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| Physical Characteristics:
Weight: 40-60 lbs.
Energy Level: Low – Moderate
The Shar-Poo is found in the following colors:
Health & Longevity
Average Life Span: 12-15 years
One of the more recent crossbreeds, the Shar-Poo is a combination of a Poodle and a Chinese Shar-Pei. Unfortunately, both parent breeds are known for having their fair share of minor and major health issues. Many of these health problems could be passed down to the Shar-Poo. Luckily, most of these health problems coincide with old age, so your Shar-Poo is likely to have many years of excellent health.
OCD (Osteochondritis dissecans)
Commonly confused with the human condition, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, this OCD is a disease of the joints. It affects large breeds, like the Shar-Pei, and can lead to painful movements of the shoulders, knees, and elbows. Dogs with this condition are commonly grouchy due to being in pain. If your Shar-Poo is usually sweet and friendly, grouchiness is a tell-tale sign of something wrong. A vet will do a thorough examination to pinpoint the OCD, then provide you with surgery information and prescription medications to remedy the condition.
Caused by stress, nutritional deficiencies, or immune system failures, this condition is considered an infestation of microscopic mites. Also called the Red Mange, this condition begins with itching, hair loss, red, scabby circles on the skin, and gashes from scratching. If left untreated, this type of mange can spread all over your Shar-Poo’s body and it is very uncomfortable. Take your pup to a vet for examination and prescribed antibiotics to fight the infestation.
If you are concerned for the inherited health of your Shar-Poo, ask your vet about the following conditions: hypothyroidism, Shar-Pei Fever, bone cancer, cataracts, and joint dysplasia. Shar-Poos have a lengthy average lifespan of 12-15 years.
Temperament & Train-ability
The temperament of the Shar-Poo depends a lot on the genetics it inherited from one or both parent breeds. Shar-Pei dogs are more standoff-ish than others, and they take a while to get used to a person. Poodles are friendly and active, but cautious and wary around strangers. It seems that either way, your Shar-Poo will be a bit shy and on guard when new people come to visit. Introduce them to your Shar-Poo the way you would introduce a person to another person. This will signal to the Shar-Poo that there is no reason to be afraid or feel threatened.
The Shar-Poo makes an excellent family pet after she’s trained and socialized. At first, she may be a bit yippy, strong-willed, and rambunctious. But persistent, consistent training can help you establish behavioral boundaries that she will know not to cross. This training helps immensely when she meets new people or plays with children and other dogs. If your Shar-Poo is showing signs of being stubborn, be firm, clear, and concise in your commands.
Determination and persistence are the keys to teaching your Shar-Poo obedience. You have to be patient. Never hit, harshly scold, or scream at your Shar-Poo. This is counter-productive and could make your pup aggressive and untrustworthy out of fear. Use treats, praise, and encouragement to coax your Shar-Poo out of her proverbial safe zone. She will eventually latch onto your commands and perform them with ease.
Exercise-wise, your Shar-Poo is a moderately active crossbreed who needs space to run, play, and bounce. She is a friendly, sweet-hearted dog, particularly since she is a boisterous puppy, so take her to the dog park for social time.
The Shar-Pei is a sleek, slick-haired dog with a short, manageable coat, while the Poodle is a curly-haired pup that requires a great deal of maintenance for coat care. The Shar-Poo, usually, falls right in the middle. She sheds regularly, but depending on her genetics, her shedding could be a minimal problem. The average Shar-Poo does not shed heavily. Either way, be sure to brush your Shar-Poo daily to avoid mats and tangles.
Unlike the Shar-Pei, the Shar-Poo does not inherit the wrinkles and folds. However, she still has sensitive skin, thanks to both of her parent breeds, so use a vet-recommended dog shampoo for baths. Bathe her once a month, clean her ears once a week, brush her teeth twice a week, and trim her nails monthly.
The Shar-Poo is a medium-sized dog with the potential to be large. It depends on how much influence the Shar-Pei genetics have as your pup ages and grows. Diet-wise, you should split your Shar-Poos meals into two, with 1 ½ cups of high-quality dry kibble per meal. Splitting the meals makes it easier to control your pup’s appetite, as well as many food-related health conditions.
If you are thinking of giving your Shar-Poo treats, make them rewards. They should be meaty, wholesome, and bite-sized. Avoid exceeding more than three treats a day.
Looking for a Shar-Poo?
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Adopt A Shar-Poo
Because the Shar-Poo is a relatively new breed, they are rare and in high demand. Your local shelter will probably have never heard of this crossbreed, but you should give it a try nonetheless. Adoption fees would run somewhere between $150-$300, depending on age and history. You should also consider the costs of general upkeep, such as vaccines, vet visits, food, toys, and flea treatments.
If you are able to find a breeder who dabbles in Shar-Poos, expect to pay around $400-$500 for a puppy. Again, there are additional costs to consider, but that is the base rate for one of these new crossbreeds so far.
Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking
Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.
Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Shar-Poo is an easy enough pup to integrate into your life, so she ranks a 2 on the Paws ‘N’ Pups scale. Her easy-going, friendly disposition makes her a great family pet. Her protective instincts mean she’s a loyal guard dog, and she would rather growl and bark to alert you than bite. While the Shar-Poo doesn’t do well with being left alone, that is easily remedied with training, plenty of attention, and affection. Overall, there are few dogs better suited for your home.
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