Chinese Crested Dog

"Pint-Sized Stallion"

Photo of Chinese Crested Dog


Hairless dogs have been found in Mexico, Africa, China and other areas. Their warm bodies were a comfort to their owners, supposedly helping stomach upsets – likely the cuddling was equally soothing. A fully coated variety was born in the litters as well, allegedly keeping the other pups warm. These affectionate little dogs accompanied their masters everywhere, even on ships, where they kept the rat population under control, and thus spread their genes around the world. Although they popped up now and again in American Kennel Club competitions in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it wasn't until 1991 they achieved full recognition for shows.


Lively and friendly, they keep faces washed with kissing. Like all Toy breeds, they were bred for loving companionship, and they carry out their job well. They're social with other dogs too.

Photo of Chinese Crested Dog


The Crested appears in two different varieties: the hairless, with tufts of hair on his head, feet and tail tip (pictured above); and the powderpuff, which has a full coat of any color (pictured left). The skin pattern of the hairless may be spotted or solid. The hairless may have sprigs of hair on other parts of his body, or a thin, single coat, which is often shaved. The hairless has erect ears. Weight of the hair can cause drop ears on the puffs. Some owners shave the muzzle of the powderpuff, while others leave the mustache and beard.


Bright and sprightly, they'll do almost anything asked of them. Care must be taken in sunlight, as the hairless variety's skin can burn as easily as their human partners'. The hairless Cresteds, not having the usual coat protection, are more comfortable when not exposed to extremes of weather.

Grooming & Care

Powderpuffs must be brushed. Although the hairless variety doesn't shed, the time usually spent brushing is spent on skin care. They must be protected from the sun with sunblock and from cold with coats or sweaters. Frequent bathing is necessary to eradicate pimples and blackheads. A wipe-down with a wet cloth, followed by lotion, helps keep the skin healthy. Both need the usual nail trim. Great care must be taken of the teeth, especially those of the hairless, as they are born missing teeth.

Health Concerns

Legg Perthes, retinal and lens problems, so OFA and CERF parents are desirable. Dry eyes and loss of remaining teeth can also be issues.

Famous Chinese Crested Dog

Peek in the film "Cats and Dogs;" Krull in "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days."

Ideal Owner
Activity Level Moderate
Schedule Full-time but comes home for lunch
Personal Style Inclusive, Playful,
Training Style Patient, Gentle, Creative and fun
Home Anything goes with enough exercise
Children Gentle and respectful kids
Experience Not necessary
Quick Facts
Size Toy
Grooming High-maintenance - needs daily grooming
Exercise Moderate - needs to walk or play every day
Training Eager to please, Fast learner
Temperment Friendly, Active, Intelligent
Challenges Independent; hard to housetrain
Height 11 to 13 inches
Weight 9 to 10 pounds
Life 15 to 16 years
Home Alone Not often or for long - wants to be where you are
With Kids Fine with older kids
With Strangers Indifferent
Availability Rare and may have a waiting list

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