Susieshar-pei newsemail a question

December 05, 2007
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Here’s a letter I got yesterday:

Hi Susie,

I’m looking to purchase a Shar-Pei puppy around the middle of next year and I have some questions for you. I’m waiting until next year to get one because I’ll be moving around April and decided that I would wait rather than move the puppy. First, I have a middle-age cat (Buffy is 9, extremely spoiled and somewhat lazy ). If the puppy is raised with her, will the puppy be okay with her once he/she is older? Second, I only want the puppy as a pet. He/she will never be shown or bred. I wouldn’t mind a crooked tail, however, I do want a puppy that will keep many of his/her wrinkles. Will I have to purchase a show quality puppy to get that?

It probably seems early to be asking these questions, but I’m already putting money aside for the puppy and it would be nice to know approximately how I’ll be spending for the puppy I want, and I also want to know ahead of time if the puppy will get along the cat.

Thanks so much for your time.

To answer her questions. First, about the cat. If you get a young puppy, 8-10 weeks old, the puppy will adjust perfectly to a cat of any age. No problem. If you got an adult dog, I would be worried, because a fuzzy animal the dog is not familiar with, could easily be thought of as dinner. I think of this as wolf behaviour. Dogs having descended from wolves, you can use that model to interpret dog behaviour often. If the puppy is with the cat from an early age, they will form a “pack.”

Second, you ask if you must get a show quality puppy to get one who does not have an obvious fault. Not at all. We charge ½ price for any puppy who has anything about him or her that is obviously not show quality.
But the ones we sell for show quality are as close as we can get to perfect.
If I have to supplement a puppy a lot, that puppy could be the most beautiful puppy here, and would go as a pet, because I wouldn’t know why the puppy was not a good nurser. And there are things not obvious to someone first seeing a puppy, but are important in the show world. Some of these are movement, pigment in the mouth, size of ears, curl and set of the tail, and many others.
Mike who is a professional show dog handler, evaluates our puppies. And our puppies sold as show puppies are guaranteed show quality, not “show potential” as other breeders sell them.
The majority of our puppies are sold as family pets. If you think about it, if we sell a show puppy to a show home, that dog is likely to be championed and spend his/her life in the kennel making babies. If I sell a pet puppy, that dog is spoiled for life by the family, who either have no other dogs or maybe a couple-or a cat!
I think it is wonderful you are planning ahead and researching the breed! Until tomorrow-Susie


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December 04, 2007
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Many people ask me about the number of colors Shar-Pei come in. On the AKC registration papers, Shar-Pei owners have the choice of black, blue, brown, cream, fawn, red, redfawn, red sable, fawn sable, cream sable, [these last 2 I have never seen,] apricot dilute, blue dilute, lilac dilute, cream dilute, chocolate dilute, five point red dilute, Isabella dilute, and black sable.
About every 3 years, the AKC contacts our national club, The Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America, and asks if we would like to submit new colors. Brown was added just for Bocephus.
As I stated in my note about the colors that came originally from China, they were cream [pigmented] black and fawn. All the other colors have either come from people mixing in other breeds, or crossing colors until they got something new.
We have 3 colors here that we alone have. Those are rose Isabella, Champagne, and brown. The puppy I put up yesterday is an apricot Isabella, I co/own him but he is in Atlanta. There are no choices on the AKC papers to list these colors at this time, except Bocephus. So the rose Isabella is registered Isabella, the Champagne is registered lilac, and Bocephus was registered black, but has been changed.
Many years ago, when chocolate first came out, they were registered “dark fawn.” Also at that time, apricots were registered “red dilute.”
And it has only been recently lilac was added to the list of colors, so our lilacs had to be registered either blue or chocolate. If you are studying old pedigrees, you really have to look at these names of colors and study the parents’ colors, the children’s colors, and try to interpret what is there.
This is a lilac female we have been showing, her name is Shenanigans Moon Dust, as she is out of Moon, my black male who carries all colors. To get lilac, you have to breed two dogs together who carry both blue and chocolate, so it is not an easy color to produce. The judge asked me how I “made” this color. I showed this dog to her win, but Mike can stack a dog for pictures better, so I got him to take the picture. Until tomorrow! Susie


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December 03, 2007
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I got an email today from a man wanting to know when Shar-Pei puppies get their wrinkles. Frequently I send people pictures of puppies when the writer asks for a certain color, sex, or coat, and the puppies are then too small to have any wrinkles.
I usually take pictures when the puppies are quite small, then another set when their eyes are open, another set when they are toddling around, then another set when they are big enough to go outside.
But also I usually delete the "infant" ones when I get ones of them older. You can imagine my photo program is quite large, I probably have 1000 pictures just of Andrew!
Shar-Pei puppies are born fairly generic-looking. It would be hard to tell one from a Labrador Retriever puppy except for the "bump" on the nose.
At a couple of weeks you can see some wrinkles.We want the tail to stick up in the air like a carrot at 3 weeks old, that tells us the tail will be good and curled when the puppy is 5 to 6 weeks old.
The eyes open anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks old, and by 5 or 6 weeks the puppy is showing a good bit of how she will look as an adult.
The wrinkling depends on the parents. Some adults keep more wrinkles than others do, even if they appeared similar at a younger age. A breeder who has been in this breed, raising Shar-Pei for a number of years, knows which of their dogs have puppies which keep the wrinkles.
I do get requests for dogs with very few wrinkles. But I get more requests from people who like lots of wrinkles.
So I searched for a puppy that I had kept photos of at all ages. This one is particularly interesting to me, since the color I thought he was, changed. At birth I thought he was an apricot, he is in the left lower corner of the litter picture, and he slowly got a very light blue mask, which makes him an apricot isabella, the only one I have ever seen or heard of. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia.


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