Shar-Pei Lifespan: How Long Do Shar Peis Live?

Written by Heather Hall
Updated: August 28, 2023
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Key Points

  • Many factors affect a dog’s lifespan, including access to veterinary care and weight.
  • The average life expectancy for a Shar-pei is 8-12 years.
  • To increase lifespan, be sure to keep your dog a healthy weight and provide high-quality food.
Shar-pei lifespan infographic
Some Shar-pei dogs can live for up to 12 years.

As pet owners, we all want our furry friends to live long and healthy lives. When it comes to shar-peis, a popular breed known for their wrinkles and unique appearance, many pet owners are curious about their lifespan. In this article, we will explore the question “How long do shar-peis live?” and dive into the factors that can affect their lifespan. From genetics to lifestyle choices, understanding what influences your shar-pei’s life expectancy can help you provide the best possible care for your beloved companion. So let’s take a closer look at what determines a shar-pei’s lifespan and how you can ensure they have a happy and healthy life by your side for as long as possible.

Shar-Pei Overview

shar pei puppy getting a treat isolated on white background

Shar-pei dogs have a lifespan of 8-12 years.

©WilleeCole Photography/

The shar-pei is a medium-sized dog breed that originated in China. They are known for their unique wrinkled appearance and loyalty to their owners. Shar-peis come in various colors, such as black, blue, cream, fawn, red, and chocolate. Their coat can be either short or brush-like, depending on the type of shar-pei.

As pets, they are typically calm but also independent dogs. They require early training and socialization to prevent aggressive behavior towards strangers or other animals.

Shar-peis require moderate exercise, including daily walks, to maintain good health. They may experience common health issues such as hip dysplasia and skin allergies due to their wrinkles. Proper skin care and grooming is essential

Overall, shar-peis make great companions for those who are willing to provide them with the necessary attention and care they need throughout their lives.

Shar-Pei Lifespan

A beautiful, young red fawn Chinese Shar-Pei dog standing on the lawn, distinctive for its deep wrinkles and considered to be a very rare breed.

These Chinese shar-pei dogs are known for being intelligent and a bit stubborn.


Shar-pei dogs have a life expectancy of 8-12 years. These dogs, like all living beings, are subject to a variety of factors that can affect their lifespan. Genetics plays a significant role in determining the average lifespan for any breed of dog, including shar-peis. Additionally, environmental and lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise habits, and access to veterinary care can affect a shar-peis lifespan. Exposure to toxins or diseases can also impact the length of a dog’s life.

For example, obesity is known to be a significant factor in reducing canine longevity. Dogs who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of developing health issues such as heart disease or diabetes which can shorten their lifespan.

Similarly, regular exercise is essential for maintaining good overall health and extending life expectancy. By contrast, sedentary lifestyles with little physical activity can lead to weight gain and other related problems.

Additionally, regular visits to the veterinarian can help identify potential health risks early on before they become serious issues that could cut short your pet’s life span. Vaccinations and preventative care measures are important ways that owners can ensure their pets stay healthy and live longer lives.

Finally, each individual may have unique traits or circumstances which could impact its lifespan differently from others within its breed. As such, there will always be some variance when it comes to estimating how long shar-pei dogs will live on average. By taking steps towards proper nutrition, exercise routine, and veterinary check-ups, you might just give your beloved shar-pei friend a better chance at reaching his full potential!

Shar-Pei Grooming

Chinese Shar-Pei puppy playing outside in the garden.

Chinese shar-pei puppies mature quickly. Start your training early!

©Waldemar Dabrowski/

When it comes to grooming, the Chinese shar-pei is one of the easiest breeds to maintain. Unlike other dogs that require frequent brushing and trimming, this breed only needs minimal attention in terms of grooming. Groomers recommended giving them a bath once a month or as needed depending on how dirty they get. Overbathing can strip their coat of natural oils and cause dry skin, so be cautious not to overdo it.

Nail trimming is another essential aspect of shar-pei grooming as they have fast-growing nails. Ideally, you should trim your pup’s nails once every week using a grinder instead of clippers for better precision.

Cleaning their ears weekly is also important but remember not to use cotton swabs or hydrogen peroxide as these can damage their delicate ear canal. Instead, use an ear-cleaning solution that will “float” debris out gently without causing harm.

