Are you looking to turn heads with your furry (or maybe not so furry) companion? Why not consider getting your hands on a Chinese Crested Dog? These tiny toy breeds are as delightful to look at as they are to own, with adoring personalities, a flair for adventure, and a knack for comedic timing.
Of course, just because a dog looks pretty incredible doesn’t mean it’s the best dog for you. Join us today as we learn more about the Chinese Crested dog and discover if this unique and ancient dog breed would be the right addition to your family.
Let’s get started.
What Is A Chinese Crested Dog?
The Chinese Crested dog is a purebred toy dog
Small, agile, and refined to a T, the Chinese Crested dog, sometimes referred to as the Dr. Suess Dog, is a breed of toy dog popular for his sweet temperament and trainability. He is also famous for his incredible look.
This is a breed who comes in two coat types, including the Hairless Chinese Crested Dog and the Powderpuff Chinese Crested Dog, (but we will talk more about these two varieties further down).
Bred initially for ratting, the Chinese Crested dog has quickly been climbing the ranks of popular family dogs in the United States and across the world. He excels in show, gets on well with other pets, and becomes very bonded with his human family.
But where did this strange looking dog come from? Keep reading to find out.
Where Does The Chinese Crested Dog Come From?
The Chinese Crested Dog is an ancient breed who likely originated from hairless dogs in Africa and was perfected in China.
The Chinese Crested is a breed of ancient origin who goes so far back, historians can only guess as to how he truly came to be. It is theorized that this bizarre breed originated in Africa, where hairless dog breeds were brought over to China and traded.
From there, the Chinese likely bred these dogs with some of their own, perfecting and miniaturizing them until they were to their liking. As the Chinese Crested Dog became refined, he found himself working as a ratter on ships.
Through his employment, the Chinese Crested became a world traveler, exploring regions far and wide and building a reputation for himself across the globe.
Along with being a talented rodent exterminator, the Chinese Crested was also beloved for his unique look. Many enthusiasts were keen on trading and breeding the dog, though it wasn’t until the 1880’s when the Chinese Crested was finally introduced to America. Most historians credit two persistent women for helping the Chinese Crested Dog build his name here, and these women were Ida Garret and Debra Woods.
Ida Garrett, a journalist, and Debra Woods, a breeder, banded together and helped create a strong following and fanbase for this unique little dog. Though it took over a century, their efforts paid off and the Chinese Crested Dog was finally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1991.
Today, he ranks at number 79 out of 196 on the American Kennel Club’s list of America’s most popular dog breeds.
What Are The Chinese Crested Dog Temperament And Personality Traits Like?
These are sweet tempered and loving dogs who become very bonded with their people.
Beauty is not skin deep when it comes to the Chinese Crested dog. In fact, while his stunning looks may be the first thing to grab your attention, it’s his winning personality that really holds it. This is a dog who makes a wonderful companion and is devoted, loyal, and highly affectionate.
He gets along well with most everyone and enjoys cuddling and playing. Alert, intelligent, and trainable, the sensitive and eager to please Chinese Crested is best suited for homes with older, more respectful children, singles, and seniors.
While the Chinese Crested temperamentally can do well with kids, most experts agree that this is not a breed who is best suited for home with young children or larger, more rambunctious dogs. The Chinese Crested dog is sweet and friendly, but is also small and fragile.
He could be easily injured if handled too roughly and will need to be carefully supervised around kids and other pets.
Otherwise, the Chinese Crested dog is an easy going companion who makes for a wonderful apartment dog. He is compact, simple to travel with, and enjoys doing most anything his favorite people are doing.
That said, the Chinese Crested dog becomes very bonded to his people and could be prone to suffering from separation anxiety, This could lead to problematic behaviors including chewing, potty accidents and barking.
For this reason, the Crested dog does best in homes with owners who are around often and who are willing and able to devote plenty of time to this unique and loving breed.
What Are The Exercise and Training Requirements For A Chinese Crested Dog?
Like all dogs, the Chinese Crested dog needs routine playtime and exercise.
Like many toy breeds, house training can be difficult with the Chinese Crested dog. These small dogs cannot hold their bladders for as long as larger dog breeds. They are also more likely to have tiny potties in the house that go unnoticed by owners.
