Laurels Westies, at
DreamCatcher Hill Puppies and Rescue
www.laurelswesties.com, my original website, went down. Please enjoy the new website.
We have not been breeding any AKC Shar Pei for over a year. They have got to be the cutest ever puppies!
We do occasionally have adults available for adoption, See Boo Boo below.
The breed has to be one of my favorites. But its so sad.
After reading anything I could find it seems to always end up with finding researchers are still working on a test to tell if any given dog will develop amyloidosis, a potentially fatal disease. Cute isn't as important as health when your fur baby is literally sick as a dog, and going to die prematurely.
ALL pure-bred Shar Pei carry 5, or more copies of the gene which is linked to the disease.
The cuter they are with thicker skin and massive wrinkles it is more likely they have more copies of the gene then the dogs who "don't look like a shar pei".
To be sure to not develop the disease, the dog must have 4 copies or less. As you can see there is not a bloodline free from the problem no matter what they look like, since all Purebred Shar Pei have 5 or more copies. It is the entire breed. Many can and do live a long time, even 17 years, and never have an issue. But others develop the problem between 3 and 6 years of age. Any inflammation such as allergies, or injuries, add's to the onset and development of the disease in a dog predisposed. Many people don't realize that. Allergy testing is very important in the breed if there are any symptoms of allergies for this reason.
Because its a recessive characteristic in all Shar Pei, but not known to be consistently in any other breed, when they are crossed with another breed you can then have a healthy puppy almost guaranteed not to develop amyloidosis. Of course in life the impossible happens, but this is one of the many instances where hybrid vigor and healthier puppies from a cross does happen.
Please see our Cava-Pei puppies, and the Shar Pei designer pup page!
The puppies have many of the terrific characteristics of the Shar Pei we love, yet a 95% or more reduction in chance of a fatal disease! The Cavaliers worst health problems are also rare, or unheard of in the Shar Pei, so it works from both directions to have a healthier adorable puppy. Plus Cavaliers are very friendly happy dogs. The hybrid puppies will still be a watch dog, but they are friendly and probably not likely to be protective as Shar Pei can be. They may just trip and slobber on intruders. Both breeds are know to love children!
It took almost 2 years but we finally have Ori-Pei puppies!
Shar Pei have been crossed with Pugs for a very long time. The first generation cross, or if only 1 grandparent is a Shar Pei, like an Ori-Pei mom and a Pug father, the chance of preventing amyloidosis is the best. If its 2 Ori-Pei crossed then the chance has been added back in for Amyloidosis, since they can get genes from both parents with Shar Pei in them.
We have stopped breeding purebred Shar Pei ever since we suddenly had 2 AKC Shar Pei puppies we had sold, as 3 year olds and 2 of our moms develop amyloidosis, all in the same year. Prior to that I had thought it was very rare and we had never had a problem, nor had we even had a shar pei with shar pei fever. Shar Pei fever is pretty common problem in Shar Pei, and generally thought to be linked to amyloidosis, but its not all inclusive. Talking to others and reading Shar Pei forums it happens throughout the breed. As explained briefly above, there is no way to prevent or reduce its occurrence, except by crossing to another breed.
Shar Pei housebreak themselves. They must be the cleanest easiest puppy in the world to housebreak! The crosses keep that wonderful trait. :) They also are very intelligent. Which is both good and bad Smart dogs are creative when bored, or in finding ways to avoid doing what you want in favor of doing what they want. On the plus side, they do want to please and can learn a trick in minutes. They think about what their doing.
BooBoo has been spayed and is available for adoption to a pet home. She is 4 years old, her bloodwork was all normal when she was spayed March 2017. As far as we know she has no health problems.
She does have allergies and is on dog food that does not have the ingredients she's allergic to. Both low cost varieties to high end varieties are on the "safe" list.
Boo Boo loves to cuddle, is terrific with people, kids, dogs, will chase cats if they run but has not offered to ever actually hurt a cat.
She is too smart. She learned she is not allowed to chase our chickens, but discovered the neighbors have chickens. She not only would open the door (we have level type handles) she would take any dogs with her that she let out of the house to help her go chase the neighbors chickens. Since we couldn't watch her all the time, and couldn't risk her chasing the neighbors chickens she ended up in the kennel. She is happiest being with someone and being a house dog. She was allowed on furniture, so that could be a problem if she isn't allowed on furniture,unless she is given her own private chair or couch.
She is pretty energetic and observant. She likes to be in the middle of everything. She is of course housebroken perfectly.
Puff, our first to develop a problem, had attached herself to me. In general I love every dog, or critter I come across. Its rare for one to be so determined to be my best buddy though because I know I adopt them out when they retire and I dislike having favorites, so I don't encourage them to want me as their favorite person. Plus its not fair to not love on them all equally.
Puff though was determined. She followed me everywhere (many do but she was different), she knew when I didn't feel well, she was just an absolute love, crawling up on the couch anytime I had a moment to sit down, or sleeping next to me very carefully if I fell asleep when not feeling well on the couch.
I cant describe the connection she insisted on making. If she was out in the kennels, since we rotate who is in the house, she was pretty content and happy to see me but not whiny insistent. She would just look at me. Somehow that look and good behavior made it impossible to ever keep her in the kennel. She became a permanent house dog. Plus she was so good; great with people, other dogs, came when called, stayed home when loose.... Didn't tolerate any dogs being bad but never started a ruckus herself.
She loved puppies, anyones puppies. She would have to investigate every puppy. Although all the Shar Pei are extra curious and they all were always getting into the pictures when I was taking puppy pictures!
She let Trinket, the sickly French Bulldog puppy we had adopted sleep on her, pull on her lips and never fussed at her. In the end when it was Puff who didn't feel well it was Trinket who laid with her when I had to get up to do chores on her last days while we tried different medications to help her nausea and to get an appetite back.
Puff had severe kidney failure for almost a year. It came on unexpectedly and so bad the Vet expected her not to make it a week. She stayed a few days getting IV fluids, but she didn't want to be at the vets and she wasn't any better. She wouldn't eat anything for them. We brought her home expecting it to be her last few days.
I handmade her food and she loved it. Although her blood-work never improved, with the homemade meals she gained her weight back and acted like a puppy again! You would never know how sick she really was. Also we had allergy testing done and discovered she had such an odd mix of allergies it was easier and healthier to make her meal then trying to find a food she liked and wasn't allergic to.
One day though she wouldn't eat, then started vomiting off and on. Nausea meds didn't work. She wouldn't drink more then a bit and eating was sporadic. She became weak and fell down when she tried to follow me, tail still wagging. When she was so weak, or dizzy she fell over she looked so sad. I laid on the couch with her for a few days hoping the meds would kick on and work so she would eat more then a bite when I insisted. They didn't work and I couldn't bear to see her suffer. We made our last trip to the vets. She's buried here on the farm. Still makes me cry thinking about her and how awful Amyloidosis is.
As much as I just adore the breed I cant see breeding purebred Shar Pei anymore. Its heartbreaking for us and terrible for the dogs who do get sick. Maybe someday when we still have a few AKC Shar Pei left they will come up with a test. Until then we will cross the ones we had with another breed to maintain the wonderful Shar Pei characteristics, but in a healthy happy body.
Please read below for purebred Shar Pei information and health concerns, and see the Designer Shar Pei page, with Cava-Pei, Westie-Pei puppies, Ori-Pei (Pug cross) puppies.
Chinese Shar Pei Puppies