The Shar-Pei, or Chinese Shar-Pei, originated in China. In China the term fighting dog also means guard dog and as such, the Shar-Pei are still considered fighting dogs. In 1978 the Guinness Book of World Records, Time magazine and the AKC named the Shar-Pei the rarest dog breed. Shar-Pei puppies are born even more wrinkled than the full grown dogs and are said to “grow into their skin”. The coloring can be any of 16 different colors according to the AKC, but must be solid, include black, cream, fawn, red-fawn, red, sable, apricot, chocolate, isabella, lilac and blue. This breed has the same blue-black tongue as the Chow and the Chinese believed this dark coloring in the tongue and lips scared off evil spirits. The name Shar-Pei means “sand coat” which describes their harsh coats which can be either horse, (short) or brush (up to an inch long). The AKC recognized this breed in the Non-Sporting Group in 1992. An ideal size range is 18 to 20 inches tall at the withers with a weight of 45 to 60 pounds.
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