I don’t know why I love Shar Peis so much, but they are just so darn cute! What do you think – Is the Shar Pei puppy more wrinkly, or is the baby?
The Shar Pei (sometimes called the Chinese Shar Pei) is my cousin – since the Shih Tzu is originally from China. (We were the prized dog of the Empress of China, so that’s why we have such princess and prince-like personalities. We were bred to be loved by rich royalty!)
Shar Pei puppies have a TON of loose skin and wrinkles all over their heads, necks and bodies. As they get older, the “grow” into their skin, so their wrinkles disappear and are limited to their head, neck, and shoulders mostly. This dog breed is considered one of the more rare dog breeds, and the American Kennel Club didn’t recognize them until 1991!
Although they are “rare” by today’s standards, a study published in the May 2004 issue in Science magazine looked at the genetic structure of 85 domestic dog breeds, and found that the Shar Pei is one of the most ancient dog breeds. How cool is that?
Did you know that the Shih Tzu is also one of the oldest dog breeds, too? We are the closest known descendant of the prehistoric Chinese wolf! Cool, huh?!