Monday, 8 June 2015

Western v traditional Shar-pei: what I see

Click to enlarge...


  1. Agreed. They call the older type "bone mouth," and the newer type "meat mouthed," but as usual, that's just a euphemism. They really should call the old type "healthy," and the new type "deformed."

    1. You are so right. How can these so called breeders not see this.

  2. I'd rather not click to enlarge the one on the left, dreadful deformity. The one on the right side at least looks like a dog and hopefully has no deformities or compromises.

  3. You should have a likes & dislikes after the comments.

  4. Very rare to see the traditional shap pei. Someone in the west should try to reintroduce this variant to their countries!

  5. Yes, yes, that's exactly it! Right hand side = gorgeous. I love this concept. It illustrates the point so well. It should be a PDE mini-series.

  6. We defend dogs by making fun of people now?

    1. It's not making fun! It's comparing the looks to people to try to make the deformities and abnormalities easier for people to recognise. It's a brilliant analogy. More please!

    2. It's abuse anon 6:39 10th June. The man is self abuse, over indulging food and drink probably. The dog is human abuse, bred by us for us, manipulated into the horrible disabling shape by us. Human's have choices, dogs do not. Dogs do what we ask, they are bred into whatever shape with want, they have no choice. We have, that is the point of the comparison, to make us not just look at the image but question why that image is thus. These dogs are not cute, they are disabled and damaged, their enjoyment of life compromised, all because of us. Do you see now there was a comparison?

    3. Actually, Georgina, this poor chap is suffering from an allergic reaction. Still taken from this video.

    4. I was just going to come to his defence as well.... no bruising, bee sting....

      Its true liver disease can also look a bit like this, though.

  7. The traditional Sharpei is very common in China/Hong Kong where I live. It also come in a myriad of sizes right down to a terrier size up to a medium sized dog.

    Many of these are feral village dogs often rescued by expats. They have the most gorgeous velvet plush short short coats and no wrinkles at all except for a furrowed little brow as adults, as puppies they are only very slightly wrinkled if at all. A very smart type for a village mutt and in demand. Strong delicate dry bone, square shaped head neat little folded alert ears a worried expression and a lively character. Good as rat catchers (:

    If I were to be very picky I would say that the "traditional" pictured here has got deformed ears. The reason I mention this is because in our heat and humidity neatly folded ears are far better as ear infections are rife both fungal and mites. Although Im sounding like an apologist its is true folded ears flap pumping air into the ear canal as the dog trots. Those flat crinkled immobile deformed ears could cause problems and might end up having to be removed.
    He/she IMO also has a fair bit of pit bull in there which Im sure adds to his general athleticism and robustness no end but the dog might be dog aggressive so I would be cautious if thinking of taking it on. You would have to think of management issues. What an absolute beauty, though.

    The ones bred for the fancy here are also the traditional type but these are medium sized have more wrinkles (but not excessive) and are prone to skin problems, not sure what it is, little pustules and bare patches almost like mange, they can also be a bit unpredictable in their responses.

    The minute you inbreed and line breed to standardise and fix traits ruthlessly things seem to end up going wrong.

    That man on the left looks like he has been beaten up so does the poor dog. Yes the Western Sharpei with the many wrinkles is a Western invention 100%. Concentrating solely on the wrinkles has produced a monster.

  8. I cannot imagine anyone would want such a deformed creature and besides that, riddled with disease. Shar pei are very unhealthy animals. And very often agressive to boot. I do not see the joy in that

    1. Yes - glad you mention the temperament too. Not required in the 21st century. Any of it, wrinkles,disease and predisposition for aggression.

    2. How can anyone want a dog with diseased eyes, a fever named after it and such autistic behaviour? Because they can show the neighbourhood they own an animal with wrinkles? As far as I am concerned the breed can be eradicated. They are suffering animals.

    3. It's an interesting, useful but emotive discussion - eradication of useless breeds.
      You can pop terriers in there, guarding and fighting breeds please. This breed in particular has no function and is hardly fit for any purpose. Particularly the one on the left. Deformed beyond recognition and given the temperament, well what a management issue all around. What a mess human beings can create.

    4. But many many terrier and guarding dog breeds and types do have a function, they are also not all deformed or psychotic?

      What's your point?

      Shar-peis, the original types do make very useful dogs around the homestead. They catch rats, are generaly protective, loving with children, easy maintenance, good doers etc. An ideal type of dog you could say.

  9. This is the 21st century not the the 19th. Most dogs are pets and need to have the behavioural and functional attributes to be genetically prepared to be a good pet. In a world with ever more people and dogs, highly reactive, high drive dogs who tend to be on the animal aggressive end of the spectrum and who have 'aloof' and 'loyal' in their breed standards (euphemisms) for difficult to socialise.

