The Chinese Shar-Pei,an ancient
and unique breed, is thought to have originated in the small village of Tai Li
Province, and has existed for centuries in the southern provinces of
China, apparently since the Han Dynasty (c. 200
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
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
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.