Description: The Chinese Crested is a fine-boned, elegant and graceful dog who makes a loving companion, playful and entertaining. Chinese Cresteds adore food and will leap about in anticipation of a tiny bite. They are friendly, affable, and entertaining. They will be devoted to their owners, and largely enjoy the company of humans. There are two types, the Hairless with hair plumes only on the head, tail and feet, and the Powderpuff who is completely covered with hair. A friendly family dog, the Chinese Crested is not aggressive towards children or other animals. Chinese Cresteds are known for their ability to "hug", as they can cling with their toes toys, food, or even people. Often the breeding of only hairless dogs to hairless dogs create toenail and teeth abnormalities, and therefore are most likely more healthy if bred a hairless to a powderpuff. They do not make good kennel dogs, because they love the companionship of a home. They do best as a one dog family and sometimes do not like to be over-handled by strangers. Odorless and hairless, they are a very low maintenance breed.
Other Names: Chinese Hairless, Chinese Edible Dog, Chinese Ship Dog, Chinese Royal Hairless. In Egypt it was called the Pyramid or Giza Hairless, and in Africa it was called the South African Hairless, and in Turkey it was known was the Turkish Hairless.
Type: Companion Dog
Height: 9 - 13 inches.
Weight: 5 - 14 lbs., although 12 is max acceptable weight.
Colors: Chinese Cresteds can be any color or combination of colors. The hairless have skin that is often pink and dark grey with spots.
Coat: Hairless - tufts of long, soft hair only on head, feet and tail. Tail is plumed. Powderpuff - double, long, straight outer coat, soft, silky undercoat.
Temperament: Chinese Cresteds are affectionate, lively, intelligent, alert, inquisitive. They love to be around people and will beg endlessly for a small scrap of food. They are not aggressive, but some do not like to be handled excessively. They are known for their grasping paws, able to hold onto toys, good and even to hug a human. They are good with kids and other pets, but are not good for security due to their affectionate nature. They are devoted, playful and should be socialized. Chinese Cresteds outward appearance certainly deceives their inner heart.
With Children: Good, they are friendly towards people and love to be around them.
With Pets: Good, they are friendly to most pets, but should be socialized.
Special Skills: Companionship dog.
Watch-dog: Low. Chinese Cresteds are very friendly towards everyone.
Care and Training: Weekly grooming of the Powderpuff Chinese Cresteds. Hairless Chinese Cresteds needs only skin massaged regularly with cream. They may become sticky and dirty in hot weather as they perspire. Hairless Chinese Cresteds should also not be left in bright sunlight because their skin may burn. Both need minimal exercise. Hairless must be kept warm, especially during winter months.
Learning Rate: High intelligence. They have average trainability, as they can have a mind of their own. Training with food may be better, since Cresteds love to eat.
Activity: Moderate. Cresteds are toy dogs, often used as lap dogs. They will play and need a good romp or short walk every day, although they are not highly active.
Special Needs: Attention, protection from sunburn and from cold weather, skin care and socialization.
Living Environment: Apartment or home would be best, they are not an outdoor or kennel breed. The best owner for this breed would be an individual or family that lives in a city or suburban home. Chinese Cresteds do not do well in extreme hot or cold weather, and protection should be given on days of this kind. Their skin can get sunburned and their bodies may get too cold due to lack of fur.
Health Issues: Eye problems such as lens luxation, glaucoma and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), luxating patellas, Legg-Perthes disease and skin allergies. Often if two hairless dogs are bred together, some of the puppies are born with missing teeth and claws. Other health concerns include liver shunts and dental problems.
Life Span: 10 -14 years.
Litter Size: 2 - 4 years.
Country of Origin: China/Africa
History: The breed is actually thought to have originated in Africa, from the African hairless dogs that live there. They are thought to have been bred with these, as well as other hairless dogs to create the breed. From there, they were brought to China by traders, and kept on boats as ratters. Chinese Cresteds have been in China since the thirteenth century, often the hairless ones picked to board ships because they were thought to be without fleas. During the reign of the Han Dynasty, there were two distinct species of the breed. One was a "treasure house guardian", while the other was a heavier built hunter used for, well, hunting. When the hunters didn't bring home the food, they themselves became the main ingredient. Many of this breed have been used for food, which goes along with the Chinese communist creed, "Chinese Crested in every pot." From there they found their way into Europe and South America through the trade routes on Chinese sailing ships. Some sources state that the Chinese Crested resulted from the mating of the Mexican Hairless Dog with a Chihuahua, while other sources point to the exact opposite occurrence: Chihuahuas may have come from Chinese Cresteds. As one can see, the Crested's history is veiled with the word "probably", as much of their history is not concrete. Chinese Crested dogs were known to be used much like a hot water bottle, emanating heat from their hairless bodies provided warmth and comfort their owners preferred. Their registration in the UK was in 1981 but they did not make an appearance in the US until 1960. Legend says that until 1966 the only remaining Cresteds in the entire world were owned by an elderly woman in the United States. With committed breeders, the Chinese Crested was revived again, thanks largely in part to Gypsy Rose Lee. After a century of waiting, the breed was recognized by the AKC in 1991. The Chinese Crested has been voted the World's Ugliest Dog several times in California.
First Registered by the AKC: 1991
AKC Group: Toy
Registries: AKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (GB)