If you are looking for a unique dog in every aspect of that word — then the Bear Coat Shar Pei is the one for you. These real life teddy bears will win you over with their adorable looks and deep wisdom. Due to the fact that this is one of the oldest dog breeds out there, definitely don’t underestimate how wise these canines are.
The Bear Coat Shar Pei is known for his blue-black tongue and deep wrinkles. When they are born these wrinkles are more visible and deep, but they grow into their skin after some time. Even though they are one of the oldest dog breeds out there, the American Kennel Club recognized it as their 134th breed only in 1992.
Origin of the Bear Coat Shar Pei
The Bear Coat Shar Pei originated in southern China. They are a successor to dogs such as the Chow Chow or Tibetan mastiff. It’s estimated that this breed could have been around since 200 years a. C. Yup, that’s more than 1800 years of people enjoying the Bear Coat Shar Pei.
Back than, this was a working breed. They were hunting dogs, sheepdogs, watchdogs… Unfortunately, they were also fighting dogs.
In the 1940s the Chinese state decreed that dogs were a luxury. They believed that they should be consumed as food to cope with poverty and hunger. Due to this absolutely terrible and unthinkable statement, the Yulin festival began — and so did the consumption of dog meat.
It was during that period that the Bear Coat Shar Pei almost went extinct. But thankfully, they were exported to other countries, especially the US. That made it possible for us to enjoy their company as well, almost 80 years after that frightening statement was decreed.
Personality of the Bear Coat Shar Pei
These dogs are definitely one of a kind! They are calm like no other, docile, affectionate and unbelievably respectful towards their owners. But towards other people as well.
They have a deep set sense of loyalty towards their owner and his family, and will get very attached to all of them. And unlike most other dog breeds, the Shar Pei does not like nor need constant attention. They want to calmly rest by their own and enjoy their free time.
While we did say that these dogs are attached to their families, they are still very independent. You will very rarely experience a Shar Pie fall into destructive behaviors because he is bored or has nothing else to do. They are perfectly fine even when on their own, however they do enjoy to be at least in the same room as you.
But just like with any other dog breed, the Bear Coat Shar Pei needs training and socialization to be his best self. But as they are a very smart and wise dog breed, training them shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you start the socialization process early, you will ensure that your Shar Pei has a peaceful attitude towards both, unknown people and animals.
Coat and grooming
There are different bloodlines of this dog breed around the world, so it’s no wonder that their coat also comes in many variations.
But in most cases the Bear Coat Shar Pei has a longer coat, that’s more than an inch long at the withers. It can come in various colors, such as blue, gray, white, cream. They also commonly have a darker muzzle area.
You will have to brush his coat once or twice a week. Although their coat is longer, they don’t have an undercoat. That’s why shedding won’t be too much of a problem.
Washing and baths every 3 weeks will be fine, and don’t forget to clean the area around his skin folds with a cloth regularly.
Health and life expectancy
Due to their thick skin, thick layer of fat and countless folds and wrinkles, the Bear Coat Shar Pei is predisposed to a number of different skin conditions. Make sure you clean the skin between his wrinkles regularly and that it does not collect too much moisture. That could lead to a fungus overgrow.
In addition to that dryness, dermatitis, or entorpión (skin that forms on the lower and upper lids of the animal) are other related skin diseases that could affect your Shar Pei.
Another well-known disease that this breed is prone to is a condition called Shar-Pei fever. This is a condition characterized by recurring fever and swelling of the hocks. Schedule regular appointments to the vet, at least every six months to prevent such problems. In addition to that, also keep your dog’s vaccination schedule up to date.
Thankfully, most Bear Coat Shar Pei dogs live a long and healthy life. Their life expectancy is somewhere between 8 and 12 years. Make sure your dog has a healthy and balanced diet, in addition to regular exercise. That way you won’t only prolong his life expectancy, but also better his quality of life.