«Meat mouth» and «bone mouth,» for lack of a better explanation, refer to the muzzle or «muzzle» of the Chinese Shar-Pei, and when you look at the comparison photos shown here that have been kindly provided by Elizabeth Cleary, it becomes easier to distinguish one from the other. On the left side of this collage are two «meat mouth» dogs, the top is an adult, the bottom is a puppy. On the right are «straight» canines, and again the adult is on top, the puppy is on the bottom.
We always ask for breeding experts here, so we welcome clarifications or corrections, but it is our understanding that the «bony mouth» dog is an older, original type Shar Pei, so called because of the «dry» «type of muzzle and considered » the Chinese type».
Shar Peis are one of the oldest dog breeds in existence.
Believe it or not, historians estimate that the Shar Pei has been around since 200 BC. However, it is very possible that they existed even earlier. This makes them one of the oldest dog breeds of all time! But how exactly do we know all this?
Archaeologists in China have unearthed statues that show a very close resemblance to the modern Shar Pei we know today. It’s not a confirmation, but the Shar Pei’s unique characteristics make them hard to mistake. According to historians, these artifacts can be dated to more than 2000 years ago.
History and Original Purpose
The breed is believed to have originated around the small village of Tai Lin in Kwangtung Province, China.
The first references to them can be found in the form of tomb statues and clay figures.
A non-killing breed
After the Chinese Revolution and the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Shar Pei became increasingly rare. In fact, in the 1970s, the Shar Pei was one of the rarest dog breeds in the world. It’s still not nearly as popular as it once was, but it saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s thanks to breeders in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In fact, one particular Hong Kong man named Matgo Law of Down-Home Kennels may be responsible for the breed’s survival.
Unfortunately, the following revival of the breed’s popularity, combined with irresponsible breeding practices, led to various health problems. With fewer breeders today, they can eliminate such problems from the breed as well as preserve its loving, loyal temperament.