Despite being the most popular of the hairless breeds, the Chinese Crested is still a rare breed. There are two distinct varieties of the Chinese Crested Dog, the “hairless” and the “powderpuff.” The hairless variety is just that: hairless, except for its feet, head and tail. The “powderpuff” has a long, soft coat.
The skin and coat can be any color, and solid, mixed or spotted all over. Both hairless and powderpuff varieties can be born in the same litter. The head of the Chinese Crested is wedge-shaped when viewed from the top and the side. The muzzle has a slight stop, and tapers nicely into the cheeks. The color of the nose can be dark to light, depending on the skin and coat color. The almond-shaped eyes and eye rims will have a color that matches the color of the dog. The large ears are not cropped and stand erect.
The Chinese Crested originated in Africa where they were called “African Hairless Terriers.” Chinese trading ships stopped along the shores of Africa on their trade routes and brought the dogs on-board their ships to hunt vermin. They renamed the dogs “Chinese Crested” and the name stuck. The Aztecs kept them as bed warmers and, unfortunately, also used them as a food source.
In the 1950s, Debora Wood created the “Crest Haven” kennel and began to purposefully breed and record the lineages of her Chinese crested dogs. The famous burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee also bred Chinese cresteds, and upon her death her dogs were incorporated into Crest Haven. These two lines are the true foundation of every Chinese crested alive today.
These dogs are alert, charming, agile and lovable. Though affectionate and playful with children, children should be taught not to be rough with this breed as they do not have the protective hair that other breeds have and can easily be injured. They can also be an entertaining and amusing companion.
Do not baby this breed or you might cause them to be timid. Socialize your dog well, starting when they are small puppies, exposing them to loud noises and outside activity. This intelligent dog has the ability to perform tricks. They are generally good with other pets and do not typically bark. Chinese Crested Dogs like to climb and dig holes. They tend to become very attached to their owners, enjoy companionship, and need constant human leadership.
- Height: 12 inches
- Weight: Up to 10 pounds
- Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
- Grooming: Very clean, with no doggie odor. Powderpuffs require daily brushing.
Care & Health
Although it is tempting to carry these dainty creatures about, they are active little dogs that need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk.
They gain weight easily so be careful not to overfeed. Exposed skin on the hairless dogs needs special care to prevent skin irritations. They are prone to sunburns and a good sunscreen should be used if the dog is going to be out in the sun. The hairless variety is prone to tooth loss and decay. Powderpuffs have healthier teeth.
The Chinese Crested is prone to eye problems such as lens luxation, glaucoma, and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), luxating patellas, and Legg-Pethes disease. A high percentage of Chinese Crested are allergic to wool and lanolin. Both the hairless and powderpuff dogs are born in the same litter.
Your Love Match
The perfect pet parent of a Chinese Crested: