Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested Image courtesy of Veronika_Andrews

Welcome to our article all about the Chinese Crested! If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating breed, then you’ve come to the right place. The Chinese Crested is a breed that has a rich history and a distinctive appearance that sets them apart from other dogs. In this guide, we will explore the history and origins of the Chinese Crested, delve into their size and appearance characteristics, discuss their life expectancy, temperament, trainability, and adaptability, as well as their exercise requirements and energy levels. We will also touch upon their grooming requirements, health issues that may affect them, and provide a list of comparable breeds. To top it all off, we will share some stories of notable dogs from this intriguing breed. So, let’s dive in and discover the wonderful world of the Chinese Crested!

History and Origins of the Breed

The Chinese Crested breed has a fascinating history that traces back centuries. While its exact origins are somewhat shrouded in mystery, there are several theories about how this unique breed came to be.

One theory suggests that the Chinese Crested originated in Africa and was brought to China by African traders. These traders would often exchange these small, hairless dogs with Chinese merchants, who were captivated by their unusual appearance. Over time, the breed began to flourish in China, particularly in the areas of the Chinese coast and the port city of Guangzhou.

Another theory suggests that the Chinese Crested is a result of selective breeding between small hairless dogs that were found in ancient Aztec cultures and Chinese breeds like the Pekingese. It is believed that Chinese sailors discovered these hairless dogs during their travels and brought them back to China.

Regardless of their true origins, the Chinese Crested gained popularity in the 19th century when they were introduced to Europe by travelers and sailors. They quickly became favorites among the European elite, including royalty and nobility, who were captivated by their unique appearance and charming personalities.

In the early 20th century, the Chinese Crested faced a decline in popularity, and their numbers dwindled. However, dedicated breed enthusiasts worked tirelessly to revive the breed, and their efforts paid off. Today, the Chinese Crested is recognized as a distinct breed by major kennel clubs around the world, including the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).

The history and origins of the Chinese Crested are truly fascinating, showcasing the breed’s journey from ancient civilizations to becoming beloved companions in modern times. Understanding their roots adds depth to our appreciation for these remarkable dogs.

Size and Appearance Characteristics

The Chinese Crested is a small to medium-sized breed with distinct appearance characteristics that make them easily recognizable. Let’s explore their size, body structure, and unique features in more detail:


  • The Chinese Crested comes in two different varieties: Hairless and Powderpuff. Both varieties share similar body proportions, but differ in their coat type.
  • The Hairless variety has smooth, soft skin with hair only on certain parts of the body, such as the head (crest), feet (socks), and tail (plume).
  • The Powderpuff variety, on the other hand, is covered in a double coat of long, silky hair from head to toe.

Body Structure:

  • The Chinese Crested has a slender and elegant build, with a well-proportioned body. They are slightly longer than they are tall, giving them a rectangular shape.
  • Their neck is long and gracefully arched, leading to a well-defined chest and a level topline.
  • The breed has a distinctive head shape, featuring a slightly rounded skull and a tapering muzzle. Their eyes are almond-shaped and expressive, while their ears are large and erect.

Unique Features:

  • One of the most notable features of the Chinese Crested is their lack of fur on certain parts of their body. In the Hairless variety, the skin is smooth and soft, with varying degrees of hairlessness. Meanwhile, the Powderpuff variety has a long and silky double coat that covers their entire body.
  • The Hairless variety has delicate skin that can range in color from pink to black, with spotted or mottled patterns. The Powderpuff variety can come in a wide range of colors and patterns.
  • Both varieties of the Chinese Crested have a long, plumed tail that is carried high and curls over the back.

The size and appearance characteristics of the Chinese Crested make them a visually striking breed. Whether you’re drawn to their hairless elegance or the soft and fluffy Powderpuff variety, their unique features are sure to turn heads and make them stand out in a crowd.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a Chinese Crested can vary depending on various factors such as genetics, overall health, diet, exercise, and the quality of care provided. On average, the Chinese Crested has a relatively long lifespan compared to many other dog breeds. Let’s delve into their life expectancy in more detail:

Average Lifespan:

  • The Chinese Crested has an average lifespan of around 12 to 15 years. However, it is not uncommon for some individuals to live beyond this range with proper care and a healthy lifestyle. Some Chinese Cresteds have been known to live into their late teens.

