Chinese Crested Dog Breed: History, Temperament, Care, Training & more

Chinese Crested Dog Breed Information

Chinese Crested
Level of Energy    
Exercise Needs      
Level of Affection   
Climate Tolerance      
Good With Children    
Tolerance of Animals    
Suitable as Watch Dog    

Chinese Crested – Just The Facts

  • AKC Popularity:  68
  • AKC Breed Group: Toy
  • Size of Male:  5-12 lbs., 11-13 in.
  • Size of Female:  5-12 lbs., 11-13 in.
  • Color:  Any color or color combination
  • Average Lifespan:  13-15 years
  • Breed Origin:  China
  • Purpose:  Companion, Vermin Hunting Dog

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General Description

The Chinese Crested will not disappoint pet owners in search of a dog that thrives on human attention and returns it freely. This “smiling” breed has a sunny disposition and a standout look that you just can’t miss. One is hairless, the other a powderpuff. Both varieties are good dogs for people with allergies or for those who don’t want to use the vacuum cleaner.

Origin and History

Records are divided about the predecessors of this dog breed. Some say they descended from Central America, while others point to the direction of Africa.

What is certain, however, is that Chinese traders were able to develop the dogs while sailing the seas. As such, China is the recognized birthplace of the Chinese Crested.

These dogs made themselves useful by hunting vermin, but they were also used by the traders as bargaining chips. Eventually, they reached Egypt, Turkey and South Africa.

They captivated Europe’s art community in the mid-19th century and America’s show rings by the late 19th century. Today, the dogs also function as pets, and their vermin-hunting prowess is a bonus.

Chinese Crested Temperament

Chinese Cresteds are delightful companions whose mere presence can brighten your home.
Apart from their cheerful nature and playful gait, the dogs are aptly known for their velcro-type emotional clinginess. You must be prepared to spend plenty-if not all-of your time with this dog breed.

Without huge doses of stroking and petting, the pooch may become either very cowardly or overly suspicious. It’s not an aggressive breed, but it sure can bark like a handy alarm system!

Care, Grooming, Diet & Exercise

Living Environment – Indoor living is for this breed. However, safety and security are essential in the Chinese Crested’s outdoor environs as well. The dogs need protecting from themselves and from potential harm. See to it that your fence is high and deeply grounded.

The pooch is notorious for scaling fences and digging its way to freedom. In addition, the breed’s survival rests largely on the right temperature. Cold weather can be fatal to the dogs, while hot weather can scorch their delicate skin.

Grooming – Although this dog breed is available with or without hair, this doesn’t necessarily translate to minimal grooming needs. The hairless variety has very delicate skin, so you need to apply moisturizers and sunscreen. Regular showers are suggested to prevent acne and blackheads. The powderpuff variety sports a full coat which you should brush daily or once every 2 days. The pooch’s muzzle could also use a shave every 2 weeks or so.

Diet & Exercise – The breed’s sensitive kidneys and digestive system call for homemade dog food that are low in carbohydrates and fiber. Fish and rice (white) appear to be staples. Avoid vitamin supplements, but if you feel that your pet needs them, ask the vet for professional advice.

Playful as they are, these dogs have exercise needs that are easily met indoors. Supervised and scheduled games are common. Basically, your pet will love doing things with you and not in your absence.

Health – This fragile small dog breed is a healthy catch but requires your utmost care and constant monitoring. They are sensitive to temperature changes and chemicals. Interbreeding two hairless varieties may prove lethal for the offspring. Regular dental checkups and vet visits would be good for the breed and for your peace of mind.

Chinese Crested Trainability

Housebreaking the Chinese Crested is extremely difficult. The case is worse for the male, un-neutered dog that will dribble urine to mark his territory. Experts will tell you that a doggy door may be needed and that crate training is a must to succeed where many have failed.

With the right training approach, consistent yet gentle, and ample rewards, there’s really so much that this highly intelligent breed can do. The pooches are particularly talented in the field of obedience sports and dog tricks.