Shar Pei Price: How Much Should You Pay for this Wrinkled Dog?

Last Updated on April 19, 2023

Shar Pei Price Guide

Shar Peis are beautiful medium-sized dogs well known for their wrinkly bodies and faces. Bred as watchdogs in imperial China, these beautiful creatures are fierce protectors of their families.

If you’ve always fancied one of these wrinkly cuties for yourself, you may be wondering what one of these adorable puppies costs? Are they expensive, and what factors influence the price you might pay? Also, what can you expect to fork out throughout your pet’s eight to ten-year life in monthly and annual expenses?

We will examine all of this in the article below, so keep reading to find out.

How Much Does a Chinese Shar-Pei Cost?

A Cantonese Shar Pei puppy portrait at garden

Chinese Shar-Pei puppies from a breeder will cost between $1,200 and $2,000. However, you might be lucky enough to find one of these dogs up for adoption, which will only be around $100 or $200. 

Remember, that is only the initial purchase price for your dog; there are many additional expenses that you will need to pay for during your pet’s lifetime.

Pet ownership is an expensive exercise and not one that should be entered into lightly.

What is the average price of a Shar-Pei puppy?

If you want to find a purebred Shar-Pei puppy, you’ll have to look for one at a breeder.

While you might find a purebred, unregistered dog for as low as $750, you can expect to pay upwards of $3000 for puppies whose parents are award-winning champion dogs.

Should you buy a puppy or an older dog?

A Shar Pei dog standing in a walk way.

If you find one available for adoption, Shar-Peis can be purchased from a breeder or rescued from a shelter. The dogs at rescue centers are generally older due to the high demand for puppies and less demand for older dogs. 

Adopting an older Shar-Pei can present costly health problems or behavioral problems that will take much time, effort, and energy to resolve.

As these dogs have been historically bred as watchdogs and pit fighters, you might find older dogs in rescue centers have temperament issues and so might not be great for first-time pet owners.

However, if you’re willing to put in the extra effort, you will be rewarded by giving a dog in need a new lease on life.

What Does a Shar Pei Cost Through Reputable Breeders?

Purebred Shar Peis should only be purchased from reputable breeders as this ensures they are healthy and will not have any genetic problems.

Two little Shar Pei puppies

Unfortunately, puppies from AKC registered breeders may be extremely expensive, as most breeders price their puppies around $1,200. 

It can be much more expensive to purchase Shar-Pei dogs with show bloodlines or champion ancestry, although this isn’t necessary if you’re just looking for a companion animal and don’t plan to show or breed your dog.

How to find a reputable breeder and avoid puppy mills

Reputable Shar-Pei breeders committed to breeding with ethical standards provide background information about their dogs’ pedigree, temperament, and even their grandparents and do a lot of legwork to determine a good pairing.

You should be able to find a list of recommended Shar-Pei breeders in your area from the American Kennel Club (AKC). 

Puppy mills are backyard breeders who sell puppies at unreasonably low prices. These puppy mills often don’t perform the expensive health checks that reputable breeders do.

While this might seem cheap, it could cost you a great deal of time and money as your dog ages. 

This is because there is no deworming or vaccination in puppies from puppy mills, which could lead to a host of health problems immediately after birth.

These dogs are also not treated humanely because unscrupulous breeders only care about their profits and do not give the puppies proper health care.

Adoption Fee for a Rescue Shar Pei

Shar Pei puppies waiting for treats
Source: @_kobythesharpei_ / IG

At some rescue organizations, you may be able to find a Shar Pei looking for a loving home at a much more affordable price than at a breeder. 

You can rescue them from a shelter for as little as $100 to $200, including any vaccinations, registrations, and dewormings, and may also include the fee for getting your pet neutered or spayed. 

Before handing over the dog to you, the rescue organization will likely interview you to make sure you are a good fit and may also conduct a home check.

Factors Affecting the Price of a Shar-Pei Puppy

Various factors can influence the price of a puppy, including your dog’s genetics, the reputation of the breeder you are purchasing from, your dog’s age and size, and even his coat color and markings. 

1. Bloodline and breeder’s reputation

Your dog’s genetics and parentage will have one of the most significant influences on the price you will pay.

Pups that come from contest-winning bloodlines will inevitably be more expensive. Those that also come from breeders with good standing with the AKC or a few awards behind their name will likewise bring a greater price tag.

2. Registration papers/pedigree

Breeders that sell their Shar Peis with registration papers from the AKC will charge more for their dogs.

