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The Chinese Crested Dog

Updated on October 4, 2019
Teeuwynn Woodruff profile image

Teeuwynn has owned dogs her whole life. She has enjoyed the companionship of everything from Pugs to Newfoundlands.

Chinese Crested Statistics

  • Belongs to the toy group in the AKC
  • In 2013 Chinese Crested were the 68th most popular breed in the AKC

  • Are 11 – 13” tall

  • Generally weigh 8-12 pounds

  • Live 10 – 14 years

  • Can have skin or a coat of any color – including a spotted one
  • The official AKC temperament description is "Gay and alert."
  • Hairless Cresteds are good dogs for people with allergies.

Chinese Crested -- Hairless


Powderpuffs vs. Hairless

There are two distinct types of Chinese Crested – the hairless and the powderpuff. The hairless is what people typically think of when imagining the breed. With only a mohawk and feathered socks for fur, spiky ears and often an interesting array of spots on their skin the hairless looks like a cross between a hard rocker and a muppet.

The powderpuff might look like less of a rebel with its soft double coat. The powderpuff still has the pointed ears, sharp features, and interesting coloration combinations of its hairless brethren.

Chinese Crested -- Powderpuff


Powderpuffs vs. Hairless

Which type of Chinese Crested do you prefer?

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The Genetics of Powderpuffs vs. Hairless Chinese Crested

Powderpuff and hairless Chinese Crested dogs can be born in the same litter. Genetically, hairless dogs has the gene for hairlessness (HR). Hairless Chinese Cresteds also carry the gene for a powderpuff coat (hr). Powderpuffs don't carry the hairless gene, so they are genetically (hrhr).

So, if two powderpuffs are bred together, they will only produce powderpuff puppies in their litters. If two hairless dogs breed they can have either powderpuff or hairless puppies. The same is true if a hairless and powderpuff combination are bred.

Chinese Cresteds have a prominent genetic flaw. If a Chinese Crested receives two dominant hairless genes (HrHr) the dog will not survive. This genetic combination is fatal.

Chinese Crested Who?

Chinese Cresteds were not always known by their current name. At times they have been called Chinese Royal Hairless dogs, the Chinese Ship Dog, the Chinese Hairless, and even the Chinese Edible dog! Yikes. (

History of the Chinese Crested

Despite their name, Chinese Crested dogs are thought to have been bred in Africa long ago. At sometime Chinese sailors took some of the dogs on their ships to use as ratters. Soon other sailors used the dogs as ratters and their popularity spread. By the late 1800s Chinese Cresteds were appearing in dog shows and could be seen in pieces of art. However it took until 1991 before the Chinese Crested was recognized as an AKC breed. (

Partying Hairless Crested

Chinese Crested Personalities

Chinese Crested dogs are lovable and sweet. They've been called “velcro” dogs because they like to stick so closely to their human family. Many Chinese Crested are happy to snuggle with their human for as long as the human allows. This makes them great dogs for housebound people or those who work at home.

Although not really barkers, Chinese Crested will bark when they hear someone at the door and can serve as a watchdog.

Originally ratters, Chinese Crested still maintain some of that feistiness, enjoying chasing balls or other toys. Chinese Crested have been known to do well in AKC agility competitions. Chinese Crested are smart dogs who can easily learn tricks – even those you don't want them to learn such as how to get out of the yard.

Their are many stories about the antics and attitude of Chinese Cresteds. Our Chinese Crested, Goblin, can't think of anything better than wedging herself between my husband and myself. And I do mean wedging – under the covers and all. I think she'd spend her entire life there if she didn't have to worry about eating and playing with her ball.

I know another Chinese Crested named Bubbles. The name is perfect since she has beautiful round colored spots all over her body. Her favorite activity is playing with her human kids – especially when they throw a stuffed mouse or let her cuddle in their laps.

Problems in Chinese Crested Dogs

As with all small dogs, potty training can prove problematic with Chinese Crested. Using a wee wee pad and being vigilant in taking your puppy outside to go potty can help immensely with this issue.

Chinese Crested can become so attached to their family that they become suspicious of – or even aggressive towards – other people. In order to avoid this situation it is important to take your Chinese Crested to puppy kindergarten classes and go on outings in public places to acclimate your dog to other people.

Chinese Crested are delicate in appearance, but they actually can gain weight quite easily so you have to be careful not to feed them too much.

Some hairless Chinese Crested have jutting front teeth called tusks that are prone to fall out. Extra care has to be taken with their oral hygiene.

A number of Chinese Crested are allergic to wool and lanolin, so care should be taken not to have these dogs wear clothes or use blankets made from these materials until you know your Chinese Crested doesn't suffer from these allergies.

Rocking Out

Taking Care of a Chinese Crested Toy Dog

Like all dogs, Chinese Crested need good quality food, fresh water, and attention. The hairless and powderpuff Chinese Cresteds do have a few special needs too.

Chinese Cresteds are great dogs for apartments or other smaller dwellings. They can get enough exercise by chasing balls in the house and going for walks a few times a week.

Powderpuffs need brushing every one to two days. Due to their double coat they can develop mats that can be very difficult to get out of their hair if they aren't taken care of quickly.

Hairless Chinese Cresteds have very smooth, delicate skin. You should rub sun block on their skin before going outside. Also, after baths or if their skin appears dry at other times

Hairless and Powderpuff Cresteds


Snuggly, Sweet, and Funny

Chinese Crested are adoring dogs who want nothing more than to snuggle and play with their families. They're up for everything from hugging to a good agility run. They do well with other animals and children and can live comfortably in large and small spaces alike.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Teeuwynn Woodruff


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    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      23 months ago from Washington State

      I think both Powdepuffs and hairless Chinese Cresteds are both adorable. As long as she's comfy, I'm sure the new hair do will be great.

    • profile image

      Shereen Fleming 

      2 years ago

      I have a Chinese Crested Powderpuff but she has went bald on her body she is on steroids for her skin but she is beautiful and we love her very much.


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