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Fighting Dog - Ah Fook
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Fighting Dog Fighting Dog: The mistaken labeling of the Shar-Pei generically as "Chinese Fighting Dog" begins here. In China any and ALL dogs that were used for protection of property or livestock were called "fighting dogs" as opposed to "guard dogs" as known in the USA. The village of Dah Let (Tai Leh) in Kwun Tung Province, located near Canton, in the south of China, bordering the South China Sea was known for the sport of dog fighting. It is thought that this is the birthplace of the breed as gambling men, looking for an edge, may have introduced the Sharp-Pei, or his ancestors, to the fighting ring. Ah Fook, pictured at top, was an authentic fighting dog.

The Shar-Pei would have brought many things to the table. His loose wrinkled skin was thought to be the product of breeding down in size. This is supported by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals classification of the Shar-Pei as a "giant breed" due to the rapid growth from puppy to adult. This loose wrinkled skin would allow him to twist and bite his opponent even while in his opponents grasp.

Excess skin also made it hard for his opponent to attack vital areas. The stiff, bristly hair was distasteful and uncomfortable in his opponents mouth. The Shar-Pei had strong jaws, a muscular square balanced stance. His ears were small targets and his eyes were "set back". His tail was curled to the top as if to hide it. There was only one problem. The Shar-Pei, by nature, was not an aggressive animal even though once provoked was a determined fighter and would fight to his own death.

Inducing drugs was thought to be a practice to make the Shar-Pei more agressive as was breeding them to more agressive species to produce a sturdy, visious and flexible fighting machine. As more trade routes opened to China with them came more agressive, heavier breeds that proved to be superior in regards to fighting and the Shar-Pei was returned, much to their approval, to a more utilitarian role. This peaceful existence did not last long.

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