This ancient and distinctive breed of dog hails from China and is known for its unique features—bristle-like fur, wrinkled skin, and blue-black tongue. While they may look intimidating, Shar Peis can be cuddly and fiercely loyal pets. However, they are not recommended for first-time dog owners due to their independent and wary nature, as well as their susceptibility to various health issues.
But have you ever wondered why Shar Peis are so wrinkly? Those extra folds of skin serve a purpose—they help protect the dogs from attacks by other animals. Read on below to find out more.
An Overview of the History of the Shar Pei
Did you know that Shar Pei pups have existed for over 2,000 years? They were bred in China during the Han Dynasty and were known for their wrinkly skin and rough coats, making it challenging for their opponents to get a grip on them during battles.
Back in the 20th century, the Shar Pei almost went extinct. Their population was reduced during the communist revolution in China. Luckily, a breeder reached out to American dog lovers in the 1970s, and a few Shar Peis were shipped to the United States, where they became popular in no time. They even appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine.
However, their popularity came with a price. Overbreeding in the 1970s and 1980s caused some negative effects on the breed. Thankfully, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in the late 1980s, leading to more responsible breeding techniques. Nowadays, Shar Peis are still cherished by many, but the effects of that era are still felt in the breed.
It is fascinating to learn that the Shar Pei, a breed of dog that is popular for their wrinkled skin, has undergone significant changes in appearance through selective breeding. The breeders have intentionally amplified the wrinkles on their skin, which is now a prominent feature of the Shar Pei that we all know and love. This selective breeding has resulted in a unique appearance that distinguishes the Shar Pei from other dog breeds.
What Is the Most Wrinkly Dog Breed?
Wrinkly dog breeds have gained a lot more popularity in recent years. They are well known for the rolls their skin forms, but these canines aren’t necessarily obese.
Common Issues Associated with Wrinkles
It’s super easy for dirt to build up in all those tiny spaces, which can cause some health problems.
Seeing your furry friend struggle with skin problems can be heartbreaking. It may just be a minor issue that your veterinarian can easily take care of. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy.
Treating Possible Skin Issues
If your furry friend is struggling with a skin problem, it’s essential to understand the root cause of the issue to ensure effective treatment. Your veterinarian can help diagnose the problem by closely examining your pet’s skin and collecting a sample for testing. By running lab tests, your vet can determine whether the problem is bacterial or yeast-based and prescribe the most effective antibiotics to tackle the issue.
In addition to an oral or topical antibiotic, your dog may also benefit from an ointment to soothe the itching. With proper care, most infections clear up within a week or two.
Tips for Taking Care of Wrinkled Dogs
For dogs with wrinkles, you have to take extra care of their skin to prevent any potential skin problems. The key is to maintain clean and dry creases. Consult your veterinarian for the best advice on creating an effective skincare regimen that suits your dog’s specific needs.
These dogs can be challenging regarding health and training, so it’s crucial to consider your lifestyle, background, and goals.
Remember, you don’t want to compromise your pup’s well-being just because they look adorable. Always do your research and only buy from a reputable and ethical breeder. Choose a breeder who takes good care of the mother and pups in a loving environment, performs all the required health exams, and does not separate the pups from their mother before they are 8 weeks old.