Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
fast facts

About Shar-Poo

40-60 lb
14-18 inches
12-15 years
Not Applicable
Best Suited For
families with kids but not other pets, first-time dog owners, those living in apartments
active, devoted, affectionate, willful
Comparable Breeds
Poodle, Shar-Pei
Shar-Poo Basics

The playful Shar-Poo is a fun-loving combination of the intelligent Poodle and the devoted Chinese Shar-Pei. With early socialization, this affectionate pooch can learn to get along great with kids and other pets. While he is cautious with new faces….he isn’t a barker and not an ideal watchdog.

The fun-loving Shar-Poo brings together the smarts of the Poodle with the devoted nature of the Shar-Pei for a great family dog.


The Shar-Poo is a Designer Dog so likely dates back to the 1980s or 1990s when breeders first began mixing 2 different pure-bred dogs to produce puppies with the ideal traits of the parent breeds such as smaller, hypo-allergenic, gentler and often healthier than the parent breeds.


Because the Shar-Poo comes from two different purebred dogs, he doesn’t qualify to join the coveted American Kennel Club’s (AKC) roster of dogs. That said, both parent breeds are members; the Poodle joined AKCs “non-sporting” group in 1887 while the Shar-Pei was named to the same group in 1992.


The Shar-Poo is a medium sized dog that while moderately active is inclined to become obese if not monitored. His food should be a nutrient-rich kibble without a lot of fillers that may cause him to overeat to feel full. Because Poodles can be prone to digestive issues including bloat, food should also be a low-fat format and you should plan to feed your pooch 2 to 3 smaller meals each day versus free-feeding him.

The Shar-Poo is a playful and affectionate family dog.


The Shar-Poo can often pick up the willful nature of the Shar-Pei making him a handful to train. Because socialization with this dog is key to making him a great family addition, practice patience and resort to a professional trainer if you aren’t getting results. As with every dog, a firm, consistent approach will clarify who the pack leader is while lots of praise and treat rewards for a job well done will go a long way in moving the process along.


Your Shar-Poo is a solid pooch who will weigh in between 40 and 60 pounds when grown.


The Shar-Poo is a playful and affectionate family dog who once socialized gets along well with kids and other pets. Shar-Pei lineage may cause him to be wilful or stubborn so expect training in this area to be a slow process. While he is cautious around strangers he isn’t big on barking so while he won’t make an ideal watchdog, he is a great choice for apartments. This dog is known to be devoted to his human pack and loves to be the center of attention.

Common Health Problems

While Designer Dogs will often by-pass the health issues that can be a problem for their pure-bred parents, it’s always important to know what your new pooch may be prone to. With the Shar-Poo, this can include digestive issues including bloat, OCD, skin problems (particularly if they inherit the heavy folding of the Shar-Pei) as well as joint issues including swelling known as Shar-Pei Fever.

Life Expectancy

The Shar-Poo will typically live between 12 and 15 years.

Exercise Requirements

The Shar-Poo is not an overly active dog so a good daily walk and some active playtime that could include a tossed ball in the backyard or dog park should be sufficient to keep him physically fit and mentally stimulated. He does have a high tendency to become obese so daily outings should not be missed.

The affectionate Shar-Poo seldom barks which makes him ideal for apartments.

Recognized Clubs

The Shar-Poo also goes by the name Sharpoo and Shardoodle and while this little pooch doesn’t qualify to be a member of the coveted American Kennel Club (AKC), he is a member of the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA).


The Shar-Poo will typically have a short to medium length coat that is wavy or curly like that of the Poodle. He is a low-shedding dog and a quick daily brush to prevent matting or tangling will be enough to keep him looking his best. If he inherits the heavy Shar-Pei wrinkling he will need additional attention to grooming to avoid skin infections. His Poodle DNA may mean a periodic visit to the groomer is needed and because he is a floppy eared dog, weekly ear cleaning is a must.


Shar-Poo puppies can grow into stubborn little dogs that don’t play nice with kids and other animals so early socialization is crucial. Plan to begin obedience training while this pup is 5 to 6 weeks to establish pack pecking order and when introducing a leash, remember that he can experience joint issues later in life so don’t over-do it on the exercise.

Photo credit: Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock; greyhoundrick/Shutterstock

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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