Chinese Shar-pei

If you prefer your pets cool, dignified, and reserved, I fit the bill. Think 1960s-era James Bond: serious, self-assured, maybe a bit snobby. I’m not big on affection—though I’m deeply devoted to my family. I can be aloof with children and strangers, and I don’t take well to other dogs. If you’re a first time dog owner seeking a demonstrative, loving pet, you might consider other breeds. But if you’re looking for a fellow independent soul, I might be just the companion for you.

Due to my independent nature, training me may take extra time. My exercise needs can be satisfied with a daily long walk or games. Alert and protective of family, I can be an effective guard dog and am fine being alone for long periods.

My coat has distinctive wrinkles, especially around the face, and a gritty texture that can irritate people with sensitive skin. My solid coloring can be black, cream, fawn, red, sable, or blue. I’m naturally clean and require only weekly brushing, which I’ll resist if not exposed early. Baths are necessary every few months, but take care to dry between my skin folds to avoid irritation and infection. I have a unique blue-black tongue and limited tolerance for heat and cold.

I’m at the high end of the medium-size scale, standing 18 to 20 inches and weighing 45 to 60 pounds. I live about 8 to 10 years and can be prone to hip dysplasia and entropion. Kneecap luxation, elbow dysplasia, and demodectic mange are other minor health concerns. I’m also susceptible to a fever known as swollen hock syndrome.