Are shar-pei good family dogs for small children?

Share with your friends...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

suzie8: My husband wants to get a shar-pei dog, however we have small children. Are they good family dogs?
Are they aggressive? Is there any reports of attacks from these dogs?
shar pei family dogs
Photo Credit: emdot/Flickr
Answers and Views:

Answer by I Love my Pyr.
I don't think they are among the most popular breed. I have heard that they are mean when they get older but I don't know of any personally and that could be in the raising. Just socialize it well and lay down the rules in the beginning.

Answer by Lissa
Have to agree that it completely depends on the dog’s personal temperament and socialization as a puppy.

My family has had another shar pei before, but our current pei is just over a year old now.  Extremely leery of strangers, but he is always friendly with kids no matter if he knows them or not.  But we made sure he was exposed to children when we brought him home as a puppy and the breeder also had a young son so he was definitely properly socialized.

Even still, definitely not a dog for everyone.  Mine listens to me well and is a serious love bug.  Quite full of personality and even shows some manners. But he can be extreeemely stubborn (especially when it comes to listening to other family members) and its really true that they need to understand pecking order. A great plus, as mentioned by other reviewers, he was extremely easy to house train- very very few accidents from day one and not once has he ever chewed anything up in the house.  Only issue he has is being alone, he loves to be around people even if its just a matter of being able to see you from down the hallway.

Overall, they’re extremely loyal and affectionate dogs but each dog has his own unique personality and needs serious training and socialization.  And if you’re going to get one, who you choose to buy from is a big factor.

Answer by Serch
Shar peis are not for everyone. If you are looking for a cute dog to play with you better get one of the smaller breeds. Shar peis are strong dogs, both mentally and physically. They need a strong leader who would set the rules from day one. When I say set the rules, I mean it., I have a Shar pei, and she is very stubborn, but since I am the Alfa male of the house, what I say goes. If you can get your dog to understand it, you will have one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I havent found a dog that is more loyal, affectionate, smart, sensitive than a shar pei. But watch out, you MUST be firm, but never violent with the shar pei (or any other dog for that matter) My shar pei is EXTREMELY sensitive to family situations. The other day I had quite a strong argument with my brother and she just kept on licking my hands and did not leave my side. The next day she did not ate at all. Was very depressed. Whe we play and she bites me a bit too hard, she stops inmediatly and licks my “wound” like if she were apologizing… :D

Read all the answers in the comments.  Know better? Leave your own answer!

Share with your friends...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone


  1. Sarah-Ann says

    We recently bought a sharpei puppy as a friend for our maremma sheepdog. We are now considering re-homing him, He has only been bought up with love, and has turned into an aggressive and tries to over power everything and very territorial, He randomly went and bit my almost 4 year old on the side the other day, he will attack our maremma for her dinner so after he scoffs his i have to try and make him sit and keep him away but he is so angry more so when it comes to food. Loves older people but not keen on sharing with dogs or kids, even though hes been around his brothers and sisters since birth, then our kids since very young. he looks like a great dog. But i think they suit more of a child-less home with someone who can afford the vet bills if needed, and the time to train these dogs aswell, they are the most stubborn bread! and i thought our maremma was stubborn! over all it depends on the dogs personality. I love our sharpei but he isn't for us. And i feel so guilty thinking of rehoming him, but with a 4yr old and a 6 month old i wont have an aggressive dog. He needs a more suited home with no other dogs, no kids and full human attention.

    • Really says

      I would love to appreciate/take into consideration your comments, however, your spelling is atrocious and if you can't be disciplined enough to educate yourself and approach situations such as this, attempting to offer sound advice to others who seek it, being a "Pei" owner myself, I do recommend you focus on your improvement, not your passing of judgment on an animal and it's behavior. If you take no pride in your presentation, then it's not credible you take pride in disciplining/raising a dog who needs consistent work...for at least the first 2 years...poor "puppy".

      • Chaz says

        Wow, you are smug and condescending little person! Does that make you feel better to cut down someone else?

  2. Liam says

    We have a year old Pei (we had her since she was a pup) and she has been reared indoors as part of the crew. To date I have no complaints- she is really really good with our boys (6 & 3) she has an excellent temperment. As previous posters have said it all depends on the rearing. I know there are lots in shelters that need rehoming but like everything else be very careful as some may not have had a nice upbringing and may come with a few issues.

    Health issues are heridetary- so always have a check on the parents before buying.

    • Liam says

      Well here's the update to our experience with our Pei- she has been the most mild mannered dog I have had to date. Yes she is supprisingly stubborn- that characteristic I have never come across before with my previous dogs. But perseverance does pay off. She is so loving even with our boys who love the rough and tumble and our pei throws herself into the middle of it, but I keep a close eye and never once have I had to come to the aid of the kids. Like all pedigree dogs there are heridetary issues- our poor girl is allergic to tree pollen so requires regular bathing. But other than this I have had not one bad experience to report.

  3. Dog_trainer says

    I've known some that were lovely dogs if they were raised properly, but as a family pet generally not a breed I recommend. They were originally bred as fighting dogs, and many are aggressive towards people and other animals. They are also expensive to buy and maintain - lots of health problems with their skin.

    Go with a Lab or a Golden Retriever or another of the Sporting Breeds from a good breeder who selects for health and temperament.

  4. neonlights1971 says

    Never heard of them being mean to kids, but I can tell you they drool like mad mans and they stink even when given a bath.. my friends had one, they finally gave it away cause it stunk all of the time even with bathing him.. GOOD LUCK
    Plus you have to teach the kids to respect the newest addition to your family as well.. there only defense will be biting.. And even lil dogs can bite hard..

