What is a Shar-Poo? Everything You Need To Know!


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If you are interested to know about Shar-Poo then you are exactly in the right place. Being dog lovers, we were quite curious about this dog breed, so we did complete research and now we’re going to share everything that we learned about them. So, what is a Shar-Poo?

Shar-Poo is a hybrid dog developed by the cross between a Shar-Pei and a Poodle. It has a height of 14-18 inches, a weight of 40-60 pounds, and a lifespan of around 12-15 years. It is an active, loyal, and playful dog ideal for active families and those who live in apartments.

Continue reading to the end to get an in-depth understanding of the Shar-Poo dog breed!


Shar-Poo: A Quick Overview

Breed Type: Hybrid of Shar-Pei and Poodle
Appearance: Black, Brown, Yellow, Grey, White, Cream, 
Height: 14-18 inches
Weight: 40-60 pounds
Temperament: Active, affectionate, intelligent, loyal, playful, independent
Characteristics: Quiet but barks occasionally, not good watchdogs
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Health Concerns: Bloating, OCD, skin problems, eye problems, Hypothyroidism, Joint Issues
Feeding: 2-3 cups of kibble per day
Activity Level: Fairly energetic
Exercise: Daily
Training: Usually easy to train
Grooming: Low-shedding dog, usually, once a week brushing is enough
Family Compatible: Yes
Other Pets Compatible: Yes and No, usually they like to be the only dog or pet in the home but training and socializing might help
Best For: Active families, first-time dog owners, those who live in apartments, 


The origin of Shar-Poos is said to be in the early 1990s when designer dog breeds were becoming popular. 

Shar-Poo is a large dog that generally has short coats and may also have wrinkles just like one of their parent breed, the Shar-Pei. They may also have curly coats just like their other parent breed, The Poodles. 

Shar-Poo is not a purebred dog but is a cross between a Shar-Pei and a Poodle. 

Note that since Shar-Poo is developed from two different purebred dogs, it is not qualified to join the (AKC) American Kennel Club’s roster of dogs. However, both of its parent breeds are members. 

Let’s first have a quick overview of each of its parent breeds.

Shar-Poo Parent Breed: Shar-Pei Quick Overview


Height: 17-20 in
Weight: 35–64 lb
Lifespan: 9 – 11 years


The Shar-Pei dog was first developed in China mainly as a guard and a hunting dog. Sadly, they began to be used in dogfighting.

They are especially known for their skin folds and wrinkles. These are usually friendly type dogs, but can be slightly independent at times.

The loose skin of Shar-Pei and their prickly coat were originally developed to assist them in fending off the wild boars as they were used in hunting.

Later on, when they were started to be used for dogfighting, these special qualities made it hard for their opponent to grab and hold them.

You might be surprised to know that Shar-Pei was once one of the rarest dog breeds in the world and they were even nearly extinct!

In the mid-1970s, they were listed in the Guinness World Records for being the rarest breed in the world.


Shar-Poo Parent Breed: Poodle Quick Overview


Height: 15 inches and over
Weight: 40 – 70 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 18 years


The Poodle originally came from Germany and was previously bred for collecting the waterfowl for hunters. They are very intelligent along with being good swimmers. Their haircuts actually came about to make them more buoyant in the water.

They are commonly used as show dogs. This is a fun-loving dog breed that loves to get down as well as dirty with its family.

Shar-Poo: Temperament

Shar-Poos are friendly dog breeds that are affectionate. They are actually like little children in our homes. On one hand, they can get wild, excited, and keep on bouncing around the house with their family members or people whom they trust.

But on the other hand, whenever they notice someone unfamiliar, they will get shy.

They have a high energy level so remember you need to be an active person to handle them properly. On top of that, they can also be curious and thus you will have to keep your eye on them.

These are generally easy to train and are also very loyal. Since these are athletic dogs, they love to have exercise sessions outdoors, but you need not worry much because they can also adapt themselves to indoor apartment living conditions as long as they get appropriate workouts.


Are Shar-Poo Dogs Aggressive?

As a general rule, Shar-Poo dogs aren’t aggressive and they are rather calm. They bark occasionally, and though being cautious with new faces, they might hide away and thus they are not good watchdogs. However, problems can occur if they aren’t socialized or trained properly.

They can be stubborn at times especially if they inherit the trait from their Shar-Pei parent. But they can also be a breeze to train if they inherit the trait from their Poodle parent, and they will actually enjoy the process of learning the commands in such a case.

Are Shar-Poo Dogs Good As A Family Dog?

Shar-Poo dogs are great as family dogs because they rarely get aggressive and are loyal, playful, and affectionate dogs. However, if your family is such where they have to encounter new faces quite often then they might not fit well with your lifestyle as they are cautious of strangers.

When Shar-Poos are at home, you can expect them to be very active and energetic. If you live in apartments then Shar-Poo can be a perfect fit for you.

Although they are not as ideal as watchdogs because they bark only occasionally, if you have neighbors who don’t like noise then this behavior of Shar-Poo dogs can benefit you.

Note that when new people come to your house they can be a bit shy. However, you should introduce your Shar-Poo to them just as you would introduce one person to another. 

Doing this will signal Shar-Poos that there’s nothing to get worried or frightened about. 

Do Shar-Poos Get Along With Other Pets?

As a general rule, Shar-Poos prefer to live as the only dog in their home. However, since they don’t have a strong prey drive and are usually easy to train, keeping them with other pets should not be a concerning issue.