    Most people aren't looking to get a dog to kill rats. They are requiring a sociable and companionable dog who is easy to socialise. Most people who are sensible would also be thinking of installing an alarm system if they truly need to protect their property..GSDs can be nervous wrecks. People misunderstand that they are not genetically prepared to guard your property, it's themselves they are protecting. I don't want an anxious dog as a pet. Reactivity and anxiety tend to be inherited together.

    That's not to say that PRT or GSDs don't make good pets in the right hands, but on the whole we need to think about types of dogs who have the genetics to be a good pet. Killing small furry mammals, unable to get on with other dogs and being aloof with strangers aren't good traits to select for companion animals.


      Doglaw is nuts - if a dog protects you in your own home it's OK. But if it bites the same intruder in your garden you can be sued. As far as I know, dogs don't possess the neurological hardware to figure out a moral and ethical code of practice based on our nutty, a stranger is a stranger is a stranger.

      We need to breed dogs fit for the 21st century. Dogs who can breathe properly, don't drop dead of cancer aged 9, who don't want to fight other dogs, attack strangers or have a panic attack when being left alone.

      That's kind and welfare savvy.

    2. Anomouse@17:49, I think I get what you are saying and I disagree, your statements are a bit broad.

      There are many happy family pets that would just as happily catch a mouse, who would also rather die than bite a human. A certain gameness is inherent in all dogs or should be in my opinion unless they have had all the life bred right out of them. It's a dog remember.

      I met such a sad dog yesterday it was a middle aged American cocker spaniel called Charles.

      Charles arrived the same time I did in his burnt orange Audi sports at the supermarket. He sat in the shopping trolley where I kept bumping into him around every bend. Charles was completely dilly but extremely sweet. He didn't seem to know his left from right. I thought I had a friend for life until I realised so did everyone in the supermarket. Every time he saw anyone he would wiggle wildly and try and leap out of the trolly with joy which would have been a disaster as his legs, well the whole thing wasn't built for a soft landing more like a crunch and splatter of bone and soft puppy, that didnt deter him in the least. When finished shopping and after a long enthusiastic discussion with Tai tai on the various ways to prepare boerekool (kale) which we both had in big bunches I saw him off to his car. He dashed off confidently in the wrong direction making six adjustments in the four steps to the open door. He was on a lead. Just as he was airlifted into the car he suddenly decided a total stranger whose car bleeped as they unlocked their door was his new owner and leapt sideways out of the car dragging the lead after him as he went. I've never seen a Tai tai work so hard but eventually she got the now slightly limping Charles into the bucket seat and buckled into his harness and we were able to say our good byes.

      Now this was all a bit of an eye opener for me as I keep JRT's and a large athletic guardian landrace type. Such a dog as the American cocker spaniel would drive me utterly insane.

      I might add aloof as in "hound" to me means unbelievably affectionate. I've never lived with a hound/lurcher that wasn't. No they don't gush but they are incredibly deep in their affection and are gentle and sweet, yet will tear a little bunny to shreds.

      Im not sure where you are living but it might be cloud cuckoo land, there is certainly still a place for hunting dogs, guardian breeds both as security dogs and as livestock guardian dogs. It need not be an inbred GSD in fact it shouldn't be. Try a working bred Malinoise type for one example, as good with children as any dog should be allowed to be.

      Etc etc etc...

    3. River P, are you still stuck in the days of The Raj?? You’re very sweet by the way, and you do make some good points but I think you are speaking from being an extremely experienced dog owner. I am speaking up for dogs that end up in pet homes with mostly clueless people who just want a furry friend to cuddle. That’s a lot of households ….hence the popularity of Pugs, Bulldogs and other types of dogs that really are too sick and lame to need any sort of exercise or stimulation.
      You can't deny the popularity of dogs like these who are too sick and disabled to be functional as dogs!

      There are plenty of people who would enable a working dog to thrive in a pet home, no doubt about it, but what about the dogs that don’t get the enrichment they require to be mentally and physically healthy? Bred to work and end up unfulfilling that drive? It’s not enough to be ‘loved’ as a dog. Most people are not educated in cognitive canine ethology or even interested in dog training. So how can we expect them to fulfill a working dog’s requirements in a pet dog environment? It is setting people and dogs up to fail.

      A pet dog deserves a breed standard that focuses on its health and functionality and allows it to thrive in the 21st century. The demands we make on dogs today do not reflect their genetic evolution. We expect to be able to leave them alone for hours at a time without destroying the house or being stressed, we want them to not bite strangers, love children, get along with other people’s dogs, not chase the cat. Increasingly, we understand the importance of genetics…..Socialisation is important and counter conditioning is a gold mine, but really we need to breed them for their function in this regard.
      Guide Dogs UK have a sensible breeding programme. They also screen as well as they can for SA in bitches, for example, before they breed. Not to mention sensibly out crossing to maintain good health.

