Chinese Shar-Pei vs. Chow Chow: A Breed Comparison

Chinese Shar-Pei vs. Chow Chow: A Breed Comparison

Are you torn between choosing a Chinese Shar-Pei or a Chow Chow as your next furry companion? Both breeds have their own unique characteristics and personalities that make them wonderful pets. In this comprehensive breed comparison, we will delve into the key differences and similarities between the Chinese Shar-Pei and Chow Chow to help you make an informed decision on which breed is best suited for you. Whether you are looking for a loyal guardian or a cuddly companion, this article will provide you with the information you need to make the right choice.

History and Origin

Chinese Shar-Pei History

The Chinese Shar-Pei is an ancient breed that can be traced back to the Han Dynasty in China. Originally used as a hunting and guard dog, the Shar-Pei’s wrinkled skin helped protect it from injuries during fights. However, the breed faced near extinction in the mid-20th century due to political turmoil in China. Thanks to dedicated breed enthusiasts, the Shar-Pei was saved from extinction and is now a popular companion and show dog around the world.

Chow Chow History

The Chow Chow is another ancient breed that originated in China. Believed to be one of the oldest dog breeds in existence, the Chow Chow was originally used for hunting, guarding, and pulling carts. Known for their distinctive blue-black tongues and lion-like mane, Chow Chows were highly valued by Chinese emperors. The breed eventually made its way to the West where it gained popularity as a loyal and protective family pet.

Physical Characteristics

Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a medium-sized breed known for its distinctive wrinkled skin. They have a short, bristly coat that can come in various colors such as fawn, cream, red, black, and blue. Their most notable feature is their deep set, small eyes and their "hippopotamus" shaped muzzle. Chinese Shar-Peis have a sturdy build with a broad chest and a curled tail.

Chow Chow

Chow Chows are a medium to large breed with a lion-like mane of fur around their neck. They have a thick double coat that can be red, black, blue, cinnamon, or cream in color. Chow Chows have a unique blue-black tongue and a distinctive, snobbish expression. They have a square, sturdy build with a broad skull and small, triangular ears.

Temperament and Behavior

Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei is known for being independent, loyal, and protective of their family. They can be reserved with strangers but are usually very devoted to their owners. This breed is also known for their calm and dignified demeanor, making them great companions for those looking for a more laid-back pet. However, they can be stubborn at times and may require consistent training and socialization to prevent any behavioral issues.

Chow Chow

On the other hand, the Chow Chow is known for being aloof and independent. They are often described as being more cat-like in their behavior, as they can be quite reserved and selective about who they show affection to. Chow Chows are known for their strong-willed nature, which can make training a bit challenging. They are also known for their protective instincts, making them great guard dogs. However, proper socialization is key to prevent any aggressive tendencies in this breed.


In conclusion, both the Chinese Shar-Pei and Chow Chow are unique and fascinating breeds with distinct characteristics. While the Shar-Pei is known for its wrinkled skin and loyal nature, the Chow Chow is famous for its lion-like mane and independent personality. Ultimately, the choice between these two breeds will depend on individual preferences and lifestyle. Whether you prefer the playful and affectionate Shar-Pei or the dignified and aloof Chow Chow, both breeds make wonderful companions for the right owner. It’s important to consider the needs and temperament of each breed before making a decision to ensure a happy and fulfilling relationship for both you and your furry friend.