Factors Affecting Lifespan:

Several factors can influence the lifespan of a Chinese Crested:

  1. Genetics: The genetic background of the dog plays a significant role in determining their overall health and lifespan. Responsible breeders focus on breeding for healthy bloodlines to reduce the risk of hereditary health issues.
  2. Health Care: Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive treatments can help ensure the overall health and well-being of the Chinese Crested. Early detection and treatment of any health issues can contribute to a longer lifespan.
  3. Diet and Nutrition: Providing a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for maintaining the health of the Chinese Crested. High-quality dog food that meets their specific nutritional needs, along with portion control, helps prevent obesity and related health problems.
  4. Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential for keeping the Chinese Crested physically fit and mentally engaged. Daily walks, playtime, and interactive toys can help prevent obesity and promote overall well-being.
  5. Dental Care: Proper dental hygiene is important for the Chinese Crested, as they are prone to dental issues. Regular teeth brushing and dental check-ups can help prevent periodontal disease and other dental problems that can impact their overall health.

By considering these factors and providing the necessary care, Chinese Crested owners can contribute to their pet’s longevity and ensure they live a fulfilling and healthy life.

Remember, while the Chinese Crested generally has a longer lifespan compared to some other breeds, each individual dog is unique. Providing proper care, attention, and a loving environment are crucial for maximizing their lifespan and enjoying many happy years together.


Chinese Crested Image courtesy of NataZotova



The Chinese Crested has a delightful temperament that is often described as affectionate, playful, and lively. Let’s explore the key temperament traits of this breed in more detail:


  • Chinese Cresteds are known for their deep affection towards their owners. They form strong bonds with their family members and thrive on human companionship. They enjoy cuddling, snuggling, and being close to their loved ones.

Friendly and Social:

  • Chinese Cresteds are generally friendly towards strangers, making them amiable companions in social settings. They tend to get along well with other dogs and pets if properly socialized from an early age. This breed enjoys being a part of the family and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.

Alert and Watchful:

  • Despite their small size, Chinese Cresteds make excellent watchdogs. They are naturally alert and will bark to alert their owners of any potential threats or intruders. They may also be wary of unfamiliar sounds or situations, which highlights their protective instincts.

Playful and Energetic:

  • Chinese Cresteds have a playful and energetic nature. They enjoy interactive playtime with their owners and thrive when given opportunities for mental and physical stimulation. Regular exercise and engaging activities help keep them happy and prevent boredom.

Gentle and Sensitive:

  • This breed is known for being gentle and sensitive, which makes them well-suited for families with children. However, due to their delicate skin, it is important to teach children to handle them with care and avoid rough play that could cause injury.


  • Chinese Cresteds can adapt well to different living environments, whether it’s a small apartment or a larger home. They are generally adaptable to various lifestyles as long as they receive proper exercise, mental stimulation, and ample love and attention from their owners.

Understanding the temperament of the Chinese Crested is essential for potential owners to ensure a good match between their lifestyle and the needs of the breed. With their affectionate and friendly nature, this breed can bring joy, love, and companionship to individuals and families alike.

Trainability and Adaptability

When it comes to trainability and adaptability, the Chinese Crested is generally a breed that is eager to please and can be trained effectively. However, it’s important to consider their unique characteristics and approach training with patience and positive reinforcement. Let’s explore their trainability and adaptability in more detail:


  • Chinese Cresteds are intelligent dogs and can learn quickly when provided with consistent and positive training methods. They respond well to rewards-based training, such as treats, praise, and playtime, as they are motivated by positive reinforcement.
  • Early socialization is crucial for the Chinese Crested to ensure they develop good manners and proper behavior around other dogs, animals, and people. Exposing them to various environments, sounds, and stimuli from a young age helps them become well-rounded and confident adults.
  • While they are generally trainable, Chinese Cresteds may have a stubborn streak at times. It’s important for owners to be patient, consistent, and firm in their training approach, maintaining a calm and assertive leadership role.


  • Chinese Cresteds are adaptable dogs that can thrive in various living situations. They can do well in apartments or smaller homes as long as they receive regular exercise and mental stimulation.
  • This breed tends to be sensitive to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, due to their lack of fur or limited coat. It’s important to provide them with appropriate protection, such as clothing or shelter, during extreme weather conditions.
  • Chinese Cresteds are known to be good travel companions and can adapt well to new environments and situations. With proper acclimation and familiarization, they can comfortably accompany their owners on trips or outings.

Special Considerations:

  • Due to their hairless or limited coat, Chinese Cresteds may require additional care and attention when it comes to their skin and exposure to the sun. Sunscreen or protective clothing may be necessary to prevent sunburn or skin damage.
  • The sensitive nature of Chinese Cresteds means that they may not respond well to harsh training methods or excessive correction. Positive reinforcement, patience, and consistency are key to successful training.

