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Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei Mix: Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

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By Kerry-Ann Kerr

Parent Breeds of Australian Shepherd Shar Pei Mix

It’s always tricky to work out what you might get when it comes to mixing two breeds. The Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei mix is an incredibly interesting one. At first glance, the dogs don’t seem similar, but both come from hardworking backgrounds; they’re loyal, loving, and independent without being aloof about it.

They have differences, so there’s a little uncertainty about what you might be getting. However, you can narrow down the possibilities by looking at the parent breeds.

Breed Overview

Height: 18–20 inches
Weight: 45–55 pounds
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Colors: Black, cream, red, fawn, merle
Suitable for: Families with older children, experienced owners, active families
Temperament: Intelligent, loyal, devoted, protective, hardworking

Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei are alert and protective and make remarkable guard dogs. Both parents – Australian Shepherd and Shar Pei – are incredibly intelligent, and they’re best suited to experienced owners because they will push the boundaries and establish themselves as the Alpha if you fail.

The Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei is also an excellent companion dog known for being independent but affectionate. Training and socialization are crucial for Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei mixes, but we’ll discuss that in more detail later.

Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei Characteristics


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Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei Puppies

Before committing to the Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei, you must know they will require lots of time and expertise. Early socialization and training are imperative for puppies. You can introduce a grooming routine early, too, so they are used to it as adults.

These energetic, playful pups require plenty of walks and playtime. Toys are also useful to keep the intelligent puppy’s mind active; they will prevent them from destroying your furniture, alongside the proper training.

Parent Breeds of the Australian Shepherd Shar Pei Mix
Image Credit: (L) OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock | (R) David Raihelgauz, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei

If your Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei takes after their Shar-Pei side, they will be a little more reserved than the playful Aussie. They are devoted to their families but might be more reserved around strangers, which means they come across as standoffish with people they don’t know. Early socialization will help with this and is particularly important if you often have guests.

The Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei is intelligent and will need plenty of mental stimulation, or undesirable behaviors might start to creep in. If they take after the Australian Shepherd, they will tempted to herd, which could involve other pets or children. However, you can reduce their need to herd with consistent training.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei is an excellent family dog for the right family. They are extremely loyal and protective, and while they do not want to curl up on the couch and cuddle all night, they will love you immensely and enjoy spending time with you.

They are great with older children since they prefer humans who can respect their boundaries, and younger children may be too wild for them. Their calm demeanor will lull people into a false sense of security, but if they think there is a threat to their family or home, they will defend them.

That is why training and early socialization are necessary; your dog will learn to determine who is a guest and who is an intruder.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 

The Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei mix gets along with other dogs, and while they tend to have high prey drives, they can live alongside cats. If they take after the Shar-Pei side, they won’t appreciate rough-housing or excitable puppies, but the Australian Shepherd is more accepting of different personalities.

Most of the Shar-Pei’s history has been lost over the years, but we know they were bred for fighting. You can mitigate aggressive tendencies with training and socialization, neutering or spaying your dog, and making introductions gradually and under supervision.

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Things to Know When Owning an Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei doesn’t need anything special from their diet unless they have a health problem. However, they are energetic dogs, and with that comes a big appetite.

They need a high-quality, nutritious diet to keep up with all the energy they burn. Look for brands that list real meat first in their ingredients, like chicken, beef, or turkey, and avoid food that uses artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Your vet can help you develop a healthy diet plan for your Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei.

Exercise 🐕

Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei mixes thrive with daily exercise; if they can’t run and play every day, they can become unruly, destructive, and depressed. It is also bad for their physical health and will result in your dog putting on weight, which can lead to various health problems such as diabetes.

In public areas, they should always be on a leash. As well as having a high prey drive, they might get into fights with other dogs, especially if they take after the Shar-Pei. So, it’s best if you have a safe, fenced-in yard at home to allow them to run free.

Training 🎾

The Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei is intelligent and wants to please you, but that doesn’t mean your training journey will be easy. Expect a bit of pushback; they will challenge you and require a firm, consistent leader. They are best suited to a more experienced owner, but positive reinforcement and patience will go a long way with the Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei.

If your dog takes after their Shar-Pei parent, they might bond most with one family member. They will respond best to this person and ignore everyone else. Outsourcing training will be trickier in this sense, but you can always hire a professional if you’re struggling, and they can guide you and keep you both on track.

Grooming ✂️

The Australian Shepherd and Shar-Pei have completely different coats, with the former having a much more high-maintenance coat that requires daily brushing to avoid tangles and mats.

However, regardless of the type your pet has, be prepared for shedding because they shed all year round, but it will be heavier during the summer and winter months. Brushing will keep this more under control, even if you can’t avoid it entirely.

Shar-Pesi are known for their wrinkled skin, and while you probably won’t have as many wrinkles to deal with, you’ll still have to set aside time to clean them regularly to avoid irritation and infection. Like any dog, their nails must be clipped monthly, and their teeth should be brushed frequently.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei is generally a healthy dig, but they are prone to some health problems.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Deafness
  • Entropion
  • Epilepsy
Serious Conditions
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism


Male vs Female

There aren’t any significant differences between males and females; males are a little bigger, and females look slightly leaner. If their temperament is much like the Shar-Pei, we would advise not housing two females together as rivalry can develop and turn violent.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei

1. They Come From a Long Line of Working Dogs

It’s believed the Australian Shepherd descended from herding breeds, and the Shar-Pei was bred to hunt and guard farms and livestock. This means their offspring loves having a job to do!

2. Shar-Pei Have Interesting Tongues

The Chow Chow most famously has a blue-black tongue, but did you know the Shar-Pei also has one? There’s no known genetic link between the two breeds, and we’re not entirely sure why the Shar-Pei’s tongue is this color, but some believe it was bred on purpose to make them look more ferocious.

3. They Can Have Two Differently Colored Eyes

Your pup might inherit this trait from their Australian Shepherd side. They can have two brown or blue eyes, but some have one brown eye and one amber or blue eye.

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Final Thoughts

The Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei is a beautiful mix of their parent breeds. These energetic, thoughtful, loyal dogs love having a job and spending time with their families. It can be difficult to anticipate what you will get with a mixed breed. In some ways, the Australian Shepherd and Shar-Pei aren’t the same, with the former being more playful and less aggressive and the latter being calmer and more independent.

The Australian Shepherd Shar-Pei is best suited to an experienced owner with the time, know-how, and patience to handle their big personality. They get along with older children and can live with other pets if the introductions are made correctly. If you’re willing to put in the time for this dog, you’ll be rewarded with a loving, devoted pet.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: (L) Anastasiia Cherniavskaia, Shutterstock | (R) Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock

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