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Sharpull Terrier (Shar-Pei & Pitbull Mix): Breed Info, Pictures & Care Guide

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

shar pei american pitbull terrier mix

A Sharpull Terrier is a mix between a Staffordshire Pitbull Terrier and a Shar-Pei. Because they are not purebred, they vary considerably. You never know what traits a dog is going to inherit from its parents. You may end up with a dog that’s similar to a Pitbull or one that’s similar to a Shar-Pei. Most commonly, though, a Sharpull will be somewhere in between.

Breed Overview

Height: 12–20 inches
Weight: 24–60 pounds
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Colors: Various
Suitable for: Families that can provide the proper attention and exercise
Temperament: Reserved, independent, protective

These dogs are typically medium-sized, but they can vary widely. Some may only be just over 20 pounds, while others may be nearing 60. They’ll often have wrinkles, though the extent of their wrinkles will vary considerably. Some are exceptionally wrinkly, while others may not be wrinkly at all.

Temperament-wise, these dogs tend to be at least a little reserved and independent. They typically are not as friendly as a Pitbull. Therefore, socialization is even more important than it may be with a Pitbull.

Sharpull Terrier Breed Characteristics


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Sharpull Terrier Puppies

As puppies, this breed tends to be playful and full of energy, like most puppies. It’s important to start socialization and training from an early age to help offset their reserved and independent nature. Otherwise, they may be fearful as adults. Some puppies may be particularly affectionate, while others may be more independent.

These dogs are incredibly hard to find, though. They aren’t purebred, so there are very few breeders producing them. However, Shari-Peis aren’t common enough for these dogs to often appear in the shelter due to accidental litters. Therefore, you typically have to commit to waiting for a puppy to become available.

A better option may be to find a breeder that produces these puppies, though you may have to wait for a puppy to become available.

When choosing a breeder, be cautious and choose a reputable breeder specifically. It’s important that proper health testing is conducted on the parents to prevent health problems from being passed down to puppies.

Parent breeds of the Sharpull Terrier
Photo Credit: Left – Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock | Right – Natalia Fesiun, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Sharpull Terrier

As mixed-breed dogs, the temperament of the Sharpull Terrier can vary widely. That said, they do tend to have some specific traits. For instance, they tend to be pretty loyal, as both breeds possess this trait. They may form strong bonds with their owners, though others may be friendly with just about everyone, too. They may be reserved around others and particularly affectionate with their family only.

Most are pretty protective, making them good guard dogs. However, this also means that they need plenty of socialization and training. Otherwise, they can be a bit too protective and potentially even aggressive.

Despite being very loyal, it isn’t odd for these canines to be independent, too. They may not be as eager to please as other breeds. Therefore, while they may understand what you want them to do, they may not be very eager to actually do it. Training may be a bit more challenging for this reason.

Generally, these dogs have moderate intelligence. However, they may be independent, which means that they won’t necessarily aim their intelligence at their training. Instead, their intelligence may show through more often in their problem-solving abilities.

They’re pretty good at figuring things out and may need a bit of mental stimulation. Invest in a few puzzle toys, and be sure to provide consistent training.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

These dogs can be good for the right family. They’re often loyal and affectionate. They tend to form strong bonds with everyone in their family, including children. However, socialization is crucial to ensure they behave well with humans and other animals of all sorts.

They have a moderate energy level, so they don’t need tons of exercise. However, they still work best when coupled with a more active family. Training can also be challenging, so it’s important that you consider your experience level with training. These dogs often work best for those with at least some experience training dogs.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

It completely depends on their socialization. If you socialize these dogs well, they can get along with other pets in most cases. Otherwise, they can be quite reserved and even aggressive. Positive and controlled interactions with other animals can help prevent conflicts and establish a good relationship.

Individual personality matters, too. Some dogs are simply better with other dogs. Sometimes, dogs may be particularly uptight around other canines.

These dogs typically do have some prey drive, though it isn’t as significant as some other breeds. Therefore, they may not be as accepting of small animals and may spend a long time chasing them around.

You should always supervise your canine with other pets, especially if you don’t know how they might interact.

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Things to Know When Owning a Sharpull Terrier:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Sharpull Terriers have some specific dietary requirements, just like any dog. High-quality food works best, of course. Make sure to choose an option that works for their age.

Look for food that lists animal protein as the first ingredient. Any named meat is fine, including meat meals (like chicken meal or beef meal, as this is simply concentrated meat). Grain-inclusive food is a solid choice as long as your dog isn’t allergic to grains.

Be mindful of portions to prevent overfeeding. These canines tend to be very food-driven, so they may consume too much if they are free-fed. You should use the feeding instructions on the dog food as a starting point, but feel free to adjust the food amount according to your dog’s needs. Some dogs may need a diet food if they’re particularly prone to gaining weight.

You should establish a regular feeding schedule at an early age. Your puppy will probably need three meals a day, as they are smaller. However, adults do just fine on two meals a day.

While treats are often necessary for training, be mindful of the calorie content. You should reduce your dog’s normal food amount if you feed them tons of treats (or use their kibble as treats instead of traditional “treats”).

