Chinese Crested

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5-12 lbs
Chinese Hairless, Chinese Edible Dog, Chinese Ship Dog, Chinese Royal Hairless

The Chinese Crested Dog is classified as a “toy” due to its size, and many owners would agree that the Chinese Crested is a great lapdog. The actual origins of the Chinese Crested are not known, experts seem to think that the Chinese Crested is somehow related to hairless South American breeds. At one time, hairlessness was thought to be a mutation appearing in pariah dog litters. Some stories exist that say that the Chinese Crested was used by the Aztecs as a bedwarmer, and other sources claim this breed is a cross between a Mexican Hairless Dog and a Chihuahua. The Chinese Crested was originally used as a “ratter,” and today there are still many Chinese Crested Dogs in port cities. The Chinese Crested is a loyal and entertaining dog.

Date of Origin
mexican hairless, chihuahua

Chinese Crested Health

Average Size
Height: 11-13 inches Weight: 5-12 lbs
Height: 11-13 inches Weight: 5-12 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Skin Problems
  • Contact Allergy
  • Dentition Problems
Occasional Tests
  • Skin Scraping
  • Dental Examination
  • Physical Examination
  • Allergy Tests

Chinese Crested Breed History

The exact origins of the Chinese Crested Dog are not documented, but some claim that the dog originated in Africa and was known as the “African hairless dog.” It is thought that trading ships picked up the dog with plans to use the breed as a “ratter.” Some think Chinese trading ships used the dog for trading purposes in Egypt, Turkey, and Central and South America. There is evidence of the breed as far back as the 1200s. Explorers and missionaries wrote about seeing them in ports all over the world. In the 1800s, paintings and later actual photographs recorded evidence of Chinese Cresteds in Europe. At the time, some Chinese Crested Dogs were found in zoos. Earlier names of the Chinese Crested include Chinese Hairless, the Chinese Edible Dog, the Chinese Ship Dog, and the Chinese Royal Hairless. The modern name reflects the idea that the Chinese Crested spent much time on Chinese trading ships. The “crested” part of its name comes from the “crest” of hair on top of its head.  Ida Garrett helped to popularize the breed in the late 1800s. The breed was not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1991.

Chinese Crested Breed Appearance

There are two varieties of the Chinese Crested Dog: hairless and powder puff. Both variations can occur in the same litter. The hairless Chinese Crested will have no hair with the exception of his head, tail, and feet (and the hair at those places will be long). A powder puff Chinese Crested will have a full coat of hair with a wooly undercoat that must be carefully brushed. The dog is usually small, reaching a height of eleven to thirteen inches and an adult weight of five to twelve pounds. Any color is permissible under AKC guidelines. This cute breed will have naturally upright ears, but may suffer from dentition of the teeth. The Chinese Crested is usually slender, and its body may be longer than the animal is tall. The neck is arched, and its tail tapers to a curve at the end. The hairless usually has soft fur at the head, feet, and tail; the body will be soft and smooth. The powder puff Chinese Crested Dog will have a double coat; the hair is straight and dense.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Chinese Crested Breed Maintenance

The hairless version of the Chinese Crested Dog necessitates considerably less care than its powder puff counterpart. The powder puff Crested should be brushed daily. Its wooly undercoat can become matted easily, so care must be taken to brush the undercoat properly. Hairless varieties may need sunscreen when outdoors for prolonged periods. Weekly bathing can prevent the pesky blackheads Chinese Cresteds are prone to. Moisturizer should be applied to the skin of hairless Chinese Crested Dogs as well. The breed is considered hypoallergenic, is very clean, and does not have much trouble with fleas or ticks. The Chinese Crested is highly intelligent, loving, and playful. They do not require much exercise and enjoy being “lap-warmers.” The hairless variety is sensitive to cold, so a sweater might be appropriate when outside during the cooler months (though not a wool sweater as many of this breed have an allergy to wool). The Chinese Crested should always be an inside dog. It does not enjoy being alone and does best when in the presence of its loving family.

Brushes for Chinese Crested
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Chinese Crested Temperament

The Chinese Crested Dog is alert, affectionate, and enjoys human companionship. They remember things that get your attention and are likely to do them over and over again to entertain you. Often described as “cat-like,” you may find your Chinese Crested sitting in high places, such as the back of the couch or the arm of a chair. Chinese Cresteds learn quickly and have been known to participate successfully in performance activities such as agility, obedience, flyball, and lure coursing. They are fairly active dogs, though they are not hyper. They love children, but as they are very small, supervision is a must. They might not be the best choice for a family with toddlers unless you are prepared to watch them closely. They get along with other dogs well. They seldom bark.  Unfortunately, they are tough to housebreak, so the utmost patience should be exercised with the Chinese Crested in this regard. They are often referred to as “clownish,” and they love to please and entertain their owners.

Chinese Crested Activity Requirements

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes

Chinese Crested Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
0.8 cups
Daily Cost
$0.8 - $1
Monthly Cost
$20 - $30

Chinese Crested Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 7 inches Weight: 5 lbs
Height: 7 inches Weight: 5 lbs
12 Months
Height: 12 inches Weight: 7 lbs
Height: 12 inches Weight: 7 lbs
18 Months
Height: 12 inches Weight: 8 lbs
Height: 12 inches Weight: 8 lbs

Top Chinese Crested Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Chinese Crested breeders of 2017.
The Cranberry Dog
Holland, Michigan
Rock Creek
Lewisburg, West Virginia
Dmarie's Cresteds, Maltese & Toy Poodles
Seattle, Washington
Legendary Chinese Cresteds
Saratoga Springs, New York
Belews Chinese Cresteds
Belews Creek, North Carolina
Country Chinese Cresteds
Frankfort, Indiana
Long Road Kennel
Decatur, Illinois
Badgercrest Kennel
Lyle, Washington
Shida Chinese Cresteds
Hesperia, California
Gingery Chinese Cresteds
Ronkonkoma, New York

Chinese Crested Owner Experiences