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Nicole Cosgrove

Poodle and Chinese Shar-Pei

The Shar-Poo is a medium to large sized mixed breed the result of crossing a Poodle with a Chinese Shar-Pei. He has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years and is also known as a Shardoodle or Sharpool. If you are looking for a lively, fun but super loyal and devoted dog this may be the dog for you.

Here is the Shar-Poo at a Glance
Average height 12 to 20 inches
Average weight 40 to 60 pounds
Coat type Medium to long, wavy to curly, soft or wiry
Hypoallergenic? Can be
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Can be somewhat sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? If like the Shar-Pei yes, if like the Poodle no
Barking Rare
Tolerance to Heat Depends on coat – Like a Poodle’s means very good, like a Shar-Pei means low
Tolerance to Cold Moderate to good
Good Family Pet? If like the Shar-Pei moderate, if like the Poodle excellent
Good with Children? As above socialization helps
Good with other Dogs? If like the Shar-Pei no, if like the Poodle very good
Good with other Pets? Good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Low to high
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent
Good Pet for new Owner? Moderate to very good
Trainability Moderate – can be strong willed
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Quite high
Major Health Concerns Epilepsy, Addisons, ,Cushings, hypothyroidism, eye problems, bloat, patellar luxation, Von Willebrands, Legg-Perthes, Shar-Pei Fever, cancer, OCD,
Other Health Concerns Joint dysplasia, skin problems, Demodectic Mange
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price unknown
Average Annual Medical Expense $485 to $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $510 to $920

Where does the Shar-Poo come from?

The Shar-Poo is a fairly recent designer dog and there is less information to be found about them and there are fewer breeders to be found. Designer dogs are a popular trend at the moment and have been for a while now. Over the last thirty years there has been a huge increase in different mixed breeds being deliberately bred, usually they are a mix of two purebreds. Make sure you are careful when buying any kind of designer dog as there are some very unscrupulous breeders and puppy mills out there making money off this trend.

It is important that any prospective owner understands there are less guarantees when it comes to mixed breeds in terms of both temperament and looks. And the Shar-Poo is a very good example of two completely different dogs coming together which means they are completely unpredictable no matter what a breeder may tell you. The Poodle is an easy to train family dog, kid friendly but sensitive. The Shar-Pei is not especially kid friendly, can be left alone and is quite independent and happy and can be difficult to train. Their offspring could be like a Poodle, like a Shar-Pei, or something of a mix that cannot be predicted! Here is a closer look at the parents.

The Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei comes from Southern China where he was bred to fight, guard, hunt and herd. It is not known how old he really is. When the People’s Republic of China was formed the whole dog population in the country nearly disappeared including the Shar-Pei. However thanks to some being bred in Taiwan and Hong Kong and to Matgo Law for bringing some to America in 1973 this breed survived.

Today the Shar-Pei is an independent and strong willed dog but also very devoted and protective. He is aloof with strangers but loves the company of people he does know. He prefers spending all his time with his owner, is calm and can be intuitive. Sadly he was once used in dog fighting and he can sometimes still have an aggression towards other dogs so good socialization and training are important.

The Poodle

The Poodle was adapted by the French but originally is thought to come from Germany, and he is a very old breed. This dog was bred to be a retriever of waterfowl. The standard size would go out with hunters who were hunting birds like duck and go into the water grab the bird and bring it back. His coat was prefect for protecting him from the water. The miniature size was used by the French in the woods to sniff out truffles. The toy was a companion as he is now, but more to the rich aristocracy. Ladies would carry him around with them in their large sleeves!

Now the Poodle is regarded as somewhat aloof, and often trimmed and decorated in some quite remarkable shapes and colors. However despite the fashion item he might seem to be he is actually very smart, with his family he is affectionate and playful. He loves having fun, he is protective and eager to please, and for that he is easy to train. He does not like being left alone though and can suffer from separation anxiety.


