Sharpull Terrier (Shar-Pei & American Pitbull Terrier Mix)

Height: 17 – 21 inches
Weight: 30 – 60 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Colors: White, black, fawn, cream, gray and red
Suitable for: Active families, those seeking a protective dog, experienced dog owners and families with no other pets
Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, protective, suspicious, courageous and needy

The Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier is a dazzling designer dog whose parents are the Chinese Shar-Pei and the American Pitbull Terrier. This guy tends to look more like his Pitbull parent, but with much more chunk and rolls added on top. His chubby Shar-Pei genes might make him appear a lot friendlier and cuter than your standard Pittie, but you might be surprised to learn that the personality of the Shar-Pei makes him a challenging dog.

This guide will run you through everything that you need to know about the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix. Because he is a challenging dog he is not suited to every home. So, if you are thinking about welcoming this boy into your life, you must read this guide, which will help you to make that final decision.

If you think you can offer this gorgeous boy everything that he needs, you will be rewarded with limitless affection, loyalty, and protection. He is also energetic, intelligent, and tenacious, and he needs a lot of exercise and attention. Let’s find out if you and the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix are a good match.Divider 1

Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier Puppies – Before You Buy…

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Before we jump into all the details, you must understand that the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix is not for everyone. Unfortunately, this guy often ends up in rescue homes simply because his owners failed to research him and his needs. To prevent you from finding yourself in this position,      you need to be realistic about what you can and can’t offer him, and if you aren’t sure whether you can provide him with what he needs, you need to consider a different breed altogether. But, if you can, then this lovely boy is worth every ounce of your effort and time.

Many people think that his chubby exterior makes him much more friendly and approachable compared to a standard Pitbull Terrier, but the reality is,  the Shar-Pei genes make him a territorial and challenging pooch. For this reason, he is not for the first-time dog owner – this mixed doggy needs an experienced owner who will stand firm and ensure that he maintains the position of top dog, not the Shar-Pei Pitbull. Are you looking for an easy introduction to life with a pet dog? This guy is anything but easy, so do not start it with this guy.

Training is also a lifelong commitment, not just for the first year of his life. He needs constant socialization and stimulation to remind him of polite doggy etiquette because he will easily slip into rude doggy habits if allowed to do so. He can be territorial, and if he feels that this family is in danger, he will defend them and can get aggressive. Some owners love this canine trait, and some cannot handle it, but it is something that you need to be prepared for.

This guy would prefer to be the only pet and he is known not to get along with other animals. If unsocialized, he can exhibit fear-aggression against other dogs, so he must be socialized from a young age. If you are welcoming this guy into your home as a puppy, then he might accept the other pets, but there is a high chance that he will not. But if you are welcoming an older Shar-Pei Pitbull mix into your home, or you already have a Shar-Pei Pitbull mix and thinking about welcoming another animal into the fold, then this has a high chance of not working out. This is why it is recommended that the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier is an only pet.

This guy is needy and he requires A LOT of attention. He needs to be placed with a family that can devote a lot of time to him. He is a protective dog and he likes to know you are safe, and he will get anxious if you leave him for longer than a few hours. When you are around, he will stick to you like glue, which is great if you are seeking a canine shadow, not so much if you prefer a less-needy dog.

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier Puppies?

The average price of a Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier puppy will fall anywhere between $300 and $500, and anything much more or less than this price might suggest that there is something not quite right with the breeder.

Always research the breeder before you commit to anything, and reviews of them or their business help to distinguish a good breeder from a great breeder. Once you have selected the breeder that sounds like your best fit, be sure to meet up with them in person and ask to meet the pups and parents. Also, request to see the health certificates of the pup’s parents. Again, if they refuse any of this, it is another warning sign that they are not reputable.

A reputable Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier breeder will take a key interest in the socialization of their puppies. When you meet the puppies, think about what kind of dog personality you are looking for. Would you prefer a quieter pup? Or maybe a boisterous and tenacious pooch? Viewing puppies with their litter is a great way to determine what their personality might be like when they are older. But never expect a super docile Shar-Pei Pitbull mix.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier

1. The Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier has many other designer names

The Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier is also known as the Pit Pei, the Sharpull, or the Shar Pit. Bear this in mind when searching for a breeder, as they may use one of these names.