Exercise 🐕

This breed has a moderate energy level and requires regular exercise. Otherwise, they can become hyperactive, destructive, or overweight. Daily walks are a solid exercise option, and they can double as mentally stimulating if you allow your dog extra time to sniff around. A 30-to-45-minute brisk walk can meet your dog’s exercise needs in most cases.

You can incorporate playtime as exercise, too. While you cannot simply put these dogs in a fenced-in yard and expect them to meet their exercise needs, you can play games like fetch to provide exercise. Mental stimulation can be achieved with toys, too, if you purchase the correct ones. Active games (like hide-and-seek) can meet both needs.

Training 🎾

These canines need lots of training, as they can be protective and reserved. It’s important that you get a good handle on them from an early age to prevent accidents from occurring. Start training as soon as your puppy comes home and continue throughout their life. There really isn’t an “end date” to training, especially if it’s also your dog’s sole source of mental stimulation.

Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats, praise, and rewards to motivate your dog. This type of training is effective and encourages you to bond with your dog. These canines can be very sensitive to negative training methods, as they tend to be very independent, anyway.

Be consistent, as well. If you have several family members, ensure everyone is treating your dog the same and using the same cues. Not being consistent can make things more confusing for your dog.

Teach basic obedience commands, too. Every dog should learn to sit, stay, come, and down. These commands are very practical and useful for controlling your dog as an adult. You can move on to advanced training once these are learned.

You should also work on leash training. Your dog should be able to walk on a leash without pulling. You’ll want to walk your dog on a leash for exercise purposes, and your dog will need to walk on a leash for things like vet visits.

Be sure to address any behavioral issues right away. These dogs aren’t prone to behavioral issues, but they can occur in any breed.

Grooming ✂️

These dogs have varying grooming needs depending on the exact traits they inherit from each of their parents. They can have different coat types. However, they typically have shorter coats with varying numbers of wrinkles.

Occasional brushing with a soft-bristle brush is recommended to remove excess fur and keep your dog’s coat healthy. These dogs do not need frequent bathing unless they get particularly dirty. Be sure to use a mild dog shampoo to prevent skin issues, which these dogs can be prone to.

If your dog has wrinkles, you’ll need to pay extra attention to them. It’s important to clean and dry the skin folds daily to prevent moisture buildup. Built-up moisture can lead to skin infections due to bacterial overgrowth. Use a damp cloth to clean the wrinkles and then thoroughly dry them. If you bathe your dog or they get out in the rain, be sure to dry the wrinkles thoroughly to reduce bacterial growth.

You should also check your dog’s ears regularly to prevent ear infections. Use a damp, soft cloth or a cleaning solution to clean the outside of your dog’s ears. Never shove anything into your dog’s ears, as this can damage their ear drum.

Also, be sure to trim your dog’s nails to a comfortable length regularly. Long nails are uncomfortable and prone to breakage (which can be even more uncomfortable). Like all dogs, Sharpulls need their teeth brushed several times a week to prevent dental issues using dog-specific toothpaste.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Sharpull Terriers can be prone to certain health problems. However, they’re typically healthier than purebred dogs, as they inherit their traits from a wider gene pool. Careful breeding can also reduce the risk of health problems, as many are genetic. By preventing the breeding of dogs with these health issues, you can reduce the risk that their puppies will end up with them.

Hip dysplasia is one of the biggest problems with this breed, especially the larger varieties. This condition is only partially genetic. Exercise and diet can both play a role, too. This condition occurs when the hip joint doesn’t form properly, leading to joint problems and pain. Elbow dysplasia is another common issue.

Shar-Peis are prone to entropion, a condition where the eyelid rolls inward, causing irritation and eye problems. However, this condition is easily treatable if your dog happens to end up with it (though it does require minor surgery).

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Skin Problems
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
Serious Conditions
  • Autoimmune Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Heart Issues
  • Cancer

Male vs. Female

These dogs don’t vary much between genders. They tend to vary so much, anyway, that determining a difference based on gender is challenging. Therefore, gender isn’t a huge deciding factor you should be paying attention to for this breed.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Sharpull Terrier

1. They have a varied appearance.

Often, these dogs are marketed as adorable, slightly wrinkly cuddle bugs. However, they have a wide variety of different traits that they can possess, depending on what they inherit from their parent dogs. Therefore, it’s important not to get too set on appearance if you’re purchasing one of these dogs.

2. Their personalities are often unique, too.

On top of their appearance, you never know what these dogs will act like, either. Some are very friendly, while others are very reserved. Genetic predisposition does have a role in temperament, but how you raise the dog is also important.

3. Sharpull Terriers tend to be healthy.

While these dogs can still get health problems, of course, they tend to be healthier than either of their parent breeds. That’s because their parents are very genetically diverse, so they’re much less likely to inherit genetic health problems.

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Final Thoughts

Sharpull Terriers tend to be varied, as they are a mixed breed. They can inherit any trait from their Pitbull or Shar-Pei parent, so you never know exactly how they’re going to end up. Some are very friendly, but it is possible for them to be more aloof, too. It’s important to train and socialize these dogs well to prevent possible fearfulness and aggression in adulthood.

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Featured Image Credit: Oksana Bokhonok

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