With their trainability and adaptability, Chinese Cresteds can make wonderful companions for individuals and families who are committed to providing them with the necessary training, socialization, and care. By understanding their unique needs and using positive reinforcement, owners can help them thrive and become well-behaved members of the family.

Exercise Requirements and Energy Level

The Chinese Crested may have a small size, but they have a surprising amount of energy and require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Let’s explore their exercise requirements and energy level in more detail:

Energy Level:

  • Chinese Cresteds have a moderate to high energy level. While they are not as hyperactive as some other breeds, they still enjoy engaging in playtime and physical activities.
  • They have bursts of energy and can be quite active, especially when they are young. However, they also appreciate their downtime and can be content with cuddling and relaxing with their owners.

Exercise Requirements:

  • Chinese Cresteds require daily exercise to keep them mentally stimulated and physically fit. A combination of physical exercise and mental enrichment activities is ideal for meeting their needs.
  • Daily walks or jogs are beneficial for this breed, providing them with an outlet for their energy and an opportunity to explore their surroundings. Aim for at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise per day, depending on their age, health, and energy levels.
  • Interactive play sessions, such as fetch or tug-of-war, can help burn off additional energy and provide mental stimulation. Puzzle toys and food-dispensing toys can also keep their minds engaged.
  • Engaging in canine sports, such as agility or obedience training, can be a great way to challenge and stimulate the Chinese Crested both mentally and physically.

Adjusting Exercise to their Needs:

  • It’s important to consider the individual needs of the Chinese Crested when it comes to exercise. While they have energy to burn, they can be prone to overheating or sunburn due to their lack of hair or limited coat. Exercise during cooler parts of the day or provide appropriate protective clothing or sunscreen when necessary.
  • Keep in mind that Chinese Cresteds can be sensitive to extreme weather conditions, so be mindful of their comfort and safety during hot or cold weather.

By providing regular exercise and mental stimulation, owners can help satisfy the Chinese Crested’s energy needs and prevent behavioral issues that may arise due to boredom or pent-up energy. Remember to tailor their exercise routine to their age, health, and energy levels, ensuring a balance between physical activity and relaxation.


Chinese Crested Image courtesy of Distelfink


Grooming Requirements

The grooming requirements of the Chinese Crested can vary depending on whether they are of the Hairless or Powderpuff variety. Let’s explore the grooming needs of both varieties in more detail:

Hairless Variety:

  • The Hairless Chinese Crested has smooth, soft skin with hair only on certain parts of their body, such as the head (crest), feet (socks), and tail (plume). The rest of their body is hairless.
  • Regular bathing is essential for the Hairless variety to keep their skin clean and healthy. Use a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo that is suitable for their sensitive skin. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo.
  • Due to their lack of fur, the Hairless Chinese Crested is prone to dry skin, sunburn, and skin irritations. It’s important to moisturize their skin with a non-greasy, pet-safe moisturizer to keep it hydrated.
  • Protecting their skin from the sun is crucial. Apply pet-safe sunscreen or dress them in protective clothing when they are exposed to direct sunlight to prevent sunburn and potential skin damage.
  • Regularly inspect their skin for any signs of rashes, irritations, or infections. Pay extra attention to areas with hair, as they may be prone to matting or tangling.

Powderpuff Variety:

  • The Powderpuff Chinese Crested has a full double coat of long, silky hair from head to toe. Their coat requires more extensive grooming compared to the Hairless variety.
  • Brushing their coat at least a few times a week is necessary to prevent matting and tangling. Use a slicker brush or a comb suitable for their coat type.
  • Regular bathing is still important for the Powderpuff variety, using a mild shampoo and conditioner suitable for their coat. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all residue.
  • Trimming the hair around their eyes, ears, and paws is necessary to maintain cleanliness and prevent irritation. Some owners opt for professional grooming to keep their Powderpuff’s coat in good condition.
  • Regularly inspect their skin for any signs of rashes, irritations, or infections. Pay attention to areas where moisture may get trapped, such as under the armpits or between the toes.

Regardless of the variety, dental hygiene is crucial for the Chinese Crested. Regularly brush their teeth and provide dental treats or toys to maintain their oral health.

Overall, the Chinese Crested’s grooming needs require attention and care. By establishing a regular grooming routine and providing appropriate skin and coat care, owners can keep their Chinese Crested looking and feeling their best.

Health Issues

Like all dog breeds, the Chinese Crested is prone to certain health issues. While not all individuals will experience these conditions, it’s important for potential owners to be aware of the potential health concerns associated with the breed. Let’s explore some common health issues that can affect the Chinese Crested:

Dental Problems:

  • Chinese Cresteds are prone to dental issues, including tooth decay, gum disease, and early tooth loss. Regular dental care, including brushing their teeth and providing appropriate chew toys, can help maintain their oral health.