AKC enrolled canines are confirmed to match the strict breed standards set out by the AKC and would be more costly than canines not enlisted with the AKC. It is allowed to breed with these canines or enter them in show contests.

3. Health screenings and medical expenses

Shar Peis are susceptible to several diseases, mainly joint disease. The good news, however, is that many of these diseases are hereditary and thus can be tested for.

Portrait of Shar Pei dog looking sad

When you get a dog from a breeder, they should be able to provide you with health certificates that show your dog is clear of various conditions.

Some other problems with this breed are eye and ear problems, breathing difficulties, hypothyroidism, and allergies.

During your dog’s lifetime, you will also need to pay close attention to his skin folds which can be a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned regularly.

With puppy mills that breed Shar Peis, one glance at the puppy’s skin could give you a clear indication as to how much care has been given to the dogs. 

4. Age

As referenced, the age of a Shar-Pei influences its cost. The younger a pup, the more pricey he will be however, be careful with any breeders selling little dogs under about two months.

Doggies should be with their moms for at minimum the initial two months of their lives as they depend on their mothers for warmth and food.

5. Gender

The gender of your dog has little impact on how much you will pay for it. Sometimes male Shar-Peis can be more sought after by people looking for a bigger dog that will make a better watchdog. 

Also, some pet owners prefer to avoid females due to the risks of becoming pregnant, etc. If you find a litter full of male puppies where only one female is present, she could fetch a higher price as this will be based on supply and demand.

6. Coat color and markings

A Chinese Shar Pei dog on a morning walk
Source: @themoosebear / IG

Shar Peis have a short coat that, according to the breed standards, can be any solid color except white. Black, fawn, red, and cream are the most common colors found in this breed and thus the most affordable. 

There is also a breed variant known as the bear coat. These dogs have longer, softer fur resembling a teddy bear.

They are also more expensive than regular Shar Peis and can fetch as much as $2000 for a single puppy. 

7. Others

Various other factors can influence the cost of your Shar-Pei. Some of these factors can include the demand in your area, the breeder’s location, the shipping fees, and if your breeder has included anything additional, such as initial puppy training or microchipping.

Watch this video for some tips and tricks on how to train your Shar-Pei puppy:

Initial & Long-term Ownership Costs

Let’s consider the different expenses of pet ownership, besides the expense of purchasing your pup. When you get your pet, you’ll have to buy a bed, collar, lead, food, and bowls straight away.

A cute Shar Pei puppy on bed
Source: @juneandrollo / IG

While you may be able to find some second-hand pet items for cheaper, these initial expenses can set you back a fair amount. 

You’ll also need to factor in expenses like spaying or neutering your dog and getting him dewormed and all his puppy vaccinations done. These can reach around $900 in the first year alone. 

Owning a Chinese Shar-Pei dog is expensive. There are a lot of things you will need to spend money on during the course of your pet’s life.

This can include everything from vet fees to medical insurance, training, kennels or boarding fees, dog walkers, and more. You could be looking at spending between $60 and $200 every month of your dog’s life.

1. Vet Bills

A veterinary surgeon giving vaccine to the Shar-Pei dog

Vet expenses for your Shar Pei will set you back between $30 and $70 a month, at the least. This would include regular vet checkups and annual vaccinations.

In addition, you’ll also need flea and tick, and heartworm preventative medications which are about $175 to $250 every year. 

Also spaying or neutering your dog will set you back between $50 and $450. When you combine all of these amounts, you’ll likely spend around $600 a year in medical expenses for your dog. 

Common health issues and estimated costs to treat them

Unfortunately, Shar Peis aren’t the healthiest breed and you could end up spending quite a bit more than this if your dog gets sick or develops a hereditary illness. 

Some of the more common ailments associated with this breed include allergies which can be between $80 and $2,000 per year to treat, entropion which are inverted eyelids and expensive to fix at $800 and $1,500, amyloidosis which ranging between $600 and $3,000 to treat, and hypothyroidism which can also incur expenses of between $350 and $800.

Skin fold infections are also common with this breed, especially with Shar Peis that aren’t wiped down and groomed regularly, and sorting these out can be between $300 and $800 per year. 

If you regularly camp or hike with your pet, you might also consider giving your pet leptospirosis or Lyme disease medication which you need to pay for about $15 to $80 per dose.

Influenza vaccines might also be necessary if your dog spends a lot of time in the kennel or daycare. These would be administered at a cost of between $70 and $90.

