How to Train a Shar Pei

Shar-peis and loyal and stubborn and can prove a challenge to train.

Shar-peis and loyal and stubborn and can prove a challenge to train.

Smart, stubborn and independent, the wrinkly Chinese shar-pei poses a unique challenge when it comes to teaching him good manners. He loves being around people, but can be a bit headstrong and learn things only when he feels like it. Patience and consistency offer the key to successful shar-pei training.

Items you will need

  • Treats
  • Toys
  • Leash

Step 1

Start training as soon as possible. Because of his stubborn nature, the longer you wait to instill proper behavior in your shar-pei, the more difficult it may be to break bad habits. Enforce good habits and discourage the bad starting the day you bring your wrinkly pup home.

Step 2

Use the right motivator. Some training methods demand you use negative responses to scare or shame your dog into submission. These tactics won't work with your strong-willed shar-pei. Use positive reinforcement, such as a treat, praise and extra playtime, to encourage good behavior. Experiment with different motivators to find the right one for your pup. Ignore bad behavior and do not interact with your pup until he stops the undesirable actions.

Step 3

Be consistent and have patience. Shar-peis are strong-willed and stubborn, and often accept training only when they're ready to do so. Reinforce good behavior and ignore the bad even if it doesn't seem like anything is sinking into your wrinkly pup's head. Letting him slide once or twice will undo all the hard work you've done before that, so stay firm with rules and acceptable behavior.

Step 4

Don't be afraid to seek professional help. If your shar-pei proves too head-strong for you to handle, find a professional dog trainer who can help. Look for a dog trainer who is familiar with the breed and doesn't use harsh, aggressive corrections. If you enroll him in training classes, he also will enjoy the benefits of supervised social interaction with other dogs.


  • Shar-peis are territorial and naturally wary of strangers, meaning your pup could growl and snap at people.
  • Always use a leash to keep your shar-pei under control when you're out and about.


  • Never use aversion tactics to discourage bad behavior in your shar-pei. Yelling at him, swatting his nose or behaving in a threatening, dominate manner only challenges his position. He may end up snapping or becoming aggressive.
  • Shar-peis generally don't get along well with other animals. The can become aggressive if not properly socialized.

About the Author

Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.

Photo Credits

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