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Han Dog Han Dog: In the time of the Han Dynasty, 206 B.C. ~ A.D. 220, clay figurines resembling a dog have been found in numerous burial sites. Similar depictions have been found in period art work. Historians speculate that these "tomb dogs" are possibly the ancestors of the Shar-Pei due to the brow wrinkles shown on the statue and the curled tail, height and build depicted in early artwork.

It might be noted that Chow enthusiast claim they are Chows, Mastiff owners claim they are representative of their breed so the fact of the matter is the exact origin of the Shar-Pei is at best speculation and theory.

Further speculation suggest that the Shar-Pei was a combination, mixing or mutation of several breeds. The Shar-Pei and Chow are the only two known dogs that share the blue/black tongue trait. A possible source of the Shar-Pei dew claws are the Great Pyrenees and the Pei also shares some traits of the Tibetan Mastiff.

The above mentioned may be facts, folklore or myth but it is safe to say that these conjectures may never be positively known. Much of the potential history was lost as Emperor Yuan, during the Mongol Dynasty (1260 ~ 1368) destroyed 140,000 ancient books rather than let them fall into unworthy hands at the anticipation of his certain death.

Further information has been lost as the Communist took over China. Generally accepted, however, is that the Shar-Pei most likely was a common dog. A peasant or "peoples" dog kept by farmers to help protect property, guard livestock and general companionship.

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