Are Shar-Peis Destructive? Full Explanation & Advices

In the realm of dogs, the Shar-Pei has long held a unique position. Originating from China, the breed’s distinctive look, complete with deep-set eyes and abundant skin folds, has made it a beloved addition to many households. However, for individuals looking to bring a Shar-Pei into their homes, one question often arises – are they destructive?

Understanding the potential for destructiveness in a breed is crucial when choosing a canine companion. Let’s embark on a journey to understand the Shar-Pei’s temperament, behaviors, and how to foster a harmonious living environment with this unique breed.

Are Shar-Peis Destructive?

Destructiveness in dogs isn’t breed-specific. Rather, it often arises as an offshoot of unresolved issues like anxiety, lack of training, insufficient exercise, or a dearth of mental stimulation. Given this, the question should not be whether Shar-Peis are inherently destructive, but rather under what conditions might a Shar-Pei exhibit destructive behavior?

Shar-Peis are intelligent and moderately active dogs. Like all dogs, they require regular mental and physical stimulation to maintain balance and harmony. If these needs are unmet, they could resort to behaviors perceived as destructive, like chewing on furniture, digging, or excessive barking.

Therefore, labeling Shar-Peis as destructive is not an accurate representation of the breed. Instead, understanding that destructive behavior is generally a sign of unmet needs can help us approach the situation more effectively. Just like with humans, a dog’s behavior can often be a reflection of its environment and the care it receives.

A well-cared-for Shar-Pei, like any other dog, can be as non-destructive as desired. However, there are certain triggers that could cause a Shar-Pei, or indeed any dog, to behave destructively. Let’s examine five potential reasons why a Shar-Pei might exhibit such behavior.

Two Shar-Peis playing.
Two Shar-Peis Playing

5 Potential Reasons Of Shar-Peis Being Destructive

1. Lack Of Exercise

Dogs, regardless of breed, are energetic creatures. They need to exert this energy through activities such as running, playing, and exploring. For Shar-Peis, physical activity is essential not only for their physical health but also for their emotional well-being.

Without sufficient exercise, a Shar-Pei may develop pent-up energy, leading to restlessness and possible destructive behavior. Exercise not only tires out your Shar-Pei physically but also provides an outlet for any stress or anxiety they might be experiencing.

Therefore, regular walks, play sessions, and opportunities to explore safely outdoors can significantly reduce the potential for destructive behavior in Shar-Peis.

2. Lack of Mental Stimulation

Shar-Peis are notably intelligent and inquisitive dogs. They thrive on mental stimulation, whether it’s through training, problem-solving, or interactive play. A lack of mental stimulation can lead to boredom, and a bored Shar-Pei might resort to destructive behavior as a form of self-entertainment.

Providing mental stimulation is not only about keeping your Shar-Pei occupied but also about enriching their life. Puzzle toys, learning new commands, interactive games, and socializing with other dogs are all excellent ways to engage your Shar-Pei’s mind.

Remember, a mentally stimulated Shar-Pei is not only a happy dog but also one less likely to engage in destructive behavior.

3. Anxiety or Stress

Dogs, like humans, can experience anxiety and stress. For Shar-Peis, who are naturally more reserved and can be wary of strangers or new environments, changes in their routine or environment can lead to anxiety or stress. This can manifest in several ways, including destructive behavior.

Understanding and recognizing signs of stress in your Shar-Pei is the first step to alleviating their anxiety. Is your dog pacing, hiding, or exhibiting destructive behavior? These might be signs of stress. Providing a safe space, maintaining a consistent routine, and using calming aids, such as anxiety wraps or pheromone diffusers, can help.

Anxiety in dogs is a complex issue. If your Shar-Pei’s anxiety seems severe or difficult to manage, consulting with a veterinarian or a professional dog behaviorist is recommended.

4. Lack of Proper Training or Socialization

Training and socialization play vital roles in shaping a dog’s behavior. For Shar-Peis, early training and socialization are crucial. Without it, they can become wary, anxious, or even exhibit destructive behavior.

Training provides a framework of acceptable behavior for your Shar-Pei. It helps them understand what’s expected of them and how to navigate various situations. Furthermore, socialization exposes your Shar-Pei to different people, environments, and animals, helping them become more adaptable and comfortable in different situations.

Inadequate training or socialization can leave your Shar-Pei feeling confused or overwhelmed, which could result in destructive behavior. Consistent, positive reinforcement-based training and gradual, safe socialization from an early age can help prevent this.

Shar-Pei puppy.
Shar-Pei Puppy

5. Health Issues

Health issues are another potential trigger for destructive behavior in Shar-Peis. Certain medical conditions can cause discomfort or pain that your dog doesn’t know how to communicate, leading to destructive behavior as a form of coping.

Common health issues in Shar-Peis, like skin infections due to their skin folds, or hip dysplasia, a joint condition, can cause significant discomfort. If your dog starts exhibiting unexplained destructive behavior, it might be worth a visit to the vet.

Remember, regular check-ups with the vet can catch potential health issues early before they start affecting your Shar-Pei’s behavior or quality of life.

How To Stop Your Shar-Pei From Being Destructive

While the potential triggers we’ve explored can help us understand why a Shar-Pei might behave destructively, the next step is to know how to prevent or manage such behaviors.

Foremost, establish a routine that includes sufficient exercise and mental stimulation. Aim for at least an hour of physical activity each day and incorporate mentally stimulating activities, such as training or puzzle toys, into your routine. Create a safe, stress-free environment and maintain a consistent daily schedule to reduce potential anxiety.

Here are some more extensive steps to consider:

  • Training: Start training your Shar-Pei early using positive reinforcement techniques. Regular training sessions can provide mental stimulation while teaching acceptable behaviors. Training also helps strengthen your bond with your Shar-Pei, making them more likely to listen to your commands.
  • Socialization: Expose your Shar-Pei to different environments, people, and animals gradually and safely. Socialization helps your Shar-Pei develop confidence and reduces the potential for fear-based destructive behavior.
  • Provide chew toys: Providing safe and appropriate chew toys can help fulfill your Shar-Pei’s natural desire to chew, reducing the chances of them chewing on inappropriate items.
  • Ensure your Shar-Pei’s comfort: Make sure your Shar-Pei has a comfortable, safe space where they can retreat to. This is especially important for Shar-Peis, who can be more reserved and may need a quiet space to relax.
  • Regular vet check-ups: Regular vet visits can help catch any potential health issues early and can keep your Shar-Pei in the best possible health.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Taking proactive steps to provide for your Shar-Pei’s needs can go a long way in preventing destructive behavior.


In conclusion, it’s essential to remember that Shar-Peis, like any breed, are unique in their temperament and needs. While they may have certain predispositions due to their breed characteristics, labeling them as inherently destructive is an oversimplification.

Understanding the reasons behind destructive behavior and providing a nurturing environment can help ensure that your Shar-Pei is happy, healthy, and well-behaved. After all, a well-loved Shar-Pei is a joy to have around, providing endless companionship, loyalty, and affection. With patience, understanding, and consistent care, you can cultivate a wonderful bond with your Shar-Pei, making the journey of dog ownership an enriching experience.

About The Author

Marc Magny is a seasoned dog owner and breeder, lending his expertise to captivating and informative articles. His deep understanding of dogs and their behavior, health, and breeding practices enriches his writing, offering invaluable insights to readers.

With his practical experience and passion for dogs, Marc’s articles serve as a comprehensive guide for dog lovers. His work resonates with the joy of dog ownership, positioning him as a trusted voice and resource in the pet parenting journey.