By Janice Jones |Last Updated 07-22-2021
Some people not familiar with the Chinese Crested call it ugly and can hardly stand to look at this hairless breed.
Those that know and love it have an entirely different opinion. They describe the breed as expressive, happy, energetic and very attached to their caregiver.
Some even go so far as to
call them a “velcro” dog because they like to physically attach themselves to
their person and will hug with their paws.
The Breed Traits At a Glance
*Grooming: Grooming requirements will vary depending on whether you have a Powderpuff or Hairless.
Explanations for At a Glance Ratings
- Playfulness: Most=5 Less=1
- Affection: Most=5 Least=1
- Friendliness Towards Strangers: Most=5 Least=1
- Good with Children: Good=5 Not Good=1
- Good with Other Dogs: Good=5 Not Good=1
- Good for First Time Owners: Good=5 Not Good=1
- Amount of Exercise Required: Much=5 Minimal=1
- Ease of Training: Easy=5 Difficult=1
- Watch Dog Ability: Excellent=5 Poor=1
- Grooming Needs: Extensive=5 Minimal=1
- Shedding: Heavy Shedding=5 Minimal Shedding=1
- Cold Tolerance: Cold Well Tolerated=5 Poorly Tolerated=1
- Heat Tolerance: Heat Well Tolerated=5 Poorly Tolerated=1
These dogs might be athletic and very agile, but when it
comes right down to it, this breed is fiercely loyal, bond easily to their
owners and will spend the entire day in bed with you if you are sick.
enjoy getting outdoors for daily exercise, but they are not a high energy
breed. They are very social, but not your outgoing gregarious type and once
they decide to own you, you’ll have a shadow by your side wherever you go.
There are two varieties found in this breed: the Hairless,
with silky hair on the head (the crest), tail (plume), and feet (socks); and
the genetically recessive Powderpuff, who has a full coat.
Both variants can be
found in a single litter. They are slender and elegant, but beauty seems to be
in the eyes of the beholder.
to win lots of “ugly dog contests.” Beyond their looks, they make very stable
companions and keep their owners laughing and entertained,
Other Names Used: Chinese
Hairless, Chinese Edible Dog, the Chinese Ship Dog and the Chinese Royal
Affiliation: UKC: Companion; AKC, ANKC, CKC, KC, NZKC Toy, FCI
Height: Ideally 11 to
Weight : Up to 12
Coat Type: Two Types:
Hairless and Powderpuff which has a thick double coat
Black, Blue, Chocolate, Cream, Palomino, Slate, White, Pink, Red, Sable, Silver
Country of Origin: China
Activity Level: Moderate
Life Expectancy: 13-18 years
Litter Size: 2-6 puppies
Good with Children:
Yes as long as the children are taught how to handle these little dogs
Good with other pets:
Their name suggests that they originated in China, but it is
more likely that they came from Africa or Mexico.
As with other ancient breeds,
there is little in the way of written records, so historians can only
Some have theorized that the
Chinese Crested is the result of the cross breeding of the Mexican Hairless and
the Chihuahua which means they would have originated in Mexico.
Others have speculated that the Chinese
Crested had evolved from African Hairless Dogs which were reduced in size by
Little is known of their ancient history, but it has been
suggested that they accompanied Chinese sailors in 1530 and used to hunt vermin
during the times of the plague.
sailors would also trade them at different ports. The Chinese looked at these
dogs as having magical healing powers, but they also had a more mundane
purpose: A Living Heating Pad. They
began to appear in European paintings by the 19th century.
Originally these dogs were called the Chinese
Hairless, Chinese Edible Dog, the Chinese Ship Dog and the Chinese Royal
It’s unclear when the breed arrived in North America, but
the first breed club was founded in 1974 in the United States.
recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1985 as part of its Miscellaneous
class, and was accepted for full registration in 1991. Thus, this ancient breed
is relatively new to America.
Alert, happy and highly intelligent, the Crested adores his owners. They love to kiss and snuggle and make excellent lap dogs.
They are considered to be friendly, but can be wary of strangers. But to their favorite person, they will devote their entire existence.
They need frequent socialization and training because they are naturally suspicious of strangers, even to the point of biting them.
Expect kisses and lots of snuggle time in your lap from this happy, loving little guy once he comes to accept you as his pack. The breed has been labeled “needy” due to his high social drive to bond to his people and his distrust of strangers, but each Crested is different and shows a range of personality traits.
