The Shar Pei, or Chinese Shar-Pei, is a breed of dog known for its distinctive features of deep wrinkles and a blue-black tongue. The breed comes from China. The name English name probably derived from British spelling of the Cantonese equivalent, translates to sand skin and refers to the texture of its short, rough coat. As puppies, Shar Pei have numerous wrinkles, but as they mature, these wrinkles loosen and spread out as they grow into their skin. Shar Pei were named in 1978 as one of the world's rarest dog breeds by TIME magazine and the Guinness World Records. The American Kennel Club did not recognize the breed until 1991.
Small, triangular ears, and a high-set tail also give the Shar Pei a unique look. For show standard, the tail is thick and round at the base, tapering to a fine point (AKC standard February 28, 1998). As puppies, Shar peis are a lot more wrinkly than adults and, although some adults can be wrinklier than their puppy self, an adult pei should have wrinkles mostly on the face, a few on their shoulder and at the base of the tail.