Shar-Pei History

 

The Chinese Shar-Pei,an ancient and unique breed, is thought to have originated in the small village of Tai Li in Kwangtung
  Province, and has existed for centuries in the southern provinces of China, apparently since the Han Dynasty (c. 200 B.C.). Statues
  bearing a strong resemblance to the Shar-Pei have been discovered and dated to this period. More recently, a Chinese manuscript
  of the 13th century has been translated; it refers to a wrinkled dog with characteristics much like those of the Shar-Pei.
  The name "Shar-Pei"itself literally means "sand-skin", but translated more loosely as "rough, sandy coat" and refers to two
  distinctive qualities of the Shar-Pei coat-roughness and shortness- which make the breed unique in the dog world. the Shar-Pei
  shares another distinctive characteristic with only one other breed, the Chow-Chow, in having a blue black tongue, which may
  indicate an ancestor common to both breeds, a now extinct breed that was common about 2000 thousand years ago in Tibet and
  the north Chinese province. However proof of such a relationship is difficult.

  The history of the Chinese Shar-Pei in modern times is incomplete. However it is known that when the Chinese Communists came
  to power that a tax was imposed and the breed was led to near extinction. No dogs were seen in the cities, and few dogs remained in
  the countryside. During this period few Chinese Shar-Pei were bred in Hong Kong,BC and in the Republic of China (Taiwan).
  The breed was recognized by the Hong Kong Kennel Club until about 1966. Subsequently the The Hong
  Kong and Kowloon Kennel Association established a dog registry and registered the Shar-Pei. This origination still registers the
  breed today as do other registries in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, as well as organizations in Europe, Canada and Great Britain

  I n the United States, the documented history of the breed goes back to 1966 when a few dogs were imported from stock registered
  with the Hong Kong Kennel Club. The American Dog Breeders Association registered a Chinese Shar-Pei for J.C.Smith on October
  8,1970. Strong interest in the breed increased in 1973 when Matgo Law of Down-Homes Kennels, Hong Kong, appealed to dog
  fanciers in the United States to "Save the Chinese Shar-Pei". The response was enthusiastic, and the because of their rarity, a
  limited number of Shar-Pei arrived in the United States in the fall of 1973. The recipients of these dogs corresponded with each
  other and decide to form a national dog club and registry. The Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America, Inc,(CSPCA), held it's first
  organizational meeting in 1974, and the club has been in continuous existence since that time. The first Annual National Specialty
  Show was held in 1978 and successive national shows have been held each year.

  The Club's primary purpose was to promote the breed, maintain the stud book registry and to provide a standard for the breed. On
  May 4, 1988 the Chinese Shar-Pei was accepted in to the American Kennel Club ( AKC ) Miscellaneous Class. The CSPCA
  continued to represent the breed and operate the registry until the AKC accepted the breed into the Non-Sporting Group on
  August 1, 1992. The CSPCA continues to promote the best interest of the breed, maintains the Standard and serves as a  Member
  Club of the AKC.

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Photos courtesy of S. & J. Kastner