Chinese Crested dog in front of beige background

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The Chinese Crested dog is a distinctive and captivating breed known for its unique appearance and affectionate nature. This breed is known for its hairless body, adorned with tufts of hair on the head, tail, and feet, creating a striking and elegant look. Beyond their eye-catching appearance, Chinese Cresteds are cherished for their friendly disposition and devotion to their human companions.

Keep reading to learn more about this unique and endearing dog, its physical attributes, temperament, and care requirements. 

History & Origin of Chinese Cresteds

The history of the Chinese Crested dog dates back centuries to ancient China. Believed to have been brought over from Africa,1 these dogs were companions to Chinese sailors who used them as skilled ratters aboard ships; these small and agile dogs played an important role in controlling vermin during maritime journeys. The Chinese Crested's roots in Chinese maritime culture have earned them the nickname "Chinese Ship Dog." 2

Chinese Crested's roots in Chinese maritime culture have earned them the nickname "Chinese Ship Dog." [

The Chinese dog breed gained recognition in the West during the 19th century, making its way to Europe through trade routes.2 Despite their Chinese origins, the Chinese Crested breed became popular in various European countries. The breed's distinct appearance contributed to its allure. 

Over time, the Chinese Crested transitioned from its role as a working companion to becoming a beloved family pet. As the breed's popularity grew, it found favor among dog enthusiasts and families looking for a unique and affectionate canine companion. Today, the Chinese Crested’s  intriguing history and captivating appearance continue to make it a cherished and sought-after breed. 

Height, weight, lifespan information about Chinese Cresteds

Physical Attributes of Chinese Cresteds

  • Height: 11-13 inches
  • Weight: 5-10 pounds3
  • Lifespan: 13-18 years4

Chinese Crested dogs have distinct appearances that set them apart. Often considered a hypoallergenic breed because of their hairlessness, these dogs actually have fur in various parts of their bodies. Keep in mind that no dog is truly hypoallergenic because the allergen responsible is dander, not pet fur. The breed has two main varieties: the Hairless and the Powderpuff. 

The Hairless variety has exposed skin with hair primarily on the head, tail, and feet. The skin is smooth and soft, often featuring patterns with a light dusting of hair or a combination of pigmented and unpigmented areas. The exposed skin requires special care, including protection from sunburn and moisturizing to maintain its health. 

In contrast, the Powderpuff variety has a full coat of fine, silky hair that covers its entire body. This soft and luxurious coat comes in a variety of colors, and grooming is a significant aspect of caring for the Powderpuff. Regular brushing can help prevent coat matting and keep it in optimal condition.1

Both varieties of Chinese Cresteds share a slender and elegant build. The head is small and wedge-shaped, adorned with large, expressive eyes. The ears are larger and may be carried erect or with a slight flare. These dogs have a graceful and arched neck, a level topline, and a high-set tail that's carried above the back.1 

Regardless of variety, Chinese Cresteds are known for their distinctive appearance, combining elements of elegance, grace, and charm. 

Behavioral Characteristics of Chinese Cresteds

Chinese Cresteds are renowned for their delightful personalities, making them charming and affectionate companions. While individual dogs may vary, several common traits define the breed's temperament. 

Chinese Cresteds tend to form strong bonds with their human family members. They're known for their affectionate nature and loyalty, often seeking close contact and enjoying cuddle time with their owners. 

Despite their small size, Chinese Cresteds are alert and make excellent watchdogs. They're quick to respond to changes in their environment and may vocalize to alert their owners to any perceived threats. 

These dogs are also playful and energetic. They tend to enjoy interactive playtime and benefit from regular exercise to keep them physically active and mentally stimulated. However, while they have playful energy, these dogs don't require as much exercise as some other high-energy breeds. Daily walks and some indoor activities are usually sufficient to keep them content. 

They're generally sociable and get along well with other pets and family members. Their friendly nature makes them adaptable to various social situations, making them suitable for households with multiple pets or children. 

