Skip to Content

The Miniature Shar Pei: Wrinkles That Captured The World

The Miniature Shar Pei: Wrinkles That Captured The World

There are many dog breeds within the dog kingdom, and when it comes to choosing the right dog breed for you and your family, it can for sure be overwhelming. There are many factors that you need to think about, and because of that, you need to do intense research.

Some of the things you need to think about and that should be a  determining factor is the dog’s size. You may fall in love with a certain dog breed’s character, but the size might not be perfect for you.

Some people love big dogs but getting a smaller one will not be that big of a problem. Other people do not have the space, so they need a small dog breed. These people cannot get a big dog in case there might be a lot of problems connected with the size of the dog in the future.

Because of this, miniature versions of certain breeds were bred and are becoming more and more popular by the day. One of those breeds is the miniature Shar Pei.

Since you are reading  this article, we can tell that you fell in love with the Shar Pei breed, and finding out that there is a  miniature version probably made you pretty happy.

Let’s start with the ride because there is a lot to go through.

The Original Shar Pei

Shar Pei puppy in garden

When it comes to the purebred Chinese Shar Pei, you need to know that if you are looking for a dog to play with and cuddle, this dog is not for you. Of course, they have their loving and emotional side, but these dogs are more for people that want a dog that is calm, collected, and hardworking.

These dogs were originally bred in China and were used for hunting and guarding  their owners and their properties. The temper that they developed then stayed until this day.

They are calm, collected, alert, and always wary towards strangers. In 1999 they were brought to America. After that moment, their popularity started to grow.

The interesting thing is that the miniature version of this breed is a better representation of the original breed. But as they came to America, the bigger version was accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in the non-sporting group.

They are also known to be aggressive at some times, unfortunately. The reason why is their huge loyalty and protectiveness towards their owners. This can easily be prevented with good and early socialization and training.

People that own these pooches need to be dominant and know how to set rules and boundaries. This can be hard for some people, and because of that, this dog is not recommended for everybody.

All of this may make this dog seem like they are dangerous and overwhelming but don’t worry, this is not the case. They are quite loving dogs that need to be showered with love from time to time.

You might be surprised that Shar Peis come in many different colors, so there is something for everybody. Some of those colors are apricot, lilac, and sable

Their wrinkles are the factor that makes almost everybody fall in love with them. Some people might find their appearance strange, but even the ones with the coldest hearts cannot resist their smooshy and wrinkly faces.

The Miniature Shar Pei: Temperament And Personality

Chinese Shar pei puppy portrait at garden

Before we start describing this dog, we need to emphasize some things. Miniature Shar Peis might not be for everybody when it comes to their personalities, and you need to keep that in mind.

Dogs that have an interesting appearance to them can sometimes be irresistible, and we completely understand and agree. But appearance should never be the key factor in buying a dog because that cutie can easily turn into a problem that you will need to deal with for a long, long time or even give up in a shelter, which is never a good option.

We are sure that you are doing your research and that you will think through everything before getting this dog.

Now that we’ve got this out of our system, we can start with the strong temperament and personality traits of the mini Shar Pei.


Loyalty might be the first thing that needs to be mentioned when it comes to the mini Shar Pei. These dogs are truly a definition of ˝they will do anything for their owners˝. This can be considered to be a good and even a bad thing.

The good thing is that you will be protected and loved by this dog until its last breath. That is something that every dog owner would like to experience.

But on the other hand, it can cause some problems. Them being overprotective and too loyal can cause them to turn a bit aggressive at some point. They can also get too attached to you, which can be a lot for some people.

This needs to be straightened when they are puppies.

If you do not socialize and train your dog properly, or even more importantly, show them that you are the leader and that you do not need a lot to be happy with them, you might have a problem later.


This goes hand in hand with them being extremely loyal. They make the most amazing guard dogs and watchdogs. If you have a mini Shar-Pei around, you can feel safe.

Even though the mini in their name does not make them sound like they are that fierce, do not be fooled. These dogs will give their lives to protect their owners and all the people they love.

The miniature version of the Shar-Pei will also be  great protection for your kids if you have them. This is especially emphasized if they grew up together.

Make sure that you calm this side of them down as they are growing up because you might end up with an aggressive dog. Training and socializing an aggressive dog can be very difficult.


We mentioned that these dogs might not be the biggest cuddle bugs in the dog world, but they for sure have their affectionate side. With some of these pooches, this side will not be as big as with others, but it will pop out from time to time.

They do not like to be bothered, but when they decide that they want to receive and give some love, you will for sure be sharing the love for quite some time.

They are known for laying on you and just waiting for their dose of cuddles and kisses. This is not throughout the whole day and that is the reason why they are not for some people.

Kids are their weak spots because they can sense their purity, and they love to spend time with them. But when they feel overwhelmed, they will just go somewhere in their quiet spot.

