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Sharbo (Shar Pei Boston Terrier Mix): Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Parent Breeds of the Sharbo

If you love the bright personality of Boston Terriers yet would like to get a more protective dog like a Shar-Pei, the Sharbo will be a perfect pick for you. This mixed pup grows into a beautiful mid-size pet with a big, witty brain, affectionate heart, and lots of talents. Now, the Sharbo does need its fair share of obedience training and socialization, of course, but it’s still a wonderful four-legged companion for a first-time owner.

Breed Overview

Height: 15–20 inches
Weight: 25–55 pounds
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Colors: Black, white, cream, brown, brindle, golden
Suitable for: First-time parents, active owners, large and small homes
Temperament: Loyal, smart, protective, easy to train, headstrong

The Sharbo is a faithful and capable dog with a curious yet obedient nature. It likes to spend time with its human family, learn new things, act a fool, and go out for walks and jogs. Another big pro: the Shar-Pei Boston Terrier mix is quick to adapt and rarely develops destructive behavior. It does have a stubborn streak, though, and tends to be aggressive when not supervised. So, how do you train, exercise, and feed the Sharbo? How do you keep it healthy? Let’s find out!

Sharbo Characteristics

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

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Sharbo Puppies

Apart from being all kinds of adorable, Sharbo pups are full of life and grow fast. If it takes after the Boston parent, the dog will have tons of energy, so give it enough space to burn off that steam. In contrast, if the Chinese genes prevail, the little boy/girl will be more tranquil and maybe even a little bit reserved. We have to also warn you that this isn’t exactly the most popular hybrid here in the States.

So, you might have to check a few spots before a Sharbo becomes available. If you can, avoid breeders and pet stores and instead look for the pup at an animal shelter or rescue center. This way, you’ll be able to take a proper look at the dog, ask the staff about any potential medical conditions, and know that you’ll be taking home a healthy and well-treated animal. Also, don’t forget to order food and water bowls, some toys, and a comfy bed to get the dog started.

Parent Breeds of the Sharbo
Image Credit: (L) David Raihelgauz, Shutterstock | (R) Eve Photography, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Sharbo

Sweet, playful, and protective of its owners—that’s the Sharbo in a nutshell for you. For the most part, it’s a gentle, amiable, and social pet, but it can also be a bit restless and anxious around unfamiliar faces. That’s because Chinese Shar-Peis have been impeccable guardians for hundreds of years and this distrust toward intruders is natural for them. Boston Terriers, in contrast, are fun and cheerful dogs without a care in the world.

Sharbo pups tend to create strong bonds with humans and like to be involved in the lives of their owners. With that, they aren’t at all clingy and you won’t have to deal with separation anxiety unless you leave the dog alone for a long time. These mixed-breed buds are smart and like to get things done, but they’re no strangers to the wonders of lying on the carpet/couch and watching TV.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes, both Boston Terriers and Shar-Pei are kind, loving, and caring dogs that like to be around humans. As for the Sharbo, it does, of course, have an independent streak (courtesy of the Chinese breed), but that doesn’t make it any less affectionate. It’s a wonderful pet for an active family that likes to spend time outdoors and play puzzle games. And, as long as the dog gets about an hour of fun time outside the house, it won’t mind getting cozy in a relatively small apartment.

Do keep in mind, however, that this lovey-dovey attitude is mostly reserved for people the Sharbo dogs love and trust. Strangers, in turn, get to witness the alert, standoffish, and aggressive side of the coin. If the Boston genes win over the Chinese ones, the dog will be more welcoming to strangers. If not, you’ll have to get it there through early socialization.

What About Little Children?

Boston Terriers are incredibly patient toward kids, especially if they grow up together. Shar-Pei pups are good with children as well, but they will get annoyed if the kids handle it the wrong way. That’s why it’s so important to control these interactions and see that every single person in the family knows the basics of playing with a dog. When the Sharbo is still a pup, it’s very easy to accidentally hurt it during playtime.

