Shar-Pei That Looks Like A Lion Steals The Hearts Of Staff At Rescue Centre

Murphy the ‘lion dog
Murphy the ‘lion dog
Murphy the ‘lion dog

A Shar-Pei which looks more like a lion than a dog thanks to its incredible mane is stealing hearts at a rescue centre.

The ancient Chinese breed is typically known for having short fur, a blue tongue and plenty of wrinkles.

But Murphy is a rarer bear coat and, as a result of this, his appearance is more like Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia than a typical Shar-Pei.

The three-year old was recently taken in by the Dogs Trust in Snetterton, Norfolk, after his owner could no longer keep him.

Staff at the rescue centre have fallen in love with the fluffy animal who is now looking for a new home.

Some Shar-Pei have bear coats because of a recessive gene. To qualify, the fur needs to be at least one-inch long but in some places Murphy’s mane is as much as six times this.

swns_lion_dog_05Dogs Trust is now appealing for someone to come forward and adopt Murphy, who is described as “an independent dog who enjoys his own space”.

Diane McLelland-Taylor, Dogs Trust Snetterton rehoming centre manager, said: “Handsome Murphy has so much potential and loves a fuss being made of him and receiving attention when he gets used to you.

“He is very loyal and affectionate. Murphy is looking for a calm, patient and adult-only home with a family who can support him in becoming a more confident boy.

“He can be a little unsure of new people and situations at first, but he’s always happy to work for a treat.”

swns_lion_dog_03The Shar-Pei is one of the world’s oldest dog breeds but nearly became extinct in the 1960s and 1970s under China’s communist government.

It is thought there were as few as 12 left in the world in the early 1970s.

It prompted Hong Kong businessman and Shar-Pei enthusiast Matgo Law to write a letter to the US magazine Dogs in 1973 to highlight the breed’s plight.

A number of Americans then imported puppies and this helped save the Shar-Pei, which was at one time in the Guinness Book of World Records as the rarest breed.


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