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Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested is a toy breed that comes in two body types, and two coat types. 
The ‘Deer type’ should be racy and fine boned, the ‘Cobby type’ should be heavier in body and bone. Either build however are an athletic, active dog, tall in the leg, lean and fit. 
The coat is either Hairless - a naked body, fluffy socks, fine crest of hair on the head and a plumed tail, or Powder Puff – a fine soft veil of long hair and soft undercoat over the whole body.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Basic training required
  • Need to be aware of potential health issues
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
This breed may encounter health problems

The Chinese Crested breed can be prone to:
- Patellar luxation
- Legg-Perthes disease 
- Sunburn and skin problems.
- Lens luxation which is a condition where the lens moves from it's normal position in the eye which will result in vision loss and can cause pain.
- Progressive retinal atrophy which is an inherited disorder where part of the eye degenerates and wastes away which can result in blindness.  

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here

Key Facts

Lifespan: 13 – 15 years
Weight:  2.3 – 5.4kg 
Height:  23 – 33cm 
Colours:  Any colour or combination of colours is accepted
Size:  Small
UK Kennel Club Groups: Toy


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 2/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 2/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 2/5
Chinese crested dog sitting outdoor


Described as ‘happy-go-lucky’ and playful, the Chinese Crested thrives on human company, and fulfils the companion dog role excellently – never happier than when on a loved one’s lap.

Bright and intelligent, the Chinese Crested can be trained to a high standard or simply kept entertained and mentally stimulated learning tricks and basic obedience.

Chinese crested dog running outdoor

History and Origins

Country of Origin: China

The origins of the Chinese Crested dog are unclear, and much debated. It is thought that their ancestors came from Africa, and moved east to Asia, travelling with sailors as useful ships dogs, and eventually spreading to the Americas.

It is quite likely that these unusual and attractive little dogs appealed to wealthy, influential royals and nobility wherever they went, and would have been gifted and traded as many dog breeds have been.

One of the earliest portrayals of the Chinese Crested dog is in Robert Plot’s ‘Natural History of Staffordshire – 1686, with a description and illustration that is almost identical to the modern Chinese Crested.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • There are a number of medical myths about the Chinese Crested dog, one is that the touch of its skin would cure a patient of a fever! It was also claimed that arthritis could be cured if you used the dog as a heating pad. Whilst it is known that owning a dog can bring stress levels down and improve the owner’s health, it seems very unlikely these claims can be relied upon! 
  • Chinese Crested dogs helped to prevent the spread of the Black Death as they would catch rats on ships and due to their lack of fur, they were less likely to get fleas, making them less likely to spread the disease.
  • A burlesque dancer called Gypsy Rose Lee helped to popularise the breed as she was an active breeder and advocate for them, many Chinese Crested’s alive today can be traced back to Lee lines.
  • They’re incredibly popular in movies and you can spot them in films like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, New York Minute, 102 Dalmatians and Cats and Dogs.
  • Chinese Cresteds have sweat glands and can actually cool down without panting.

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