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Other Utility Dogs include the

Chow ChowChow Chow


Japanese Spitz

Japanese Spitz


and Poodle,


 to mention a few.




Shar Pei





This ancient breed originated in China and the Shar Pei was used to protect its owner's and was also believed to have been used in dog fights. Unfortunately because of its dominant tendencies this breed has been prevented from achieving a broader popularity.  


The very territorial Shar-Pei can be social with humans and are said to prefer the company of humans rather than dogs.  Even though the Shar Pei is aloof and wary of strangers, they possess a very dominant temperament and require firm training from an early age. It is important that any owner must be experienced enough to hold control over the dog from the outset.


Height:   46-51cm  (18-20in)

Weight:   18-25kg  (40-55lb)

This mid-size dog stands as tall as a boxer but much more square and compact. The distinctive wrinkled folds of skin are most abundant whilst the dog is a juvenile, however the wrinkles may not be apparent in very young pups with the wrinkles becoming more apparent as the dog gets older when it starts to approach full size and maturity.  Eventually it will 'grow into its skin' and the wrinkles will only be apparent on-and-forward-of the shoulders, with some small wrinkling occurring on the tail dock. The coarse coat of the Shar-Pei appears in two types, very short and prickly and stands up away from the body or brush coat which is longer and softer than the horse coat but still up-standing.   These dogs can appear in any solid colour except white.


It is handy to know that because the Shar-Pei does have a tendency to drool; it would be wise to keep a face cloth handy for those messy moments.   The Shar Pei will moult twice yearly and all in all not much grooming is usually required, and an intermittent wipe with a hand cloth will usually suffice.

Life Expectancy

10–12 Years


Health Concerns

Because of their wrinkles the Shar-Pei is prone to skin disease and dermatitis. An odour will generally accompany the disease.  As a natural moult does occur in the breed, some breeders say that this will sometimes resemble the disease; however no odour should accompany the natural moult. Eye problems can also occur as their deep-set eyes, combined with the loose folds of skin hanging over the brow can also result in entropion (turned-in eyelids).  To prevent this, the brows can be stitched back at three to four weeks of age, if it is seen that the dog will likely suffer from entropion otherwise surgery may be required. 



There is a need to make a commitment to training this breed as these dogs are not for the first time dog owner because of their possible aggressive tendencies.  Because of the uniqueness of this breed they can be popular with those who want something a bit different and with those who have time to make the commitment in training and socialising the dog. 

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Utility Dog or Non Sporting group, includes dogs of many different shapes and sizes that perform a variety of tasks. They include the Boston Terrier, Bulldog and Dalmation to name a few.


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