Originally from China, the Shar Pei can be excessively wrinkly, or just a bit wrinkly like ours. The wrinkles are useful in a fight; if their opponent has a mouthful of their skin, it’s loose enough for them to turn around and attack back. The Shar Pei almost disappeared during the Cultural Revolution, due to a huge dog tax and ban on all breeding, and they were also considered something of a delicacy. In 1973 Matgo Law, a Hong Kong breeder, appealed in a dog magazine to save the breed and around 200 were smuggled to America. This timely intervention has ensured the breed’s survival.

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