For this reason, it’s important to watch your Chinese Crested very closely early on and help him learn where his potty spots are. To help avoid accidents in the house, you can always invest in potty pads or litter boxes and train your Chinese Crested to go in these designated spots at his leisure.
Though potty training your Chinese Crested dog could be somewhat of a challenge, teaching other tricks and cues should be a breeze. This is an intelligent and adoring dog who wants nothing more than to please you. For this reason, he responds best to positive reinforcement training and a gentle and loving hand.
Use treats and praise during training as opposed to punishment, as scolding can cause your Chinese Crested dog to shut down.
Like all dogs, the Chinese Crested dog should also be socialized at an early age. Socializing your dog properly includes introducing him to as many new sights, sounds and experiences as possible and ensuring these first impressions are positive for him.
Properly socializing your Chinese Crested dog can help reduce a number of behavioral problems including fear, anxiety, and fear-based aggression.
Along with training and socializing your pooch, it’s also important to properly exercise your Chinese Crested dog. While these dogs are small, they still require an adequate amount of exercise each day to ensure they are happy and healthy.
Luckily, they can have most of their exercise needs met with simple games of fetch inside or outside of the house, or short, brisk walks through the neighborhood. Just make sure you protect that bald skin of theirs!
And speaking of bald skin, let’s take a closer look at the Chinese Crested dog’s appearance.
What Does A Chinese Crested Dog Look Like?
The Chinese Crested comes in hairless and hair varieties.
There is no mistaking a Chinese Crested Dog for any other breed. This dog is small but his appearance certainly stands out, with his long tufts of rockstar hair, his spotted skin, and pointed face.
Chinese Crested Dog Height: 11 to 13 Inches
Chinese Crested Dog Weight: 8 to 12 Lbs
Chinese Crested Dog Coat Color: Black, cream, apricot, brown, blue, and tri-color
Coat Types: Two types including hairless and Powder Puff. The Powderfull has a long, silky coat while the hairless Chinese Crested only has hair on his paws, tail and head.
Hypoallergenic Coat: Yes
Overview of the Chinese Crested Dog:
The Chinese Crested Dog, regardless of if he is hairless or not, is considered hypoallergenic, and both the hairless and the powderpuff Chinese Crested dogs are born in the same litter.
The Hairless Chinese Crested is what he sounds like – a dog who is hairless save for tufts of hair on his head, paws and tail, while the Powderpuff Chinese Crested has a long, silky coat similar to that of a Yorkshire Terrier.
While the two dogs may look markedly different, underneath all that hair (or lack thereof) is a thin-boned body, pointed muzzle, and erect ears. The Chinese Crested dog also has round, alert eyes, a long tail and spotted skin.
How Do You Groom A Chinese Crested Dog?
Grooming and skin care should be taken seriously with this breed as they can be prone to sunburn.
Just because you may have a hairless dog does not mean you can forgo grooming. The hairless Chinese Crested Dog still requires a certain amount of care and upkeep, especially considering his exposed skin is more susceptible to sunburn, skin irritation, dry skin, and infections.
Acne medications formulated for dogs will need to be used and special lotions and dog-safe sunscreens should be applied to your hairless Chinese Crested dog when going outdoors. You might also want to invest in a few doggy shirts or protective coverings to keep his skin healthy and safe.
For the Powderpuff Chinese Crested, brushing should be done at least once a day, especially if his coat is allowed to grow out long.
The Chinese Crested Dog will need bathing once every two weeks using a quality dog shampoo and conditioner. For the hairless Chinese Crested, special lotions may be used to ensure skin is moisturized and healthy.
Along with proper skin and coat health, the Chinese Crested dog will also need his ears cleaned and checked regularly to ensure they are free of moisture buildup and debris, which can lead to ear infections. His teeth should be brushed daily with a dog safe toothbrush and toothpaste and his nails should be trimmed or ground down often to keep them from cracking and splitting.
What Is the Average Lifespan Of A Chinese Crested Dog And Do They Have Any Serious Health Issues?
Chinese Crested dogs can live up to 18 years.
