With so much research to do before making the decision to adopt a Chinese Shar Pei, you hardly have time to find out all the fun and interesting facts about your new pet. Fortunately for you, owning a Shar Pei will give you more interesting facts than you could ever read about online. From their unique coats and colors to their independent and borderline stubborn personalities, Chinese Shar Peis are indeed quite weird.
A blue what?
Did you know that the Chinese Shar Pei has a blue-black tongue which it is rumored to share with the Chow Chow dog? This distinctive feature is rare and makes the Shar Pei an even more unique pet. Since the history of the Shar Pei dates back to ancient times, it is very possible that the breed originated with a blue-black tongue.
At one point, the Chinese Shar Pei served as a guardian to the Royal Chinese Family before becoming virtually extinct under the rule of Communist leader Mao Tse Tung. Under the rule of the Communist leader, the Shar Pei was considered a burden because of the "wasted" food used to feed the dog. In addition, prior to the Communist takeover, Shar Peis were considered pets of the wealthy, a theory that is no longer valid or true under the new Communist regime. The Shar Pei had become so rare at one point that it was named the "rarest dog in the world". But by the late 1960s, its popularity began to pick up, and currently, the Chinese Shar Pei is the thirty-fourth most popular breed of the 134 listed by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
You can't mention weird facts about Shar Pei without discussing the meaning of its unique name. The literal translation of Shar Pei is "sand skin", describing the rough and harsh texture of the Shar Pei coat. This "sand skin" comes in three types of coats, namely, brushcoat, horsecoat and bear coat. Any of the coat types are amazing, but if you're interested in dog competitions, you should steer clear of the bear coat Shar Pei. Because it sheds very little, the Shar Pei can be a good pet for those who suffer from allergy, especially if you groom your dog properly and regularly.
Bronzed for posterity
There are many ancient Chinese statues and manuscripts that portray the modern day Shar Pei. There are even references made to wrinkly dogs in these ancient manuscripts. It is believed that the ancestors of the Chinese Shar Pei date all the way back to 200 BC. In light of this, you may find it weird that the Shar Pei wasn't officially added to the AKC until 1991!