hybrid breed, it’s essential to understand the characteristics and needs of both parent breeds when considering a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix.

Potential owners should also be ready to provide proper care, training, and socialization to ensure their new companion is a healthy and well-adjusted family member.

Origin and History

The Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix is a unique hybrid breed combining the traits of its parent breeds – the Shih Tzu and the Shar-Pei. Both of these breeds have a rich history dating back to ancient China, making the Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix a fascinating blend of two Chinese canines.

The Shih Tzu, often referred to as the “lion dog,” has its origins in Tibet. They were bred as companion dogs for Buddhist monks and later gifted to the Chinese royal court.

The Shih Tzu became a beloved symbol of the Chinese imperial family and was kept as a loving companion and decorative pet in royal households for centuries.

On the other hand, the Shar-Pei has its roots in Southern China. Developed as a versatile working dog, the Shar-Pei was involved in various activities such as hunting, herding, and guarding.

Known for their distinctive, wrinkled skin and blue-black tongue, the breed faced near-extinction in the mid-20th century. However, dedicated breeders and enthusiasts were able to revive their numbers and preserve the breed.

The Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix is a product of these two ancient breeds, combining the charm and personality of the Shih Tzu with the work ethic and unique appearance of the Shar-Pei.

As a hybrid breed, the Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix reflects the modern trend of creating dogs with diverse genetic backgrounds, blending the best of both parent breeds.

Although the exact time and place of the first Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix are not documented, it likely emerged in the last few decades as the popularity of designer breeds has increased. Today, the Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix is appreciated for its distinctive appearance, charming personality, and adaptability to various lifestyles.

While not as popular as its purebred parents, the Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix is a remarkable example of the blending of ancient Chinese dog breeds.


Size and Weight

The Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix is a unique crossbreed, resulting in a medium-sized dog. An adult’s weight can range from 30 to 60 pounds, depending on factors like diet, exercise, and genetics.


This mixed breed generally stands between 15 and 22 inches tall at the shoulder. This height results from the combination of the shorter Shih Tzu and the taller Shar-Pei.

Coat and Colors

The coat of a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix can exhibit a variety of characteristics since both parent breeds have distinct coat types. While the Shih Tzu is known for its long, flowing, and typically hypoallergenic coat, the Shar-Pei has a short and dense coat that is not hypoallergenic.

The Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix’s coat may be:

  • Long or short-haired
  • Fluffy or dense
  • Hypoallergenic or not

The coat colors of this mix can also be quite varied and unique, as both parent breeds have a wide range of colors. Some possible coat colors include:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Cream
  • Fawn
  • Sable
  • Brindle

In summary, the Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix is a medium-sized dog with a distinctive appearance that reflects its mixed heritage. Its weight can range from 30 to 60 pounds, and it can stand between 15 and 22 inches tall.

The mix’s coat can be long or short, fluffy or dense, and hypoallergenic or not, coming in various colors.

Temperament and Personality

Natural Instincts

The Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix is a loyal and affectionate breed, making them excellent companions. These dogs are known to be friendly and intelligent, which allows them to adapt to various situations easily.

While they can be energetic and playful, it’s essential to keep in mind that their Shar-Pei lineage may make them more independent and stubborn.

In terms of their natural instincts, the combination of the Shih Tzu and Shar-Pei breeds results in a protective nature. These dogs can be watchful and attentive to their surroundings, making them good watchdogs.

Interaction with Children and Other Pets

When properly socialized, the Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix can get along well with children and other pets. They tend to be gentle and patient, making them suitable playmates for kids.

However, due to their protective nature, it’s essential to supervise them around unfamiliar children or animals.

These dogs may display signs of aggression if they feel threatened or that their family is in danger. So, early socialization and proper training are vital to ensure a well-adjusted and friendly demeanor towards other pets.

Training and Socialization

Obedience Training

The Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix is an intelligent breed that is usually eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. Consistent, positive reinforcement and a gentle approach work best for this crossbreed. Remember to keep training sessions brief, engaging, and enjoyable for both you and your dog.

It is important to establish yourself as the responsible leader from the beginning, as this will make the training process smoother.

