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Ori Pei (Chinese Shar-Pei & Pug Mix)

Elizabeth Gray

Height: 12-15 inches
Weight: 15-30 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Colors: Black, brown, gray, white, black, and tan
Suitable for: Active families and individuals looking for an energetic, playful smaller dog
Temperament: Playful, alert, stubborn, laid-back, friendly

Wrinkles and smoosh faces and curly tails, oh my! The Ori Pei designer dog combines the adorable, bug-eyed Pug with the many wrinkles of the Chinese Shar-Pei. The resulting cross is a unique-looking dog, friendly and playful, with some unfortunate health concerns to be aware of as you consider bringing one home. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Ori Pei, from fun facts to whether they get along with other dogs. Read on to learn more about these fun-loving dogs!

divider-pawOri Pei Puppies – Before You Buy…


What’s the Price of Ori Pei Puppies?

Ori Pei puppies can cost anywhere from $250-$2,800. Factors that might impact the price are the age and sex of the puppies, as well as the quality of the parents’ bloodlines. Pugs and Shar-Peis can both suffer from a range of health issues, including some serious ones (more on this later).

Because of these medical concerns, you should take the time to research Ori Pei breeders carefully and select one that makes the health of the dogs a top priority. The health of the parents is a key factor in how healthy an Ori Pei puppy will turn out. Save yourself some money and heartache by taking the time to make an informed puppy purchase.

If you’d rather try to adopt an Ori Pei, check with breed-specific Pug or Shar-Pei rescue groups. Ori Peis are one of the older designer breeds and you may have success in finding one available for adoption. Expect the cost to adopt an Ori Pei to be less than that of a purchase price.

divider-dog3 Little-Known Facts About Ori Pei

1. Both parent breeds share similar origins.

Pugs and Shar-Peis can both trace their history back to the country of China. Shar-Peis served as hunters, guardians, and herding dogs for Chinese peasants as far back as 2,000 years ago. Pugs were the favored pets of the emperors and nobles during the same period.

2. They were developed in 1970.

Unlike many designer dogs whose exact origins are a mystery, the Ori Pei traces back to a man named Aaron Silver who first crossed a Pug with a Shar-Pei in 1970. He intended to make a smaller, healthier version of his favorite Shar-Pei breed.

3. Ori Pei is just one of their names.

You may also see this breed listed as the American Ori-Pei, Sharpug, Pugpei, Pug-a-Pei, or simply as a Pug-Sharpei mix.

Ori Pei
Parents of Ori Pei. Left: Pug, Right: Sharpei | Image Credit: Pixabay

divider-dogTemperament & Intelligence of the Ori Pei

Pugs and Shar-Peis can be quite different when it comes to their temperament. Pugs are usually friendly towards everyone they meet, playful, and funny little dogs, if a bit stubborn. Shar-Peis, with their working and guard dog heritage, are generally affectionate with their families but can be at best reserved and at worst aggressive towards strangers.

The Ori Pei could take after either parent or be more of a combination of their personalities. Most Ori Pei dogs are laid back, smart, and friendly but alert watchdogs. They are cuddly and personable dogs, who love to spend time with their families and make them laugh.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

With socialization, Ori Peis are generally good family pets. They usually do well with children but supervision is essential, especially if your Ori Pei is on the smaller side. The dog is only one part of the equation and children who live with an Ori Pei also need to be taught how to interact with and handle their pet properly.

Ori Peis like to be right in the mix of family life and won’t do well in a busy household where they don’t get enough attention or are left alone for long portions of the day. If your family maintains an active social life with lots of different people in and out of your house, be extra careful to socialize your Ori Pei from a young age. This will help curb any Shar-Pei tendencies towards stranger danger.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Most of the time, a properly socialized Ori Pei will get along well with other dogs. Because of their smaller size, they should be supervised when playing and interacting with larger breeds to make sure everyone stays safe.

Ori Peis don’t have a high prey drive but sometimes take great enjoyment from chasing and bothering smaller pets, like cats. Unless you have a particularly dog-savvy cat who can handle the harassment, another breed may be a better choice for your home.

For their well-being, exotic pets should be kept away from predator species like dogs, even if the Ori Pei doesn’t pay any attention to them.

divider-pawThings to Know When Owning an Ori Pei:

If you’re ready to take the next step and begin your search for an Ori Pei to join your family, you may want to know more about what taking care of one looks like on a day-to-day basis. Ori Peis are a fairly low-maintenance breed but they do have some potential health issues that can be a cause for concern.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Healthy Ori Peis generally don’t have any special dietary requirements. They can eat any nutritionally balanced diet, canned or dry. Some owners may choose to prepare a homemade diet for their dogs, especially if they suffer from food allergies. If you decide to go this route, ask your vet for help to make sure your Ori Pei still gets all the essential nutrients.