Like all dogs, the Chinese Crested can be prone to certain genetic health issues. Luckily, thanks to careful breeding practices, this is a breed that is relatively healthy, with a lifespan of 13 to 18 years on average.
That said, he can be susceptible to a few major health concerns potential owners should be aware of, including:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Primary lens Luxation
- Patellar Luxation
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
- And Skin Issues (Including Acne, Dry Skin, and Sunburn)
According to the National Breed Club, the Chinese Crested Dog Should undergo the following recommended health screenings:
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Cardiac Exam
- Patella Evaluation
- PLL DNA Test
- PRA_RCD3 DNA Test
Along with making sure your Chinese Crested dog is health screened early on for any potential health issues, you can also reduce your chances of winding up with a sick dog by ensuring you get him from a reputable source.
Maintaining a proper diet, grooming and exercise routine, as well as keeping up with routine veterinary visits will further assist in helping you keep on top of your Chinese Crested dog’s overall health.
The Chinese Crested dog in particular should maintain a well-balanced diet and high quality dog food specified for his age, weight and activity level. Smaller dogs with higher metabolisms like the Chinese Crested dog need food formulated for toy breeds that are rich in protein and carbs to help match their energy levels.
We also suggest getting dog food for your Chinese Crested dog that is rich in DHA and other fatty acids to assist in overall skin and coat health.
What Are Some Pros And Cons Of Owning A Chinese Crested Dog?
Though the Chinese Crested is social, he can be prone to accidental injury.
As much as you may want a Chinese Crested dog, it’s important not to jump the gun before making sure this breed would be the right fit for your lifestyle.
Understanding the Chinese Crested dog’s unique list of pros and cons can help ensure you and your pup maintain a long-lasting, healthy and loving relationship for years to come. Take a look.
Pros To Owning A Chinese Crested Dog :
- Chinese Crested Dogs have very little doggy odor
- They are hypoallergenic and great for allergy sufferers
- These dogs get along wonderfully with people
- They become very attached and bonded to their families
- Chinese Crested Dogs are generally healthy and long-lived
- They are inexpensive to feed due to their small size
- They make wonderful traveling companions and apartment dogs
Cons To Owning A Chinese Crested Dog :
- Chinese Crested Dogs can be prone to sunburn and will need consistent protection from the elements
- They can be difficult to house train
- Chinese Crested dogs can be prone to suffering from separation anxiety
- They are not the best dog for homes with children dn larger pets due to their fragile build
- Despite not having hair (when dealing with a Hairless Chinese Crested Dog) they still require plenty of grooming and upkeep
- Chinese Crested dogs can be prone to digging and climbing and will need to be monitored to ensure they don’t get into trouble
What Is The Ideal Home Type For A Chinese Crested Dog?
This is a breed who will thrive with owners who can accommodate his unique needs.
Although the Chinese Crested dog is a friendly and sweet natured pup, he is not suited to live in homes with small children. Because of his fragile frame, the Crested is prone to accidental injury if he is handled too roughly or dropped by accident. That said, the ideal home for a Chinese Crested dog would be a home with older, more respectful children, singles, seniors, and adults who work from home or have flexible schedules.
Remember, this is a sensitive little dog who becomes very bonded with his family and can be prone to suffering from separation anxiety if left alone too often.
Luckily, the Chinese Crested dog is a go-with-the-flow little fellow who is small, compact, and totally travel friendly. He will do well in small apartments and with owners looking for a travel companion or quiet and loving lap dog.
Choosing A Chinese Crested Dog Puppy Or Rescue – Tips On Finding The Healthiest Chinese Crested Dog Possible
If you are looking for a Crested puppy, it’s best to go through a reputable breeder.
Getting your Chinese Crested dog from a reputable source is the best way to ensure you end up with a healthy dog in the long run. If you are looking to get your hands on a Chinese Crested puppy, we suggest going through a reputable breeder you trust.
On average, responsible breeders charge around $1,000 to $4,000, but this price can vary depending on the breeder and the quality of the Chinese Crested dog’s parent breeds. Keep in mind that show quality Chinese Crested puppies will typically cost more than dogs who are bred as companions.
