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Chinese Cresteds
The Hairless,
The Hairy Hairless
The Powderpuff

Breed Information

Chinese Cresteds: 101 Is this the right breed for your family? From breed information, health issues and where to purchase or adopt a Chinese Crested... You'll find it all right here.

chinese crested painting garden flagChinese Crested garden flag
More information below

General Breed Health
Easily Housebroken
Low Maintenance
Good w/Other Pets

"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."

- Ann Landers

Three varieties- What are their differences? There are at least three degrees of hairlessn-ness (depending on who you ask). The true hairless, for example is another variety. But as a general guideline, the hairless variety will have some hair on the head, feet and tail, albeit sparse, but it will only grow to a certain length. The hairy hairless will have thicker hair on the head feet and tail, but her body will mostly or partly naked. The powderpuff will be covered in hair that will continuously grow.

Watch Dogs-Chinese Cresteds are not extremely yappy, but they are extremely alert. You can trust this breed to warn you to every new sound including knocks on the door.

Size- Typical Chinese Cresteds will be around 11" to 15" high at the shoulders and weigh under 15 pounds, but this can vary dramatically. I've seen much larger Chinese Cresteds, and also much smaller! Either way, apartment life will suit this breed well as far as exercise needs. Plenty of walks and play time should always be provided.

Friendly-This is a very "people friendly" breed when he's socialized properly. Not especially shy or timid, he can be trusted not to nip at the heels of strangers. He is also friendly with and tolerant of other animals.

Trainability- Here are some positive training techniques to get you started. Try to remember that patience is a virtue and positive reinforcement is always best.

Excitability- More sensitive than quick-tempered, adult Cresteds are gentle and easy going. They are known to love children and are normally tolerant, but supervision is always recommended. 

Non Shedding- Virtually hypoallergenic, both varieties of this breed shed very little to no hair. A great starting point for those who suffer with dog allergies. Hairless and non-shedding doesn't always mean hypoallergenic though. Here's why.

Maintenance- All dogs need regular grooming including attention to their fur, as well as teeth, ears, nails, etc. This is an extra expense that should be taken into consideration before owning any dog. Chinese Cresteds including hairless, hairy hairless and powderpuff have specific needs based on their coats, just the same. The naked dogs will need clothing to keep warm, also sunblock and skin care. The naked Chinese Crested are also prone to acne and the powderpuff can get quite shaggy without regular trips to the groomer.

Why not consider Adoption first?  Through no fault of their own, millions of purebred dogs end up in shelters or in need of rescue every year, including the Chinese Crested. Check and enter your zip (and preferred dog breed) to find a dog in need near you! Your best friend could be just around the corner and  waiting for you!

Just in case, you're not having any luck on or with rescue groups, I've explained below EXACTLY how I rescued three Chinese Cresteds, without waiting. 

Even more about Chinese Cresteds...

Two Chinese Crested dogs stretching and yawningBrooklyn and Dot
MY rescue Chinese Cresteds
I describe how I rescued them below.

Housebreaking difficulties- Some toy breeds are difficult to housebreak... Chinese Crested are smart, but not exempt from the difficulties that can accompany small breed dogs. You'll need to be very patient and probably clean up several messes during the training phase. Small dogs come with small bladders. Click here for helpful training tips for tricks and housebreaking.

High Energy- Chinese Crested have a propensity for climbing and digging. They are great escape artists and can find their way out of confinement if it's at all possible. He is definitely not a laid back puppy. Expect to have a very spirited dog for at least the first few years.

Separation Anxiety is common. He will show you his frustration by destructive chewing and barking or by having "accidents" on your furniture. This is probably not the breed for you if you work long hours and would have to leave him home alone.

High Maintenance- Brushing and grooming are requirements for the hairy ones. All dogs require attention to their hair, ears, nails and teeth. If you have a completely hairless dog, or even a hairy hairless, you'll have to provide skin care, clothing and possibly sunblock.

Not recommended for homes with small children- Chinese Cresteds are fragile, especially the tiny ones. They are known to enjoy the company of children, but small dogs and toddlers don't mix well. This breed would be much better suited to a home with older, well-behaved children, as opposed to a home with toddlers.

