Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
Training: Previous owner
Posted October 29, 2014
We acquired our first Chinese Shar Pei right after we got married in 2000. Raincheck was very smart but very stubborn. From the beginning, he had health issues. He needed his eyes tacked and his wrinkles had to be kept very clean or his skin would get irritated. We got Minerva about a year later. She was a mini-shar pei with an attitude! We actually got a call from a boarder that we needed to come and get her because she was too aggressive, even at about five pounds! We waited several years before we had a litter of puppies so we could work on Minerva's disposition. We believed she hadn't been socialized properly. She was so tiny, we often sheltered her from other dogs. We had three litters of beautiful, delightful puppies and found good homes for all of them before deciding breeding just wasn't for us. Both of my parents are dog breeders and my mom does it professionally (I'm talking highly trained hunting dogs--not a puppy mill.) It was also about that time that I developed an allergy to our dogs and Raincheck developed allergies to just about everything. He ended up with horrible skin problems and had to go to the vet often and also needed medication several times a week. Minerva never had any health problems but she never really got any sweeter either. When we decided to have children, we thought it best to find her a new home. She went to live with a single woman who wanted some protection at night. I have no doubt she got it! We kept Raincheck for several more years, even though I was highly allergic to him. Eventually, we decided it wasn't fair to him that he didn't get the attention he deserved because of my allergies so we found him another home as well. Shar pei are extremely protective dogs. Even the puppies would circle up and try to protect us from anything and everything--including our pugs and/or a squirrel! They were very easy to potty train. The puppies all potty trained themselves at about six weeks. They didn't want to have any of their "business" in their "space". The puppies are absolutely adorable but one does need to be careful that they don't fall in love with all of those wrinkles and realize that they don't want their new friend any more once they grow up and lose a bit of that cuteness. Overall, I would say that the Chines Shar Pei is a good pet for people without children who have a lot of time to spend with their pet and don't mind the possibility that they may spend some time at the vet.