2. His coat might feel like sandpaper

If the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix inherits the coat of his Shar-Pei parent, you can be sure that his coat will feel coarse and rough. The literal translation of Shar-Pei is “sand skin”, but hopefully with the Pitbull influence, his coat might not feel so rough.

3. The Shar-Pei’s personality can be unpredictable

Most mixed dogs are a little unpredictable when it comes to their personality. However, because the parents of the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix are very different from one another, his personality can swing either way. For this reason, you need to be sure that you like both of his parents.

Parents of Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier
The parents of the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier. Left: Shar Pei, Right: Pitbull Terrier

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier

Now that you know all of his personality must-haves, let’s look at why this guy makes a fantastic family pet for the right family. Firstly, no one will love his family more than him! Both of his parents are loyal and affectionate with their immediate families, so you can be sure that this guy is doubly so. He will shower you and the whole family in doggy kisses and cuddles.

Thanks to his Pitbull genes, he will be a little more sociable with strangers once he has warmed up to them, and he will not be completely aloof. He is quite a calm and quiet dog, and so, he will not always alert you to incoming visitors. But if you or your family are in any danger this guy will not hesitate to jump in the middle and protect his family. This is great if you are seeking a defensive guard dog for the family, but a trait to be aware of if you do not like dogs with protective personalities.

The Shar-Pei Pitbull mix is a super-intelligent dog. Not only does he excel at training and pick tricks up quickly, but he is so intelligent that he can easily outsmart his master and get bored quickly. For this reason, you need to mix up physical activities to keep him interested and stimulated. If you do not match his intelligence, he will lose all interest in playing or training with you, so you need to keep him on his toes. This does mean that if you can keep up with him, he will be your partner in crime and there will never be a dull moment.

This guy would excel as a jogging companion, agility course competitor, fetching partner, and probably anything else you can think of. Are you looking for a canine to accompany you on an easy evening stroll? That is not going to do it for this guy. He will also need a lot of toys and games to play with when in the home, especially for those times during the day when you have not got the time or the energy for intense exercise. Treat-filled puzzle toys are always a hit with a Shar-Pei mixed pooch, simply because he is obsessed with food!

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix has a fondness for the younger members of the family, and despite his dominant personality, he loves nothing more than to snuggle up to the little ones. He is very tolerant of overenthusiastic children and makes a great family addition for younger families. His Pitbull parent has always been known as the ‘nanny dog’ because he takes good care of the family children.

Families need to be able to spend most of their time with him, and this boy will not do well being cooped up all day long with no one around. His intelligent, needy, and energetic personality can be a recipe for disaster if bored. Not only will he take his frustration out on your furniture, but he will soon display problematic behaviors that will upset the family dynamics. So, if you cannot offer him company, this boy is not the breed for you!

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

It is more than likely that the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix will not get along with other family pets, especially other dogs. Historically, both of his parents were used as pit-fighting dogs, and dogs used for this purpose are known to be temperamental and can display fear-aggression.

Although training and socialization play a key part in dogs being able to live in multi-dog or multi-pet households, some dogs simply do not like other animals’ company. And the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix is one of those. Although you can never say never, if you have other dogs or animals in the house this guy is not the best option for you.

Shar Pei Pitbull dog in flowers
Image: Wonderlane, Flickr, CC 2.0

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Things to Know When Owning a Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier:

The Shar-Pei is a particular dog who likes particular things, so it is important that you take a look at this list to make sure you can provide him with everything he needs.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

A typical Shar-Pei mixed dog will consume approximately 2 ½ cups of kibble every day. This will be dependent on his age, size and energy levels, and you should always follow package instructions to be sure that you do not overfeed him. His Shar-Pei genes make him very susceptible to putting on weight easily. Remember an overweight dog is a very unhappy and unhealthy one, which can cause further health problems.

