The Chinese Crested is a quirky-looking, exotic small dog who does not actually hail from China at all! Some theories have it that they originated from hairless dogs in Mexico, others that it was hairless dogs in Africa, but their exact origins haven’t been proven although there is evidence that early Chinese Crested dogs were used on ships to kill rats.
The Chinese Crested has two variants: the (almost) Hairless, with silky hair on the head (the crest), tail (plume), and feet (socks); and the genetically recessive Powderpuff, who has a full coat. Interestingly, both variants can be found in a single litter. Your Powderpuff will require frequent brushing to keep his coat from tangling. Both Hairless and Powderpuff varieties need a bath every week or two, but the Chinese Crested is generally a clean, odour-free dog and the fur they do have is hypo-allergenic which is great news for allergy-sufferers! Although the Powderpuff has a full coat of fur, they are a relatively low-shedding dog and can be tolerated by people with mild allergies.
Cresteds are family companion dogs. They love nothing more than being with you and getting lots of love and attention and need to live indoors as a member of the family. Because they’re so social and can tend towards needy, Cresteds can suffer from separation anxiety, which can lead to barking and destructive habits. If left alone for too long, they have been known to climb and dig to escape confinement, but when around their families, they’re relatively docile dogs., They will alarm bark if there is something worth barking at and while not as yappy as some toy dog breeds, the Chinese Crested can still make a noise. He needs gentle and consistent training from puppyhood to prevent bad habits from taking hold.
A well-bred, well-socialised Chinese Crested is an intelligent dog with a happy and somewhat clownish nature. With its graceful, fairy tale look, a hairless Chinese Crested can’t be mistaken for any other breed – except possibly a pony with those furred feet, head and tail!! Similar to many toy breeds, the Crested is lively, charming, and portable and an entertaining and loving companion for gentle households.
A hairless Chinese Crested will feel the cold, but he doesn’t often have to suffer it! He’s the quintessential lap dog – happiest when curled up with his family, preferably on a lap! As for warmth, he seems to give as much as he gets, radiating heat from his exposed skin. When he does go out, his bare skin will need protection from the sun, which means doggy clothes and human sun block. When the days get colder, you’ll need to switch to a winter wardrobe: for this breed, cute sweaters are a necessity, not just a fashion accessory!
While it’s easy and tempting to spoil and over-protect a small dog, try not to with your Chinese Crested! Too much getting his own way, and he’ll become a tyrant; too much ‘helicopter parenting” and his slight tendency toward shyness can become a real problem.
Cresteds tend to like children, but they’re far too small for kind of rough play. They are not the best choice for families with toddlers, unless you are able to provide plenty of supervision. And unfortunately, this is among the most difficult of all breeds to successfully housetrain, so take that into consideration when deciding if this is the breed for you.