The Chow Pei: A Complete Guide

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The Chow Pei is the hybrid combination of the Chow Chow and the Shar-Pei. It is a very interesting breed, and there is not another dog that looks quite like it.

Due to the rarity of the Shar-Pei, it is sometimes uncommon to find the hybrid itself, and you may have to go through a speciality breeder to find one.

However, if you do manage to get your hands on one of these dogs, you will most certainly be pleased.

These dogs are renowned for their loyalty and can have a bit of an aggressive and temperamental behaviour due to their wild origins. However, with the proper training, this can be controlled.

Once trained, you will find these dogs to have a wonderfully friendly demeanour.

They are adventurous, love to be taken outside to see new things, and are quite affectionate of their human families.

To better understand this hybrid, let’s take a minute to look at both of the parenting breeds.

The Shar-Pei is a very old dog and is often depicted on old Chinese pottery pieces that date as far back as the Han Dynasty.

They were often domesticated and used for the fighting pits and as war dogs. Eventually, they grew to be a favourite pet of the warlords and emperors for their loyalty and fierce demeanour.

They are known for their wrinkled skin and their rough coat (Shar Pei translates to “sand skin” in Cantonese).

Chow Chows are often referred to as the “lion dog of China.” They used to guard the royal Tibetan temples and were sometimes used as guard dogs by royalty.

Over time, however, they became more domesticated, and they are far smaller in stature than they used to be.

Today, they are one of the most common Chinese housepets, and they have also grown in popularity across America and Europe.

They are friendly, moderately active dogs, which can be somewhat temperamental.

Chow Pei Puppies – Before You Buy…

Image Credit By: leela_and_leo, instagram

While these dogs are quite adorable, they are also relatively hard to find.

You may have to travel quite some way or be willing to pay expensive international shipping fees to find one of these dogs.

These aren’t exactly the most budget-friendly dogs. However, if you’re willing to pay the associated costs, then they can be a very rewarding dog to own.

Before you bring any puppy into your home, you should know some basic information to decide whether the breed is right for you.

What Price are Chow Pei Puppies?

The Chow Pei can be anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on a number of factors.

Because it’s so hard to find somebody who breeds these hybrids, there isn’t a lot of competition on the market which can often drive prices higher than they should be.

Also, you have to take in consideration that the Shar-Pei is one of the rarest breeds in the world (according to Time Magazine in 1978), and that the breeder must procure a high-pedigree Shar-Pei for breeding that hasn’t had a history as a fighting dog.

In addition to the cost of the Chow Pei itself, you may also be required to pay adoption fees and shipping costs if you are purchasing the dog from an international breeder.

How to Find Reputable Chow Pei Breeders?

Most of the Chow Pei breeders that you find will be reputable. Your biggest problem will be finding them.

Your best bet is to find a breeder that specializes in oriental dogs, as both of the parent breeds originated in China.

One important thing that you will need to look out for is a breeder who properly screens his dogs. This is especially important when it comes to the Shar-Pei.

In China, these dogs are still commonly used as fighting dogs which can result in very aggressive behavioural traits being passed down to their Chow Pei offspring.

Besides this, you also may not want a parenting Shar-Pei that’s had a history of being bred as a show dog.

The kennel clubs have mutated many of the genes in the American Shar-Pei to make it look better, but which give it significant health problems.

Optimally you will want to find a breeder who has a reputation for breeding Chinese dogs and can procure authentic parenting dogs which have both been screened for issues.

While this may cost you a little bit extra, it will be well worth it in the end.

3 Little-Known Facts about Chow Pei Puppies

  1. Chow Pei puppies are very affectionate and enjoy being around their human companions more than anything.
  2. Chow Peis are known for being territorial. It’s not uncommon for them to bark at any strangers who they haven’t built a trusting relationship with. This usually begins in their puppyhood but can be trained out with a little bit of effort on the owner’s part.
  3. Chow Pei generally prefer to be indoors where the temperature is kept at a moderate level.

Physical Traits of the Chow Pei

The Chow Pei: A Complete Guide
Owning a Chow Pei is a very rewarding experience.

The Chow Pei inherits many of its physical traits from the Shar-Pei. The most prominent feature is the wrinkled folds of skin.

They are incredibly wrinkled as puppies, and even though they grow into it as adults, there is still a lot of folding that remains around their face.

They tend to have short snouts, wide-set eyes, and a drooping upper lip similar to that of a Bull Dog.

They are generally tan, brown or chestnut colour and can sometimes have white spotting around their face, paws, and underside.