Skin Sensitivities:

  • Due to their hairless or limited coat, Chinese Cresteds may have sensitive skin that is prone to dryness, irritations, and allergies. Regular moisturizing and protection from the sun are important to keep their skin healthy.

Eye Conditions:

  • Chinese Cresteds can be prone to various eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), primary lens luxation (PLL), and glaucoma. Regular eye examinations by a veterinarian can help detect and manage these conditions early on.

Luxating Patella:

  • Luxating patella, or dislocation of the kneecap, can occur in Chinese Cresteds. This condition may cause lameness or difficulty in movement. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary.

Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease:

  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease is a condition where the head of the femur bone degenerates, leading to hip joint issues. This condition can cause pain and lameness and may require surgical treatment.

Heart Conditions:

  • Chinese Cresteds can be prone to heart conditions, such as mitral valve disease and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Regular veterinary check-ups and screenings can help monitor their heart health.


  • Chinese Cresteds may be prone to various allergies, including food allergies and environmental allergies. Identifying and avoiding allergens, along with proper veterinary care, can help manage allergy symptoms.

It’s important to note that not all Chinese Cresteds will develop these health issues, and responsible breeders work to minimize the occurrence of genetic conditions through health testing and selective breeding.

If you are considering getting a Chinese Crested, it’s crucial to work with a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs. Regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper grooming can all contribute to maintaining the overall health of your Chinese Crested.

Comparable Breeds

While the Chinese Crested is a unique and distinctive breed, there are several other dog breeds that share some similarities in terms of size, appearance, or temperament. Let’s explore some comparable breeds to the Chinese Crested:

Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless):

  • Like the Chinese Crested, the Xoloitzcuintli, or Mexican Hairless, is a breed known for its hairless variety. They share a similar appearance and often have a similar temperament. Both breeds require special care for their skin and are prone to sunburn.

Peruvian Inca Orchid:

  • The Peruvian Inca Orchid is another hairless breed that shares some physical characteristics with the Chinese Crested. They are both elegant and graceful in their appearance. However, the Peruvian Inca Orchid tends to have a more reserved and independent temperament.


  • The Basenji is a small to medium-sized breed that shares some physical features with the Chinese Crested, such as their erect ears and refined build. Both breeds are known for their intelligence and independence. However, the Basenji has a short coat and does not have the hairless variety.

Italian Greyhound:

  • The Italian Greyhound is a sighthound breed that shares a similar size and elegant build with the Chinese Crested. Both breeds are known for their affectionate and gentle nature. However, the Italian Greyhound has a short coat and does not have the hairless variety.

Bichon Frise:

  • While the Bichon Frise differs in appearance from the Chinese Crested, they share a similar size and temperament. Both breeds are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. The Bichon Frise has a fluffy, hypoallergenic coat, unlike the Chinese Crested.

These are just a few examples of comparable breeds to the Chinese Crested. Each breed has its own unique characteristics and traits, so it’s important to research and consider which breed best suits your lifestyle and preferences. Keep in mind that every dog is an individual, and even within a breed, there can be variations in temperament and behavior.

Notable Dogs from This Breed

The Chinese Crested breed has produced several notable dogs that have made their mark in various fields. Let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy Chinese Cresteds:


  • Sam, also known as “GCH CH Gingery’s Sweet Tea,” is a Chinese Crested who gained fame in the show ring. He achieved the title of Grand Champion and has won numerous awards and accolades for his exceptional conformation and performance in dog shows.


  • Mugly, an English Chinese Crested, gained international recognition when he won the title of World’s Ugliest Dog in 2012. Despite his unique appearance, Mugly captured hearts with his charming personality and became a beloved ambassador for the breed.


  • Vanya, a therapy dog, made headlines as she comforted survivors and first responders in the aftermath of the tragic 9/11 attacks in New York City. She provided emotional support and helped ease the pain and trauma experienced by many during that difficult time.


  • Tinkerbelle is a Chinese Crested who became an internet sensation through her social media presence. With her fashionable outfits and charismatic personality, she has amassed a large following on platforms like Instagram, inspiring people with her unique style and charm.

These notable Chinese Cresteds have showcased the versatility and charm of the breed. Whether excelling in the show ring, providing therapy and support, or capturing hearts through social media, they have left a lasting impact and brought attention to the wonderful qualities of the Chinese Crested.

You May Also Like

Related Articles

You May Also Like