These dogs don’t have the same tendency to show separation anxiety when being left alone as some small breed dogs do.
According to Dr. Wendy Ryan, DVM, from Cloud9ChineseCresteds,
“they are the least destructive dogs I’ve ever had and tend to be very loving and easy to live with. They are not needy by any measure. They lie all over my home and don’t need to be in my lap. But if I go upstairs, they will all follow, as have ALL of the dogs I’ve ever owned. If not socialized, I have seen some that are fearful and timid, but that is true of most breeds. (unless you speak of Labs and Goldens, who tend to love EVERYBODY.)”
They are capable of climbing and digging if need be to escape their confinement. But when you are near, they are fine, relatively quiet and content. They do bark if they hear something and as such make good watch dogs, just not good guard dogs.
These dogs do well in apartments, urban, suburban and rural locales. They cannot tolerate the cold but do surprisingly well in hot temperatures.
Most owners will protect the Crested from the cold with sweaters and coats as needed. As far as heat is concerned, high temperatures don’t seem to bother them and they seem to love a good sunbath.
Another surprising fact about these guys is they rarely pant and
don’t drink water the way you would expect them to on a hot summer day. They do
well in apartments and any other type of dwelling.
The Chinese Crested is a
wonderful family dog who is playful, affectionate, and endearing.
These dogs should not be left alone in a fenced enclosure
because they might disappear on you.
They are very agile, can scale six foot fences or even dig under them. Once
they manage to sample the grass on the other side of the fence, they’re
gone. They are fast and stubborn making
it hard to recapture them.
Cresteds are popular in conformation, obedience and agility competitions due to
their athletic nature.
Remember that temperament is affected by a number of
factors, including heredity, early experiences, training, and socialization.
This is true for all breeds, so the information on this breed found on this pge, can vary from one dog to the next.
Chinese Cresteds are generally easy to train but they have a
stubborn streak, which means you need patience. Positive reinforcement is the
only route, and correction needs to be handled sensitively, because the breed
can be naturally timid.
Chinese Crested are relatively low shedders but not necessarily hypoallergenic as one might expect.
Since there are two versions of this breed, the hairless and the Powderpuff, each requiring different grooming, we will address each separately.
The Hairless Chinese Crested is bald except for soft, flowing hair on the head, feet, and tail.
Hair on the body should be shaved to protect the skin. The Hairless should be bathed frequently with a high-quality shampoo, at least every week or two.
can be prone to minor skin problems, such as acne, check for any blackheads
while grooming. There is some debate as to whether this breed needs sunscreen
or moisturizers on their skin.
it is necessary to prevent them from getting sunburned and others say it lead
to skin problems. If you do decide to use sunscreen, purchase the ones specifically designed for dogs.
Powderpuff coats come in all colors and in combinations of
mahogany, blue, lavender, or copper.
They can be solid or spotted. The skin
tones of the Hairless are pink and black. The Powderpuff requires much more work.
They have a silky double coat with an soft
undercoat that will mat easily if not brushed and combed regularly.
The best type of brush to use is a pin or
bristle brush and the use of a metal comb will help with removing mats. The hair between the food pads also needs to
be removed. Some people will shave the
Both varieties will need to have regular dental care, nail
clips, and ear checks. Brushing his teeth
two or three times a week can reduce the number of times he will need
professional cleaning under anesthesia.
His nails should be trimmed once or twice a month if he does not wear
them down naturally. His ears should be
checked for redness and bad odor, which would indicate an infection and usually
a trip to the vet.
You can help prevent
infections by keeping them clean with a gentle ear cleaner and a cotton ball
Cresteds are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re
prone to certain health conditions.
Not all Cresteds will get any or all of
these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering
Just in case you have read the descriptions on other small breed
dogs, you might see a pattern emerging.
Most small breed dogs are prone to similar aliments.
Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Pros of Owning a Chinese Crested
- Great for apartment dwellers and seniors
- Fierce loyal and loving
- Wonderful lap dogs and companions
- Hairless variety require little grooming
- Exercise requires are minimal
- Relatively healthy breed
- Good with other animals
Cons of Owning a Chinese Crested
- Powderpuff variety requires much grooming
- Have dental problems
- Can be suspicious of strangers
- Great athletic ability can have its drawbacks
Please Pin for Future Reference
Need More Information?
These books can be purchased from your neighborhood bookstore or through Amazon (usually much cheaper). Do check them out if you are serious about owning a Chinese Crested Dog.
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