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Your Pet, Our Passion.

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.

  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • Great with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

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.

Health and Common Issues

The Chinese Crested can be predisposed to skin complaints and sun burn. Like other small breeds they can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas), and as with many breeds hereditary eye disorders can occur and so eye testing is recommended. 

The breed club monitor the health of the breed carefully and should be contacted for the most up-to-date information and details of any DNA or additional testing they recommend. Breed Clubs can be found on the Kennel Club website. 

Exercise Needs

Thirty minutes exercise a day should be the minimum, although a fit, young Crested is capable of more. Be aware this is a dog who will feel the cold and won’t appreciate wet or windy weather much so you have to time your walks well – and invest in a dog coat for the winter. Several short walks round a variety of routes, plus some mental stimulation in the form of training and games will keep them happy and fulfilled.

Space Requirements

This is a small dog who doesn’t take up much space, as long as you can provide a warm home and secure garden, with access to a variety of walks, this is a dog who can be happy anywhere their people are.

Nutrition and Feeding

Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming Chinese Crested

The Powderpuff's long coat will need grooming once or twice a week. The Hairless variety needs its tail, socks and crest to be groomed; the skin will need to be moisturised if it becomes dry and will need protection from the sun to prevent burning. Be aware that the hairless gene is associated with poor dentition and it is not uncommon for teeth to be missing in the non-coated variety.

Training Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested may be small, but they are not lacking in intelligence! They are easy to train using positive reinforcement and the Crestie is capable of learning anything a dog of that size can learn! A Chinese Crested will be kept happy with a variety of activities suited to their size, including games, puzzles and trick training, but there is no reason a Chinese Crested couldn’t compete in agility, obedience or many of the other dog sports.

Best Family Dog Breeds

The Chinese Crested is a small and quite delicate dog and whilst they can make an excellent family pet, they can be a little too delicate for boisterous family life. With this in mind, the Crested is probably better with slightly older children, and a family who are at home most of the time. As a companion breed, the Crestie does not do well alone for very long, and must be trained to cope with short periods of human absence. 

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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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