Shar Pei Breed Standard

Chinese Shar-Pei illustration.


Group: Group 7 (Non Sporting)

General Appearance: Alert, active, compact, short coupled, squarely built. Dogs larger and

more powerful than bitches.

Characteristics: Relatively loose skin, frowning expression, harsh bristly.

Temperament: Calm, independent, very affectionate, and devoted to people.

Head And Skull: Relatively large but not disproportionate to the body, skull flat, broad,

moderate stop. Length from nose to stop approximately equal to length

from stop to occiput. Moderate wrinkle on forehead and cheeks. Muzzle

moderately broad and full with no suggestion of tapering. The lips and

top of muzzle may be slightly padded. When viewed from front, bottom

jaw appears wider than top. Nose large, wide, preferably black but any

colour conforming to general coat colour permissible.

Eyes: Dark, medium size, almond shaped with frowning expression. Amber

and lighter colour permissible in paler shades. Function of eyeball or lid

in no way disturbed by surrounding skin, folds or hair. Any sign of

irritation of eyeball, conjunctiva or eyelids highly undesirable. Free from


Ears: Very small, rather thick, equilaterally triangular in shape, slightly

rounded at tip and set high on the skull with tips pointing towards eyes,

set well forward over eyes, wide apart and close to skull. The tips and

edges may turn up. Pricked ears highly undesirable.

Mouth: Tongue, roof of mouth, gums and flews: solid bluish-black is preferred.

Solid pink tongue undesirable. Dogs with self-coloured pigment and

amber to light brown eyes would be expected to have a lavender

tongue. Teeth strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite,

i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square

to the jaws. Padding of lower lip should not be so excessive so as to

interfere with the bite.

Neck: Medium length, strong, full, set well on shoulders, with some loose skin

under neck permitted, but this should not be excessive.

Forequarters: Shoulders muscular, well laid and sloping. Elbows close to body.

Forelegs straight, moderate length, good bone; pasterns slightly sloping,

strong and flexible. Forelegs completely free from wrinkle when mature.

Body: Height at withers approximately equal to the length from point of

shoulders to point of buttock. Depth of brisket approximately half of

height at withers. Chest broad and deep, underline rising slightly under

loin. Back short, strong. Topline dips slightly behind withers then rises

over short, broad loin. Adult dogs should display moderate wrinkling

over shoulders and base of tail. Excessive skin on body when mature

highly undesirable.

Hindquarters: Muscular, strong; moderately angulated; hocks well let down without

excessive wrinkling or thickening.

Feet: Moderate size, compact, toes well knuckled.

Tail: Rounded, narrowing to fine point, base set very high. May be carried

high and curved; carried in tight curl; or curved over. Lack of, or

incomplete, tail highly undesirable.

Gait/Movement: Free, vigorous and balanced, rear single tracking is normal at a fast trot.

Stilted gait undesirable.

Coat: Extremely harsh coat, straight and off-standing on the body but flatter

on the limbs. No undercoat. Length varies from short and bristly, under

1.25 cm ( half an inch) or longer and thicker, between 1.25 cm ( half an

inch) and 2.5 cm (one inch), but still off-standing and harsh to the touch.

N.B. No particular coat length within the accepted length should be

preferred above the other. Never trimmed.

Colour: All solid colours except white are acceptable. Frequently shaded on tail

and back of thighs with lighter colour.

Sizes: Height: 46-51 cms (18-20 ins) at withers.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault

and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be

in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and

welfare of the dog.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully

descended into the scrotum.


(Last updated: 09 Oct 2012)

Kennel Club, London 1994

KC amended June 1998

Effective in Australia January 2000

FCI Standard No 309

Image above taken from The Chinese Shar Pei Club of America



Image above of Sailor and Odin relaxing with the family