Shar-Peis are easily recognizable, renowned for their skin-folds which give them their unique wrinkly appearance. They have a wonderful temperament; being calm, affectionate, devoted easy to train, and housebreak, are not known for barking a lot. But what about shedding? What can owners expect when it comes to their coats, grooming requirements, and needs? Are they hypoallergenic and how do allergy suffers generally respond around them? This what you should know.
So, do Shar-Pei shed? All Shar-Pei dogs shed, no matter whether they have a horse coat, brush coat, or bear coat. However, all coats are known to shed minimally, with the horse coat shedding the least of the three. Shar-Pei are considered low maintenance when it comes to grooming; their coats are short and do not require regular trimming. Nonetheless, regular brushing is essential to remove dead hair.
The Shar-Pei coat is somewhat challenging to groom due to their wrinkled skin – it makes them more prone to skin infections and irritation. Yet, grooming is still required.
Thankfully, this is a naturally clean breed and they are not known to possess that doggy odor that comes with some dogs.
The primary ways owners will need to groom their Shar-Pei do not differ from other dogs. It involves brushing the coat, infrequent bathing and cleaning teeth, nails, ears, and around the eyes.
Let us now take a closer look at the distinctive coat of a Shar-Pei and explore the amount they are likely to shed in further detail.
We will also be taking a look at some of those closely related questions; such as whether or not this breed is hypoallergenic.
Lastly we will discuss some tips and recommendations for owners to keep the coat healthy and grooming effectively. So be sure to keep on reading until the end!
The Shar-Pei Coat
The coat of a Shar-Pei differs depending on the coat that they inherit from their parental breeds. Each coat varies in length. Either way, the coat is known for being bristly to touch and for standing straight up.
The the three coat varieties are called: the horse coat, the brush coat, and the bear coat. All three coats shed; however, the horse coat sheds the least of the three.
- The horse coat has the shortest fur; it’s quite prickly and can irritate people with sensitive skin.
- The bear coat is denser, being more fluffy in appearance.
- The brush coat has the longest fur, about an inch in length.
This breed can be found with coats in many different colors; from solid black, grey, cream, red and sable.
The good news about these dogs is that they are naturally clean, and do not require much grooming to stay in tip-top condition.
You won’t need to bath your Shar-Pei that often. Once every 3-4 weeks is generally considered enough; unless of course they roll in something dirty or smelly!
They do require more frequent rub-downs using a bristle brush or grooming mitt. This is perhaps the best brush to get on Amazon and many owners swear by it for this particular breed.
Brushing is important as it prevents the buildup of hair (which then will be deposited around your home), and it also helps to stop any odors that can develop on an older coat.
Brushing a Shar-Pei doesn’t take too long because of their bristly, short coat. However, it’s important to do it regularly, and be careful when doing so.
Thankfully, the coat of these dogs is naturally stain resistant. This is due to the natural oils that they produce coupled with their wrinkled skin. Both act to repel dirt and keeps the Shar-Pei clean.
Do Shar-Pei Dogs Shed A Lot?
Shar-Pei dogs do not shed a lot, or often. They shed minimally throughout the year, but you can expect some seasonal shedding twice a year in the months of the spring and the fall.
This natural process is how these dogs prepare their coats for the change in seasons and response to a change in temperature.
In the spring, you can expect your dog’s coat to become lighter, as they need less of a coat in warmer weather. Similarly, in the fall, they need to prepare their coat to grow out slightly longer for the colder months.
While these dogs are average shedders at the most, how often or how much they shed does depend on the variety of coat that they have and as previously mentioned – horse, bear, or brushed.
- If your Shar-Pei has the horse coat, you are in luck; this coat is rough, harsh, and short and sheds the least of the three.
- The brush coat is smoother and longer.
- The bear coat is the longest at around 1 inch in length, and it sheds the most.
Its important to note that the American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t recognize the bear coat as part of the standard trait of this breed. But they do exist, and your dog may possess this coat depending on where you get your dog from, the breeder and lineage of the dog.
Nevertheless, most owners agree that the Shar-Pei coat is low shedding. Generally, their rough textured, short coat, is relatively easy to maintain.
Some owners say that their companion doesn’t shed very much, while others will say that theirs sheds more frequently.
The differences in coat explains these differences in shedding. Either way, all three coat types lose more of their fur during seasonal changes.
Are Shar-Pei Hypoallergenic?
Shar-Pei dogs are not classified as hypoallergenic due to the fact that they shed; albeit miminally.
In fact, no dog can be classified as truly and 100% hypoallergenic. This is because all dogs so shed to some extent and all will release a certain amount of ‘dander’ which is actually the cause of allergies.
Dander is tiny particles of skin that can cause reactions in people who are specifically allergic to them. Equally, allergy suffers also commonly suffer from proteins found in a dogs saliva, urine, mucous and feces.
Nevertheless some dogs, especially poodle cross-breeds, are bred to be and are classified as hypoallergenic. This being because they release such little amount of dander that even those with the most extreme of allergies, seem to do well around these dogs.
For allergy suffers, they need to be particularly careful of Shar-Peis during certain times of the year; primarily shedding season.
Regular brushing of the Shar-Pei does further help to keep shedding to a minimum, and is a recommended approach if you want to minimize any potential reactions from allergy sufferers.
If you or a close family member suffer from allergies, the Shar-Pei is not going to be most ideal nor suitable.
How Do You Stop A Shar-Pei From Shedding?
Shedding is normal for a Shar-Pei, and there is nothing you can do to stop this natural process entirely. However, looking for ways to rid your car, clothes, and furniture of unwanted dog hair is understandable and there are things you can do to better manage any shedding.
The first step is to determine whether your Shar-Pei’s shedding is normal. If it’s excessive, it could be part of an underlying health issue.