The Chow Peis fur is usually pretty short, but if they inherit a lot of traits from the Chow Chow, then it may grow to be a medium length.

It’s important to keep their coat cleaned as they are prone to developing skin rashes.

How Big is a Full-Grown Chow Pei?

Chow Peis are classified as a medium-sized dog and have a stocky build. They can build a decent amount of muscle, and they are known for having a strong neck and upper body.

A full-grown male will weigh between 40 and 60 pounds, and females will weigh between 35 and 50 pounds. They are relatively short dogs and will stand between 13 and 16 inches tall.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Chow Pei?

The life expectancy of the Chow Pei is 10 to 15 years depending on how healthy they can remain.

These dogs can be prone to some health issues if they are descended from an American show-quality Shar-Pei.

However, if the Shar-Pei used to breed your Chow Pei was an authentic Chinese Shar-Pei, then they will be very healthy and can be expected to live a few years longer.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Chow Pei

A Chow Pei on a walk
The Chow Peis are great for active families.

Chow Peis have an average level of intelligence. They tend to be a little bit stubborn and set in their ways, which can make training them a bit of a chore.

This makes it especially important for you to train them during their puppyhood.

In addition to training them, they will also need to be socialized at an early age, especially if they are going to be around children and other house pets.

Failure to properly socialize these dogs can result in them becoming overly aggressive and territorial as it is in their nature to be guard dogs.

Once socialized, however, their loyalty is unwavering. They will watch over every member of your family dutifully for their entire life.

As mentioned above, these dogs can have a little bit of a temperament. They should not be allowed to be overly temperamental and moody.

However, in small doses, this is perfectly normal and acceptable as long as it doesn’t get out of control.

Their personality is very affectionate, and they don’t like to be away from their owners.

While you are home, they will want to be in the same room as you, and they will often become distressed if you’re about to leave.

This makes them more suitable for larger families where there will always be somebody to keep them company.

The Chow Pei’s Diet

The Chow Pei will need around 3 cups of food a day. If they are on the larger side and weight closer to 75 or 80 pounds, then this can be increased to 4 cups a day.

It’s okay to feed them occasional snacks and treats but don’t let them eat too much. Their short legs weren’t meant to handle the extra weight, and obesity can affect these dogs quite negatively.

How Much Exercise Does the Chow Pei Need?

Chow Peis have a relatively high level of energy.

They are best suited for owners who live an active lifestyle and can take them out on runs, walks, and play with them in the backyard.

If you lead a busy life and can’t make time to take them outside often, then this probably isn’t the breed for you.

Chow Pei Health and Conditions

These dogs can have some minor health concerns. The most common is that they develop a skin infection or rash.

This is due to their wrinkled skin. It’s sometimes hard to properly clean the folds, and they can become the perfect place for bacteria to develop.

These folds can also lead to increased fluid retention, especially in their legs which can make walking painful and difficult.

If you are going to own one of these dogs, you will need to spend a good amount of time making sure that their skin is clean and they are properly bathed every week.

Male vs female

While every Chow Pei is an individual, it’s safe to say that there are some quirks of male and female Chow Pei dogs that a wise owner ought to keep in mind.

Dogs of this breed tend to be around the same size between the genders, and about the same in overall personality too.

However, female Chow Pei dogs often have a very individualistic streak that makes them very independent.

You’ll find that the female Chow Pei appreciates your company and certainly your attention, but is far more inclined to go off and do her own thing from time to time as well.

On the other hand, the male Chow Pei is more of a buddy dog, always wanting to be part of the fun when you’re doing something.

Of the two, it’s the male Chow Pei who tends to insist on being in the room when you’re watching TV, even if it’s only to lay in his corner and nap.

The female Chow Pei is fine napping, playing or eating on the other side of the house if the whim takes her.

However, the female Chow Pei is also often more shy around strangers, human and canine alike.

Meanwhile, the male Chow Pei is curious about new people, and always quite inquisitive in getting to know both a new dog and a new human friend.

Both genders can be a little vocal and yappy sometimes, but the male Chow Pei seems to prefer pairing this with lots of skittish running and zipping rings around whatever he’s barking at.

The female Chow Pei stands her ground a little more, but will also back down a lot easier too.

Final Thoughts on the Chow PeiA cute Chow Pei enjoying the outdoors

The Chow Pei is a rather rare hybrid, and if you’re looking for a loyal dog that’s unlike anything that you’ve ever seen, then you should consider this breed.

You will pay extra for their rarity and may also have to look harder for a breeder, but owning a Chow Pei is a very rewarding experience.

They are a great choice for the active family.


Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

Info Sources: 1, 2, 3