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Chinese Crested Dog

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Chinese Crested Dog
A Chinese Crested Dog with spotted skin
A Chinese Crested Dog with spotted skin
Alternative names
Country of origin
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 9 Section 4 #288  
AKC: Toy  
ANKC: Group 1 (Toys)  
CKC: Group 5 (Toys)  
KC (UK): Toy  
NZKC: Toy  
UKC: Companion Breeds  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The Chinese Crested Dog is a smaller (10-13 lbs) breed of dog known for its unusual appearance. It a member of the toy dog group, and is available in two types: The Hairless and the Powderpuff.


Powderpuff Chinese Crested Powderpuff Chinese Crested

At first glance, the Hairless and Powderpuff varieties of Chinese Crested Dogs appear to be two different breeds. The Hairless is the more popular variety, known for its lack of a fur coat. Instead, it has a soft, humanlike skin that is unusual to the touch, though it has tufts of fur on its paws ("socks") and tail ("plume") and long, wavy hair on its head ("crest"). Fur on the muzzle, known as a beard, is not uncommon. The hairless variety can vary in amount of body hair. A true hairless has very little to no body hair. Many of the dogs seen in the show ring are actually a "moderate" or "hairy" hairless that is shaved down. The difference between a vary hairy hairless and a "puff" is that the hairless has a single coat, often with hairless parts on the body, while the puff has a thick double coat. The skin of the Hairless comes in a variety of colours, ranging from a pale flesh to black, and is often mottled. Hairless Cresteds often lack a full set of teeth.

The Powderpuff shares the crest and build of the Hairless, but in addition has a full coat of long hair. The look of the Powderpuff varies, according to how it is groomed. When its fur is completely grown out on its face, it strongly resembles a terrier; however, the Powderpuff is usually shaved around the snout as a standard cut. Its fur is incredibly soft, and shedding is minimal. Due to its coat type, the Powderpuff or Hairless are considered good pets for allergy sufferers.


Dark-skinned Chinese Crested Dark-skinned Chinese Crested

Chinese Cresteds are affectionate, energetic, and playful. They are known to be great family pets, and have endearing personalities. They are known to be great with respectful children. Some are known "singers", while others are known to "smile". They are generally happy lap dogs with candid personalities.


The Hairless is susceptible to acne and sunburn. Maintenance of the skin is similar to maintaining human skin—moisturising cream can keep the skin from becoming too dry, and in fair-skinned Cresteds, if one lives in a warm climate where there is a lot of sun (Australia, Spain, and so on) one should apply sunscreen to the dog's skin.

Overall, if one is prepared to give proper maintenance, attention, and care, a Chinese Crested can, barring accident or illness, live up to fifteen years.


Though associated with China since the 13th century, many believe it was originally brought there from Africa and others believe that it might be a cross of the Chihuahua and Mexican Hairless Dog, the latter of which it resembles.

The Chinese Crested was officially recognised by the UK Kennel Club in 1981 and by the American Kennel Club in 1991.

Famous Chinese Crested dogs

  • Peek in the 2001 comedy film Cats & Dogs
  • Sam, the three-time winner of the Sonoma-Marin Fair's World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California, became a minor Internet celebrity.
  • Krull in the 2003 film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • Renaldo in 2004 film New York Minute


The Hairless allele is a dominant (and homozygous lethal) trait; while the Powderpuff allele (the wild type) acts as a simple recessive trait to it. Embryos that receive 2 copies of the Hairless allele will never develop into puppies. Thus all Chinese crested carry at least one copy of the Powderpuff allele.

The Powderpuff trait cannot be bred out because it is carried by all Chinese Cresteds (even the hairless ones). All Hairless Chinese crested have the ability to produce Powderpuff puppies; even when they are bred to another hairless.

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