Above photo is Wrinkle Eyes Betty Boop and her son Wrinkle Eyes Weiku Bear who now lives with us at Sandyshreu. They are both stunning examples of Flowered Shar-pei.
Flowered shar-pei are purebred Chinese Shar Pei and possess the same unique qualities as all the relatives that are solid in color. They can be registered through the AKC and because of recent changes, the color can be registered and is recognized by the AKC. The wonderful color variation is an intrinsic part of the Chinese Shar Pei breed and the consistency of the color variation and type does not vary. The recessive gene that produces the unique color must be present in both the parents and not be overpowered by a more dominant genetic color. They might come from a litter of all Flowered Shar Pei puppies or they may be the only one with this color in the litter.
The color does not mean they have a tendency towards more or less health related problem, nor does it mean that they are not purebred. The color variation dates back to one of the very first Chinese Shar Pei sent over to the United States from China in 1973 – Down Homes Sweet Pea, who was bred by Matgo Law. Many champion Shar Pei that strongly influenced today’s lines can be traced directly back to Flowered Shar Pei lines or known carriers of the gene. Flowered Shar Pei should have at least ¾ solid head color, having an inverted “ ^ ” design at the back of the head. The body should be at least 50% white with patches and ticking of the same color over the rest of the body. The color can be any color that is associated with the solid color Shar Pei.
Initially, the Flowered Shar Pei was not discriminated against. Although considered “mismarked”, the color variation was originally considered a major fault – no different from an “off” bite or a soft coat. However, when a photo advertisement of a black and white flowered litter of pups was placed in the official Chinese Shar Pei Club of America (CSPCA) magazine during the early 1980’s, some Chinese Shar Pei breeders took exception to advertising a dog or a litter possessing a major fault. Now, I’m sure that these same breeders who objected to the advertising of a flowered litter, had never advertised a dog with a soft coat or an “off” bite – that would be hypocritical. And shortly after, it was decided that the intentional breeding of a “faulted dog” was deemed unethical. Shar Pei breeders wanting to maintain a certain reputation, did not want to be considered outcasts and stopped registering their Flowered Shar Pei. Some even went so far as to euthanize Flowered Shar Pei puppies in their litters to keep others from knowing their Shar Pei stud dogs or brood bitches carried the flowered gene. The eventual decision to change the flowered or spotted color variation to a disqualifying fault was based partly on an unofficial breed standard written by the same breeder who used the Flowered Shar Pei dogs in his breeding program, and sent the first flowered Shar Pei to the United States – Matgo Law.
Documentation proves that the Flowered Shar Pei is an intrinsic part of the foundation stock from which most of the present day Shar Pei are descendants. And this color variation may have been as common today as the solid colors if breeders had continued to register their Flowered Shar Pei puppies and not euthanize them to “protect” the reputation of the Shar Pei stud dogs, brood bitches and Shar Pei breeders. Many Shar Pei breeders are adamantly opposed to the Flowered Shar Pei. They are entitled to their opinions. But you will also come across breeders who enjoy the vast diversity of the Chinese Shar Pei breed. The Flowered Shar Pei is an original breed color and can be traced back to the 1st Shar Pei registered in the United States – Down Homes China Souel. There are many ethical and reputable Chinese Shar Pei breeders who want to improve the health and temperament of the Chinese Shar Pei breed and do not discriminate based on color. Despite the Flowered Shar Pei being a disqualification in the breed standard and from the AKC show ring, there are many Flowered Shar Pei that possess qualities that can help improve the Shar Pei breed as a whole. Hopefully the Flowered Shar Pei will be around for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.