  • Use reward-based training methods
  • Set clear, consistent boundaries
  • Focus on basic commands, such as sit, stay, and come

Early Socialization

Proper socialization is essential for the Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix, as it helps them develop a well-rounded temperament and allows them to interact confidently with other dogs, animals, and people, including children.

Begin socializing your dog at a young age by exposing them to a variety of experiences, environments, and stimuli.

  1. Introduce your dog to different people, dogs, and animals
  2. Take your pup to various settings, such as parks, pet stores, and busy streets
  3. Enroll your dog in puppy socialization classes or playdates

Starting early and providing ample opportunities for socialization will ensure that your Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix grows into a well-mannered, friendly, and adaptable companion.

Remember to always supervise interactions, especially with children, to maintain a safe and positive environment.

Grooming and Health Care

Routine Grooming Practices

A Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix requires regular grooming to keep its coat healthy and shiny. Brushing their coat at least once a week is essential for preventing mats and tangles.

Use a slicker brush or a comb designed for dogs with double coats. Pay attention to areas where mats are more likely to form, such as behind the ears and under the legs.

Bathing your dog every 4-6 weeks is recommended, as it helps remove dirt and excess oils from their coat. Always use a dog-specific shampoo to maintain the natural oil balance of their skin.

Additionally, trimming their nails every 3-4 weeks is essential to avoid overgrowth and prevent discomfort while walking.

Preventing Health Issues

Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mixes are generally healthy, but like any breed, they can be prone to certain health issues. Regular vet visits and preventative care are vital for maintaining their health.

Common health problems in this breed mix include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop correctly, leading to arthritis and varying degrees of pain. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent this issue.

  • Eyelid Issues: Both parent breeds are susceptible to eye issues due to their facial structure. Regularly check your dog’s eyes for signs of redness or discharge, and visit the vet if you notice any issues.

  • Allergies: Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mixes can suffer from allergies, causing skin irritations and itching. Regular grooming and bathing can help alleviate these symptoms. If your dog’s skin condition doesn’t improve, seek veterinary advice for appropriate treatment.

This breed is not hypoallergenic due to its double coat. Therefore, Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mixes may not be suitable for individuals with allergies to pet dander.

By following these grooming and healthcare practices, you can ensure your Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix remains healthy and looks their best.

Exercise and Playtime

Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix is a unique breed with moderate energy levels. They require a balance of play and exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being.

As an owner, it’s essential to devise an exercise routine that blends both activities to keep them happy and engaged.

Daily walks are crucial for this breed as they provide an opportunity to stretch their legs, explore their surroundings, and expend energy. Aim to take them for a 30-minute walk at least once a day, ideally twice, to ensure that they are adequately stimulated and exercised.

In addition to daily walks, playtime is a vital component of their routine. Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix are outgoing dogs, and they love engaging in interactive games such as fetch, tug-of-war, and hide-and-seek.

These play sessions provide mental stimulation and help strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Incorporating puzzle toys and chew toys into their playtime can enhance their cognitive abilities, keeping them mentally sharp.

It is worth mentioning that the Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix may inherit the brachycephalic trait from the Shih Tzu parent, which can cause breathing difficulties during vigorous activities. It is essential to monitor them closely and provide frequent breaks to prevent over-exertion.

Remember, a well-exercised Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix is more inclined to have a balanced temperament and exhibit fewer behavioral issues.

By offering a mix of exercise and play, you can ensure that your furry friend enjoys life to the fullest and stays in optimal shape.

Choosing the Right Shih Tzu Shar-Pei Mix

When looking for a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix, it’s essential to consider your personal lifestyle, expectations, and experience with owning a dog.

This breed can make a wonderful companion, but you’ll want to ensure you’re making an informed decision.

Finding Reputable Breeders

To start, search for reputable breeders that specialize in Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mixes. A responsible breeder will prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs. They should be able to provide health records, pedigrees, and references from previous buyers. Try to visit the breeder in person and observe the parent dogs and their living conditions.

A good breeder will:

  • Answer any questions about the breed and their breeding practices
  • Have clean and safe facilities for their dogs
  • Offer continued support and guidance after you take your puppy home

Adopting From a Rescue or Shelter

Another option is adopting a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix from a rescue or shelter. There are many organizations dedicated to rescuing and rehoming dogs in need. These dogs may be mixed breeds, but they can still make excellent companions.

