Crested Tzu

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9-15 lbs
10-12"
Unknown
Chinese Crested
Shih Tzu

The Crested Tzu is a deliberate hybrid known as a designer dog, in this case, a cross between the Chinese Crested, a small dog that was originally employed to keep ships free of vermin as early as the 1500s, and the Shih-Tzu, a dog that kept company with Chinese royalty over a thousand years ago. These tiny dogs are typically affectionate well-mannered little animals that tend to be less yappy than other dogs their size and require only a moderate amount of exercise, often quite happy with just 40 to 60 minutes a day. These traits make them quite suited to living in an apartment. Although they get along very well with well behaved older children, very small or rowdy children may be too much for them to handle. 

Purpose
Companion
Date of Origin
Unknown
Ancestry
Chinese Crested, Shih Tzu

Crested Tzu Health

Average Size
Height: 10-12 inches Weight: 9-15 lbs
Height: 10-12 inches Weight: 9-15 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Eye Problems
Minor Concerns
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Allergies
  • Sunburn
Occasional Tests
  • Knee
  • Spine
  • Skeletal
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination
  • Endoscopy

Crested Tzu Breed History

The Crested Tzu is a designer dog, an intentional crossbreed between a Chinese Crested breed dog, a frequently hairless canine that helped to keep sailing ships vermin free, and a Shih-Tzu, a popular companion to ancient Chinese royalty.  The Chinese Crested dog is a very old breed, and despite its name, its original development did not occur in China. Sometime in the 1500’s, Chinese traders obtained these small dogs from a far away port and began selling bartering with them, trading them to sailors to hunt vermin on ships. It didn’t take long before their worldwide distribution obscured which port they came from although many experts believe they came from either Mexican or African ports. They were popularized in the United States of America in the 1900’s and were first allowed to compete with the American Kennel Club in 1955, in the miscellaneous class, but they were dropped from eligibility just ten years later. It took twenty years for the Chinese Crested breed to regain that status and another six to be further recognized as a breed in the toy group. Although they have not yet managed a Best in Show win at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show held in New York each year, Chinese Crested dogs, both purebred and mixed, have taken the top place in ten of the World’s Ugliest Dog competitions since it started in 2000. The Shih Tzu is also a very old breed, and like the Crested, we can’t be absolutely sure of the Shih-Tzu’s exact ancestors, although most experts believe them to be a cross of the Lhasa Apso breed from Tibet and a small Chinese dog, such as a Pekingese. They were favored by the royalty of China for many centuries and kept at court as far back as the Tang dynasty, which lasted from 618 to 907. During the Ming dynasty, these small, friendly dogs became popular among the commoners as well. During the Chinese Revolution, the Shih-Tzu breed was nearly wiped out, and only seven males and seven females were saved. It is from these fourteen dogs that all of today’s modern Shih Tzus are descended. In the early 1900’s, Shih Tzu’s began to be dispersed to other countries, such as Norway, England, and North America, and today they are the twentieth most popular breed dog according to the American Kennel Club. 

Crested Tzu Breed Appearance

The Crested-Tzu is a very small dog, typically under a foot tall and they are longer than they are tall, although how much longer can vary a bit from dog to dog. They have a gently arched or domed head with a muzzle that can range anywhere between the slender tapering muzzle of the Chinese Crested to the shorter, wider snout of the Shih-Tzu and brown eyes that can be either round or almond shaped. Heavily furred ears sit high on the sides of the head which can either fold down to the sides or stand erect. The hairlessness of the Chinese Crested dog is a dominant trait, and each Chinese Crested dog carries both the dominant hairless gene and the recessive gene that produces the Powderpuff variety which is fully covered with a thick, silky double coat. Litters that carry two copies of the dominant gene are reabsorbed before they even have a chance develop. This means that the coverage of this canine’s coat could range anywhere from being fully covered to only having the head crest, tail plume, and socks of the hairless Chinese Crested. Almost any color of coat and many different types of markings are possible with this crossbreed. 

Crested Tzu Breed Maintenance

The grooming requirements for this breed can vary quite a bit depending on the type and amount of fur that is inherited by the specific animal. Crested Tzu dogs that are mostly hairless typically need frequent baths but the brushing or combing after the bath usually only takes a few minutes, whereas the full coated variety generally requires fewer baths, but the daily brushing routine will take a bit longer. The skin of the Chinese Crested dog is prone to irritation, particularly in the hairless variety, and the Crested Tzu may inherit this trait as well. It is essential to employ a good, non-irritating dog shampoo when washing your dog and to check for any problems like rashes, acne, or swollen skin whenever you bathe your pet. These dogs may also be predisposed to dental infection and injury due to the shape and size of their mouths, so getting them used to dental examinations and ensuring that their mouth is kept as clean and healthy as possible is of the utmost importance. 

Crested Tzu Temperament

These diminutive dogs tend to be extremely people oriented and affectionate and they prefer to be as close to their chosen human or humans as possible. This hybrid may develop separation anxiety slightly more often than many other types of dogs, particularly if left alone for too long. They are generally sweet natured and not as yappy as most other toy breeds, although they may inherit a stubborn or willful streak from both parent breeds, sometimes making them a little more challenging to train as well as to housetrain. This hybrid will generally be very tolerant of other animals in the household and will usually get along very peacefully. Although they quite enjoy well-behaved older children, the Crested Tzu may not be an appropriate companion for very small children or rowdy children as there a risk of jealous behavior from the Chinese Crested genetics, and rough or clumsy handling by the child may result in injury to the dog. 

Crested Tzu Activity Requirements

The Crested Tzu has relatively undemanding exercise needs and they are typically satisfied with forty to sixty minutes of spirited activity a day. Breaking these sessions up into several smaller chunks of time tends to be much more effective for these canines. These little canines are well suited to living in smaller spaces with several short walks or energetic indoor play sessions a day. Along with games of indoor fetch, these tiny dogs are often well suited for other indoor activities such as hide and seek and puzzle toys, which serve to exercise both the dog’s body and its mind. Crested Tzu dogs are typically quiet and make pleasant and polite roommates, so they are a suitable choice for apartment living.

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