General Appearance:

A toy dog, fine-boned, elegant and graceful. The distinct varieties are born in the same litter. The Hairless with hair only on the head, tail and feet and the Powderpuff, completely covered with hair. The breed serves as a loving companion, playful and entertaining.


Chinese Cresteds have a distinctive extroverted personality. They are playful, sensitive, and high-spirited, but can be futious of people they do not know. A few Chinese Cresteds are ‘one person’ dogs which grow particularly attached to one person, but most will grow attached to the whole family. Chinese Cresteds are highly entertaining and cuddly. The Chinese Crested gets along well with children (provided they respect its personal space), other dogs, and any household pets. Young children should be watched around the Hairless Chinese Crested as it does not have the coat most breeds have to protect it from rough play.


The Hairless Chinese Crested’s skin should be cared for with lotion and exfoliating creams. It should be kept out of the sun or protected by sunscreen. Chinese Cresteds are not suited to outdoor life or cold climates; the Hairless Chinese Crested should be given a sweater for walks in cold weather. Hairless Chinese Cresteds may not have a full set of teeth, but this is not considered a health risk or a fault for show dogs. Most need to be shaved, but carefully so as to avoid irritating the skin. Avoid overfeeding as it may result in obesity.


The Chinese Crested’s intelligence makes it easy to train, but it is sensitive and requires a gentle approach. The Chinese Crested can learn a wide variety of tricks.


The exercise needs of the Chinese Crested are uncomplicated. It prefers a daily walk, but can usually have its needs met by indoor play. The Chinese Crested is well suited to apartment life.


The Hairless allele (the wild type) is a dominant (and homozygous prenatal lethal) trait, while the Powderpuff allele acts as a simple recessive trait in its presence. Zygotes that receive two copies of the Hairless allele will never develop into puppies. Thus all Chinese cresteds carry at least one copy of the Powderpuff allele.


A Chinese crested participating in an agility competition The crested is not affected by many of the congenital diseases found in toy breeds. They are, however, prone to some of the conditions below. Cresteds have what is called a “primitive mouth”. This means that most of their teeth are pointy like their canines. Hairless varieties of the Cresteds can be prone to poor dentition. Poor dentition may include missing or crowded teeth and teeth prone to decay when not properly cared for. Most dogs of the Puff variety have few, if any, dental defects. Eyes are a concern within the breed, having at least two forms of progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which can eventually lead to blindness. For one of these forms of PRA, there exists a genetic test, prcd-PRA. Since this test can only reveal the existence of affected or carrier status of this one form of PRA, breeders and owners of the breed should still have regular eye exams
by veterinary ophthalmologists. The breed also suffers from another eye disease called Keratoconjunctivitis sicca or dry eye syndrome (DES).

Along with Kerry Blue Terriers, Cresteds can develop canine multiple system degeneration (CMSD) also called progressive neuronal abiotrophy (PNA) in Kerry Blue Terriers. This is a progressive movement disorder that begins with cerebellar ataxia between 10 and 14 weeks of age. After 6 months of age, affected dogs develop difficulty initiating movements and fall frequently. The gene responsible has been mapped to canine chromosome 1.

As with all other toy breeds, the Cresteds can be prone to patellar luxation. This inheritable condition is caused by shallow knee joints (stifles) and results in kneecaps that pop out of place. Its onset is often at a young age, and can cause temporary to permanent lameness based on the severity. Breeders should have their stock certified free of patellar luxation. Many countries’ kennel clubs maintain a centralised registry for health results.

Allergy and autoimmune diseases have been observed in the breed. The severity of these ailments, which can lead to the premature death of the dog, means this is something breeders need to take seriously in order to avoid it becoming a problem for the breed.

The lifespan of a Chinese crested dog can be very long. Many Cresteds live 12 to 14 years or more[citatio



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Did you Know?

  • The Chinese Crested is AKC's 132nd breed.
  • The exact origin of the Chinese Crested is unknown, but it believed to have evolved from African hairless dogs which were reduced in size by the Chinese.
  • Earlier names of the Crested include: Chinese Hairless, the Chinese Edible Dog, the Chinese Ship Dog, and the Chinese Royal Hairless.
  • The Crested is believed to have accompanied Chinese sailors on the high seas, hunting vermin during and in between times of plague; today the breed can still be found in port cities worldwide.
  • By the mid-19th century, Cresteds began to appear in numerous European paintings and prints.
  • Entries of the Crested breed in American dog shows began in the late 1800's.
  • The Crested come in two varieties: Hairless and Powderpuff (Powderpuff is genetically recessive).