When adopting from a rescue or shelter:

  • Research the organization to ensure they are reputable and have a history of successful adoptions.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your lifestyle and living situation, as these organizations carefully assess potential adopters.
  • Understand that it might take time for a rescued dog to adjust to their new home, especially if they have experienced neglect or abuse. Patience and empathy are essential during this time.

For first-time dog owners, a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix can be a manageable and rewarding addition to the family.

Regardless of whether you decide to purchase a puppy from a breeder or adopt from a rescue, always prioritize the dog’s health and well-being, and remember that a well-researched decision will lead to a lifelong friendship with your new companion.

Other Shih Tzu and Shar-Pei Mixes

Shih Tzu and Shar-Pei Mix are just one of many possible combinations between these two breeds. Shih Tzu’s adaptability and the Shar-Pei’s uniqueness have led to several other popular crosses.

Some of these mixes include:

  • Shih Tzu and Cocker Spaniel Mix: This mix, sometimes referred to as a Cocker Tzu, combines the gentle and affectionate nature of the Shih Tzu with the energetic personality of the Cocker Spaniel, creating a playful and loving companion.

  • Shih Tzu and Pug Mix: Often called a Pug-Zu, this mix combines the Shih Tzu’s friendly temperament with the Pug’s charming and clown-like personality. The result is a small, sociable, and entertaining dog best suited to families and singles alike.

  • Shar-Pei and Bulldog Mix: Known as a Bull-Pei, this pairing brings together the Shar-Pei’s loyalty and the Bulldog’s relaxed demeanor. They are often calm, protective, and low-energy dogs, perfect for families and urban dwellers.

  • Shar-Pei and German Shepherd Mix: Blending the protective nature of the Shar-Pei with the intelligence and working abilities of the German Shepherd, this mix is often called a Shar-German. They make excellent family and working dogs with proper training and socialization.

  • Shar-Pei and Rottweiler Mix: This mix, sometimes called a Shar-Kiel, combines the loyalty and protectiveness of both breeds. As a result, these dogs and can make excellent guard dogs if given appropriate training.

Although these mixed breeds are not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), they do offer a unique blend of characteristics, traits, and appearances, making them ideal for various lifestyles and preferences.

In addition, a Shih Tzu can also be crossbred with a Chow Chow to produce a Chow Tzu, while a Shar-Pei and Chow Chow mix results in a Shar-Chow. These hybrids inherit varying traits from their parent breeds, offering potential pet owners even more options.

It’s essential to research and consult with breeders and experts when considering a particular mixed breed to ensure that it will be a suitable fit for your lifestyle, needs, and expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the temperament of a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix?

The temperament of a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix is generally friendly, alert, and loyal. They tend to inherit the watchdog instincts of their Shar-Pei parent and the affectionate nature of the Shih Tzu side.

However, individual temperaments may vary, as genetics and early socialization play a significant role in shaping a dog’s personality.

What size can a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix grow up to?

A Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix can grow up to be a medium-sized dog, typically ranging between 18 to 45 pounds in weight and 15 to 20 inches in height.

The exact size may vary, as it depends on the individual genetics inherited from the parent breeds.

What are some common health issues in Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mixes?

Some common health issues Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mixes may face include hip dysplasia, ear infections, skin issues, and eye problems such as entropion.

Regular veterinarian check-ups and a proper diet can help manage and prevent these health concerns.

How to groom a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix?

Grooming a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix involves regularly brushing their coat to remove loose hair and prevent matting.

Additionally, clean their ears to prevent infections, trim their nails to maintain good paw health, and brush their teeth to prevent dental problems.

What is the average lifespan of a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix?

The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix is around 10 to 15 years. This can be influenced by factors such as diet, exercise, and overall health management.

What are good training tips for a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix?

When training a Shih Tzu Shar-Pei mix, use positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and praise, to encourage desired behaviors. Socialize them early to help them become well-adjusted adults, and be patient and consistent in training sessions.

Keep in mind that both Shih Tzus and Shar-Peis can be stubborn at times, so persistence and a gentle approach are necessary.

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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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