If you suspect your Shar-Pei is unwell and sheds more than usual, make sure that they receive immediate veterinary attention as it could indicate something more severe is going on.
Signs that your Shar-Pei is unwell include, but is not limited to:
- Skin lesions
- Patchy hair loss
- Loss of appetite
A healthy diet is also essential for your Shar-Pei. A balanced diet will provide your dog with all the nutrition they need for a healthy coat.
A balanced diet must include high-quality fat and protein – from the right sources, as fatty acids are known to help reduce excessive shedding.
You should provide your dog with the highest quality food you can afford, limit scraps and treats, and be sure to feed them in appropriate amounts.
Grooming will also help to keep shedding under control; regular brushing with a bristle brush or a grooming mitt will keep your Shar-Pei’s fur looking neat, reduce the amount of loose hair, and will stimulate healthy growth as it will disseminate natural oils through the coat.
You don’t need to bathe a Shar-Pei too often, in fact this is counter-productive and cause issues.
But when you do, make sure that you use a formulation purposely designed for dogs (like this excellent all natural brand from Amazon) and then make sure it is properly rinsed and dried.
You want to ensure that no shampoo collects in the skin folds as this can lead to irritation and even the growth of bacteria.
Tips For Maintaining And Grooming The Shar-Pei Coat
Keeping your Shar-Pei’s coat in optimum condition is crucial for both hygienic and comfort reasons. You owe it to your dog to take care of their coat.
Sometimes, even with regular grooming and maintenance the coat can look dull and unkempt. In this situation, it is likely an indicator of poor general health. Actively monitoring and examining the coat, across all of their body, should happen regularly.
Beyond this and as previously mentioned, if you notice an increase in shedding, taking them to a vet should be one of the first things that you do.
Let’s now take a look at some best practices when it comes to grooming a Shar-Pei:
Brushing the Shar-Pei Coat
Make sure that your Shar-Pei is relaxed, and keep them on the floor or a grooming table. Make sure that the surface is easy to clean as brushing will remove dirt, debris, hair, and dead skin.
You can use a bristle brush, which is gentle on the skin and also works will to remove dead hair. Brush the entire coat following the direction that the coat grows.
Wipe inside the skin folds; the wrinkled skin requires as much attention as the fur. Use a damp cloth to wipe the folds and examine the area for sores, growths, irritation, and redness.
Be sure that you completely dry inside the folds; you do not want any bacteria growing here as this can exacerbate and cause issues to begin with.
Make sure that you check the skin for signs of irritation, as this can lead to infections which can be immensely painful. You can do this as you groom your dog.
If you examine their skin weekly, your Shar-Pei has a better chance of getting the help they need as soon as possible.
Look out for the following signs:
- Constant scratching
- Itching a specific area
Bathing Your Shar-Pei
Shar-Peis have sensitive skin, so using a suitable doggy shampoo that is both gentle and hypoallergenic is a must.
Avoid shampoos with harsh chemicals and strong fragrances. Use warm water in the bathtub to bathe your Shar-Pei, making sure the water isn’t too hot. Avoid getting water in your Shar-Pei’s ears as this can lead to ear infections.
Use the hypoallergenic shampoo to wash the entire coat. Be vigilant and be sure not to get any shampoo in your dog’s eyes and ears, as these areas are prone to irritation.
Lather a tiny amount of shampoo in your hands and massage it into your dog’s coat, paying attention to grimy areas like the paws.
Make sure that you blow-dry your Shar-Pei’s fur (on a low setting, at a safe temperature and at distance). Otherwise, you use a towel to dry the coat.
The coat must be thoroughly dry because residual moisture can cause a skin infection in the skin folds.
It would help if you bathed your Shar-pei once every three weeks. It is not recommended to wash more than this as you will be removing the natural occurring oils which help to protect the coat and promote future hair growth.
Stripping the oils also can contribute to skin irritation, dryness, and it can aggravate your dog’s own allergies.
Teeth, Nails and Ears
Part of any good grooming regimen should include care for the teeth, nails and ears.
This breed does well with their teeth being brushed 2-3x per week. This will help reduce the buildup of tartar and keep their breath smelling fresh.
Shar-Pei’s nails are also known to grow quite quickly. They will likely require trimming 1-2x per month. If you observe any clicking as they walk – this is usually a good sign they need to be trimmed back.
Be careful as you trim your dogs nails as you can accidentally cut too far and cause pain, inflammation and trouble to the paw of your dog. Consulting a groomer or a vet may be required here.
Lastly, the ears of a Shar-Pei require frequent inspection. Once per week is advised.
This breed is prone to ear infections, so you need to watch out for irritation, redness or any odors. Using a cotton ball and a properly formulated and safe dog ear cleaner (like this on Amazon) once per week on the ears is a good preventative approach.
Equally, Shar-Pei’s ears are delicate and small, so you need to be extra careful when cleaning them out and be sure not to insert anything into the ear canal.
Shar-Peis make an excellent family pet and companion; they are generally well-natured, only need a moderate amount of exercises and they are medium in build (not being too large or heavy).
While this breed does shed, they only do so minimally. Unfortunately, they are not classified as hypoallergenic – so allergy suffers do not tend to do well in their presence. This is increasingly true during shedding season.
If you decide to own a Shar-Pei, you need to do all you can to support their coat. A good quality diet with plenty of nutrients is your foremost priority.
Aside from monitoring the diet and health of your dog, regular brushing goes a long way in keeping shedding to a minimum. Increased daily brushing is also advised during shedding season.
Nevertheless, the Shar-Pei coat is relatively easy to maintain. They are a naturally clean dog and do not possess much if any odor. These are great attributes for any dog breed to have.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.