Let's talk Chinese Crested Dogs

Whether it’s the Hairless or Powderpuff version, the decidedly distinctive Chinese Crested Dog, prized for centuries by Chinese royalty, does anything but fade into the background. This graceful, slender breed packs playfulness, deep affection, and oodles of character into one small package. Though agile and athletic, the Chinese Crested Dog is ideally suited for indoor life where they can curl up on their owner’s lap. If you’re looking for a fellow sofa spud, the Chinese Crested Dog may be the breed for you.

Official name: Chinese Crested Dog

Origins: China

Black and white portrait of a Chinese Crested dog standing to the side
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level Low
Suited to apartment living?  Very high
 Energy Level (high, low, medium)* Low Family Pet?* 
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets High
Can stay alone?* Very low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs.
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

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Illustration of a Chinese Crested dog
28 cm - 33 cm Height
4 kg - 6 kg Weight
23 cm - 30 cm Height
4 kg - 6 kg Weight

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 10 months
 Adult age 10 months to 8 years
 Mature age  8 to 12 years
 Senior age  12 to 15 years

Side view of a Chinese Crested dog stood on grass facing the right


Get to know the Chinese Crested Dog

All you need to know about the breed

Labrador Retrievers are definitely not the dog equivalent of a couch potato. Swimming, playing – did someone say, “Fetch!”? – and long walks with their favourite humans…the Labrador is up for anything and everything. Including training. Training sessions are usually a satisfying endeavour thanks to the breed’s inherent smarts. Balanced and playful, once trained, most Labradors are really great with children. Often trained as therapy dogs, the Labrador’s character traits mean they make for superb service animals. And they have pretty good manners, too. 

It’s important to remember that this breed has one fairly big motivator: their appetite. This can make it challenging to maintain a Labrador at a healthy weight, perhaps more so than with other breeds. However, with a balanced, right-for-Labradors diet, plenty of exercise and a good vet, you’ll have yourself a healthy, contented dog.


Quite robust and muscular, they have powerful jaws and a large nose. Their eyes, usually brown or hazelnut-coloured, are full of softness, intelligence and devotion. When a Labrador Retriever looks at its owner, the connection is clear for all to see. 

Labradors’ coats are short and thick, without waves or feathering, with a weather-resistant undercoat. You can find the breed in yellow (ranging from light cream to fox-red), brown or all-black. Their tails, often aerobically in movement, are quite thick at birth. Completely covered with dense hair, it gives the Labrador’s tail the appearance of roundness, or what is commonly called an ‘otter tail’. Good advice: when a Labrador is content to see you, don’t stand in the path of its tail! 

Known for their friendly, kind temperaments, the Labrador Retriever breed is supremely adaptable to almost any living situation. As a family dog, they will somehow gather the patience to wait for the children to get home from school and excitedly head into the garden to play with them. While a Labrador will bark when it hears strange or loud noises, they don’t make great guard dogs – when well-socialised, they are quite devoid of aggressiveness, bearing no ill will towards man or their fellow pets. 

Chinese Crested dog stood on grass with one front paw lifted


2 facts about Chinese Crested Dogs

1. Genes: a hairy matter...

Chinese Crested Dogs come in both Hairless and Powderpuff versions but, aside from their follicular differences, they’re exactly the same breed. Despite this, the Powderpuff’s silky, full-body coat is in fact a recessive trait. So, what does that mean? You can have both Hairless and Powderpuff puppies in the same litter!

2. The “It” Dog 

Is it their one-of-a-kind looks? Their life of the party personalities? Whatever the “it” may be, the Chinese Crested have long garnered celebrity attention. The breed has enjoyed roles on the big and small screen for decades. The famous burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee was a renowned Chinese Crested breeder who created one of the first American kennels devoted to the breed. 


History of the breed

Though their precise origins are unclear, the Chinese Crested Dog is thought to be a descendant of ancient hairless African dogs that were brought to China, where their presence can be traced back to the 13th century. There, Chinese Crested dogs became the preferred companions of Han Dynasty families who used them as treasure guardians, hunting companions, and even living heating pads, thanks to their naturally warm skin.

Prized for their keen ratting skills aboard seafaring vessels, the Chinese Crested breed was also a favourite of Chinese sailors who traded them in ports all over the globe, giving rise to variations of the breed in countries all over the globe. 

The Chinese Crested Dog reappeared in European records, paintings and photographs in the 19th century. However, their big debut on the Western stage came in the 1880’s when American journalist Ida Garrett and breeder Debra Woods took a fancy to the Chinese Crested, widely promoting them through writing, speaking, and breeding programs. The Chinese Crested has since enjoyed burgeoning popularity and was officially recognised by the AKC in 1991.

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Chinese Crested dogs

1. Ears

Ears are low-set, large and erect with or without fringe.

2. Head

Head is smooth with minimal wrinkling and dark, alert eyes

3. Body

Body is long to medium-long and supple.

4. Coat

Long, tapered crest, plume and socks for Hairless, long, full coat for Powderpuff.

5. Tail

Long, tapered tail falling naturally at rest, carried up or out when moving.

Chinese Crested dog sat on a tree stump


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Chinese Crested Dog
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Keep an eye on the eyes

Chinese Crested dogs can inherit certain eye issues, the most common of which are progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), glaucoma, and/or primary lens luxation. Most responsible breeders screen their Chinese Crested breeding stock to rule out this and other afflictions. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to get your dog evaluated by an ophthalmologist to ensure healthy eyes and optimal vision over the long term.

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Tans are so last century

Because the Hairless Chinese Crested dog is essentially bald save for their crest, plume and socks, their fine-grained skin is highly exposed and therefore prone to certain afflictions including acne, allergies – and sunburn. 

Shirts and other protective canine-geared clothing will ensure they enjoy the outdoors safely. And make sure to ask your vet for the best breed-specific products to protect your Chinese Crested from getting too much sun! 

One black and two white Chinese Crested dogs running towards the camera across grass


Caring for your Chinese Crested Dog

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Though not heavy shedders, the Chinese Crested Dog - both Powderpuff and Hairless - do require consistent grooming. The Hairless can experience minor skin irritations, allergies, and sunburn, so make sure to ask your vet which products are best suited for your pooch. The Powderpuff’s long double coat should be brushed weekly, preferably with a pin or bristle brush, to avoid matting. While fairly easy to train, the highly sensitive Chinese Crested Dog learns best with a gentle, patient trainer. A top performer in competitive sports, the Chinese Crested Dog excels when given positive reinforcement. While naturally athletic, they don’t have high exercise requirements. The breed does well with a short daily walk and supervised off-the-lead play in a safe enclosure.

All about Chinese Crested Dog

Because the Chinese Crested thrives on attention and is highly social, they can experience separation anxiety and resort to barking when left on their own for extended periods of time. The Crested can also “alarm bark”, but training and early socialisation can help them become more comfortable around people they don’t know. 

Though both Hairless and Powderpuff Chinese Crested dogs should be bathed occasionally,  every week or so, the breed is mostly clean and odourless. You read that right, they are virtually odour free.


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/