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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