Quiet And Calm

They might have energy in them, but their calm and patient temper will never make them have the zoomies or even make them show off all of their emotions.

They will show you when they are not happy with something and when they sense  something might be wrong. They will even show you when they do not like something or someone.

But when it comes to showing excitement and happiness, they know how to contain themselves.

If you are generally a happy family that would love to have a dog that will jump around from happiness and excitement, this pooch might not be for you. If you are persistent enough, you just might turn this cold pooch into a big affectionate ball of love.


They might not be extremely happy when it comes to meeting new people and animals. The miniature Shar Pei will always have some doubts when it is introduced to new people. It might take a longer time for them to make sure that they like someone.

When they come to that point, you can be sure that they will love those people with all their hearts. Not fully like their owners, but close enough.

Meeting new dogs can also be a bit strange for them because they will always consider them as a potential threat to their owners.

Early socialization is key with these dogs. An interesting thing is that they have the least problem with meeting young children. This also needs to be set with socialization, but naturally, they feel the need to protect young kids.

The Miniature Shar Pei: Appearance

shar pei in the park

The Mini Pei looks almost the same as the original Chinese Shar Pei. The only difference is the size. When it comes to these dogs, we can all agree that they have quite an interesting look to them. They will be turning all the heads if you go out with them in public.

A lot of people like to say that they have a head that resembles the head of a hippopotamus and when you really take a close look, we can see the resemblance.

They have small ears that almost look like they completely blend with their wrinkles. Sometimes they are not that noticeable.

They have big and wide snouts and small and sunken eyes that can sometimes make them look like they are sad.

A blue-black tongue is also something that is interesting about these pooches. This is something that they share with the Chow Chow breed.

The most dominant factor when it comes to their appearance, and the thing that the miniature Shar Pei dog is most known for, are their wrinkles. Their whole bodies are covered in wrinkles but do not let that fool you.

Since these dogs are often on the move, they will have muscular bodies underneath all those wrinkles. Well, we might also look a bit sad if we work hard for our bodies, but it does not show off because of wrinkles.

The coat is short (horse coat) in most cases, and it can come in various colors. But there is a thing called a bear coat Shar Pei. This is a mini Shar-Pei that has a longer coat than the more popular short-coated one.

The texture and color of the coat mixed with the wrinkles truly give an impression of a bear, and because of that, they are called bear coat Shar Peis.

The miniature Shar Pei will grow to be 17 inches and can weigh between 25 to 40 pounds, while the standard Shar Pei grows 18 to 20 inches and can weigh 45 to 60 pounds.

The Miniature Shar Pei: Training

Shar pei tries to rest in the shade of a hedge

The miniature Shar Pei will need a lot of training and socialization because of their temper. Do not get scared. These pooches are extremely intelligent, and they will not need a lot of time to get a hold of anything that you want to teach them.

The training part should be more focused on socialization which can get overwhelming but not impossible.

You will need to have some patience and set aside some time to train them, but we are sure you’ve got this. The most important thing is to show that you are the leader and that they need to listen to you.

If they sense that you do not have that dominant presence, they will for sure try to be the dominant one. When you get that straight and include some treats as well, you will have amazing results.

Punishing your dog by screaming at them and spreading the tense energy will be a problem. Never hit your dog because they might not forgive you later on. All of this can cause your dog to dislike training sessions and even make them fear you in a bad way.

Here are some things that you will need to teach your dog in the beginning stages of their lives. Some are necessary, while others are more for fun, but it is a good way to introduce your pooch to the training world.

Potty training. This is one of the first things that you will teach your dog. This is easier for people that live in a house with a yard. The apartment folks might have a bit more work to do, but it is not that hard. They will get it in no time.

Stop and come. These two commands can be a lifesaver. When your dog knows that it needs to come or stop immediately as you say those words, you and your dog’s lives will be much easier. You will be able to let them play in the dog park freely and even walk around with them without a leash.

Kennel training. This is for people that decide that their doggies will sleep in a crate. Not every dog owner will choose this option, but if you are the one that does, you will need to prepare the territory. You need to make sure that they will consider the kennel as their safe space. Do it slowly and calmly. If you do it too suddenly, they might see it as something bad and will refuse to spend time there.

Leash training. This can also be a bit overwhelming in the beginning because these doggies are prideful and sometimes even stubborn. They will not like the idea of something being around their neck and not letting them move as they want. Don’t worry; they will try to make their own terms, but in the end, they will give in, and you will be enjoying walks with your dog in no time.

The Miniature Shar Pei: Exercise

Shar Pei dog in a meadow in the mountains

Do not let the miniature size fool you. These pooches can go on for a long time. They love to be on the move and will appreciate every exercise session you give them. From a young age, you need to make sure that they are getting enough exercise.