The Shar-Poo as mentioned could be any kind of mix of the parent’s traits. The ideal dog though will be intelligent, lively, happy and very devoted. He is playful and affectionate, energetic, loving and always want to be at the center of attention. He is eager to please and with socialization can learn to be good with children and be a good family pet. He tends to be wary of strangers when first meeting them.

What does the Shar-Poo look like

The Shar-Poo is a medium to large sized dog weighing 40 to 60 pounds and standing 12 to 20 inches tall. As with any offspring of Poodles since there are three sizes of them there can be smaller version. He has rounded eyes, a long muzzle that is squared and ears that hang down. His coat is medium to long, and can be wavy and soft or curly and wiry. Most often he comes in white but some can have black.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Shar-Poo need to be?

He is a slightly active dog so he does not need a lot of activity to be happy but he should get out every day especially if he lives in an apartment so has no access to a yard. One or two moderate walks a day are good along with play time too. He would love treats like trips to the dog park as well. He should be given some mental activity along with his physical.

Does he train quickly?

He is moderate to train, with stronger Poodle qualities he may even be easier than that but he can have Shar-Pei willfulness and that can slow things down. If he is especially stubborn or independent just stay firm and consistent and be patient. Early socialization and training are important to get the best dog he can be, and for the Shar-Poo it helps how he interacts with children and other dogs too. Use treats and praise as motivators rather than scolding or physical punishments.

Living with a Shar-Poo

How much grooming is needed?

He will need daily brushing to keep tangles out of his coat, he could be very low shedding, or he may shed a bit more than that, but he should not be a heavy shedder. He may need regular visits every 2 months to a groomer for a clipping or trim. He could be hypoallergenic, if allergies are a big part of why you chose this dog you should visit the puppy with the allergy sufferer before buying. He does not have the wrinkles the Shar-Pei has so does need those kept clean and dry. He should be bathed as he needs it using a gentle dog shampoo. He will need his ears checked for infection and wiped once a week, his nails trimmed when they get too long and his teeth brushed at east twice a week.

What is he like with children and other animals?

If like the Poodle he gets on great with children, pets and dogs, but when more of a mix or when more like the Shar-Pei he needs early socialization and training a lot more to have the same kind of affection and acceptance. It also helps if raised with them. Teach the children too how to approach and play with dogs appropriately.

General information

He is not a great dog to rely on if you want a watchdog, while he is wary of strangers he is not always going to alert you by barking if an intruder enters the home. He barks rarely otherwise. He should be fed 2 1/2 to 3 cups of high quality dry food a day. This should be done in at least two meals to avoid issues with bloat.

Health Concerns

When buying any puppy it really is a good idea to try and visit first to see the puppy at the breeders, what the cleanliness is, how the other dogs are behaving and get a sense of their general health. You can avoid ending up with a sickly dog this way. Also ask to see health clearances for the parents. Possible hereditary health issues the Shar-Poo may inherit include Epilepsy, Addisons, Cushings, bloat, hypothyroidism, eye problems, patellar luxation, Von Willebrands, Legg-Perthes, Shar-Pei Fever, cancer, OCD, Joint dysplasia, skin problems and Demodectic Mange.

Costs involved in owning a Shar-Poo

This breed is new and rare so prices are not really set at the moment. A lower price of $400 was found but without further data a range cannot be given. He will need shots, deworming, blood tests and chipping. Eventually he will also need neutering. He will also need bowls, collar and leash and a crate. These all will cost about $450 to $500. Annual medical costs for just the basics like check ups, flea prevention, pet insurance and vaccinations comes to between $485 to $600. Annual non-medical costs for things like grooming, treats, food, license, training and toys come to between $510 to $920.


Looking for a Shar-Poo Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

This is a dog that has no guarantees so if you are up for a bit of an adventure and mystery this may be the dog for you! He is a lively guy and will be loyal and devoted to you, so with some love, attention, training and early socialization you could have a great dog.

Featured Image Credit: Left – everydoghasastory, Shutterstock, Right – Waldemer Dabrowski, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.