AKC Dog Breeds: Chinese Crested

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Toy Group
Height: 10-12 inches   Weight: 7-10 pounds  Color: All colors and patterns acceptable

The Chinese Crested originates from Mexico or Africa but was discovered by Chinese traders. The history of this breed is said to date back to the thirteenth century. It is believed that Chinese mariners sailed with this breed, believed to have evolved from African hairless dogs, on board. During the time of the Chinese plagues, hairless dogs were stowed aboard ships to hunt vermin. By the mid-nineteenth century, Cresteds began appearing in European art, and entries of the breed in American dog shows began in the late 1800s. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1991. A fine-boned, elegant toy dog that craves human companionship, the Crested comes in two varieties. The Hairless has soft, silky hair on its head (crest), tail (plume) and feet (socks). Wherever the body is hairless the skin is soft and smooth. The Powderpuff is entirely covered with a double soft, straight coat. The two types often come from the same litter.

General Appearance
A small fragile little dog, the Chinese Crested comes in two varieties, which include the hairless variety and the powder puff variety. The hairless variety, as the name suggests, has no hair on the body and a crest of silky hair around the head and on the feet and tail, giving it a very elegant and unusual look. The hairless variety is a good choice for those that suffer from allergies. The powder puff variety has long, silky hair all over, which is straight on the outside and soft and silky on the undercoat. The Chinese Crested has an alert and inquisitive expression, and is a very elegant and graceful dog.


For a family that wants a loving, funny and very intelligent dog that is relatively easy to care for a Chinese Crested Dog may be just the answer. They are ideal pets for virtually all types of families and individuals provided they have fairly constant contact with humans. A very popular breed, the Chinese Crested is sweet, lively and affectionate. Both varieties vary in outer characteristics, but have similar personalities. An intelligent and entertaining dog, the Chinese Crested loves to climb and dig holes. The hairless does best in warmer climates, while the Powderpuff is partial to both. The Chinese Crested Dog is one breed of dog that does bond very strongly to its owners. They will often form a very close bond with one or two people in the family and often this bond is for the life of the dog. Even when these people leave the house the dog will continue to wait for them or to look for them. The Chinese Crested Dog is very difficult to re-home or adopt for this reason and most breeders are highly selective about choosing which families will best suit the breed. The Chinese Crested Dog, without socialization and exposure to new places, animals and people, will have a tendency to become frightened and timid. While not a problem barker they can become problems if they are very nervous or bored, so provide lots of socialization as well as things to play with and chew on. They can become destructive with chewing if left alone for too long but exercise, chew toys and lots of human attention can prevent this issue from becoming a problem. The gentle and bright nature of the Chinese Crested makes him well suited to inexperienced dog owners as well as more experienced owners.


Grooming will depend on whether you have the hairless or powder puff variety. The hairless simply needs to have a small amount of oil or lotion massaged into the skin to keep it in good condition. The powder puff variety will need to be brushed and combed once or twice a week.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of the Chinese Crested is around 13-16 years, and a range of health issues and disorders are linked to this breed. This includes sensitivity to chemicals and medicines, acne, allergies, dental problems, Legg Perthes, retinal detachment, and skin problems. The teeth of the Chinese Crested Dog are very poor, with the hairless variety having the lightest coating of enamel, resulting in tooth decay and early loss. Start regularly brushing the Chinese Crested Dog's teeth as soon as possible, ideally from their puppy stage.

Activity Level
The Chinese Crested Dog is prone to weight gain if inactive, so finding a way to keep your Chinese Crested Dog active is important. They do enjoy outdoor walks and are good on the leash once properly socialized and acclimatized to being in new environments and places. Since the Hairless has no protection for its skin it is not recommended for walks that involve going through brushes or even heavy grasses as the skin can easily be cut or injured.


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Chinese Crested profile on dog encyclopedia
Chinese Crested dog on dog encyclopeida