Miniature Shar Pei puppies should not be overexercised. They will for sure seem like they can go on forever, but that is not the case. You need to be the voice of reason and make them take a quick break.

They need their daily walk, and they make a delightful companion for hikers. Especially if you love to go hiking in nature, they will adore it. They will most likely spend a lot of time exploring around, but always keeping you within  their sight.

You will have two in one, a hiking companion and a guard that will make sure that you are safe.

Playing with other dogs in the dog park is also a good way for them to let go of that energy that they have within them.

We already saw that they know how to control their emotions, so if you do not, for some reason, fulfill the exercise needs, they probably won’t show it for a long period of time. This might sound like a good thing, but it is not.

There will for sure be a breaking point, and you can expect your dog to become destructive and aggressive.

The Miniature Shar Pei: Health Issues

Shar Pei puppy stands on the lawn

It is a known fact that some dog breeds will be more prone to some health issues while other dog breeds will have other health problems that they will be more prone to.

This is also true when it comes to the mini Shar Pei. This breed has a list of health problems that they might get. This does not mean that they will get any of these for sure.

The list we prepared for you is only so that you get aware of some potential health problems and that you take your dog to the vet regularly so you can catch on time any problems that might occur.

Here is the list of the health issues that this pooch can get:

Hocks Syndrome




Gastrointestinal Disorders

– Arthritis

– Cardiovascular problems

Retinal dysplasia

We want to say that you can be taking amazing care of your dog and doing everything to prevent any of these from happening, but your dog can still get sick in the end. Why are we saying this? Well, we do not want you to feel guilty and think about what more you could have done.

If everything is alright and they are healthy, the lifespan of these pooches can be anywhere from 8 to 12 years. The average lifespan is never easy to predict, so your dog can, unfortunately, live shorter than 8 years but can also live longer than 12.

The Miniature Shar Pei: Grooming

Shar pei puppy in the park standing

The mini Shar Pei might be a bit of a hassle to groom. Some dogs can be hard to groom because of their long coats that need a regular trim and a bath. These pooches are demanding when it comes to grooming because of their wrinkles.

It is very important to regularly clean the area underneath their wrinkles and keep them dry. If there is any mess under there or if it is left moist, your dog might have some problems.

They can even develop some type of infection. These moist crevices are heaven for yeast, bacteria, or any other pest. They can even develop a pretty bad smell if these areas are not cleaned often.

You will need to get a clean and dry towel, move all the wrinkles with your hand, and make sure that the whole body is clean and dry.

This is even more important on their face. They can easily get an eye infection. They also have wrinkles around their eyes, and that makes the moisture stay for a longer time. You can also use a warm and wet towel to make sure that the eyes are clean.

After that, you need to dry them with a towel as well or a cotton pad.

Cleaning their ears is also important. Their ears are short, but they are still closed with the skin. This also means that things like black gunk and moisture can get in there and stay unnoticed for a long time.

You should check their ears on a daily basis.

Bathing should not be done that often. Of course, if your dog gets filthy soon after a bath, you will bathe them again, but do not do this if it is not necessary.

Cleaning their teeth is something that a lot of dog owners tend to forget. Brushing their teeth on a daily basis, or at least a couple of times a week, can keep your dog healthy. Black gums or any inflammation of the gums can cause many other health issues.

The Miniature Shar Pei: Dietary Needs

adorable shar pei dog carrying newspaper

Giving your dog high-quality dog food is extremely important. Every dog breed has some criteria when it comes to food, and so do mini Shar Peis as well. These dogs will need dog food that is filled with nutrients that will give them enough energy throughout the day.

There are many food choices and food companies, and it can get overwhelming when  choosing the right dog food for your pooch.

The easiest way to go is store-bought food. You can give them either dry dog food or, in other words kibble, or wet dog food which is also known as canned food.

A lot of these have labels that will say everything that they contain and for what size it is intended.

You can also choose the option of cooking the food by yourself. This can get tricky, and if you are not experienced, you might want to ask for some advice from the vet.

Make sure that you do not give your dog something that it should not be eating, like spicy food, for example.

To Sum It All Up

The miniature Shar Pei that is believed to descend from their Mastiff and Bulldog family is one heck of a dog. They are amazing and have such personalities that even we humans can wish to have.

These dogs make amazing family members, but you need to know that you will have to put in some work while they are puppies. The most important thing that you need to focus on is socialization.

If you do this part right, you will have a dog that has no behavior issues, which they can develop if you do not take this seriously.

If you want to be a part of a family that loves these dogs, you can always check out the miniature Shar-Pei Club of America.

We hope that all the information that we prepared has given  you all the answers for possible dilemmas when it comes to this breed. Finding the breeder for this dog might be a bit tricky, but we are sure that you will do your research until the end and be united with your dog in no time.

Read Next: The Shar Pei German Shepherd Mix: One Of A Kind