The Chinese Shar-Pei is a large dog with wrinkled skin. It has a square profile with a broad, flat head. The muzzle is wide, padded, full, with a moderate stop. Like the Chow Chow, these dogs have a blue-black tongue. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The small, sunken, almond-shaped eyes are dark, but may be lighter in dogs with a dilute colored coat. The high-set, triangular ears are very small, and slightly rounded at the tips. The tail is thick at the base tapering to a fine point and set extremely high. The dewclaws are sometimes removed. Both heavily wrinkled dogs with large heads and smaller headed dogs with tighter looking skins occur in this breed. Puppies have more wrinkles than adults. Shar-Pei slowly lose their wrinkles as they get older. There are three coat varieties: horse-coat, brush-coat and a rare bear-coat, which is not recognized by the AKC. The bear-coat, does not falling within AKC standard because this particular Shar-Pei has an undercoat and a topcoat exceeding 1 inch. The popular theory about the bear-coat is that it’s a “throwback” to the chow-chow. They are actually quite popular as pet quality Shar-Pei, albeit rare, and often confused with the chow by unknowing owners as well as animal shelter workers. The unusual horse-coat is rough to the touch, extremely prickly and off-standing. The brush-coated variety has longer hair and a smoother feel. The coat on either variety can be up to one inch in length. Coat colors include all solid colors and sables. There is also a lowered, spotted, and a parti colored (flowered) Shar-Pei coat, which is a disqualifying fault in the show ring according to AKC standard.