Dog Breeds

Chinese Crested Dog Breed

Elegant and showy, The Chinese Crested Dogs come in two varieties, without hair and powder puff, which usually appear in the same litter. Hairless dogs only have a silky fur crest on the head and a light mantle on the feet and tail end. Powder puffs, on the other hand, have hair all over their body, soft, long, and shiny.

Although the Chinese crested, in both varieties, requires special care to keep their skin and hair in perfect condition, it is a perfect breed of dog for beginners, since his intelligence and docile character make his training a simple task. However, to be able to adopt this dog breed, it is essential to have time because he cannot spend long hours alone.

Origin of The Chinese Crested Dog

As with other breeds of dogs, the history of Chinese cresting is little known and confused. It is known that these dogs existed in the thirteenth century in China and that, traditionally, they were used as buzz dogs on merchant ships. However, the mutation that produces hairless dogs is more common in Central and South America, although it is also thought to come from Africa. Either way, Chinese Crested Dogs were unknown outside their home country until the 19th century, when they entered Europe.

It was in the late nineteenth century that Ida Garrett, a breeder fond of hairless dogs, began to promote the breed in Europe. Today, the Chinese Crested Dog remains a great unknown, although increasingly he acquires a greater degree of popularity among adopters for his simple care and easy training.

Physical characteristics of the Chinese Crested Dog

The Chinese Crested Dog is a small and light breed, his body is slightly longer than tall and very flexible. The back is horizontal, but the rump is rounded. The chest is deep and the lower line retracts moderately at belly level. As for the hair that presents this can, there are two different varieties: the Chinese Crested Dog without hair and the powder puff. The first has a long crest, fur on the legs, and the tip of the tail, while the powder has a veil-shaped mantle all over his body.

The head of the Chinese crest is wedge-shaped and the roof of the skull is slightly rounded. In the hairless variety, as we mentioned, he has a silky fur crest, in the powder puff wears the normal coat of that type. The nose is prominent and can be of any color. The teeth, on the other hand, may appear misaligned and even lack some in the hairless variety, although this is not a feature present in all specimens. The eyes are medium and of the darkest color possible, the ears are erect and have low insertion, except in powder puffs, in which drooping ears are allowed.

The tail of the Chinese Crested Dog is long and high insertion. It is almost straight and does not bend over the back or curl. The dog carries it up straight or aside when active, while when the dog is at rest, the tail hangs naturally. In the powder puff, the tail is completely covered with hair. In the hairless variety, the tail has feather-like fur, but only in the two distal thirds. In both types, the tail thins gradually, being thicker at the base and thinner at the tip.

The powder puff hair is double mantle and covers the entire body with a characteristic veil-shaped coat. The variety of hairless dogs, however, only has a crest on the head, hair on the feet, and at the end of the tail. The skin is delicately grainy and soft. In both types of Chinese Crested Dogs, any color and color combination is accepted, so it is not surprising to see white Chinese crested, with black spots, salt, and pepper, or earth tones.

Chinese Crested Dog Characteristics
Wiki.awal, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

To finish with the physical characteristics of the Chinese Crested Dog, the International Cynological Federation (FCI) establishes that the breed standard must have a height to the cross ranging from 28 to 33 cm in males, and from 23 to 30 cm in females. In terms of weight, he is variable and there is no specific one, although it is not recommended to exceed five and a half kilos.

The character of the Chinese Crested Dog

The Chinese crested is characterized by being a nice breed of dog, sensitive, and very cheerful. He tends to be very loyal to his own and remains very attached to a particular person, whom he considers his owner and friend. Also, usually presents a shy and alert personality.

Well-socialized, the Chinese Crested Dog can get along very well with people, other dogs, and other pets. However, by his nature, he tends to be shy about new things and situations, so he can be very fearful when he has not been properly socialized correctly. It is therefore very important to socialize the dog from a puppy, to prevent behavioral problems during adulthood and thus get a sociable dog, not be easily frightened or take refuge in us every time he is faced with a new experience.

