The Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested lure coursing

The origin of the Chinese Crested has many theories, myths or legends and is still obscure in pinpointing the breed’s exact origin. It is generally accepted that hairless dogs similar in stature and type are documented in Africa, South and Central America, as well as China dating to the early 12th and 13th centuries.

For many people, the first impression of a Chinese Crested is how much it looks like a little pony. A Toy dog with a mane (crest), tail (plume), and feathering on its feet (socks) describes the Hairless. Most people are surprised to learn there is a fully coated Chinese Crested variety called a Powderpuff. Both varieties are elegant and graceful, and structurally are the same dog except for the coat.

They are quite an active, athletic breed, and can entertain themselves playing with toys, but can also be “cat-like” and enjoy sitting in high places like the back of a couch or the arm of a chair. Cresteds are the ultimate comforter dog and many people with chronic pain conditions rely on Cresteds to improve daily life. A Crested wants nothing more than to be as close to its owner as possible—they love laps and sharing food, yet are easily trained to not be obnoxious about begging.

Chinese Crested

The activity level of a Crested is medium to high, but they do enjoy quiet times with their family and can be a great apartment dog. Naturally, a dog that bonds so closely with the person in their life can excel with the challenge of Obedience, Agility, Flyball, Lure Coursing, and other activities—a loving team working together is their idea of a great time. The breed is well-suited to being Therapy or Service Dogs and enjoy visiting with residents or patients in hospitals and nursing homes. Some Cresteds have a great sense of humor and enjoy playing whatever games you can create. Conformation shows can be a fun family activity (children can compete in Junior Showmanship), and the Canine Good Citizenship program can lead to a CGC title, as well as teaching your pet to be a good citizen.

The activity level of a Crested is medium to high, but they do enjoy quiet times with their family and can be a great apartment dog.

The Hairless should have a weekly bath and protection from extremes in weather conditions—sun and cold. Powderpuffs require more frequent brushing and care of their coat.

Chinese Crested

The American Chinese Crested Club participates in the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) program with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF). Currently, the recommendations for breeders to screen and test their breeding stock for disorders are noted on the OFA website. The Chinese Crested is a rather long-lived breed, living well into their teens is expected.

There are several options when choosing a Chinese Crested; they come in the two coat varieties and size can be variable. In the Hairless, varying degrees of body hair are evident, from little to no body hair to a fine covering of hair over most of the body. The hair on either variety is soft and silky in texture. The Breed Standard calls for any color or combination of colors, as well as ideal size from eleven to thirteen inches in height. You will find the Hairless skin will tan with exposure to sun and will fade in winter. The Powderpuff coats often change color throughout their lives.

Chinese Cresteds may not be the breed for everyone, but those who decide to share their home with a Crested will find a loving and loyal companion as their reward.