A small fragile little dog, the Chinese Crested comes in two varieties, which include the hairless variety and the powder puff variety. The hairless variety, as the name suggests, has no hair on the body and a crest of silky hair around the head and on the feet and tail, giving it a very elegant and unusual look. The hairless variety is a good choice for those that suffer from allergies. The powder puff variety has long, silky hair all over, which is straight on the outside and soft and silky on the undercoat. The Chinese Crested has an alert and inquisitive expression, and is a very elegant and graceful dog. The weight of the Chinese Crested is around 10-15 pounds, and the height is 11-15 inches.
Chinese Crested Temperament
The Chinese Crested is a small dog with plenty of love and affection to give, and a real love of human company. The Chinese Crested is a dog that is for those with plenty of time to commit and dedicate to their pet, as breed does not like to be neglected. The Chinese Crested has plenty of spirit and is cheerful, playful, and lively. He is also alert, intelligent, and inquisitive, and is quick to learn, although he can be very independent and strong willed. The Chinese Crested loves to climb, play, and perform tricks, and he is very fond of spending time with his owners to the point where he has become known by some as a 'velcro dog'.
The Chinese Crested gets on well with older, considerate children that will be gentle with him, and he also gets along with other pets, although he can sometimes get a little jealous. When it comes to strangers he can be a little reserved and timid. The gentle and bright nature of the Chinese Crested makes him well suited to inexperienced dog owners as well as more experienced owners. It is important that the Chinese Crested is socialized early on, as otherwise timidity can set in, and the dog may become highly strung and over emotional. However, with effective training and early socialization the Chinese Crested can make a great little companion dog and pet.
Grooming will depend on whether you have the hairless or powder puff variety. The hairless simply needs to have a small amount of oil or lotion massaged into the skin to keep it in good condition. The powder puff variety will need to be brushed and combed once or twice a week.
Unlike the what the name would indicate, the Chinese Crested Dog is believed to have originated from the African hairless dog breed. It was then discovered by Chinese sailors and merchants traveling to African ports and used on their ships as ratters. When the breed was brought back to China they were bred smaller and with a greater emphasis on temperament, then redistributed in trading ventures as the "Chinese Hairless" or "Chinese Crested".
Another theory is that the Chinese Crested Dog actually developed with the Aztecs by breeding the Mexican Hairless with the Chihuahua. It is believed that the Aztecs actually used these dogs as companion dogs but also as bed warmers in the cold months. These dogs may have also been used for human consumption at special events in the Aztec calendar. Regardless of the exact lineage the Chinese Crested Dog is certainly a unique and different type of dog that has attracted a specific type of dog lover throughout its history.
In the 1800's the breed became known in Europe and North America, specifically the United States. It did not become a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club until 1991 but is steadily increasing in popularity among rare dog breed fanciers.
The Chinese Crested Dog is considered a breed that is very easy to train. They are naturally very clean dogs and even as puppies will do their best to avoid messing in the house or in areas where they are kept. Since in very cold or very hot climates going outside to toilet can be a problem, many owners of Chinese Crested Dogs teach these dogs to use litter boxes or even puppy pads.
The Chinese Crested Dog, without socialization and exposure to new places, animals and people, will have a tendency to become frightened and timid. While not a problem barker they can become problems if they are very nervous or bored, so provide lots of socialization as well as things to play with and chew on. They can become destructive with chewing if left alone for too long but exercise, chew toys and lots of human attention can prevent this issue from becoming a problem.
The Chinese Crested Dog is an ideal dog for those that want a pet that can do unique and interesting tricks. The Chinese Crested Dog is known to commonly sit up, walk on his or her hind legs, jump through and over objects and climb ladders and other objects with just a bit of coaxing. Since they are very "in tune" with their owners they will do whatever it takes to make the owner happy.
One tendency with these dogs is to really baby them because of their small size and waif like expressions. Too much carrying and coddling can actually cause these dogs distress and increase the likelihood they will have separation anxiety and problem behavior when left alone. They are dogs and need to be given time to just be dogs. Socialization with other small dogs, interactions with cats and other pets and playing with kids and family members is an important part of both training and socialization.
The Chinese Crested Dog loves to dig when outside so you may wish to train the dog to use a particular digging area, rather than the landscaped areas. Consider hiding a few treats of favorite toys in the area then praising the dog for digging them up. They will quickly learn where is a good place to dig and where they should not.
The life expectancy of the Chinese Crested is around 13-16 years, and a range of health issues and disorders are linked to this breed. This includes sensitivity to chemicals and medicines, acne, allergies, dental problems, Legg Perthes, retinal detachment, and skin problems. Parents of the Chinese Crested puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates. You should also be careful be careful about weather conditions with the hairless variety, as his skin can burn easily in the heat and he will really feel the cold in colder seasons, and should wear a jumper or coat.