Education of The Chinese Crested Dog

Fortunately for Chinese crested owners, these dogs are smart and easy to train. Some trainers say that dog training is little more than a formality with these dogs since they learn very quickly. Despite this, the breed does not excel in dog sports, perhaps because he is not yet very popular with the general public. Either way, the best method to educate the Chinese crested is positive reinforcement, as provided through clicker training. If you do not know this technique yet, do not miss our article in which we tell you everything you should know about clickers for dogs.

When they receive sufficient exercise and companionship and are well-educated and socialized, Chinese Crested Dogs usually do not present behavioral problems. However, when those factors are insufficient, Chinese crested ones tend to develop separation anxiety, destructive habits, and digging in the garden.

These dogs are excellent companion animals for families with large children, couples, and single people. However, they are not good pets for families with young children because they often get hurt by the rough treatment of children. It is important to note that they are only good pets when they receive constant company, in addition to the normal care that any dog requires. Chinese crested animals are not good for people who spend all day away from home.

Care of the Chinese Crested Dog

The hair of the powder puff variety should be brushed and combed at least once a day, with a brush of natural bristles or metallic spikes. On the other hand, the little hair that presents the crested Chinese without hair only needs brushing two or three times a week. Since his coat is so fine, he usually tangles easily. When this happens, it is advisable to undo the knots with the help of our fingers, using special delicacy not to hurt the animal. Once untangled his mantle, we will proceed to comb him with the named brushes. We will bathe the powder puff when it is really dirty, using a natural shampoo with a neutral pH.

As for the hairless Chinese crest, without the protection of the mantle, his skin is more exposed to changes in temperature, sunlight, and other factors that can damage it. To keep him always soft, ready, and without imperfections, it will be essential to bathe it every 15 days with a neutral pH hydrant shampoo. Once a month, after the bath, we can exfoliate your skin and apply a hydrant product performing a massage throughout your body. For this, we can use baby body oil or vegetable oils, always natural. For the crest and other areas with hair, we will use a natural bristle brush, once or twice a week.

In both varieties of Chinese cresting, it is important to take good care of the teeth and wash them frequently, always using products for dogs and never products for humans.

The Chinese Crested Dog is an active animal that needs a good daily dose of exercise. Because of its small size, however, it can do much of the exercise indoors. Cashing games (bring the ball) can be useful to channel your energies, but you also need to take it out for walks twice a day. Pulling games is not advisable because the breed usually has weak teeth.

If you have a hairless Chinese Crested Dog, it is important to put sunscreen on it, especially if your skin is white or pink, before exposing it to sunlight to prevent skin burns. However, this does not mean that we should avoid the dog sunbathing, because this is one of the main sources of vitamin D that the animal has. We simply need to pay special attention to the skin care of the Chinese crested and be vigilant at all times.

And if the weather is cold, you also have to put on a coat so that your skin does not dry and is always perfect. Also, keep in mind that your skin is fragile and you can get hurt with branches and hard grass, so it is better to avoid places with weeds and tall vegetation.

Both hairless Chinese Crested Dogs and powder puffs need a lot of company. They are dogs that must be accompanied most of the time or they will develop destructive habits and even separation anxiety.

Health of The Chinese Crested Dog

The Chinese Crested Dog tends to be healthy and is not as susceptible to hereditary diseases as other breeds of dogs. However, you have a certain propensity to the following pathologies and conditions:

  • Calvé-Perthes-Legg disease
  • Patellar luxation
  • Early loss of teeth
  • Skin lesions
  • Sunburn

As we discussed in previous sections, to avoid damage to the skin of the Chinese crested will be essential to exercise caution and use sunscreen before going out to the street, as well as using moisturizing products and shampoo with neutral pH. On the other hand, it will be essential to visit the veterinarian regularly to provide him with the obligatory vaccines and follow the deworming schedule. Before any anomaly, you should always go to the specialist to submit the dog to a veterinary examination.

Ema Clark

Dog Trainer and Writer Since 2016. Over 17 years of experience working with all breeds and ages of dogs, using a variety of training techniques.
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