BaxterBoo Blog
December 20, 2012

Meet The Breed: The Chinese Crested

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The Chinese Crested Powder Puff photo by SheltieBoy.

The Chinese Crested Powder Puff photo by SheltieBoy.

The Chinese Crested dog is available in two varieties: the hairless version, and the haired version, known as the Powder Puff. The hairless variety is mostly hairless except for its feet, head and tail. The Powder Puff has a long, soft coat. The skin and coat can be any color - solid, mixed or spotted. Both varieties can be born in the same litter. Unfortunately, I was unable to find photos for commercial use of these dogs as puppies, so please view the video below to get an idea of what they look like. The Chinese Crested is becoming more popular, but is still rare.  


  • Height: 11"-12" at the shoulder
  • Weight: Not over 10 pounds
  • Historical Function: Vermin controllers on ships
  • Modern Function: Companion
  • AKC Classification: Toy group, recognized in 1991

Physical Characteristics:

The Chinese Crested is a small dog with a wedge-shaped head, with fine bones, and elegant features. Wherever they are hairless, the skin is soft and supple. The Powder Puff varieties are covered in long, fine fur everywhere and resemble terriers. Their faces are shaved for the show ring, however. Their large ears stand erect and are not cropped. I've seen the Powder Puff variety kept shaved on their torsos, upper legs, and faces to resemble their hairless kin.

History of the Breed:

Even though this breed is called Chinese, it is more likely that they originated in Africa, and were adopted by Chinese mariners to control vermin on ships during the plague. The hairless variety were probably popular due to the fact that they aren't as susceptible to fleas. There is also genetic evidence that shows a shared origin with the Mexican Hairless (Xoloitzcuintli). Because of the breed's rareness, the Chinese Crested was only accepted into the AKC in 1991 as a certain population of the dogs is required for admittance.


The Chinese Crested is a lively, friendly dog that is not very yappy, which is unusual in the toy category. They are agile and graceful, as you'll see on the video below. Although they should not be babied so as to not cause them to be timid, they should be handled carefully by children as they are somewhat fragile. Early and regular training from a calm, confident leader will allow a Chinese Crested to feel safe and be well adjusted to life with a variety of people and circumstances.

  • Best Suited For: Families with gentle children, apartment dwellers, allergy sufferers, and retirees.
  • Preferred Living Conditions: Chinese Crested dogs, particularly the hairless variety, do best in warmer climates. Cooler weather or air conditioning may require sweaters (but do avoid wool ones as they may cause allergic reactions.) They love burrowing in bedding, so a nesting bed and blankets will make them comfortable. Though they like to be carried, they still need exercise in the form of a walk.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming: Chinese Crested dogs dont shed much, are odorless, and are great for people with allergies. The hairless variety requires care for their skin to keep them from developing skin problems. They need sunscreen and clothing to protect them from the sun. The long-haired variety require brushing and trimming. Good oral hygiene is a must as they are prone to tooth problems. The hairless gene is an indicator of poor dentition as well, so the Powder Puff version will have fewer problems with their teeth.
  • Exercise needs: Chinese Crested need a daily walk to keep them fit and well behaved. They are prone to overeating, so watch their diets.
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Health Issues: Crested can have eye and dental issues. They may be prone to skin allergies, particularly to wool. Luxating patellas (shifting knee caps) can also be problematic.

Breed Club Links: American Chinese Crested Club.

Perfect BaxterBoo Pairings: Any of our clothes, excluding wool sweaters! KissAble Dog Toothbrush and Toothpaste Combo.

Photo submitted by BaxterBoo customer Debra Kempi. 

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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