How to Groom a Shar Pei for a Show

by Dondi Ratliff
    The Shar-Pei's many wrinkles lessen as it grows older, making drying between them easier.

    The Shar-Pei's many wrinkles lessen as it grows older, making drying between them easier.

    Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

    The Chinese Shar-Pei, despite its wrinkled skin, is a dog breed that is relatively easy to care for. Whether at home or in the show ring, a Shar-Pei requires very little to keep clean and show-worthy. There are some concerns to keep in mind, though.

    Bathing

    The show line Shar-Pei, much as his pet quality brothers and sisters, is a relatively clean dog. He does not have a heavy doggy odor. Bathing him once every 12 weeks is recommended, provided he has not rolled in muck or otherwise requires a bath. In fact, bathing him too much, or too regularly, can irritate his skin. The problem occurs in getting him dry post-bath: his wrinkles and folds must be thoroughly wiped down with a dry towel to keep away fungal or yeast infections. The only time bathing might be increased to once a week is for shedding season with the "brush" type coat. A pre-show bath and thorough drying is a good start.

    Brushing

    Shar-Peis come in two recognized coats when it comes to show lines: "brush" coats and "horse" coats. The AKC standards for the breed require the coat to be harsh and no longer than one inch in length. This coat is never trimmed, but should be regularly brushed with a rubber curry or grooming mitt at least once a week. When shedding season occurs, brushing should be done daily to keep the dog from looking unkempt. As the Shar-Pei is shown in its natural state, much of the efforts that other dog breeds require pre-show are unnecessary for this breed. Shedding is otherwise minimal. A curry brush and hair dryer set on low heat should be sufficient pre-show.

    Teeth

    All types of puppies should be handled from an early age to accept people dealing with their mouths and feet. By doing so, a pet owner can easily brush his dog's teeth to cut back on bad breath and tartar buildup. Teeth-brushing is recommended two or three times per week. Brushing pre-show is a must.

    Nails and Ears

    A Shar-Pei's ear canals are delicate. Check them weekly for irritation or odor. Use a cotton ball with a gentle ear cleaner during checkups to wipe the ears clean, especially before a show. Never place water in the inner ears of this breed or any other. Finally, if when the dog walks across the floor and each step clicks audibly, a nail trim is needed. Be aware that dogs have blood vessels inside their toenails that can be cut - an inexperienced groomer may wish a veterinarian or professional groomer to do the trimming instead pre-show.

    Photo Credits

    • Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Dondi Ratliff is a certified secondary English teacher and adjunct instructor for a junior college in Texas, where she teaches writing. Her articles cover topics ranging from science, literature and animals to online games and beyond. Ratliff holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Tarleton State University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Texas Woman's University.

    Trending Dog Grooming Articles

    Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!