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Chinese Crested

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With its unique appearance and fun-loving nature, the Chinese crested is a memorable pooch and fabulous companion. These little dogs can be hairless or double coated and are generally lively, loyal and characterful. They can live anywhere and are easy to train but need owners who can be with them all day as they suffer from separation anxiety and are easily bored.

Which breed group is the Chinese crested in?

Breed group: Toy

Chinese crested breed history

The origins of the Chinese crested are unknown but it is unlikely that these little dogs first evolved in China. They may be the descendants of African hairless terriers or the Mexican Xōlōitzcuintl. Chinese traders probably bought the dogs back from their travels and used them to control vermin on their ships. They were exhibited at an event in the UK in the 19th century but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the breed became established in the western world. Debora Wood created the Crest Haven kennel in America and began to purposefully breed and record the lineages of her Chinese crested dogs.

A breed club was established in America in 1979 and the Chinese crested was eventually recognised by the kennel Club and the American Kennel Club.

Chinese crested breed characteristics

The Chinese crested is a unique dog boasting an extraordinary appearance. There are actually two types of Chinese crested, the hairless and the powder puff. The hairless Chinese crested does have hair on its lower legs, heads and tails.

These dogs have slim muzzles and almond shaped eyes which are set wide apart. They possess large ears which are set low and which may be fringed. They have lean, long necks that slope nicely into their shoulders and they boast slender legs with neat little feet. Tails are carried straight but when the dogs are at rest, their tails fall downwards. Their skin is smooth and silky to the touch. The Chinese crested can be a wide variety of colours including black, blue, brown, cream and fawn. Powder puffs have a double coat which can also be a variety of colours.

It is interesting to note that Chinese crested litters may contain both hairless and powder puff puppies.

Chinese crested dogs are generally happy characters which are rarely aggressive. They can be dominant and wilful and are surprisingly tough. These dogs excel at agility tests and are incredibly playful. But they can be snappy with kids and the hairless dogs need special care as they are vulnerable to the elements. Some dogs may be wary of strangers and the Chinese crested is easily bored.

  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Height: up to 33cm
  • Weight: up to 5.4kg
  • May be hairless or boast a double coat
  • Variety of colours
  • Slim muzzles
  • Almond shaped eyes
  • Large ears
  • Slender legs
  • Small feet
  • Tails carried straight
  • Happy
  • Playful
  • Can be snappy with children
  • Vulnerable in cold weather

Health issues with the Chinese crested

These diminutive dogs are surprisingly tough but are prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions as follows:

  • Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd-PRA)
  • Dry Eye or KCS
  • Patellar luxation
  • Legge-Calves-Perthes (LCP)
  • Closed ear Canal
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart Problems
  • Auto Immune Diseases
  • Von Willebrand disease type II (VWDII)
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Canine multiple system degeneration

What is the Chinese crested bred for?

The precise history of this breed is unknown, but it is likely that these dogs were originally used for vermin control. They are now bred as pets, show dogs and agility dogs.

What sort of owners does the Chinese crested suit?

Playful and definitely a people lover, the Chinese crested is a fabulous companion and loyal pet which can live anywhere. These dogs are low maintenance, don’t tend to bark and are easy to train. They are good choices for first time owners and they will live happily in the countryside, the city and anywhere in between. However, they suffer from separation anxiety and so are suited to owners who are at home all day. Owners don’t need to be particularly active but must have time to devote to entertaining their Chinese crested.


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