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Chinese Crested Dog

Other names: Crested, Puff

Chinese Crested Dog

There are two varieties of Chinese Crested dog: the Hairless and the Powderpuff. Although both types of dog look very different they are in many ways the same (only a genetic mutation separates one from the other). The Hairless type is usually completely hairless with the exception of fine wispy hair on the paws, tail and head. However, the fur of some hairless breeds may grow as long as that seen of the Powderpuff. The characteristics and trainability of each type are the same.

Key facts about the Chinese Crested Dog

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Affectionate Playful

Size :

Origins and history

Supposedly the Crested originated in ancient China and was a dog favoured by some of the ruling families to protect their homes and valuables. The Crested also has a long history of use as a ratter on Chinese trading ships. The first Crested arrived in the United States in 1885 and enjoyed some degree of popularity but from the 1930s onwards until more recently it was not a breed of choice.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 9 - Companion and Toy Dogs


Section 4 : Hairless Dogs

Physical characteristics of the Chinese Crested Dog

    Adult size

    Female : Between 9 and 12 in

    Male : Between 11 and 13 in


    Female : Between 7 and 11 lb

    Male : Between 7 and 11 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    Hairless: Graceful and fine-boned. Some types of this breed may be bulkier than others. The skin of the hairless is smooth and not too wrinkly, warm to touch and feels like human skin. Graceful, well proportioned head. Tail straight and high is carried upwards when the dog walks but hangs when the dog is still. 
    Powderpuff: As above but with a generous double coat of fur.

    Good to know

    House training a Crested is notoriously difficult to accomplish. Training should be consistent, confident and forthright but on no account should it also be harsh. An adult male Crested that is not castrated will often mark his territory indoors.


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      Now bred as a companion dog the Chinese Crested is a loving dog that is happiest among its people. Far more of a lap dog than a ratter, the dog is known for its neediness and want for human contact.

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      If socialised and treated well an adult Chinese Crested is curious and playful, and is happy to indulge its owner in a few light-hearted and gentle games. Any rough play is not tolerated by this breed.

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      Like other small dogs the Chinese Crested is easily spooked and can become agitated by sudden movements and noise. If the dog is held too much and feels as though its only protection is in the arms of its owner it becomes very timid and nervous. Feeling this way can lead the Crested to behave antisocially.

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      This dog is not known for its overwhelming intelligence but it makes up for a lack of brainpower by being exceptionally attentive. The Crested always wants to please its owner.

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      The Chinese Crested is thought to have been used as a ratter by ancient Chinese mariners, but this hunting talent has today been substituted with companionship. As a result the prey drive of a Crested is next to non-existent. In fact, a dog of this breed is more likely to become prey due to its size.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      Although relatively sociable, the Crested is not comfortable during first contact with strangers. They become agitated especially if the stranger is of a dominant character. Lots of barking and some nipping may occur.

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      This dog is not independent. It will follow its owner to the ends of the earth; it is not happy when isolated or separated from its owner.

      Behaviour of the Chinese Crested Dog

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        Tolerates solitude

        Because it is a companion dog the Chinese Crested much prefers to be in the company of its pack. If left indoors for a long period of time it will become destructive; if left outdoors it will attempt to escape from wherever it finds itself.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        The Crested is not easy to train and training requires great patience and tolerance. The dog is sensitive and will not respond to anything that resembles harshness or discipline. However, if you succeed in the training of a Chinese Crested you will notice how immensely loyal and obedient the dog becomes.

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        The Crested believes itself to be bigger than it is. It barks to warn and to control, and will do so regularly throughout the day.

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