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The Ethical Shar Pei Breeder

Mar 25, 2008
The original Chinese Shar Pei dates back to 200 B.C. Considered to be one of the fourteen ancient dog breeds, Shar Pei were originally bred to fight and to protect the Chinese royal family. Distinguishable by their wrinkled coats and blue-black tongues, Chinese Shar Peis grew out of their wrinkles as adults, retaining wrinkles only on the face, neck and shoulders. The current, western version of the Shar Pei keeps more of its wrinkles in adulthood. The breed also has a curly tail, short, coarse coat, sunken eyes and small ears. Coat colors can be red (rose), tan, white, grey or black. Coat length can be very short and coarse (horse coat), softer and up to one inch in length (brush coat), or long enough to cover the wrinkles (bear coat).

The Guinness Book of World Records named the Shar Pei the world's most rare dog in 1978. The American Kennel Club did not recognize the Shar Pei breed until 1992. However, this breed has developed a loyal following of Shar Pei breeder and buyer.

Finding a good Shar Pei breeder may be a daunting task at first because the breed is so rare. Potential buyers can utilize the Internet, the local ASPCA and word of mouth to find a good breeder. Most breeders also run or are at least affiliated with rescue centers that save purebred Shar Pei from abuse and neglect. Buying a rescued Shar Pei may be a good option for some buyers.

Some traits to identify a good Shar Pei breeder include maintaining a kennel to whelp and raise healthy puppies, encourage visits to the kennel to see the puppies and mothers, the puppies are friendly, happy, and do not appear afraid of people and they also interview potential buyers to make sure dog and new owner are a good match. Professional breeders are also affiliated with other animal support groups and rescue centers, recognized by the American Kennel Club and are able to provide references of other owners who have bought Shar Pei from them. Before turning over a puppy to a new owner an experienced breeder will have had the puppies evaluated for typical health conditions common to the Shar Pei breed, provide medical records and history of vaccinations and evaluations and provide pedigree information and registration papers

A good Shar Pei breeder will never sell Shar Pei to a pet store. There are several reasons for this. First, pet stores sell animals just like any other merchandise. Puppies are shipped from one place to another and put on display for hours at a time. Second, buyers are not screened, as they would be by a breeder. Anyone with a credit card can buy a puppy. Third, unsold puppies may be shipped to yet another store, sold to a smaller pet store or euthanized. Shar Pei breeders ensure that their puppies remain in a stable environment until they are sold to a good home. Lastly, pet stores do no follow-up on sold puppies. Breeders, on the other hand, usually keep one out of every litter for themselves and ask for buyers to return dogs to the breeder if owners cannot keep them for any reason. Pet stores cannot offer a real guarantee or warranty on health or pedigree since their merchandise comes from illegitimate backyard breeders. An ethical Shar Pei breeder offers pedigree information, registration papers and a warranty.
About the Author
Melissa Coleman recommends finding a good Shar Pei breeder rather than visiting a pet store to purchase a purebred Shar Pei. A good Shar Pei breeder will never sell to a pet store. Shar Pei breeders love and value the breed and do not treat puppies as merchandise. Shar Pei breeder locate and general Shar Pei information are provided in this article.
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