Where Is the Shar Pei From?
The Shar Pei is believed to an ancestor of the Han Dog, which originated in Ancient China. They also share physical similarities with Mastiff breeds and the Chow Chow. Early breeders sought to maintain the wrinkly nature of their skin, since it benefitted them in battle and prevented traumatic injuries.
The breed faced extinction in the 20th Century, due in large part to bans placed on domesticated animals under Communist rule in China.
In 1973, Matgo Law, a Hong Kong-based breeder, sought the assistance of American breeders to help save the Shar Pei from extinction. His plea was a success, and Shar Peis were shipped to the United States for repopulation.
Thankfully, their numbers increased over the years, and they were eventually added into the American Kennel Club Studbook in 1988.