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The breed standard calls for any solid colour.  Below we illustrate some of the colours Shar Pei can be found in.  The pictures are purely for illustration of colour and nothing more. Colours that are not acceptable include flowered/parti-coloured, black and tan, brindle and pointed colours.  While some of the first dogs sent out of China to preserve the breed were themselves flowered, they had been selected for their breed type as part of a programme to re-establish the breed.  Indeed Matgo Law, who had sent some of these dogs to the US, said himself that they would not be accepted in their home country of China.  For that reason breeders bred away from this 'fault' which is carried on a recessive gene and they became quite rare.  They have seen a rise in popularity among pet breeders in recent years and while they may be rarer than the standard colours, they should not cost any more to buy than one that does meet the standard.  In fact, it could be  argued they should cost less. Their colour should be registered on their KC registration as 'colour not recognised'.

              Fawn                                                      Fawn                                              Red fawn                                         Red fawn                                              Black

               Cream                                          Cream dilute                                                   Black                                                   Black                                                Black

                Blue                                                  Blue                             Lila pup Chocolate mum                       Isabella and Lilac                                 Five Point Red            

               Apricot                                         Isabella

Non-standard colours

         Parti-coloured/flowered                             Butterfly pattern                                                 Black and Tan                                                 Brindle


The Shar Pei gets its name from its coat.  Sa Peih in chinese means sand skin and refers to the very short harsh coat found particularly on the horsecoat. The breed standard calls for a coat that is extremely harsh, straight and off-standing on the body but flatter on the limbs. The Shar Pei has no undercoat which can mean when they moult they develop bald patches or a mottled look. Length of coat varies from short and bristly, under half an inch (1.25cm) or longer and thicker, between half an inch (1.25cm) and one inch (2.5cm), but still off-standing and harsh to the touch. N.B: no particular coat length within the accepted length should be preferred above the other. Never trimmed.  It believed that before the breed was sent to the US some breeders had been crossing in other breeds including the Chow Chow (possibly the origin of the brushcoat) and as a result the Shar Pei can carry a long coat recessive gene.  Breeders have bred away from this coat by selecting only those that meet the standard to breed on with but as with the flowered gene, the bear coat gene can be carried down generations reappearing when two carriers are bred together. Again and for this reason, bear coats became rare and they too have seen a rise in popularity among pet owners.  However, the coat is incorrect and as such should not command a higher price than a correct coat.

             Horse coat                                                                           Brush coat                                                                       Bear coat

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