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The Chinese Crested… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Even though this dog has a name that would seem better suited for that of a dragon, we can assure you that the Chinese Crested is, in fact, a natural dog.  A dog that indeed proves that beauty is….

“In the eye of the beholder!”

After all, it seems like every year, one of these fantastic little creatures is in the running for winning the very popular “Ugliest Dog in the World” competition and has even won the match on several occasions!  But that’s alright because we here at IndulgeYourPet happened to think they look fabulous, and considering how good they are with kids, they are certainly one of our favorite small dog breeds around!

But will a Chinese Crested be right for you?

That’s the real question we have no way of answering, so instead; we will use this article to highlight some of the pros and cons of owning a Chinese Crested so that you’ll be better prepared to answer that question for yourself.

Chinese Crested Fast Facts

Origin:  Debatable

Original purpose: Small game hunter, companionship

Height: Approximately 1 foot

Weight: 5 to 15 pounds

Hypoallergenic:  Yes

Dog Breed Class:  Toy Group

Where did these Unearthly Beauties come from?

Today, there is still quite a bit of debate surrounding the origins of the Chinese Crested dog.  You see, over the centuries, “hairless dog” mutations have arisen all over the world, leaving many to speculate that the Chinese Crested may have originated from a variety of different locations, including Mexico, with the Mexican Hairless dog as well as in Africa with hairless breeds found there.

And while it is true…

These hairless dog mutations have existed; the most agreed upon theory of the Chinese Crested dog breed seems to be that these dogs were first imported to China from Africa, where they were then “selectively bred” to become smaller by the Chinese many centuries ago.  Evidence shows that the Chinese Crested breed existed as early as the 13th century in China, where it was often used on Chinese boats to catch mice and rats and act as mascots and companions for the sailors.

It wasn’t…

In the early 1800s, the Chinese Crested first appeared in Europe, where it was often depicted in art and later photographs, when it finally started to become known (and appreciated) worldwide.  Ironically, despite how clearly “unique” these little guys are, it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that the Federation Cynologique acknowledged finally recognizing this little breed as unique.  And while most Chinese Crested dog breed fans might think that was bad enough, the American Kennel Club didn’t acknowledge this breed until 1991!

The good news is…

Right around the early 1990s, both organizations finally did get around to “officially” recognizing these little guys and defining them as “fine-boned, elegant, and graceful” and agree with many of the fans of this breed who say that they have an equestrian sort of look and feel about them.

This is because…

Unlike many other “types” of dogs, these little guys seem inherently graceful… and their run does somewhat resemble a trot… which is another reason we here at IndulgeYourPet love these little guys!

What will he look like?

If you’ve never seen a Chinese Crested,  you’re in for a treat!  But you should know two different “types” of Chinese Crested.

  • The hairless Chinese Crested
  • Or the Powderpuff.

The first has hair on his head, around his paws, and at his tail. At the same time, the Powderpuff has hair everywhere and looks somewhat like a delicate cloud. This is because of a semi-dominant gene that can make your pup hairless. Weirdly, a litter by a bald mother and father will give both hairless and Powderpuff varieties of the breed – but waste from Powderpuff (or Puff) parents will not… In either genetic instance, he will weigh no more than fifteen pounds, have tiny paws, and melt your heart.

The Crested is known for…

Its silky coat, silkier big ears, and even the hairless variety have some skin.  It should be noted that, regardless of “which” kind of Chinese Crested puppy you prefer, each lap dog will require some maintenance to keep the coat in shape. The super-furry ones will need all the brushing you can dedicate to it (albeit they have hypo-allergenic fur), whereas the hairless ones will require a dedicated skincare routine.

The hairless guys…

We will need sun cream in the summer and wrapped up tightly in the winter, so be prepared to spend as much time dressing and pruning the dog as you do your children… possibly more!

Chinese Crested…

They will also vary in color but are generally pale and tend to suffer from terrible teeth. In the hairless, this is considered a trait; however, in the Powderpuff, it is regarded as a fault, so consider this if you are buying a dog to show at competitions.


Your Chinese Crested will need to be bathed often enough to keep them pure, untangled, washed delicately, and then moisturized. The good news is that most will enjoy being bathed, so it’s not going to be a terrible struggle like it can be with other types of dog breeds.

And how will he act?

Your Chinese Crested will be loving and devoted to you. This is a lap dog whose last few generations have seen it bred to be smaller, lighter, and have a calmer temperament.  Most of these dogs LOVE to be groomed because they are so used to it – but let’s face it; a Powderpuff who doesn’t want to be groomed will be hard work. They are generally good-natured and love to play.

