The Chinese crested dog - a controversial breed. Some people love them, others question whether these little creatures are actually dogs. In this breed portrait we introduce you to the Chinese crested dog and its character.
What does a Chinese crested dog look like?
The Chinese crested dog is definitely a pet that immediately catches the eye as these dogs are predominantly naked, with long coat only in a few places. The head is partly covered with long hair, and the lower legs are covered with hair, so that it looks like the dog is wearing socks. The straight, upturned tail is also covered with fur. Lovers of this breed describe the dog as graceful and noble.
The Chinese Crested Dog has a slender neck and large erect ears with long hair fringes. The coat of this breed is mostly white-gray with some black highlights. The skin can be spotted and very oily, as it takes on the role of the fur and is supposed to protect the four-legged friend from the elements. The skin color is also usually gray, with pigmentation decreasing in winter and increasing again in spring.
The Chinese Crested Dog’s back reaches a height of 28-33 cm, it has a supple, long body and weighs an average of 4-6 kg. There are two types:
- Deer type - classy and fine-boned
- Cobby type - stocky, with a stronger body and bone structure
Sometimes there are hairy puppies in a Chinese Crested Dog litter. This can happen even if both parents are naked. The hairy dogs of this breed are known as powder puff. The soft fur covers the entire body of the animals and consists of both undercoat and outer hair.
Character and traits
Despite its small size and petite appearance, the Chinese Crested Dog is a sturdy, lively fellow. He has a happy disposition and is very fixated on his mistress or master, so he is a really loyal soul. The downside is that these dogs can becomes very clingy, which can be exhausting at times.
In terms of his character, he is also very sensitive and needs lots of empathy from his owner. Regular educational games promote the dog’s development and strengthen the animal-human relationship. Since he is very willing to learn, he can quickly understand what is expected of him.
Other traits that describe the nature of this breed are:
It is also said that these dogs can be very shy with strangers and sometimes even overly fearful.
The breed looks back on thousands of years of history. Although it is not clearly proven, the name suggests that Chinese Crested Dogs originate from China. Presumably they go back to the family of the Han Dynasty and were bred both as hunting dogs and to protect the property and the precious treasures.
But there are also indications that South and Central America are the places of origin of these hairless dogs. In Peru, the bright dogs have a long tradition and this breed is known as Viringo or Peruvian Hairless Dog.
Common hereditary diseases and limitations
The breeding of these dogs is very controversial. Incorrect breeding in the Chinese Crested Dogs can lead to an open skull bone gap (fontanel), in some cases this can grow over the course of time. As a rule, the dogs are able to survive, but care must be taken to ensure that this extremely sensitive area is well protected. Much romping, especially with other dogs, should be prevented.
Other diseases affect the eyes of the dog. Corneal inflammation, lens displacement, glaucoma and dry eyes are some of the most common eye diseases. However, they are not only found in this breed, but in many other small dog types.
Skin problems are also more common in these animals than in fur-covered pets. The dog’s coat is there to protect him from environmental influences, bumps and injuries. In this breed, the skin is unprotected, so injuries are common.
In a study on hairless dogs, researchers from various universities in Switzerland, Finland, the USA and Sweden discovered a gene mutation that is responsible for the development of the outer layer of tissue. This gene is believed to be responsible for the lack of hair and, in some cases, teeth in naked dogs.
Compared to other small dog breeds, the Chinese Crested Dog’s life span is not long. The average life expectancy for dogs of this size is 14-16 years, the Chinese hairless dog, on the other hand, only has a life span of about 10 years.
Grooming and Care
Due to its small size, the Chinese Crested Dog can be kept either in an apartment and in a house with a garden. Above all, they like to be where their favourite people are.
Due to the lack of coat, this dog needs to be protected against excessive solar radiation in summer, otherwise there is a high risk of sunburn. Sun screen for dogs without synthetic additives should be part of the standard care when the warm sunny days set in. A skin care cream especially for dogs is ideal for regular skin care. It should consist of purely natural ingredients and gently care for the skin of the little four-legged friend.
In cold temperatures, these dogs must also be protected. A water-repellent winter coat is ideal for this breed. It warms the little friend and replaces the natural protection of a coat.
After walks through the woods and meadows, the skin and the few hairy areas should be checked, especially during the tick season. The use of spot-on against ticks is possible, but less suitable for naked dogs due to the sensitive skin. Use a tick spray or for internal use, tick capsules.
Grooming is particularly important for the Chinese Crested Dog, even if it can be done much faster. The fur has to be cut regularly, especially around the eyes so it won’t hinder your dog's vision and irritate the eyes.
The Chinese Crested Dog puppies of the Powder Puff have significantly more fur. You can find out how to properly care for your dog's fur in our blog article: Dog grooming - important for health and well-being.
Will a Chinese Crested Dog Fit Me?
These dogs are undemanding and easy to satisfy, which makes them ideal as a beginner dog. However, you should bring enough time for your four-legged friend, because these dogs don’t like to be alone. If you have a preference for dog sports, your Chinese Crested Dog will be a willing partner, but you should avoid long jogging laps.
Since the Chinese Crested Dogs are easy to train, they feel very comfortable with families. They are playful and not very aggressive, so they suit children well and quickly build an intense connection with their family. Due to the small size, these dogs are also suitable for smaller children.
Singles, couples or older people will also be happy with the Chinese Crested Dog. However, this dog does not like globetrotters who regularly leave him alone or with friends. If a longer journey is pending, the Chinese Crested Dog can easily be taken along in the passenger area of an aircraft due to its size and weight.
This dog breed is not very popular, and the breeding of the Chinese Crested Dog is in question, but this little rascal is a lovable dog with many great character traits. He suits families with dogs as well as people living by themselves. Due to the lack of fur, his skin must be protected and cared for so that the weather does not restrict him too much. If you are deciding for a Chinese Crested Dog, you will get a bright and loyal companion.