Edis Ichim is the Ambassador of the EU Federation of Shar-Pei Clubs, breeder, dog handler and owner of Blueline Hunter Kennel in Romania. He is also known as the best Shar-Pei breeder in his country and he was my first choice when I bought my dog – Kino (Dante of Blueline Hunter). Due to the large amount of misinformation on the internet about this particular breed, Edis agreed to discuss with me what makes the Shar-Pei truly unique, the importance of pedigree, the difficulty of being a reputable breeder and more in this exclusive interview. Also included are some unique facts about the breed, health care and nutritional information.
History of the Shar-Pei
Dogs like the Shar-Pei breed have existed in southern China for centuries, perhaps as far back as the Han Dynasty around 200 BC. Archaeologists have found a statue from that period depicting a dog similar to a Shar-Pei. Later evidence includes a 13th century document that refers to a wrinkled dog. The early Shar-Pei were versatile farm and working dogs. They guarded property and livestock, hunted game and tended flocks. The Shar-Pei was a household guardian in other ways as well. Its purple tongue, shared with only one other breed, the Chow Chow, and its wrinkled skin were believed to ward off evil spirits. In addition to being working dogs, Shar-Pei were also popular fighting dogs. Their loose skin and coarse fur made it difficult for the other dog to grab them. Life has always been harsh in China, but for the Shar-Pei it became downright dangerous after the Communist takeover in the early 20th century. In the People’s Republic of China, dogs were a symbol of a decadent past and were almost exterminated in the 1950s. Only a few remained in rural areas, as well as in Hong Kong (still under British rule at the time) and Taiwan, as well as a few that had been exported to the United States in 1966. In 1973, a Hong Kong breeder named Matgo Law appealed to Western dog lovers to help him save the breed that was becoming extinct. The unusual wrinkled dogs attracted intense interest among Americans and quickly became «the dog» to own. Shar-Pei were fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1992. After that initial burst of popularity, they have moderated interest, currently ranking 50th, down from 37th a decade ago.
B&G Shar-Pei is located in West Deptford, New Jersey. Its owner, Galyna, is a certified dog trainer, AKC merit breeder and dog evaluator, also a recognized member of the Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America and the Berkshire Spur Chinese Shar-Pei Club.
Dogs from B&G are winners of different awards, from Grand Champion Shar-Pei to Best in Show Specialty. This Chinese Shar-Pei breeder has over 15 years of experience and places special emphasis on the ability and character of the Shar-Pei. She pays attention to the soundness, health and attitude of the Shar-Pei puppies during breeding.
The Shar Pei is prone to both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight loss, increased hunger or thirst, increased urination, and increased energy or excitement. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, dull fur, thinning hair, inability to tolerate cold and low energy. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, contact your vet and ask to have their thyroid levels checked if necessary. While many of these symptoms can be attributed to other causes, Shar-Pei are prone to thyroid problems so it may be worth checking.