      A working type Malinoise is not the type of dog that an average family will have the time to exercise physically and mentally sufficiently. Does a high drive, 'sound sensitive' border collie generally thrive in a city apartment? No. They go mad.

      If you were to survey the average pet owners in the UK, how many would 1) actually able to be arsed to spend 2-3 hours exercising their Malinoise every day and 2) actually have the time to physically do it with working and other commitments. Most people leave their dogs at home all day and if they are lucky, they get half an hour round the block when they get back from work. This is a welfare problem of which the team at Bristol University are actively researching. Professor Bradshaw and his colleagues work is well worth reading about pet dogs. We need to educate people about this species that they share their lives with and are oh so familiar with, but yet understand so very little.

    4. Seems most people want a dog that can be ignored until the humans choose to interact with said dog. although seems i must be anonymous, my name is julie pear.

    5. I think that's a problem that dogs must change to suit our desires, I don't mean function but that they must not be dogs.

      They mustn't display sexual characteristics so we neuter, spay, castrate before puberty, they mustn't bark because its noisy so they are debarked, they mustn't snap when a child bites their ear off, they mustn't want to be social animals, they mustn't cause us allergies, they must behave like robots and receive harsh training regimes, they mustn't damage the furniture, they mustn't kill the guinea pig, they mustn't shed, they mustn't scratch the flooring, jump up and greet us, have sex, get excited, have energy, be needy, need exercise, fight, growl, cry, beg, play, dominate, be wary, have a personality..........they mustn't be living breathing animals!

      A cuddly toy is a far more suitable pet for the average idiot it's true.

      BTW Rajasthan is truly a wonder land, I was there last year for three months this time in fact. Unbelievably hot but I often dream of going back. Ever heard the song "I left my heart in Rajasthan" that's me. Dogs everywhere, happy, healthy, beautiful pariah dogs take over the city at night prowl the villages and are generally King.

    6. The village dog, is indeed King.

      Some fab dogs on Arabian peninsula too - wonderful..

      It IS a problem people's lack of understanding of the animal they share their home with. But there has to be an element of pragmatism if dogs are to survive and not to end up ostracized by society. We and they have to adapt to the 21st century.

      I want a dog to be a dog and am happy to manage whatever the dog requires to be honest. I respect the animal hugely. But there are a lot of people whose expectations are not founded in education and understanding and they can have as many dogs as they like, ruin them and then give them up to a shelter when they don't meet their totally unrealistic expectations. How do you address the route cause of that?
      1) mandatory education
      2) mandatory regulation
      3) legal requirements in terms of breeding laws and registering breeders

      DO you see any of that happening?

      Scandinavia/Switzerland are doing something a bit better than the rest of the world in this regard. They are good models for us to look at.

      What I am deeply positive about is the adaptability of dogs - look at how many jobs they do for us other than working the land? Amazing amount of adaptability and functionality for scent and assistance/therapy type dogs. Any breed can use it's nose well and most love that type of work.

      These dogs have to be healthy and entirely temperamentally functional (low reactivity, moderate to high driven, sociable). But they are still dogs!

  10. There was no mention of the mens' condition, and from trying to show "overweight man" and deformed dog and then handsome dog, handsome man as a comparison for bad breeding practice to what can be achieved with care, then I don't think I would be the only one to have concluded as per my comments. I assume the point of the comparison photographs, without explanation, was trying to show damage, one by man (dog) one to man (man). An explanation would have been helpful and I wouldn't have used the words I chose about the man but......:-)

  11. Wow, so many comments and it does make me wonder how many of the people who have commented have ever actually owned a shar-pei, meat mouth or otherwise. While I will agree that the meat mouth have a lot of issues, many people on here are addressing their temperament. I have owned and been around many shar-pei, meat mouth and bone mouth. I would never describe any of the dogs that I have been around as 'aggressive' in any sense of the word either toward dogs or humans. There are always exceptions to the rule, but as a rule, the dogs may be aloof, a little standoffish at first, but warm up to new situations and people relatively quickly. Even pei's that haven't had the best socialization as a puppy and young dog can be very sweet, warm, and loving animals. I agree on the health side of things that meat mouths have a lot of issues that need to be addressed, as soon as possible, but this breed is far from being beyond redemption in that area as well. What we need is breeders and the buying public alike to be well educated as what can be improved upon and how to do it. To adjust their expectations as to the look of the dog and to generally demand healthier, not wrinklier dogs. Bad mouthing the breed as a whole doesn't help anything.