Country/Date of Origin: China/1500s
The Shar Pei is an ancient Chinese fighting dog. But like many a fighter it found itself down on its luck. In 1978 it was called the rarest breed in the world. Now, it seems about to break the records for a comeback. From a handful of the wrinkled warriors that remained in Hong Kong, the breed has spread around the world. In 1988, when the Shar Pei was accepted into the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous class, there were almost thirty thousand dogs registered in the US alone. In 1992 it was given full membership in the AKC and it has already hit the top twenty breeds in popularity.