Are Shar Peis Aggressive? Facts & FAQ

Are Shar Peis Aggressive? Facts & FAQ

When you hear the identify Shar Pei, their wrinkled pores and skin and “hippopotamus” head are probably the primary issues that spring to thoughts. However, you’ve additionally probably heard that these canines have a fame for being aggressive.

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It’s true that Shar Peis have been bred to be combating canines, and within the flawed palms, they are often aggressive. However, like with any canine breed, it comes right down to their upbringing, socialization, and coaching.

Here, we take a look at the origins of the Shar Pei, as that helps clarify their doubtlessly aggressive tendencies, together with how important socialization is for these canines.



The Shar Pei’s Origins

The Chinese Shar Pei originated in historical China about 2,000 years in the past (a minimum of since 200 B.C.). Statues of canines have been found that bear a particular resemblance to the Shar Pei, which have been dated to that point.

Shar Peis have been initially bred as working canines for the peasants to protect and shield livestock, in addition to for searching and herding. While they have been used predominantly on farms as versatile working canines, that is the place they developed their fierce loyalty to their homeowners and wariness with strangers.


Since Shar Pei pores and skin is wrinkled and thick, they grew to become favorites in dogfighting rings. These thick folds of pores and skin helped shield the Shar Pei from different canines or predators from reaching their important organs. Shar Pei tenacity, along with their pores and skin, made them favorites for some time. However, they’re medium-sized canines, and the Shar Pei fell out of favor after the introduction of bigger Western canine breeds.

Gradually, these canines nearly went extinct, however a breeder from Hong Kong despatched out a plea worldwide to avoid wasting the Shar Pei. In 1979, Life journal revealed an article in regards to the Shar Pei, and the American public fell in love with them, and the remaining is historical past.

red shar pei dogs in the mountain
Image Credit: Natalia Fesiun, Shutterstock

The Shar Pei’s Temperament

When a canine is developed to protect, shield, hunt, and struggle, it’s solely pure for them to have aggressive tendencies. Shar Peis have been bred to be fierce and impartial canines, and together with their powerful pores and skin and being fairly solidly constructed, they proceed to have the instincts to guard their individuals and property.

They will be possessive and overly protecting of their household however cautious of anybody they don’t know. It will be mentioned that being pleasant with strangers doesn’t come naturally to them and should be skilled into the Shar Pei.


If you prepare and socialize a Shar Pei properly, they’re extra more likely to be a well-adjusted canine. That mentioned, proudly owning a Shar Pei is greatest for knowledgeable canine homeowners. This shouldn’t be a breed for somebody who’s a first-time canine proprietor.

Training a Shar Pei is a problem as a result of they are often strong-willed and impartial, however they’re additionally clever, so the duty is feasible. Plenty of endurance and constant coaching utilizing constructive reinforcement is the one means with the Shar Pei. Using any type of punishment and harsh phrases will solely set off aggression.

sharpei dog training
Image Credit: Pixel Shot, Shutterstock


Socializing a Shar Pei from a younger age is important! The extra locations, animals, and folks {that a} Shar Pei pet meets and experiences, the extra well-adjusted and accepting they are going to be.

Studies have proven how crucial socialization is for puppies to scale back undesirable behaviors. It ought to happen with the breeder from the earliest age and proceed with the proprietor properly into maturity.

Typically, Shar Peis which are aggressive haven’t been socialized or skilled properly.


Other Methods for Reducing Aggressive Behavior

There’s no query {that a} Shar Pei that has been skilled and socialized properly shall be far much less more likely to react aggressively to a stranger than a canine that hasn’t acquired the suitable coaching. So, that is the primary and most necessary step.


Providing your Shar Pei with the correct quantity of train may go a good distance towards lowering their cautious and suspicious nature. Dogs that aren’t given an outlet for pent-up vitality resort to damaging habits, and a few will change into aggressive. Some Shar Peis can do properly with reasonable train, however you’ll need to goal for about 1 hour of train daily.

Since Shar Peis are clever, they’ll additionally want psychological stimulation, so spending time enjoying with them will assist considerably. Consider taking part in actions like monitoring, rally, and agility. Enrolling them in obedience courses is a good way to coach and socialize your canine on the similar time.


Shar Peis are working canines, so give them a job to do. You ought to base what your canine appears to take pleasure in doing already earlier than giving them a activity. Since Shar Peis are versatile and have been bred to do varied jobs, you simply want to determine what your canine will take pleasure in and reply to.

shar pei dog training
Image Credit: WilleeCole Photography, Shutterstock


Stay on high of your Shar Pei’s well being. A study found that well being issues in a canine can set off worry and aggression. This shouldn’t come as a shock, as anybody unwell will be in a horrible temper!

Shar Peis are vulnerable to a number of well being situations, together with:
  • Entropion: All the heavy folds of pores and skin trigger the Shar Pei’s eyes to take a seat farther into the pores and skin, inflicting the eyelids to roll in and rub in opposition to the eyes. As you may think about, that is painful and desires surgical procedure.
  • Familial Shar Pei Fever: This solely impacts Shar Peis; fever and swollen hocks (the backs of the legs) are indicators. Without remedy, it might result in liver and kidney failure.
  • Ear infections: Shar Peis have slender ear canals, making them susceptible to ear infections.
  • Pododermatitis: This happens when canines lick and chew their paws too usually, which causes an infection and irritation.
  • Skin Fold Dermatitis: Their heavy pores and skin folds can harbor micro organism and yeast. The folds additionally entice moisture, which might result in infections. It’s important to maintain these folds dry and clear.

Many of those situations can positively result in a cranky canine till they’re restored to full well being.



Frequently Asked Questions

Do Shar Peis Get Along With Other Dogs?

Not all that properly, normally. If skilled and socialized properly, Shar Peis can tolerate different canines, however the identical rule applies to canines because it does to strangers.

They additionally don’t do properly round small pets due to having a excessive prey drive. Things shall be higher with the coaching and socialization, however it is likely to be greatest to maintain the house a single-dog-only one.

Why Do Shar Peis Have Blue-Black Tongues?

Another canine breed that has a blue-black tongue is the Chow Chow. In Chinese folklore, it was believed that the black tongues would push back ghosts and evil spirits. It was additionally believed that having a black tongue added to the viciousness of the canine, making them intimidating whereas doing guard responsibility.

What Is a Bone-Mouth and Meat-Mouth Shar Pei?

If you’ve ever heard this time period and questioned what it means, in a nutshell, the Bone-Mouth Shar Pei is often known as the Chinese Shar Pei and conventional Shar Pei. They are thought of the unique Shar Pei earlier than breeders added different breeds, which created the closely wrinkled Shar Pei that you just’re probably acquainted with.

The Meat-Mouth can be known as the American Shar Pei or the Western Shar Pei. These are the canines most individuals know greatest. They have “meatier” jowls, which is the place they get the identify.




The Shar Pei will be thought of an aggressive breed, and all of it goes again to what they have been initially bred for. But how they’re raised is a major issue. If you increase a Shar Pei with love and respect and plenty of training and socialization, you’ll have a well-adjusted canine that’s much less more likely to react aggressively to strangers and different canines.

These canines make unbelievable household pets when raised appropriately. They are calm, quiet, affectionate, and constant, so the Shar Pei additionally has many positive qualities for the right owners.

Featured Image Credit: Christel SAGNIEZ, Pixabay

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