Chinese Crested Dog Breed Information Guide


The Chinese Crested is one of the most exotic dog breeds in existence. A toy, this breed is noted for its hairless variety which sports an entirely bald body, with a leonine mane (crest) of medium-length, silky hair on its head, hocks, pasterns and tail (plume). The Powder Puff type has soft fur all over. Colors cover the entire spectrum of standard canine coat shades. A full-grown adult male or female will stand 11 to 13 inches high. The Crested is similar in size and body-type to the Chihuahua dog.

Chinese Crested Dog History

No one is certain how, exactly, the Chinese Crested came to be, but it’s widely accepted that they have evolved from the hairless dogs of Africa, which were commonly traded amongst merchants and sailors hundreds of years ago. Making port in cities throughout the world, the influence of the hairless dog spread until the Chinese chose to selectively breed it down into a smaller, toy version of the original breed. Records indicate that the Chinese Crested dog could be found in various ports throughout Africa, Asia, and both Central and South America, as far back as the 1500’s.

Interesting to note is that, while the Chinese Hairless dog acquired a following as far back as the early 1900’s (it was a favorite of Gypsy Rose Lee, famous stage personality), he was not registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) until 1991. In addition to being known as the Chinese Crested, he has also been called the Chinese Hairless, the Chinese Ship Dog, the Chinese Royal Hairless and the Chinese Edible Dog.

Chinese Crested Dog Appearance

The Chinese Crested can be found in two distinct varieties, though both share similar qualities of basic type: Ideally standing between 11-13 inches tall at the shoulder, they are a delicate and frail dog, in appearance, and are known for their gracefulness. The hairless variety is known only to sport hair on the head, a ‘mane,’ not unlike a horse’s, down the back of his neck, feathering on the legs and a plumed tail while the rest of his body is hairless. The powder puff variety, however, is fully haired from head to toe. It is also important to note that the hairless variety is notorious for tooth problems, ranging from crooked or missing teeth, to horrible decay.

The Chinese Crested can come in any color or combination of colors, including apricot, black, blue, chocolate, cream, palomino, slate, white brown, pink, red, sable, silver, black white and tan, black and tan, black and white, white and black, white and chocolate, pink and chocolate, pink and slate, or spotted varieties. In addition, the Chinese Crested is also allowed to have white markings. Producing less dander and shedding less than many other breeds of dog, the Chinese Hairless is considered a hypoallergenic dog.

Chinese Crested Dog Temperament

“Personality-plus” is a phrase that best-suits these adorable little dogs. While often noted for their “unique” appearances (they are notorious for winning the title of “World’s Ugliest Dog”), the Chinese Crested is well-known for his happy-go-lucky, gay attitude. Very affectionate and happy to be a part of the family, these are wonderfully cheerful little dogs that delight in being the center of attention and, surprisingly, don’t mind all the little jokes made at his expense. Due to the fragility of this breed and their tendency to be shy of loud noises, however, it’s important to note that they do not make the best pets for children and can be notoriously stubborn.

Chinese Crested Dog Exercise Info

While a toy breed, the Chinese Crested still enjoys a couple of brisk walks each day in order to stay in trim, fit condition. The remainder of their exercise can be earned through a bit of couch wrestling or a rousing game of fetch the ball down the hall. Provided they are taken out for a couple of walks per day, the Chinese Crested dog is ideally suited for apartment styled living and makes an excellent companion for a childless home or for a senior.

Chinese Crested Dog Grooming Info

Caring for a Chinese Crested takes dedication. When one owns the hairless variety, they must pay close attention, not only to brushing the haired parts of their dog, but also to the dog’s skin. They must be protected from extreme temperatures, guarded from risk of sunburn or frostbite, and they must be bathed and moisturized often. Meanwhile, those who have the powder puff variety of the Chinese Crested will discover that the coat needs almost daily combing in order to remain in good condition and free of mats. While well-suited for a person with a lot of time on their hands, the Chinese Crested is certainly not for everyone.

Chinese Crested Dog Training Info

The Chinese Crested is a notoriously stubborn little dog and is considered, by many trainers, to be one of the hardest to work with. To say that they have a mind of their own is to put it mildly and the Chinese Hairless is also known for being very difficult to housebreak. Crate-training is a must and, at the very least, it’s highly suggested that the Chinese Crested dog at least have some basic obedience training. Starting them in puppy kindergarten classes is highly recommended.

Additionally, this breed should also be supervised when in a back yard setting. They are reputed to be capable of scaling fences with ease and, if they can’t get over the top, are just as apt to dig a hole under the fence, making them incredible escape artists. In order to keep your dog safe, he should always be taken outside on a leash, rather than allowed to freely run.

Chinese Crested Dog Health Info

Like any breed of dog, the Chinese Crested Dog is subject to a variety of health concerns. Your best bet is, when deciding to choose a new Chinese Crested Dog puppy, check around with several breeders and ask about the various health issues that can affect these beautiful little dogs. A reputable breeder should be well-versed in the health concerns and should be able to give you more details, as well as showing you the sire and dam of your potential puppy. Some of the health problems that can affect Chinese Crested Dogs include:

Allergies to wool and lanolin
Patellar luxation
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Dental problems and bad breath

Chinese Crested Dog Right Breed Info

The Chinese Crested is somewhat of a princess when it comes to dogs, and can tend to be rather high maintenance when compared to other breeds. Behavioral problems such as shyness and canine separation anxiety are common, as well as the dog’s notorious stubborn streak making them one of the most difficult to housebreak and train. Again, it is also important to note that this breed is not well suited for people who have children or larger dogs, as this breed is very fragile and easily injured.

Fans of the Chinese Crested will tell you that all of the work is well-worth it, however and, for the right person, the Chinese Crested is a wonderful little companion with a winning personality.

More Information about the Chinese Crested Dog Dog Breed

Chinese Crested Dog on Wikipedia