But if it’s a fully grown adult that weighs 50+ pounds, it might be a threat to toddlers instead. Yes, this goes both ways and so does the training. While you’re busy putting the pooch through early socialization (we’ll talk about that in a moment), take some time to educate your kids as well. Ideally, wait until they’re around 5–9 years old to adopt a Sharbo. At that age, it will take less effort to ensure a proper interaction between the pet and the child.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Generally friendly and tolerant of fellow canines, the Boston Shar-Pei mixed breed must be supervised to avoid misunderstandings that could lead to trouble. By default, Bostons get along with never-seen-before dogs better than Shar-Pei, but every single pup is different. Your goal as the owner should be to show the pet that not every stranger is an enemy and that it’s okay to share space with other animals.

It will take more effort for a Sharbo to befriend a smaller pet (like a cat), but it’s possible. Just make sure the dog knows that you love and care about it. Otherwise, it might get jealous if you spend too much time with another pet! The same goes for when you’re having fun with the whole family, yet the pup is not invited.

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Things to Know When Owning a Sharbo

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Although this dog does have roots in China, you won’t have to feed it any exotic or expensive meals. Instead, look for premium-quality, protein-rich food for medium-sized dogs that can provide this energetic pet with the necessary nutrients for proper growth and muscle development. On average, 1.5 to 2.5 cups of dry food should be enough. Also, see that the food doesn’t have many filler ingredients (especially if you adopted a pup).

Exercise 🐕

Shar-Peis are a bit lazy, while Boston Terriers like to get busy. So, that puts Sharbo pets right in the middle. To stimulate this pup physically and mentally and to keep it in proper shape, see that it gets at least an hour of exercise. But, again, every dog is different: some pups are happy with a short walk around the blocks, while others need to run for 30–40 minutes every day to be happy. Oh, and just letting the bud out of the house doesn’t count, as it won’t start playing on its own.

That means you’ll have to spend some time with the fury baby and be involved and invested in the process. It can be a walk, jog, hike, or something a bit more fun like Fetch, Tug-Of-War, or hide-and-seek. Sharbo dogs are big fans of agility, obedience, tracking, and other activities. So, what kind of games will your dog like? You can figure that one out by trying out different things and watching the pet’s reaction.

Training 🎾

To earn the dog’s trust and make it follow your lead, find the golden middle between a firm hand and a friendly attitude. Sharbo dogs are gentle and sensitive and don’t appreciate harsh corrections. Patience goes a long way here, but don’t forget to use positive reinforcement at the right moments to encourage good behavior. In many ways, dogs (no matter how big or small) are like children and rely on treats to stay focused.

And if you combine early socialization with puppy classes, you should be able to raise it into an exemplary pet. Start by letting the pup interact with as many different people, dogs, cats, birds, and, of course, places as possible. The more situations the dog goes through at a tender age, the less aggressive and more trusting it will be, which is exactly what we’re going for here.

Grooming ✂️

Once a week: that should be your motto for grooming the Sharbo. This rule applies to brushing its coat, clipping its nails, and cleaning its ears. As for bathing, once in 1–2 months will do, but it depends on the pup’s activity level (how often the coat gets messy) and other factors. For brushing, use the tried-and-true combination of a bristle brush (soft) and a rubber mitt. Doing it every week will not only remove dead hair but also distribute the dog’s natural oil evenly.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Sharbo dogs enjoy a slightly above-average lifespan and can live for up to 16 years. To ensure that, feed the pup premium-quality food, spend at least an hour or two exercising and playing with it, and have the dog checked by a veterinarian once or twice a year. And here’s a look at the most common medical issues for this mixed breed. The Sharbo is prone to GDV, dysplasia, bowel diseases, and bacteria:

Minor Conditions
  • Skin fold dermatitis
  • Bacteria/infections
  • Reverse sneezing
Serious Conditions
  • Hip/elbow dysplasia
  • Luxating patella
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • GDV
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Male vs Female

On average, male Boston Terriers are an inch or two taller than females. They’re a bit heavier, too: 20–25 pounds versus 15–20 if you adopt a girl. The difference is roughly the same with Shar-Pei dogs. So, if you’d like to adopt a compact pet, a lady Sharbo will be a better choice. She won’t get restless or bark as often as the boys do. Female dogs also tend to be less aggressive toward strangers and take less time and effort to train.

