The “crest” in their name refers to the Chinese Crested Dog's head plume — the locks that make them resemble a 1984 hair metal frontman. Walking down the street with this unusual looking dog is sure to get you noticed! They're the champions of ugly dog competitions the world over, but fans cherish this lean, pocket-sized pooch.
It's not just their looks that make Chinese Crested Dogs unusual. Unlike most dogs who have to pant to cool off, Chinese Cresteds sweat to regulate their body temperature. Many also have wool allergies.
Originally believed to be from China, these dogs have a seafaring history, they often went out on ships during plague times to hunt rats. This small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 8-12 pounds and lives an average of 13-18 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Toy group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Companion
Breed Group: Toy
Average Lifespan: 13-18 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 21
FAMILY companion, Southern (hairless)
AREA OF ORIGIN China
DATE OF ORIGIN 1200s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION ratter, lapdog, curio
TODAY'S FUNCTION companion
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 11-13 Weight: 5-12
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 11-13 Weight: 5-12
OTHER NAME none
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Very friendly
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Low tolerance
Heat tolerance High tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A CHINESE CRESTED DOG'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
A Chinese Crested Dog craves your attention and companionship. These dogs are happy to be part of your family. They are playful and are best with supervised children and dogs. Chinese Cresteds usually like to meet strangers and often do well with other pets.
WHAT IS CHINESE CRESTED DOG BEHAVIOR LIKE?
These little guys don't need much exercise, which makes them great companions for older or mobility-challenged folks. They are gifted jumpers; some Chinese Crested Dogs also like to climb.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A CHINESE CRESTED DOG?
Chinese Crested Dogs respond well to training. Be sure to start socializing and training your Chinese Crested early.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO CHINESE CRESTED DOGS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Chinese Crested Dogs come in two varieties: hairless and powder puff. Hairless Chinese Cresteds have hair only on their heads, feet, and tails; the Powderpuff Chinese Crested is furry all over.
Hairless Chinese Cresteds have long, soft, and silky hair on their legs, heads, and tails. Powderpuffs have double coats: the outer coat is long and thin; the undercoat is short and silky.
Their hair doesn't need much grooming, but Hairless Chinese Crested Dogs' skin can need attention. Be sure to apply dog-safe sunscreen if your hairless friend is going to spend time outdoors. Bathe your Hairless Chinese Crested to prevent blackheads and be sure to moisturize!
For Powderpuffs, brush their hair at least every other day. Both varieties are infrequent shedders.
Scientifically speaking, there's no real chemical difference between hair and fur — they're both made of keratin (the same stuff your hair and fingernails are made of). If you're concerned about allergies, choose a breed that doesn't shed much and produces less dander.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO CHINESE CRESTED DOGS HAVE?
Chinese Crested Dogs may have skin problems. They're prone to skin allergies, rashes, and sunburn.
But on the upside, their hairless skin helps prevent flea infestations.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE CHINESE CRESTED DOGS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club lists Chinese Crested Dogs among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers. This breed sheds infrequently and predictably. They also produce less dander than most dogs.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Chinese Crested Dog! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A CHINESE CRESTED DOG'S BEST DAY?
With you, of course! Consider giving both of you a spa-day: start with a warm wash-down, moisturize that skin and massage, then wrap both of you up in fluffy, warm (non-wool) towels. Finish the day in warm matching sweaters and with lots of cuddles.
SHOULD I ADOPT A CHINESE CRESTED DOG?
Chinese Crested Dogs are fairly quiet, which makes them good candidates for apartment living. They also don't need much exercise; this means they might be good options for elderly or mobility challenged owners. These dogs are very cuddly and they fill well with many families. They don't need much grooming, but their exposed skin does require sunscreen and sweaters. They much prefer warm weather to cold temperatures. If you're looking for a laid-back, loving, and friendly little dog, the Chinese Crested Dog could be a great choice for you.
Have you decided that a Chinese Crested Dog is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.