Note that though they may not react aggressively against other dogs right at first, if their space is invaded, then the end result won’t likely be pleasing.

Also, they are quite protective of their humans and they will likely not tolerate other animals sniffing around taking away all the pettings. They like to be the center of attention and will not react properly if they get forced to share.

Now, how they react with other pets such as cats is not so well-known and can vary from one Shar-Poo to another.

For instance, one Shar-Poo might get aggressive because of the presence of the other pet. On the other hand, some other Shar-Poo may not care much about their presence.

So in short, ideally it can be said that Shar-Poo doesn’t like to be with other pets. However, note that they don’t have a strong prey drive. Also, they can be easy to train at times, so keeping them with other pets will most probably not be a big issue.

How Much Is A Shar-Poo?

In general, a Shar-Poo puppy can cost between $500 to $1000 depending on the availability in your area, the breeder, as well as the pedigree of the parents. It is recommended to be cautious paying less than $500 as you might get into the hands of a backyard breeder.

Whenever you decide to get a Shar-Poo puppy you should make sure to check its parent breeds because by observing the temperament and the condition of the parents you can get a good idea about their offspring.

On average, the price of a poodle puppy can range anywhere from $700-$1500. However, the price of pedigree show dogs can be as high as $5000.

On the other hand, the price of Shar-Pei can range anywhere from $800-$2000 based on the pedigree. 

So overall, you can expect to pay for the Shar-Pei Poodle Mix, the Shar-Poo for a price of $500-$1000.

Luckily, there’s a great thing you should note especially considering while buying a Shar-Poo: since there aren’t any animals with extensive pedigrees, this limits the breeders how much they can charge you.

Hence, you shouldn’t expect a price of $5000+ while you are looking for Shar-Poos.

Another thing to note while buying a Shar-Poo is that since this is a new and relatively rare breed, you might not be able to find that many breeders near you who keep this dog.

Therefore, you may have to travel long distances so this will also add transportation costs to your budget for buying a Shar-Poo.

Moreover, note that if you are thinking of getting a Shar-Poo through a rescue group or animal center then your probability of finding one will be quite less, almost negligible. 

©Warren Photographic

Shar-Poo: Health

Usually, the designer dog breeds have the ability to bypass the health issues that could be a major problem for their pure-breed parents. But still, there can be some issues that can be passed down.

So it is good to be aware of the health issues of your dog especially if you are about to get one. The health issues that Shar-Poos can suffer from are as follows:

  • Skin Problems
  • OCD
  • Bloating
  • Joint Issues

In general, Shar-Poo is a healthy dog breed and if you exercise them regularly along with feeding them a moderate, healthy diet, then your Shar-Poo won’t suffer many health issues. Usually, Shar-Poos live between 12 and 15 years.

Is Shar-Poo Hypoallergenic?

A Shar-Poo is considered hypoallergenic because they don’t shed much. However, note that the concept of a hypoallergenic dog is a myth, so you are likely to be allergic to a Shar-Poo as much to other breeds.

According to mayoclinic.org, many people think that allergies are caused by the fur of cats and dogs. But the real source of allergies is often a protein that is present in their saliva and urine.

Shar-Poo: Feeding

There are no specific dietary requirements for Shar-Poo. However, since they are large enough, you will have to include high-quality protein in their diet.

The amount you have to feed these dogs will mainly depend on their size, but roughly you should stick with giving them 2-3 cups of Kibble per day. 

Remember that they can become obese if they are not monitored properly. You should avoid giving them kibble that has a lot of fillers as that would encourage them to keep eating more and more to feel full.

It is recommended to not free feed them, instead, you should give them two or three smaller meals daily.

Make sure to take away the left-away once they eat their meal and allow them to have access to fresh, clean water.

Shar-Poo: Exercise

Remember, Shar-Poo is a fairly energetic dog breed and they will need at least one-hour daily exercise session. Moreover, after that exercise session, you will also have to give them training or playing sessions.

They are intelligent and so they will benefit whenever you give them mental or physical exercise.  You can walk, jog, or run with them, and then you can also play games of training with them.

It is recommended to give them at least an exercise session of an hour a day and the more you can, the better it will be.

Giving your Shar-Poo the required amount of exercise and activity will not only allow them to be happy and healthy, but it will also keep them away from developing any bad habits.

Shar-Poo: Grooming

Shar-Poos usually don’t shed much. However, remember that you have to still brush them once a week at least to prevent any kind of tangling.

Their coat can be short like a Shar-Pei or maybe thick and curly like their Poodle parent or something in between. In general, they have short-to-medium-length coats.

Note that if your Shar-Poo has wrinkles then you need to look after and take care of that area as well, removing any dirt or bacteria if accumulated in that part.

Other than that, usually, basic grooming would suffice to take care and maintain Shar-Poos, such as brushing their teeth daily, trimming their nails, and bathing them whenever they get dirty.

Shar-Poo: Training

Apart from being stubborn at times, Shar-Poos are intelligent so usually, you should find it easy to train them. Both of its parent breeds have worked closely with humans and so they would be happy and excited to listen to your commands. 

Instead of harsh and rough training methods, you should incorporate positive reinforcement while training them. Socializing them from early on and training them at a young age is important.


In short, Shar-Poos are active, affectionate, and playful dogs, who don’t tend to bark that much and so may not be great as watchdogs. But they are the perfect fit for active families especially those living in apartments.

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