It’s best to start cleaning your pup’s ears at a young age. This will help them get used to regular ear-cleaning sessions without fussing around much. If you’re unsure about which product works best for your pet or need more guidance on how often you should clean their ears, consult with your veterinarian. They can provide expert advice tailored specifically to your dog’s individual needs.

Shar-Pei Exercise

When it comes to exercise needs, shar-pei dogs are a breed that can adapt very well to different lifestyles. Exercise is one of the most important factors when it comes to increasing a shar-peis lifespan. While some may require more physical activity than others, generally speaking, they do not have particularly demanding exercise requirements. This means that they can thrive with an owner who is highly active and takes them for daily walks or runs. On the other hand, they can also be content living in an apartment with just a few shorter walks throughout the day.

In addition to physical activity, shar-peis also benefit greatly from mental stimulation. Activities such as obedience training, tracking exercises, agility courses, and rally competitions are great. These types of activities provide both mental and physical challenges for the dog. They also allow owners to bond with their pets over shared experiences.

Shar-Peis are known for their stubborn streaks, which make training challenging at times. However, this same trait also makes them incredibly determined when it comes to learning new things or participating in activities that challenge them mentally or physically.

Overall, shar-pei dogs are versatile when it comes to exercise needs and enjoy engaging in various types of activities with their owners. Whether you prefer long hikes or indoor games like puzzle toys or hide-and-seek games – there’s always something fun you can do together!

Shar-Pei Training

According to experienced dog trainers, it is important to start basic obedience training early with shar-peis. Your goal is to establish yourself as a consistent and loving leader. While these dogs are intelligent and eager to please, they can also be headstrong. They are inventive in finding new ways to do things that may not align with your expectations. However, by consistently teaching them with affectionate guidance, you can develop a deeply rewarding relationship with your shar-pei.

Training may not directly affect a shar-peis lifespan, but it is important for their quality of life. Early socialization is crucial for shar-peis to grow into well-adjusted companions who are comfortable around other people and animals. Puppy training classes provide an excellent opportunity for young pups to learn essential skills such as house training and leash walking. You can also work on crate-training and basic commands like sit and stay. As shar-peis mature quickly from puppies into adults, it’s best to begin their education sooner rather than later for optimal results.

In conclusion, training an intelligent breed like the shar-pei may require some extra patience on the part of their owner or trainer. But, consistent positive reinforcement techniques will ultimately lead to a happy dog who respects your authority while enjoying all the benefits of being part of a loving family unit. By investing time in early socialization and puppy training, you’ll set up your pet for success throughout its lifespan as a loyal companion by your side!

History of the Shar-Pei Breed

The shar-pei breed is one of the many dog breeds that come from China, a country with a distinct culture that has been largely isolated from outside influences. The history of this breed dates back thousands of years ago, during the Han Dynasty. Chinese peasants used this dog as a multi-purpose dog for hunting, herding, and protecting their livestock. Its name translates to “sand skin” in English because of its rough coat.

In 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was formed under Communist rule, there was a negative view of dog ownership due to its association with wealth and luxury. As such, the ruling party killed many purebred dogs, including several Shar-Peis. However, some Shar-Pei were able to survive thanks to preservation efforts in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Interest in the breed started gaining traction in the United States when Matgo Law asked Americans for help saving the endangered breed from extinction in 1973. Due to enthusiastic responses from dog lovers across America who fell in love with their unique appearance and loyal temperament, these dogs were able to thrive once again despite their near brush with extinction.

Finally, recognizing their impressive heritage and endearing traits after decades-long campaigns by dedicated enthusiasts worldwide, American Kennel Club officially recognized the Chinese shar-pei as an individual breed on May 14th, 1992 which also gave them access not only within AKC but also to other international canine organizations around the globe too!

Summary Table

Coat ColorsBlack, Blue, Cream, Fawn, Red, Chocolate
Exercise NeedsModerate
TrainingEarly and Consistent
Lifespan 8-12 years.Genetics, Diet, Exercise, and Veterinary Care all play a role in longevity

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Liliya Kulianionak/

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About the Author

Heather Hall is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on plants and animals. Heather has been writing and editing since 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Heather enjoys hiking, gardening, and trail running through the mountains with her dogs.

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