You should always feed dogs a kibble that is designed for his life-stage, i.e. puppy, adult or senior. Avoid all-life stage kibbles as these will not provide him the age-specific nutrients he needs. This is particularly true in the puppy stage. Large breed dogs are 50 pounds or above in weight, so the Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix is more likely to fall into the medium breed category.

You should also feed your Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix a high-quality kibble that provides him with at least 22% protein as a puppy, and 18% as an adult. If your budget allows you to feed him a kibble that contains higher protein content, he will love the extra meatiness for sure.

Exercise 🐕

The Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mixed dog needs to be exercised for at least 60 minutes every day. His exercise routine must be vigorous and intense so that he can expel that energy of his. As you already know, a leisurely stroll is not going to cut it with this guy, so he would be best placed with an active family.

Due to his potential for fear-aggressive behaviors towards other dogs, it is recommended that you keep this guy on a leash. However socialized and polite he may be, he might come across a pooch that he does not like or one that does not like him.

It is advised that dogs who challenge the status quo should not be put into a position of power. A game like tug-of-war could put him into a position of power over you if he wins. Only play this game with him if you can remain in control and set boundaries.

Training 🎾

The Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix is a strong-willed dog who needs an equally strong-willed owner. He needs to be put in place from day one of being in your home. Despite needing a firm owner, he needs an owner who can train him with the positive reinforcement method. This guy will not react well to punishment in any way, so treats, belly rubs, and lots of ‘who’s a good boy’ is in order here!

Be consistent and persistent with your training and do not give into his stubbornness. Ensure that the whole family are on board with his training and commands. Although training methods and thoughts on training differ amongst the experts, a dog such as this should never be allowed to feel that he is on level par with his humans.

The Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix can be a very anxious and destructive pooch if left to his own devices. Dogs like this benefit hugely from crate training. Not only does it mean you can be sure he will not eat your favorite chair whilst you are out, but it also means he has his own safe-haven that he can find comfort in.

Grooming ✂️

The Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier’s grooming routine can be either very low maintenance or it can be demanding. This is dependent on his skin type and whether he inherits the skin conditions that his Shar-Pei parent is susceptible to.

Dogs with lots of rolls and skin folds usually develop skin conditions if not treated correctly. The folds are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and he is prone to a variety of skin infections that we will talk about in the next section. You will need to use specially designed skin-fold cleaning products and wipe them a few times every week to keep skin infections at bay.

His Pitbull parent is also prone to sensitive skin and could experience rashes and hives. This may be managed by cleaning products or a change in diet. Because of the Shar-Pei Pitbull’s heightened risk of skin conditions, it is always best to use gentle products made with natural ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe vera or coconut milk.

His other grooming aspects are relatively low maintenance. He will only need brushing once a week to remove dead hair and keep his coat looking and feeling healthy. His eyes and ears will need cleaning once a week, and because he is so active, he will rarely need his nails trimming.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Shar-Pei Pitbull’s health will vary. His Pitbull parent is a very healthy breed, whereas the Shar-Pei breed is susceptible to a variety of health conditions. Be sure to make yourself aware of the following conditions and their symptoms.

Minor Conditions
  • Shar-Pei fever
  • Patellar luxation
  • Ear infections
  • Cherry Eye
Serious Conditions
  • Demodectic mange
  • Pyoderma
  • Seborrhea
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism

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Male vs Female

Male Shar-Pei Pitbulls are usually larger than females. Some Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier owners state that males tend to be a bit more boisterous, too.

It is also common for female Shar-Pei Pitbull mixes to be very anti other females, so if you are welcoming a female into your family, you need to be able to handle potential fear-aggression while out walking. Should problems develop, fear-aggression training is advised, and seeking help from a canine behaviorist will always be beneficial for both the dog and you.Divider 3

Final Thoughts

The Shar-Pei Pitbull Terrier mix is certainly not for everyone or every family. But there are some families out there who make the perfect fit for this guy. Are you this family? Well, as long as you are experienced with dogs, have the time to invest in life-long training and can spend most of your time with him then he might just be the breed for you!


Featured image credit: Kim Bryant, Shutterstock