While there are many comments we regularly hear as we walk dogs through downtown LA's streets each day (that's another post entirely), one of the most common is: what kind of dog is that? We get that a lot and since we walk so many different kinds of dogs, we thought we'd start a weekly review of some of the dogs we get the most questions about. Then we'll cover all the rest of the breeds...as we're sure there will eventually be questions about them too! Next Up?
It could be a wrinkled-up bulldog but its snout is just too big. Maybe a mixed-up chow + bulldog + something else entirely? Nope. This unmistakable wrinkled pup is a Shar Pei.
While their ancient name literally means harsh sandy coat and they have a breed reputation for being standoffish and unfriendly with strangers, we've found that this breed has been a delight to work with and seems to be extremely loyal once they suss you out. They remind us a lot of bully breeds in that they have a very high energy level and are also headstrong - you definitely need to have a strong personality to be pack leader with a shar pei and you need to be very disciplined with training, consistent with behavior rules and careful to only give affection when it is deserved. Of course, we say that about all dogs, don't we? They are the guidelines we follow because they work!
Shar Pei's also have the famous purple/blue/black spotted tongue that you see on chows...something that always fascinates dog owners and admirers as they are the only two breeds that have such silly tongues. As with other wrinkled pups, daily cleaning of wrinkles (face, chest, legs) is needed and regular bathing to keep the scratchy coat smooth is ideal.
For California rescues, check out California Shar-Pei Rescue. To rescue a Shar Pei any where in our fine 50 states, check out the North American Shar Pei Rescue organization. To take a gander at more of these cuties, check out the shar pei search on Flickr.