The Chinese Shar-Pei is typical of many Asian dog breeds. Suspicious of strangers, but fiercely loyal when they decide someone is worthy of their trust. The breed standard for the Chinese Shar-Pei, as written by the Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America states the temperament to be:
Temperament:Regal, alert, intelligent, dignified, lordly, scowling, sober and snobbish essentially independent and somewhat standoffish with strangers, but extreme in his devotion to his family. The Shar-Pei stands firmly on the ground with a calm, confident stature.
The American Kennel Club has this to add:
Shar-Pei are strong, regal, independent guardians famous for intelligence and loyalty. They are suspicious of strangers and other dogs. Shar-Pei are serene dogs, but they will meet a perceived threat with tenacity and vigor. Early training and socialization are essential—a dominant adult Shar-Pei without them is a serious problem waiting to happen. -AKC American Kennel Club
All of this quoting of the Chinese Shar-Pei temperament has a reason. Back in the late 80s/early 90s I shared my life with a few lovely Shar-Pei. When I moved to Minnesota in 1997, I hired a guy to help me move my stuff from storage into my rental home. I told him not to pet the sweet looking Shar-Pei girl as she was very distrustful of strangers. Later in the day I turned around and she was in his lap licking him. Yeah, I married him. That's how I met my husband.
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