Reputable breeders will also be able to provide you with certificates proving their Chinese Crested puppies have been health screened and cleared of any genetic health issue they may be predisposed to. Experienced breeders should also be able to answer most questions you have regarding training, health, and puppy care.
Unfortunately, Chinese Crested puppies are some of the more expensive purebred dogs one can buy, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to go through less reputable sources in an effort to cut costs. Avoid turning to backyard breeders or uncertified online sellers promising discounted Chinese Crested puppies.
You may accidentally be contributing to a puppy mill and could even end up with a very sick puppy on your hands, which can cost you more in the long run both financially and emotionally.
Instead, if you wish to find a Chinese Crested dog at a more affordable price, we suggest considering a rescue. Adopting a dog has plenty of benefits, with one of them being affordability. Adopting a dog is typically a fraction of the cost of going through a breeder, and many shelters will even be able to provide you with a free initial vet exam before you take your dog home.
While finding the Chinese Crested dog of your dreams through a shelter or rescue could take a bit more time and patience on your part, the good news is that there are plenty of breed specific rescues throughout the United States.
The Top 5 Products Every Chinese Crested Dog Owner Needs
Your Chinese Crested dog will need special gear like warm coats and dog safe sunscreen.
Have you decided that the Chinese Crested dog is the perfect dog for you? We don’t blame you. These unique cuties have totally stolen our hearts as well, and we want to help ensure you and your fur(less) new friend get off to a good start.
Take a look below at five of our favorite products every Chinese Crested dog and owner needs to thrive.
Emmy’s Best Dog Sun Skin Protector
Lots of dogs can benefit from using a quality dog sunscreen, but the hairless Chinese Crested dog is especially prone to sunburn and skin issues resulting from too much sun exposure. For this reason, it’s very important to invest in a sun skin protector for your Chinese Crested dog.
One of our favorite brands is Emmy’s Best, which provides a dog safe sunscreen spray that is zinc oxide free and gentle on sensitive skin. It is chemical free and can even be sprayed on the Powderpuff Crested dog, as the ingredients are designed to nourish the coat using coconut oil and shea butter.
ResQ Organics Pet Skin Treatment
This is another product that is ideal for the Hairless Chinese Crested dog but can be used on the Powderpuff Crested as well. This ointment is designed to heal and nourish skin, cracked paws, dry noses, and even damaged hair.
It helps alleviate skin allergies and can also help heal mange and hot spots. It is made with all natural ingredients and is free of chemicals, alcohols and steroids. Best of all, it helps heal sunburns on your dog and reduces doggy acne, which can be common in the Hairless Crested.
Dog Dematting and Grooming Comb
You will need a grooming comb like the one listed above regardless of if you have a Hairless or a Powderpuff Chinese Crested Dog. Remember, even the Hairless Crested has tufts of fur on his head, tail and legs.
The above comb is made of stainless steel and is specifically designed for dogs with longer, silkier hair to reduce matting and help keep the skin and coat healthy. The teeth also have rounded edges so they will not hurt your Chinese Crested during grooming sessions.
Canine Friendly UV Protective Dog Shirt
Because the Chinese Crested can be susceptible to sunburn, we recommend investing in a dog t shirt that is designed for UV protection. This will help reduce the amount of times you need to slather your pup with doggy sunscreen and can make going in and out easier and safer for your four legged friend.
The above doggy shirt is designed with your dog’s comfort in mind. It comes in pink and blue and can be ordered in a number of different sizes.
Oatmeal and Aloe Dog Shampoo
Last on our list of products for the Chinese Crested dog is this specialized hypoallergenic oatmeal and aloe dog shampoo by the Healthy Breeds Store. It is a gentle shampoo that is designed to help balance your Chinese Crested dog’s PH level while nurturing skin and coat health.
It is free of soaps that will harm your dog’s natural oils and is formulated with hypoallergenic ingredients to soothe sensitive skin. While this doggy shampoo is ideal for the Chinese Crested dog, it can also be used safely on hundreds of other dog breeds as well. This is excellent news if you live in a multi-dog household.
And that’s it!
So, what do you think about the amazing Chinese Crested dog? Would you go for a Hairless Chinese Crested dog or the Powderpuff Crested dog? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.