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Do Shar Peis Shed a Lot? Facts & Grooming Tips

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By Nicole Cosgrove

shar pei dog lying on the floor

The Shar-Pei is a one-of-a-kind doggo with a unique appearance, calm, confident personality, and independent nature. And if you’re planning on adopting this pup, you’re probably wondering about the maintenance routine. Well, don’t worry: the Shar-Pei has low to moderate grooming needs. But what about the coat—does it shed intensively? No, the Shar-Pei is not a heavy shedder.

Brush it weekly, and the coat will stay in proper shape. That said, the Shar-Pei does shed quite a lot during the molting season (late spring and early winter). So, what type of coat does it have? How do you keep the shedding to a minimum? What’s the best way to groom this bud? Read on to find out!

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Do Shar-Peis Shed Extensively?

The short answer is no, Shar Peis are not big on shedding. In fact, a well-fed, healthy, and happy Shar-Pei will shed very little compared to other medium-sized dogs. As long as you stick to a strict brushing schedule and bathe the pet regularly, it shouldn’t be that hard to keep the “casualties” to a minimum. You will, however, have to put in extra effort once the shedding season kicks in.

It happens twice a year: in late spring/early summer and late fall/early winter. We can’t give you an exact date, though, as it depends on the weather, Shar-Pei’s age, sex, and other factors. But you should expect the molting to start once it gets very hot or cold outside. And how long will the shedding last? Most likely, the pup’s coat will go back to normal in 2–3 weeks, but it could take up to a month or more.

Chinese Shar pei puppy portrait at garden
Image Credit: Waldemar Dabrowski,Shutterstock

What Kind of a Coat Do These Dogs Have?

Shar-Peis aren’t that different from other dogs, but the wrinkled skin and harsh, sandy coat instantly make them stand out. In Chinese, “Shar-Pei” means exactly that—“sand skin”. The fur is nice and short and doesn’t require additional upkeep. More importantly, Shar-Pei pups can have three different types of coats, including horse, brush, and bear. The horse coat is prickly and bristly and no longer than one inch.

The brush is a bit longer and smoother, but it’s still easy to maintain. Lastly, the bear coat makes the Shar-Pei look like a Chow-Chow (a fellow breed from China), but it’s not accepted by most clubs. AKC officially recognizes 21 coat colors and seven markings, which means that between the coat types, colors, and tones, you’ll have plenty to choose from.

Learning How to Take Care of a Shar-Pei’s Coat

Gentle brushing once or twice a week is all this dog needs during the regular days. When the Shar-Pei starts to shed extensively, switch to a daily brushing routine to keep the situation under control. Letting the doggo walk around freely during the heavy shedding days will quickly lead to a disaster—the whole house covered in dead fur. The carpets and the furniture will suffer the most.

A rubber bristle brush is the safest and most effective tool for brushing Shar-Pei’s short coat. Don’t rush it, though: be very gentle with how you use the brush. Otherwise, the dog’s skin might get irritated. Also, while you’re busy grooming the pet, don’t forget to treat it with snacks for being a good boy/girl and standing still. This is especially true when the Shar-Pei is a pup and just getting used to being groomed.

Cute Shar-Pei dog with owner at home
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot,Shutterstock

Helping the Dog Shed Less: A Detailed Guide

While you can’t (nor should) make the shedding season go away, there are some tried-and-true techniques for minimizing the shedding. It might not seem important at first, but when you get overwhelmed by all the dead hair taking over the house, even a little bit of “breathing room” will be greatly appreciated. Here’s what you should do:

  • The diet comes first. The food has a very big effect on the dog’s skin and coat health. Feeding the pup premium-quality, nutrient-rich meals with no filler ingredients will help the fur “stick around” a bit longer. In contrast, when the diet lacks proteins, fats, and carbs and the coat doesn’t get enough nutrition, you end up with a house full of fur.
  • Hydration matters as well. Another common reason for abnormal shedding in Shar-Pei dogs (or any other breed) is dehydration. The side effects are very similar to when the pup’s coat is robbed of nutrients. So, make sure the Shar-Pei always has quick access to a bowl of fresh water (changed at least every 24 hours).
  • Keep the dog happy. Chronic stress is known to cause long-lasting effects on a pup’s coat, particularly its texture and shedding frequency. Metabolic issues, trouble with the GI tract, arthritis, and parasites can also have a huge negative effect on the skin and the coat. So, try to keep the Shar-Pei stress-free.
  • What about allergies? More than a few skin conditions/allergies directly affect a dog’s coat. For example, when an allergy disrupts natural skin oil production, it makes the coat weak, dull, and more prone to shedding, regardless of the season. Treatments include a diet change, new exercises, and meds.
  • Don’t skip on vet visits. You never know what kind of disease or medical condition the doggo might be dealing with until a veterinarian checks it thoroughly. It can be something trivial or a serious matter that requires immediate medical attention. The sooner you deal with a potential issue, the better!
  • Cover precious furniture. Let’s face it: no amount of brushing can protect the house from dog fur during the shedding season. Therefore, make sure to cover every single chair, couch, and bed you have and maybe also hide a particularly expensive carpet. As for appliances and gadgets, use dust plugs to protect the ports.

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Conclusion

Like most dogs with short fur, the Shar-Pei doesn’t shed much. Brush it 1–2 times a week, and the pet will rock a healthy, beautiful coat and skin. Things do get “heated” during the heavy shedding season, though. It’s when the pup says goodbye to the old fur to grow a brand-new coat for the summer and winter months.

But it’s still very much manageable as long as you follow our tips on maintenance and don’t miss a single brushing season. Be gentle, get the right tools for the job, and be quick to trim the dog’s paws and clean its ears. Lastly, don’t forget that the Shar-Pei has no undercoat. So, protect it from temperature extremes!


Featured Image Credit: Alika Obraz, Shutterstock

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