  5. Schatzi says

    I have a rott/shar pei. My vet was a bit apprehensive around her at first, as he said many shar peis have bad temperaments. He was not worried about her being part rottweiler. I love my dog.
    That being said...
    I have read about them, and they can have aggression issues. Of course, many dogs can, regardless of breed, but it might not be the best choice for a house full of children. Plus, there are health issues regarding their eyes and their coat (for people) that you should read up on first.

  6. Big T and A says

    Shar-pei are good dogs but do become protective of thier familys. They also cause allergies in some people. I worked at an animal shelter and we couldn't care for them because two of our workers and our vet was allergic to them but not any other breeds.

  7. miaugh says

    I know of a few that are standoffish that I wouldn't trust around kids--and a few that are excellent with the children in their own family. Even if you get one with a great temperament. you should know shar-peis can be prone to recurrent skin infections and allergies.

  8. queenB says

    i have raised shar pei for 10 yrs,and have 5 little girls,they are the sweetest things,they are very smart,and easy to train,
    i dont know were people got they were mean,cause mine are the biggest baby,i love shar pei and trust me once you get one you will never have another dog!

    • jeanette brennan says

      Totally agree with this message,our 10yr old shar-pei has never given us any problems,he is gentle,loving and adorable,its the little dogs that you have to watch,but its the way you treat them,give them love and they will love you.

  9. JennyAngelicGirl says

    Somewhat aloof to strangers, the dogs have a natural instinct to guard home and family and are intensely loyal to their owners

  10. Fetch! says

    ~ If you get a puppy, this is of no concern. If you adopt a dog you will already know the temperament of the dog before taking it into your home. I personally LOVE Shar Peis. I have a male named Caine. He is an awesome dog. They are extremely loyal dogs and will be very protective of the whole family. Not aggressive but will alert. They are wonderful family pets and a very clean breed. They are super easy to potty train. I have one now and had two in the past. I also belong to the Florida Shar Pei club and it is very common for a Shar Pei to be housebroken at or before 5 months of age. They are easy to train behavioral and will get along with other dogs if properly socialized and raised with other pets. I highly recommend them. If you do get a puppy please research the breeder as this is super important to finding one that has temperament and quality. Not all breeders are created equal. Everyone that comes over is first taken by my Great Danes but once they are around long enough everyone falls in love with my Shar Pei. He and many others are just amazing pets!

  11. Bonnaboo says

    Well, Shar Peis can be VERY troublesome with other dogs, and are not for the novice owner. Their coats can give people and kids rashes because of their unusual texture. I would be very careful with a dog of that breed and your children. they are rather aloof. I personally wouldn't do it.

  12. Skeeter says

    We had one years ago and we loved him dearly but we had to watch him closely around kids and strangers. Also they can come with lots of health problems too especially with their eyes. Ours died at 3 years old from many health problems but mainly cancer..

  13. Jasm says

    Any dog is good as long as you train it right. My aunt has had pit bulls all her life and they have never ever once even tried to attack anyone or any of the kids either. I brought my 2 1/2 month old puppt over there for x-mas and she played with her 2 year old pit bull and they were fine. My puppy was biting her and everything and that pit bull just played right back-never tried to hurt her at all. All depends on how u raise your dogs. Good Luck.

  14. Bonzie12 says

    Here's some info on the breed:

    If the dog meets cats and children while it is still young, it usually will not have a problem with them. The Chinese Shar-Pei has a frowning expression, but is surprisingly easy-going, calm, independent, and devoted. They make a delightful companion and good watchdogs. The Shar-Pei needs a confident handler. If you are too uncertain, too inconstant, too soft, or too mild in the dog's eyes, it will take over as the boss. Shar-Pei need firm, but gentle and extremely consistent training. They are stubborn and bold and need firm obedience training to establish your leadership. They may refuse commands from family members who have not established leadership over them. They need an owner who as the ability to be "Top Dog". These dogs are very clean and almost housebreak themselves. Shar-Pei generally hate water and try as hard as they can to avoid it. Puppies grow very quickly and must be fed accordingly. Mixing other dogs can sometimes be a problem and socialization is important. However some Shar-Pei are less dominant then others and show lines tend to be less dog-aggressive, mixing well with other dogs. Some Shar-Pei tend to slobber, especially when in pain. It is important to find a reputable breeder when seeking a Shar-Pei. This breed was very popular in the 1980's. It was referred to as one of the "Yuppie Puppies", meaning the breeds that were carelessly over-bred. A lot of this breeds personality and health depends on the lines it comes from. Good Shar-Pei lines will get along well with other dogs and will not have skin problems, which is a hereditary condition.

  15. di says

    Any dog can be aggressive. It totally depends how they are trained. Friends of mine have 2 shar-peis and had small children when they got them. They had no problems. They also walk their dogs twice daily and they are very well trained.

  16. Iggy's Screamin says

    Yes Shar Peis can be aggressive,,,,I have never in all the years in the show ring or otherwise of a Shar Pei attacking.

    you need to research any breed before buying or getting a dog from a shelter, you have to make sure the dog fits your life style first.

    we have a lot of them in our dog club, even tempered dogs, but all say, can be aggressive, but so can any breed.

    go to

    and research any breed you want for free

  17. My Dogs R Better Tha says

    my mother's neighbor's shar pei attacked their 4 year old son and took his arm really bad bites.
    i would think twice before getting one of these. what about a lab or golden or a big slap happy mutt from the shelter?
    also shar peis have alot of health problems and are very expensive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *