Shar-Peis are amazing dogs that are easily recognizable thanks to their strong bodies, tiny ears, blue-black tongue, and folds of wrinkled skin. Their name actually means ‘sand skin’ which refers to their bristly short hair and their (often) sandy color. And whilst they might be a really interesting-looking breed of dog, there’s a lot more to the Chinese Shar-Pei than meets the eye. But are Shar-Peis aggressive?
History of the Shar-Pei
Shar-Peis are an ancient breed of dog that has been around for hundreds of years. They were originally bred in China to hunt, herd, guard, and fight. When the People’s Republic of China was formed, these pups nearly died out but a few were taken to Hong Kong and bred further. They first came to the United States in the 1970s and have been loved pups ever since!
Chinese Shar-Pei Temperament
Generally speaking, Chinese Shar-Pei dogs are loyal, loving, independent, and a little aloof. They have a calm nature and love to be around their family. They’re intelligent and can be well-suited to apartment living (even though they’re medium-sized pups). A Shar-Pei can be very confident and make a wonderful guard dog.
They're working dogs at heart and were bred to spend much of their days alone, which can make them a little strong-willed and protective. If you’re thinking of getting a Shar-Pei puppy, it’s crucial that they are well trained from an early age so they know who the leader of the pack is. If they’re given a chance to question it, you’ll have a difficult time trying to compete with them for the top position!
Due to their pit fighting and guarding days, Chinese Shar-Peis can be a little suspicious and even aggressive towards strangers and other dogs. Whether you’re thinking of getting a Shar-Pei puppy or an adult dog, it’s really important that they get a lot of early socialization.
As with nearly all dogs, training, socialization, and a lot of love from you is necessary if you want to have a caring, healthy dog. Unfortunately, adopting older dogs means we’re not in control of how they were treated before. If a Shar-Pei hasn’t been socialized or has had a bad experience in the past, they could easily become aggressive and it’s not recommended that they’re in a house with young children or other animals.
Are Chinese Shar-Peis friendly?
Perhaps a better question than are Shar-Peis aggressive is are Shar-Peis friendly. If the dog has been brought up in a loving home with early socialization and positive training, they shouldn’t be aggressive. But Shar-Peis are not known for being overly friendly.
They like to stay with their family and can be a little territorial around newcomers (thanks to their guarding and fighting dog genes). They might not be the first in the doggie park, running around trying to get others to play a game of tag with them – they’re far too regal for that. But that doesn’t mean they’re aggressive.
Shar Peis can make wonderful pets if they have a strong and confident owner. They need to spend time around other animals and humans from an early age to allow them to grow into well-rounded pups. If they don’t they, like many other dog breeds, they could become aggressive.
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!