One of the most ancient breeds of dogs, there is evidence in the form of statues found in the southern province of China that indicates the Shar-Pei has been in existence since the Han Dynasty around 200 B.C.
A compact, powerful dog, the name Shar-Pei translates to “sand-skin” or “rough, sandy coat,” says D’ Amato. In addition to having a distractive coat, the Shar-Pei also shares the unusual trait of having a blue-black tongue with another dog on this list, the Chow Chow.
Because the Shar-Pei can be an intelligent and stubborn breed, D’ Amato says it is important to attend obedience classes, socialize them early on and provide daily exercise in the form of a long walk or two.
Learn more about the Chinese Shar-Pei.