The Chinese Crested tend to be…

Jocular and happy characters, but be wary of keeping them with small children. They are dainty and frail, and kids can play hard. And while we often recommend that a dog may not be a good fit for a household full of children because we are concerned for the children’s health, in this case, our concern is for the dog’s health.

Nobody wants their super-expensive puppy to be squashed by a careless foot or rough hands.

Is the Chinese Crested a healthy breed?

Due to the breed’s age, and the fact that it has been purposely bred for particular “physical” characteristics, it really shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that this breed has some health concerns.

Concerns such as:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy, a degenerative eye disease you must check for reasonably regularly.
  • Luxating Patella, or floating kneecap, can require costly operations to the right.
  • And Legge-Calve-Perthes disease leads to thigh bone shrinkage but can be detected from a few months of age.

To name a few.  The good news is that none of these medical conditions tend to be life-threatening (but they do have the potential to be quite expensive).  Additionally, due to his lack of hair and spindly frame, the Chinese Crested suffer in cold conditions, so keep him warm in winter and don’t let him get sunburned in the summer. Also, poor dentition is typical with this breed, so if you decide to adopt a Chinese Crested puppy or, better yet, adopt a Chinese Crested rescue dog, invest in a “doggy” toothbrush.


The last thing we discussed is the possibility that you may wish to purchase a pet insurance policy.  You see, it always amazes us here at IndulgeYourPet just how much time folks will spend researching a “type” of dog they want to adopt without examining possibly purchasing a pet insurance policy on that same animal!

Now will a pet insurance policy…

Be suitable for everyone?  No, probably not, but until you know if a pet insurance policy will be right for you till you do a bit of research.  After all, as we just pointed out, the Chinese Crested breed isn’t the “healthiest” breed out there.

Which is why…

It may make sense for you to get a pet insurance policy.  But without knowing what that policy “will” and “won’t” cover and what it will COST, how can you possibly know if purchasing a pet insurance policy is a good “fit” for you?

“You can’t!”

But we have some good news for you; we here at IndulgeYourPet have taken the time to write our Best Pet Insurance Companies article so that you can get an idea if a pet insurance policy might be right for you, so instead of having to do all of your research, you can check out our article and decide for yourself!

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Diane February 12, 2020, 12:04 am

    I have had dogs my whole life. I am so blessed to have my Gigi Her original dad at 82 passed away. She got sent down to his daughter. The daughter and the kids were grossed out by her. She was ugly. She was gross. She was disgusting to them. They were very bad to her. I cannot believe how amazing smart loyal and loving Chinese cresteds are. I wish everyone knew how amazing these dogs really are.

    • indulgeyourpet February 12, 2020, 7:25 am


      That’s sad to hear that not everyone was able to appreciate the beauty of Gigi, the good news is that it sounds like that was why you were able to get your hands on her.

      Good for you for taking care of her and giving her the love she deserved.


  • Kelly C. February 20, 2020, 2:06 am

    Great article. I have several hairless & they are very loving. I treat them like they my kids. But 100 percent people should research before getting this breed. People think because they hairless that they need no maintenance. Not true at all. They are my world.

    • indulgeyourpet February 20, 2020, 8:19 am


      Thanks for your comment, we’re glad you enjoyed the article. As for your Chinese Crested being your world, we can totally understand how something like that could happen!


  • KatCat April 16, 2020, 1:42 pm

    Young Thug,

    I agree they are beautiful! We have a “hairy” hairless. You must realize very few people think they are ugly dogs. Another thing they have is a sense of humor. You made me laugh & made my day.

    God Bless,


    • indulgeyourpet April 16, 2020, 4:54 pm

      Young Thug,

      We’re glad you enjoyed our article on these little guys!



  • young thug November 1, 2020, 11:54 pm

    y’all lowkey rude. y’all probably uglier than the dog. i’m just sayin. u r tryna stereotype these dogs and underhandedly say they are ugly. I know y’all threw in that beauty is in the eye of the beholder line to try to save face but we all know what you really think. Think before you type a stupid article. Chinese crested dogs are beautiful on God, on Jesus, and on my mama

    • indulgeyourpet November 2, 2020, 9:49 am

      Young thug,

      While we certainly appreciate your passion towards this breed, we would encourage you to give our article another read because based on your comment, it would appear that you seem to believe that we don’t appreciate the “looks” of these little guys.



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