Chinese shar-peis can be quite wary of strangers, but are loyal to their loved ones, so make great family pets. Members of this ancient breed are instantly recognizable by their wrinkled skin and short, blunt snouts. However, you can also tell them apart from most other breeds by their blue-black tongues.
Ideally, adult shar-peis should have solid dark tongues. While they're often described as black, they're really more of a blue-black. Those with dilute coats may have lavender tongues. A spotted pink tongue on a shar-pei is a major fault and a solid pink tongue is a disqualification, according to American Kennel Club breed standards. However, these dogs have pink tongues when they're first born; they darken with age. By the time they reach 2 to 2 1/2 months, their tongues should be black.
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