Last Updated on January 17, 2022 by Fabiola L.
Mixed dog breeds can be controversial but some just feel like they were meant to be. So, the chocolate lab Shar Pei mix – the best of both worlds or a bad combination? After all, the Shar Pei and the Labrador Retriever are two very different dog breeds.
One is a lively, outgoing, and social hunting and family companion. The other, however, is a much more reserved dog. Even though Shar Pei dogs were bred and used for various work tasks including hunting, they were also exclusively bred to be guarded and distrustful of strangers.
So, what does this mean for the Lab Pei crossbreed? Does this make them a good and balanced crossbreed or are they too much of a lottery to bring home?
What Does A Chocolate Lab Shar Pei Mix Look Like?
The looks are the main reason why we’re fixating on chocolate labs over yellow and black ones. Those can just as easily be mixed with a Shar pei, of course, but the coat color won’t be nearly as consistent. Whereas when you mix a choco lab with a Shar pei you’ll get a pup with a short, soft, thick, and light-chocolate colored coat.
As far as the size is concerned, the Shar Pei lab mix full grown parameters you can expect are 18 to 24 inches at the withers (46 to 61 cm). They tend to weigh somewhere between 45 and 75 pounds (21 to 34 kg). If you know labs, you know that those are the parameters of a smaller-than-average lab. That’s because Shar Pei dogs are in the same weight category as labs but are just a bit smaller and lighter.
As for their appearance, Lab Pei dogs can either have the classic lab head and face or Shar Pei’s massive head, wrinkly face, and smaller ears.
Learn more about: Husky Lab Mix Full Grown Size, Personality, Health, And More
Shar Pei Lab Mix Temperament
This crossbreed’s personality is a big reason why we needed to talk about it. While the two parent breeds fall in generally the same physical category they are diametrically opposite when it comes to their character and temperament.
Does this mean that a Lab Pei will have a balanced personality?
Sometimes, yes. In fact, a lot of the time, a Lab Pei would be right in the middle of the road – social but not too outgoing, playful but not hypoallergenic, loyal but not mindlessly obedient.
This sounds great at first glance but we shouldn’t forget that this is a mixed breed and not a purebred dog. That means that the Lab Pei’s characteristics can vary and many pups can fully resemble one of the two parents. So, a Lab Pei can be just as outgoing and hyperactive as a lab. Or, it can be just as reserved and socially awkward as a Shar Pei.
This means that you need to be ready for either eventuality. If you hope for an easy-to-train dog you’d better get a purebred lab. If your Lab Pei behaves more like a Shar Pei it will need an experienced hand and excellent obedience training. This is vital for avoiding these dogs dominant tendencies and raising a well-adjusted and well-mannered pup.
Another key part of raising a Lab Pei would be socialization. Purebred labs are naturally social but Shar Pei dogs and their crossbreeds often need a lot of socialization if they are to tolerate your friends, guests, strangers in the park, or other dogs.
Lab Pei Exercise Needs
Labrador Retrievers are famous as highly energetic dogs that need up to two hours of vigorous outdoor exercise per day. Shar Pei dogs, on the other hand, have a much calmer personality and need only a moderate amount of exercise per day – about an hour or an hour and a bit.
This means that your Lab Pei will need exercise somewhere in that diapason, depending on which parent the dog resembles more.
Shar Pei Lab Mix Lifespan and Health
Despite being a bit smaller than labs, Shar Pei dogs actually have a shorter lifespan – 8 to 12 years on average compared to the lab’s 10 to 12 years. And, as Shar Pei dogs often have certain health issues, it’s not uncommon for their lifespan to be closer to 6 or 7 years.
Of course, this is all a matter of statistical averages. If you get a healthy Lab Pei puppy and take good care of it, chances are that it will live well beyond the 12 years margin. Still, this does mean that you absolutely have to get a healthy pup, be it from a reputable breeder or an adequate rescue.
If you get an unhealthy pup, some of the health concerns you can expect to encounter include:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Patellar Luxation
- Bloating (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus)
- Shar Pei Fever
Pros and Cons Of The Chocolate Lab Shar Pei Mix
- The light brown coat of the Shar Pei combines beautifully with the chocolate coat of the brown lab
- Expect great loyalty and love toward all family members
- Energy levels will be somewhat moderate – not as hyperactive as those of a purebred lab
- Your Lab Pei’s personality and temperament can either be very lab-like or more like that of a Shar Pei
- Can be less social than a purebred lab
- Training can be tricky but is still an absolute must
Is A Chocolate Lab Shar Pei Mix The Right Dog For You?
The main point here is that Lab Pei mixed dogs are wonderful family companions in the right person’s hands but can be unruly if you don’t know what you’re doing. Shar Pei dogs as a whole, as well as their crossbreeds, are just not recommended for novice dog owners.
This isn’t to say that a first-time owner can’t get the handle of raising and training such a dog – you absolutely can. However, there will be a learning curve and you’d need to get through it quickly. Proper research, as well as training courses, will be key for raising an obedient and well-behaved Lab Peu.
Once you raise them right, however, these mixed dogs can make for fantastic family companions.