Chinese Cresteds are also highly intelligent dogs that can excel in training with positive reinforcement techniques. They enjoy mental challenges and can learn a variety of commands and tricks.4

Chinese Crested Health Risks

The Chinese Crested breed, like many toy breeds, is susceptible to certain health considerations potential owners should be aware of, including: 

  • Legg-Perthes Disease: This hip joint disorder can cause pain and limping in affected dogs.5 
  • Luxating patellas: This is a condition where the kneecap is misaligned, causing discomfort and lameness.6 
  • Liver shunts: Abnormal blood vessels may bypass the liver, leading to a reduction in detoxification processes.5 
  • Fading puppy syndrome: This term refers to a puppy's sudden and unexplained death within the first few weeks of life.5 
  • Deafness: Unilateral and bilateral deafness can occur in the breed.5 
  • Ear problems: Some Chinese Cresteds have closed ear canals that require attention and care.5 
  • Eye problems: Several eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), lens luxation, cataracts, and glaucoma are potential concerns.5

Caring For a Chinese Crested

Caring for a Chinese Crested differs from caring for other breeds because of their hairlessness. Regular skin care is essential for these dogs to protect exposed skin. Sunscreen application, moisturizing, and protection from extreme temperatures are crucial. The Powderpuff variety requires regular brushing to prevent matting and maintain a healthy coat.7 

If you live somewhere cold, your dog will likely benefit from a sweater, even indoors. Because of the hairlessness of the breed, they often seek heat. 

Your dog should also have a balanced, high-quality diet suitable for small breeds. Consider their age, activity level, and individual health needs.7

In addition to a healthy diet, these dogs need exercise. Despite their small size, Chinese Cresteds have moderate energy levels. Daily walks, play sessions, and interactive activities are beneficial for their physical and mental well-being.7 

Don't forget to schedule annual check-ups with a vet to monitor their overall health and stay up to date on vaccinations.


Are Chinese rested dogs expensive?

Chinese Crested dogs can be considered expensive compared to some other breeds if you purchase them from a reputable breeder. If you find a Chinese Crested rescue, your costs will likely be substantially lower. Keep in mind that the dog's unique appearance makes them more sought after and more expensive. 

The demand for these dogs can drive up prices. You should be prepared for initial expenses like purchasing the dog and ongoing costs of pet ownership like grooming supplies, food, veterinary care, and toys. 

Do Chinese Cresteds bark a lot?

In general, Chinese Cresteds are known for being alert and may bark to communicate or alert their owners to changes in their environment. However, the extent to which an individual dog barks can depend on various factors like their personality, training, socialization, and specific circumstances. 

Some dogs may be more vocal than others, expressing themselves through barking. Early socialization and positive reinforcement training with Chinese Crested puppies can help manage their behavior and reduce excessive barking. 

Keep in mind that barking is a natural form of communication for dogs, and addressing any excessive barking should involve positive training methods and understanding the underlying reasons for the behavior. 

Why do Chinese Cresteds shake?

Some small breeds have a propensity to shake or shiver, and there are several reasons why they might do this. The first is the lack of a full coat, especially in the hairless variety of Chinese Cresteds, which makes them more sensitive to changes in temperature. Shaking can be a way for them to regulate their body temperature. 

Anxiety and stress can also cause shaking, and the same is true for excitement. Ultimately, every dog is different, and how they respond to certain stimuli may vary. 

In some cases, shaking is associated with an underlying medical condition like shaker syndrome or seizures. If you believe your dog has a medical issue, the best thing you can do for them is take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.

Rear view of Chinese Crested dog in front of beige background

Final Notes

The Chinese Crested dog stands out with its unique appearance and affectionate demeanor. Characterized by their hairless bodies and tufts of hair on the head, tail, and feet, the distinct varieties of the Chinese Cresteds contribute to its elegant charm. Beyond their eye-catching looks, these dogs are known for their loyalty, playfulness, and intelligence, making them excellent companions. 

Keep in mind that these dogs have special care considerations, and you'll need to pay close attention to their skin. While generally a healthy breed, they can be prone to certain health issues, and they may seek heat sources to stay warm. 

Try Dutch's online pet care solutions for comprehensive and convenient pet care. With Dutch, you can access veterinary care from the comfort of your home and get prescriptions from our online pet pharmacy delivered straight to your doorstep. Try Dutch today. 



  1. Chinese Crested Dog - FCI,

  2. Dickerson, S.M. Dick. "Chinese Crested History: Worldwide Origins of the Quirky, Hairless Breed." American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 23 Sept. 2021,

  3. "Chinese Crested." Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc.,

  4. "Chinese Crested Dog Breed Information." American Kennel Club,

  5. "Health Considerations." Chinese Crested Club of Canada,

  6. "Breed Health." American Chinese Crested Club - ACCC, 8 Dec. 2022,

  7. "Chinese Crested." PetMD,

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

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When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

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