Like both of their parent breeds, Ori Peis are prone to liking food a little bit too much and becoming overweight. Monitor their food and treat intake to make sure they stay at a healthy weight.

Exercise 🐕

Ori Peis are active dogs for their size and need daily exercise to stay fit and work off energy. Daily walks or time spent playing in the yard are both options for Ori Pei exercise time. Because they are small to medium-sized dogs, Ori Peis don’t necessarily need a yard and can live in an apartment. Indoor play and some extra walking might be needed for apartment pets, however.

Ori Peis don’t tolerate temperature extremes well, especially hot weather. Dogs with shorter noses like the Ori Pei can quickly become dangerously overheated. Keep an eye on the weather as you plan daily exercise for your pet in hot or cold locations.

Training 🎾

Ori Peis are generally intelligent dogs who take well to positive training. Pugs are sometimes stubborn and mischievous, traits that they may pass on to their Ori Pei offspring. These pups may need more patience and creativity from their trainer.

All dogs should be socialized to a variety of people, animals, and life situations from an early age. Ori Peis will especially benefit from this exposure. Happy to serve as class clowns, Ori Peis enjoy learning tricks and basking in the adoration of humans as they perform.

Grooming ✂️

Ori Peis are not considered hypoallergenic dogs but they do have short coats that require minimal grooming. They shed a moderate amount and weekly brushing helps keep the hair loss in check and the coat shiny and healthy.

Both Pugs and Shar-Peis are prone to skin and ear issues. Check and clean the Ori Peis’ ears often. Their skin is often wrinkly and the folds need to be kept clean to avoid any problems as well. Regular nail trims and teeth brushing should round out your Ori Pei’s grooming routine.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Aaron Silver may have been trying to improve the health of the Shar-Pei when he first bred the Ori Pei, but he chose two breeds with their own complicated medical histories. Pugs and Shar-Peis are both prone to a variety of genetic health conditions. Ori Peis could inherit any of them or none of them but it’s difficult to predict with certainty.

Choosing a reputable breeder who starts with the healthiest parents possible is the best step you can take to get a healthy Ori Pei puppy. Knowing what health concerns to look out for is also important and here are some of those conditions.

Minor Conditions
  • Both Pugs and Shar-Peis are prone to numerous eye conditions, including dry eye, entropion, glaucoma, and eye ulcers.
  • Shar-Peis are prone to hypothyroidism, often inherited.
  • Both breeds, but especially Shar-Peis, are prone to skin infections and problems.
  • Allergies are a concern for both breeds as well.
Serious Conditions
  • Flat-nosed breeds like Pugs can suffer breathing problems like brachycephalic airway syndrome.
  • Joint problems like luxating patellas or hip and elbow dysplasia can impact both breeds.
  • Pugs should be screened for a brain disease called Pug Dog Encephalitis.
  • About 1 in 4 Shar-Peis inherit a condition called Shar-Pei autoinflammatory disease, which causes fevers and joint swelling and can lead to kidney disease over time.

divider-dogMale vs Female

Male and female Ori Peis don’t have any breed-specific differences, other than males often being just a bit bigger. Male dogs of any breed tend to be more bold, outgoing, and sometimes dominant. Most dog owners just seem to have a preference for one gender over the other.

Female Ori Peis may get moody when they go into heat, but spaying can eliminate this concern. Neutering also tends to decrease dominant behaviors and marking in male Ori Peis.

divider-pawFinal Thoughts

The hope with many hybrid dogs is to balance out the health issues of one breed by adding the healthier genes of another. When it comes to the Ori Pei, the results can be a little questionable. While these dogs are undoubtedly both cute and full of personality, prospective owners need to do their research and become knowledgeable about the possible health concerns they could be dealing with.

Owning a pet is a big responsibility that could be even more complicated if your new dog is also unhealthy. Life with an Ori Pei is full of laughter and joy and you’ll want to enjoy it as long as possible!

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Elizabeth Gray

Elizabeth Gray is a lifelong lover of all creatures great and small. She got her first cat at 5 years old and at 14, she started working for her local veterinarian. Elizabeth spent more than 20 years working as a veterinary nurse before stepping away to become a stay-at-home parent to her daughter. Now, she is excited to share her hard-earned knowledge (literally--she has scars) with our readers. Elizabeth lives in Iowa with her family, including her two fur kids, Linnard, a husky mix and Algernon, the worldʻs most patient cat. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching all sports but especially soccer, and spending time outdoors with her family.