2. Dog Food and Treats

A Chinese Shar Pei eating treats outdoor
Source: @shar_pei_shye_ / IG

Chinese Shar Peis weigh between 45 and 60 pounds (20 and 27 kg) and eat around 260 pounds (118 kg) of dog food each year. That means that the food cost for your adult dog will be between $140 and $405 a year. 

It’s best to get as high a quality dog food as you can for your budget as this will keep your dog strong and healthy and help you avoid any expensive health problems later on in life.

You’ll also want to budget around $115 to $335 a year in dog treats which will come in handy when training your pet. 

3. Dog Grooming Services

Shar Peis have short hair and thus don’t need regular trips to the groomer, however, it’s still necessary to care for these dogs at home.

To groom him, you’ll need to wipe down your pet regularly, especially when the pollen is high to prevent allergies. You’ll also want to take care to get in between the skin folds which can house mites and other insects. 

You’ll also want to brush him once a week. Grooming your pet yourself will cost next to nothing.

However, if you don’t want to groom your pooch, you can take him to a professional groomer and pay between $40 and $55 a visit.

4. Pet Insurance Coverage

To help you with covering a part of the clinical costs we have referenced above, it’s helpful to take out pet insurance for your Chinese Shar-Pei.

A small amount of money can save you a lot, in the long run, should your pet need a big operation or ongoing medical treatment. You should be able to find good pet insurance for between $15 and $50 a month.

5. Environmental Maintenance

When walking your Shar-Pei, you’ll need to pick up after him to keep the area in which you walk looking good for other pet owners.

To dispose of his waste hygienically, you’ll need to purchase a poop scoop and some poop bags. Thankfully, you can buy the bags in bulk to save money and this expense will only set you back about $5 a month. 

6. Chew Toys

A Shar Pei dog picking his toy
Source: @mochi_sharpei / IG

Your Shar Pei is not a high-energy breed but along with regular walks, he will appreciate some toys to keep him mentally and physically stimulated. 

These toys can actually save your money as hopefully he won’t destroy your home or chew your shoes when you leave him alone.

Just be sure to buy good quality toys that will last more than one afternoon. For these, you can expect to pay around $50 to $75 a toy.

7. Pet Supplies

There are a number of provisions you will need to purchase for your new pet. These can include your puppy’s bed, carrier, leash, harness, dog tag, and food and water bowls. 

On average, you will spend around $410 for these supplies as an initial expense but as your dog gets older, you’ll just have to replace what breaks or wears out so you’ll likely look at spending between $75 and $330 a year on supplies.

What are the Additional Costs that Come with Owning this Breed?

Chinese Shar Pei dog standing on country road looking far away

Besides the above expenses, there are a few other things that will cost money when it comes to caring for your Chinese Shar-Pei. 

This includes puppy training which can be between $150 and $200 for five weekly sessions, a license that makes it legal to own a dog in some states and ranging between $10 and $20 a year, and dog walking and boarding fees which can let you spend between $15 and $85 a day.

Monthly Expenses

As mentioned, Shar-Peis will cost between $750 and $1500 to buy however the initial purchase fee is not the only thing to consider when getting a dog.

You will also need to pay for various other monthly expenses which can amount to about $121 a month or $1455 a year. 

First-Year Expenses

A Shar Pei dog playing a tennis ball outside
Source: @millie_thesharpei / IG

The first year of your Shar Pei’s life is the most expensive as you need to buy all the new supplies for your pet and take him to the vet regularly for his puppy immunizations.

These first-year expenses could be as much $2835 over and above what it costs to buy your puppy.

Lifetime Expenses

Shar Peis have a life expectancy of between eight and ten years. During the course of your dog’s life, you can expect to pay about $15,930 in expenses.

As may be obvious, pet ownership is a huge investment and not something you should just jump into without considering if you can really afford it.

Conclusion: Should You Buy a Shar Pei Dog?

Shar Peis are cute canines generally cherished for their wrinkles and their protective demeanors.

They can make great guard dogs and a wonderful addition to your home if you are sure that you can afford all the costs associated with pet ownership. 

If you’re ready to buy a puppy, ensure you look for a reliable breeder that has performed the necessary health checks to guarantee that you’re buying a healthy dog that will lead a long life.

Do you have a  Chinese Shar-Pei at home? We would love to learn more about him and where you got him. Please tell us all about your dog in the comments below.

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