A 10-15+ year commitment- Dogs lose their homes for some of the saddest reasons. When considering a dog, some people think only of what the dog can do for them... companionship, watch dog and crazy enough, some people consider them status symbols. DON'T GET ANY ANIMAL if you can't commit to providing a home and care as a FOREVER commitment.

If you're currently renting, considering a move, school, career change, feel like you won't have time for the dog, etc. or any of the other reasons people abandon their pets, consider the bad things that happen to dogs when their owners can no longer care for them before you purchase one.

-Health Issues-

chinese crested powderpuffDid you know that most Chinese Crested show dogs are actually shaved down powderpuffs? It's true. Such beautiful dogs. Please do not overlook the value of a powderpuff if a Chinese Crested is the breed for you. ♥
The Chinese Crested, in general, is a healthy breed


You can help keep it this way by avoiding pet store puppies. Many pet stores buy their dogs from puppy mills and puppy brokers.

Puppy mills are horrible places where dogs are treated as breeders and kept in barns and in cages for their entire lives. Most of the time the dogs are sick and so are the puppies.

Read our FAQ page to learn more about puppy mills and how you can avoid them.

Luxating patellas-A joint condition in which kneecaps dislocate. This is very painful for your dog and expensive to correct. This is a common complication among many small breed dogs. The use of Pet Steps has been shown to significantly decrease the occurrence of hip and knee conditions in dogs of all sizes.

Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome- A disease seen in varying degrees in many small breed dogs. It's degenerative and leads to bone loss and collapse of the hip joint which is obviously painful. Early treatment can help to prevent degenerative arthritis.

Skin Disorders also affect Chinese Cresteds, especially the hairless and hairy hairless in the form of acne and blackheads, which can get pretty bad. Allergies that manifest as rashes on the skin are also pretty common in all varieties and can lead to unsightly bald spots and irritation caused by their own chewing and pulling out of fur. Learn more about allergy symptoms and treatment.

Cataracts are very common in this breed as it ages.

Dental problems including tooth loss are almost always a given with a hairless Chinese Crested. Dental problems are directly related to the gene responsible for hairlessness.

The Powderpuffs Don't overlook the powderpuffs. One of the biggest injustices for the Chinese Crested breed is the extent to which the powderpuff (as opposed to the hairless) is underrated. Powderpuff Chinese Crested dogs possess the same desirable qualities as the hairless without the need to stay dressed and wear sunscreen. They also don't get acne like a hairless dog will. The extent of blackheads and cystic acne on a hairless can be anywhere from mild to extreme. I've seen some pretty bad cases.

Feeling crafty? Learn to make your own dog clothes for your hairless Chinese Crested!

This dog clothes pattern was designed by me and it's perfect for pajamas or everyday wear! Hairless Cresteds need to be kept warm! And this pattern will also protect them from sunburn.

Start making your own dog clothes now with this easy dog hoodie pattern!

Hairless Chinese Crested painting garden flag

Garden Flag

"Cherry Blossoms"

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  • Learn more about me, my mission to save dogs and see more of my artwork HERE!


Learn more about me, my art, the mission of this site and Rescue Dogs Are Better here.

We also welcome you to contact us if there are any other questions we can answer for you about anything you saw or read on this site.

Interested in Rescuing a Chinese Crested?

If you're interested in the possibility of rescuing a Chinese Crested in need, but and rescue groups are turning up empty...

There is another way. I rescued three of my Chinese Cresteds by contacting a breeder. I knew when I contacted them that I would NOT be buying a puppy, but I had another idea in mind.

I explained that I was only interested in an adult dog and asked if they had breeders they were thinking of retiring as pets. I was surprised how eager both breeders were to help me adopt one of their adult dogs.

My first Chinese Crested was very young, but after a year and a half as a breeding dog she had not become pregnant so she was worthless to the breeder, but she was everything to me.

My second and third, Dot and Brooklyn pictured above were rescued the exact same way.

There are caveats to this.

You have to understand and have patience with a dog that you rescue from a breeding operation. They likely spent their entire lives in cages and will need to learn how to potty outside or on potty pads.

But, you will never have to worry that this dog doesn't appreciate you. You're a hero and they will show their gratitude EVERY SINGLE DAY! ♥♥♥

NEW! Pictures of Chinese Cresteds

New! Comments

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