Canis familiaris

Last updated: November 5, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Yllosubmarine/CCBY3.0 – License / Original

Ori-Pei's are born with short noses, which causes them to grunt and make a lot of noise when they breathe.


Ori-Pei Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis familiaris

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Ori-Pei Locations

Ori-Pei Locations

Ori-Pei Facts

Name Of Young
Group Behavior
  • Social
Fun Fact
Ori-Pei's are born with short noses, which causes them to grunt and make a lot of noise when they breathe.
Gestation Period
63 days
Average Litter Size
3-4 puppies
  • Social
North America

Ori-Pei Physical Characteristics

  • White
  • Gold
  • Tan
  • Cream
  • Multi-colored
Skin Type
12-15 years
10-30 pounds
12-15 inches
Age of Sexual Maturity
6-9 months
Age of Weaning
6 weeks

Ori-Pei as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
10-30 lbs
Female weight
10-30 lbs

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The ori-pei is a hybrid mix breed of purebred parents, namely the Chinese shar-pei and pug. The ori-pei originated in North America in the year 1970. A Chinese shar-pei breeder, Aaron Silver, grew very fond of the shar-pei breed but disapproved of their health issues. At that time, he decided to create a hybrid breed by making it smaller and solving some health issues. So, he bred the shar-pei and pug and created the ori-pei breed we know today.

The Different Types of Mixed Breeds

There are no known mixed breeds of the ori-pei, as this is already a hybrid mix breed bred with the shar-pei and pug.

Fun Facts About the Ori-Pei Dog

  • The ori-pei has a variety of names, such as the pug-pei, sharpug, and the American ori-pei.
  • They are born with short noses, which cause them to grunt and make a lot of noise when they breathe.
  • The ori-pei is known for its wrinkly facial skin, which gives it a unique appearance.

Pros and Cons of Owning an Ori-Pei Dog

Non-hypoallergenic: ori-pei’s grooming needs are low maintenance because their fur consists of short, fine hair strands, which keeps them from shedding often.They are brachycephalic: this condition means that they have short noses, making it difficult for them to breathe correctly. In addition, their nostrils are narrow, preventing sufficient airflow through their nasal passages.
Easily trained: they are exceptionally intelligent and respond well to commands, thus allowing training techniques to be taught easily.They have wrinkly skin: their wrinkly folds can cause sweat and dirt to accumulate, which can cause bacteria to form, causing skin disorders.
Laid-back nature: they love to relax and prefer to catch a siesta over any exercise or outdoor activity.Must live indoors: because they have breathing issues, they can easily overheat. They should stay in cool areas to regulate their body temperature and prevent panting.

Ori-Pei Diet

Because ori-pei’s are small, their digestive system processes their food faster, meaning they require more calories in their diet than other breeds. There are so many food options out there, but not all of their ingredients suit your dog’s needs.

When choosing either wet canned food or dry kibble, ensure the food is formulated with high-quality ingredients that contain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for a balanced and healthy diet. We recommend Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.

If you decide to use kibble, look for smaller bite-sized pellets, as this will be easier for your ori-pei to chew and digest.

Best for Small Breeds
Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

•Specialized small breed formula

•Antioxidants, prebiotics, and probiotics for overall health & wellness,

•High protein for muscle maintenance and growth

•Superfoods & fruits for vitamins & minerals

Check Chewy Check Amazon

Ori-Pei’s Weight and Size

Both males and females weigh a maximum of 10-30 pounds, and their heights range from 12-15 inches tall.

Ori-Pei Health Issues

Although initially bred to reduce the health concerns of the shar-pei and pug, there is no guarantee that newborn puppies won’t inherit health issues from the purebred parents.

If you are considering owning an ori-pei, make sure you find a reputable breeder who can provide a genetic history. This breed is susceptible to health issues, such as:

Ori-Pei’s Temperament

The ori-pei possesses a playful, loving, and charming nature. They like to act silly and are very in tune with their owners. In fact, they will listen to your conversations and might add a few barking opinions of their own. They are knowledgeable and respond well to commands but can sometimes be stubborn.

Regarding outdoor activities, the ori-pei is not too concerned about catching the summer’s rays or investigating what nature has to offer. They prefer being cool indoors and resting in a comfortable area where they can vegetate and nap.

How to Take Care of an Ori-Pei Dog

It is necessary to do proper research when adopting your canine, as this will give you a clear indication of how to take care of your dog. You should:

  • Provide a clean and comfortable living environment
  • Always keep your dog’s water bowl filled with fresh water
  • Give your dog a well-balanced and healthy diet
  • Make sure your dog gets enough exercise
  • Ensure that your dog goes for regular check-ups at the vet


The ori-pei’s coat is short and soft, resulting in low-maintenance grooming. Surprisingly, their hair does not shed often, so no brushing is required because their fur does not tangle.

However, this breed displays wrinkles around its face, so it is imperative to make sure to dry in between the folds of the skin after bathing. If the folds of the skin are not kept dry, bacteria can form, causing unnecessary skin conditions.

They require baths at least twice a month. Keep their nails trimmed and brush their teeth to prevent dental decay.


This breed responds well to training, especially when proper techniques are used. They are very intelligent and like to please their owners, but at times can be stubborn.

When training your ori-pei, you will need a lot of patience. Make sure to praise them and reward with tasty treats.


Even though ori-pei enjoy lounging around, they certainly appreciate a daily walk. Exercise is an excellent way for them to stretch their little legs and keep their joints and body in good shape. Take walks later in the day when temperatures cool down, as this breed is known to overheat when exposed to warm weather.

They prefer a relaxed walk, as their short muzzles don’t get enough airflow due to narrowed air passages.


This small breed can fall pregnant twice a year and average about three to four puppies in one litter. Female puppies’ sexual maturity can happen around six to nine months of age, but it’s best to wait for them to mature and grow before exposing them to mating.

Male puppies tend to be a bit bigger in size and have a more dominant personality, whereas females are more outgoing, but can be irritable when in heat.

Ori-Pei Dog and Children

Ori-peis express a well-balanced nature that is great for children. It is vital that both canine and child respect each other’s space, as this will instill necessary boundaries.

Dogs Similar to the Ori-Pei

The Chinese Chongqing is a unique medium-sized breed featuring a similar wrinkly face and a short muzzle. They also share similar intelligence and have a gentle nature.

However, the Chinese Chongqing has a stocky and muscular build, while the ori-pei has a smaller body shape. They also display a more confident and dominant personality.

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
About the Author

Kayeleen Parsons is a writer at A-Z Animals that thoroughly enjoys writing about animals of all types. She has a love for many animals, but her Cocker Spaniel dog holds a special place in her heart. In addition to being a writer, she's also an English teacher, sharing her knowledge to help her students become excellent in the language and literature. When she's not busy writing, Kayeleen enjoys reading and spending quality time with her family in her homeland of Cape Town.

Ori-Pei FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is an ori-pei hypoallergenic?

No, ori-pei’s grooming needs are low maintenance because their fur consists of short, fine hair strands, which keeps them from shedding often.

How big does an ori-pei get?

Both males and females weigh a maximum of 10-30 pounds, and their heights range from 12-15 inches tall.

Are ori-pei dogs good with children?

Ori-pei dogs express a well-balanced nature making them a great breed to introduce to children.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

  1. dog breed information, Available here: https://www.dogbreedinfo.com/oripei.htm
  2. wag walking, Available here: https://wagwalking.com/breed/ori-pei
  3. hepper, Available here: https://www.hepper.com/ori-pei/

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