Chinese Crested Dog

Country of origin:
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
any colour or combination of colours
Hair length:
hairless, long
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
Pros Cons

  • no smell

  • sheds very little

  • forms strong bonds with its master

  • loves children

  • ideal choice for an apartment dweller

  • suspicious of strange people

  • not easy to train

  • prone to gain weight

  • fragile

  • skin of hairless variety requires additional care

  • poor guard dog


The Chinese Crested is small hairless dog, which appeared as the result of selective experiments of Chinese breeders in the early XV century. Originally it became famous for its fabulous ratting skills but later on its gentle and responsive personality won the hearts of countless canine lovers from all over the world. For those who don’t like bold dogs there is the Powderpuff variety with soft, fine coat.


Presently, the origin of the Chinese Crested still remains the source of disputes. It’s said to have been developed either from the African or the Mexican hairless dog by Chinese who selectively bred one of these canine varieties down in size. Chinese seafarers took the breed members on their ships and entrusted them with managing the numbers of rodents who were the carriers of infectious diseases and parasites. Evidently enough they held their pets in high regard and imputed to them magic healing abilities. Chinese even occasionally utilised these dogs as living heating cushions and let them in their beds.

Furthermore Chinese Crested Dogs were much-treasured pets of both commoners and many Chinese emperors. Mariners sold puppies of the Chinese Crested to local traders at port cities. Thus, by the end of the XV century this dog became well-established in Mexico and other regions of Central and South America. Thanks to French, Portuguese and British explorers of XVII and the early XIX centuries, the Western world also got to know this breed. In the middle of the XIX the images of its specimens started to appear in lots of European paintings.

Throughout its history the Chinese Crested became known under various names including the Chinese Edible Dog, the Chinese Hairless, the Chinese Ship Dog, and the Chinese Royal Hairless.

The Chinese Crested was introduced to the community of American canine fanciers in the late XIX century. This charismatic and unusual dog sparkled interest in Ida Garrett, a beginning New York newspaper reporter, and she devoted over sixty years of her life to breeding and promotion of this breed in her homeland. She and Debra Woods of Homestead, Florida are the major contributors to its popularity in this country. The Chinese Crested attained official recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1991. The United Kennel Club (UKC) included in in its studbooks in 1995. Today the vast majority of these dogs are companion animals although this breed occasionally but fairly successfully participates in agility and obedience trials.


Affectionate, gentle and faithful, the Chinese Crested does extremely well in the role of a companion animal. It tends to get attached to its masters in such a way that it takes any long separation with them very hard. If you have to abandon this dog at home regularly and for any considerable amount of time it is most likely not the best breed for you. In general this breed is amicable with children and less snappy then other miniature canine varieties. However this dog has a fragile body so it shouldn’t be left alone with too small children who can accidentally injure it.

The Chinese Crested usually behaves itself warily and standoffishly in the presence of strange people. This dog is much more prone to suffer from such issues as shyness and fearfulness than aggressiveness. Early and many-sided socialisation will help to prevent the development of majority of these negative tendencies in the dogs’ character. Although it’s quite capable of announcing the arrival of a guest with its ringing voice this breed doesn’t express much interest to defending its territory and can’t be trusted with the duties of a guardian. Some of these canines become reliable watchers while others display complete indifference to this task.

As a rule the Chinese Crested has mild and kind disposition and prefers to avoid confrontations with its counterparts. Nonetheless moderate level of canine aggressiveness can be observed in unneutered males so it’s still prudent to watch over the communication of your pet with strange canines. For over than a century this dog was bred exclusively for companionship and it substantially subdued its hunting drive. Therefore it’s relatively tolerant of other types of pets in the house (including household cats). Be mindful though that it’s still unsafe to allow this dog to freely interact with street animals.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· skin problems;

· dental issues;

· weight gain;

· cancer, especially mammary cancer;

· patellar luxation;

· various types of allergies;

· eye problems;

· canine multiple system degeneration;

· autoimmune disorders.


The Chinese Crested comes in two coat varieties, which needs fundamentally different amount of maintenance. The bold breed member evidently doesn’t require brushing or professional care. But it still should be bathed on a regular and rather frequent basis. Moreover its skin is susceptible to drying up so it’s desirable to periodically oil it. The master should also cream his pet’s skin with sunscreen before each and every walk (especially in a sunny weather). The great advantage of this variety is the absence of the dog’s hair in the house so it’s a good choice for allergic sufferers or those who can’t stand cleaning up the dog’s fur.

The Powderpuff possesses long and silky coat and therefore has much higher grooming requirements than its hairless counterpart. Daily brushing is necessary to keep its hair free of mats and tangles. Many owners opt to have their pets professionally trimmed on a regular basis so the amount of daily care won’t be so burdensome. The Powderpuff sheds little to nothing and can be considered as an excellent canine companion for allergic sufferers.

Both types of the Chinese Crested have oblong toes. This purports that the quick of its nails protrudes father in comparison with other canine varieties. The master should exercise special caution while trimming the nails of his pet otherwise he risks hurting or even injuring it.


The Chinese Crested can be trained with tolerable amount of efforts. Lots of these dogs have certain stubborn streak but it isn’t nearly as strong-headed as Terriers or Scent Hounds. Expect to spend relatively lots of time on its training although in general this breed is a quick-witted and quick learner.

Use praise and its favourite treats to encourage your pet to work and you will be rewarded with its docility and undivided attention. In that case your Chinese Crested has all chances of achieving spectacular results in obedience competition.

Because of its sensitive nature this dog responds very negatively to any kind of harsh discipline. The master should arm himself with patience when it concerns the process of housebreaking of this dog. Sometimes it takes years to completely housebreak the Chinese Crested.


The Chinese Crested stands out for average energy level and will be quite content with several long daily walks. This dog remains active both in- and outdoors although to a much lesser extent than a Border Collie or various terriers. It also likes running and playing fly ball so it would be a great idea to occasionally realise this dog off leash in a well-fenced and warm area.

Remember that without some obligatory minimum of daily physical stimulation the Chinese Crested will form unwelcomed habits to continuous barking and chewing your furniture and other stuff.