With that, male Shar-Pei Boston Terrier mixes are better guardians. They are naturally more inclined to protect their favorite humans (especially little kids) from a potential threat. On the downside, the pup will be more territorial and have an independent, stubborn temperament. Summing up, each sex has its pros and cons. Essentially, it’s up to you to decide whether you want a boy or a girl for your household.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Sharbo

1. Sharbo Dogs Are Recognized by a Few Kennel Clubs

The crossbreed between Boston Terriers and Chinese Shar-Pei is not recognized by the AKC or the UKC because they only accept purebreds. That doesn’t mean this dog isn’t welcome in other kennel clubs, though. Right now, it’s accepted by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Dog Registry, and the International Designer Canine Registry. The list also includes the DDKC and the DRA.

This is important: while the Sharbo might not be able to participate in some shows and competitions, there are still quite a lot of awesome sports and events that welcome crossbreeds. For example, the AKC has a wonderful Canine Partners Program that puts together events like Agility, Obedience, and Rally for hybrid pups. You can sign up online and join a local event right now!


2. They Don’t Actually Drool or Bark That Much

Just like most big, heavy dogs with wrinkles and loose jowls, Shar-Peis tend to drool quite a lot. On top of that, when they see something exciting or scary, they often start barking. None of that applies to Boston Terriers, though. These guys aren’t at all vocal and only bark to warn their owners of a potential danger. More good news: the American Gentlemen drool-prone. But where does that leave the Sharbo mixed breed?

It all depends on which parent the hybrid takes after. But, even if it turns around to be a 100% copy of its Chinese mom or dad, the drooling and barking levels will still be low compared to a purebred Shar-Pei.


3. These Cute Buds Are Decent WatchDogs

Despite the modest size (Sharbo dogs rarely go over 55 pounds in weight) and cute personality, the Shar-Pei Boston mixed breed is alert and fearless. Now, it might not be able to fend away the biggest beast or burglar out there, but if you put it on guard duty, this four-legged friend will never leave its post. As mentioned, Shar-Pei pups were originally bred to serve as watchdogs and guardians. Boston Terriers are a lot more open to strangers, though.

Again, it all comes down to which parent breed’s genetic code the “lovechild” inherits. If you’re not sure how good the pet will be at this, pay attention to its behavioral patterns. Do you feel like the Sharbo is aloof with strangers, aggressive toward other dogs, and likes to walk the perimeter of your property like it owns the place? Well, that means you’ve got a natural-born guardian on your hands!

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Final Thoughts

Sharbos are truly one-of-a-kind dogs. On the one hand, they are cute, cuddly, and friendly, with a joyful, playful, and ready-for-whatever type of personality. At the same time, they can be bold, independent, and headstrong, not to mention hostile toward strangers. While both Shar-Pei and Boston Terriers are loyal and affectionate, the dog’s personality will differ depending on which parent’s footsteps the Sharbo follows.

The important thing is that with enough effort, you can shape the pup into a perfect pet. Use early socialization, obedience training, and positive reinforcement, and the dog will be as strong as a Shar-Pei but with the personality of a Boston Terrier. This will take time and dedication, but the Sharbo isn’t that hard to train; plus, it’s eager to please and well-suited for apartment living. That makes it a great first-time pet for inexperienced owners.

Be a gentle leader; use the tips from our guide on feeding, training, and grooming, and this beautiful hybrid will grow into a friendly, confident, and all-around solid champ!

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Featured Image Credit: (L) Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock | (R) BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

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