Chinese Crested Dog

Chinese Crested Dog

Group: Toy Group

Origin: China

Height: Ideal height is 11 to 13 inches (28-33cm).

Weight: Not more than 12 lbs (5.5kg).

Chinese Crested Dog

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Breed Profile

The Chinese Crested is very unique in appearance and comes in two varieties: The “Hairless” which is almost completely hairless except for a crest of fur on his head, a tuft on his tail called a plume, and fur around his feet known as socks; and the “Powderpuff” which is covered in long silky hair. Both varieties may be born from the same litter. He is a toy breed, both elegant and graceful. He is a loving companion, devoted, playful, intelligent and entertaining. He craves human companionship and is generally very friendly but may be reserved toward strangers.

In addition to the hair previously mentioned on the Hairless variety, some dogs may also have facial hair which can be trimmed or left natural. Their skin is soft and smooth to the touch. The Powderpuff variety is born with a full coat and the hair continues to grow as they mature. There is very little shedding and both varieties may be good choices for people with allergies. However, no breed is truly hypo-allergenic and for those who do suffer from allergies, it is strongly recommended that sufficient time be spent with the breed before any decisions are made.

The breed is adaptable to all types of living arrangements; however, he does require exercise and enjoys participating in various dog activities, such as obedience and agility.

A Brief History of the Chinese Crested Dog

It is believed that the Chinese Crested Dog evolved from the African Hairless and reduced in size, but the exact origin is unknown. He was once known as the “Chinese Ship Dog” because sailors often used him to hunt shipboard vermin. It is also said that the dogs may also have been used as a food source. Another interesting theory about the breed is that many believe that his body temperature is higher than that of other breeds and, therefore, the Chinese Crested was often used as a stomach warmer as well as to drive out sickness or evil.

The Chinese Crested breed was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1992 at which time there were a total of 26 Cresteds registered from 8 litters. In the U.S., Cresteds were popular in the early 1900s and by the 1930s, Breeders maintained an extensive stud book and registry. In the 1950s, Gypsy Rose Lee, a famous stage personality, became a Breeder and helped publicize the breed. The Chinese Crested was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1991.

Health Issues

Like all breeds, the Chinese Crested Dog is susceptible to certain health problems, some of a genetic nature, others viral. The following are just some of the health issues which have been seen in this breed:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Deafness

If you are considering the adoption of a Chinese Crested puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Recommended Health Screening:

For the Chinese Crested Dog, the CHICNote 1 database includes health screenings for:

  • Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist – yearly exams
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Congenital Cardiac Database
  • Also listed as “optional”: Primary Lens Luxation; Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) DNA Test; Congenital Deafness; Hip Dysplasia; Legg-Calves-Perthes

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

The Hairless Chinese Crested requires regular bathing to help prevent skin irritations and acne. In addition, the lighter coloured Hairless can sunburn, therefore a mild sunscreen is recommended. Moisturizing creams can also be used to help keep the skin from becoming dry. It should be noted that some Hairless are sensitive to products containing lanolin or wool.

The long, fine hair of the Powderpuff variety should be brushed daily and routine bathing will help maintain a healthy, mat-free coat.

In general, Chinese Cresteds are very clean, have very little doggie odor, and are not prone to fleas or ticks.

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Toy Breeds — Housebreaking
  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

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