This small companion dog is not a result of crossbreeding or miniaturization programes, but an actual type of the Chinese Shar Pei breed, which originally came in a variety of sizes. Dedicated fanciers and breed clubs are trying to maintain the purity of the Mini Pei, but unfortunately many crosses are being sold under its name, mainly Pug mixes. Like its more popular larger Chinese brother, the American Mini Pei is an aloof dog, quite independent and reserved, but is reportedly more affectionate and playful with its owners. The Mini Pei follows the same conformation standards as the Shar Pei breed, except when it comes to size restrictions.

The flat coat is short, dense and somewhat harsh, common in typical Shar Pei colours.

Average height is around 12 inches.

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