The Chinese Crested Dog
is a singular breed, with bare skin and long, luxurious fur. It is a member of the toy dog group. Two types can be bred in the same litter; the
and the Powderpuff
Agility Chinese Crested Dog
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At first glance, the "Hairless" and "Powderpuff" varieties of
Chinese Crested Dogs appear to be two different breeds, but
hairlessness is a dominant trait within a single breed.
The Hairless has soft, humanlike skin, as well as tufts of fur
on its paws ("socks") and tail ("plume") and long, flowing hair
on its head ("crest"). In addition to being a dominant gene, the
"hairless" gene is lethal when homozygous.
All living hairless Cresteds are therefore heterozygous for this
Though possibly associated with China since the 13th century,
some believe the Hairless mutation originated in Africa, and
others believe it may be a cross of the Chihuahua and Mexican
Hairless Dog, which it resembles. It is sometimes said that this
breed (among others, such as the Rhodesian Ridgeback) belongs to
a different species from most dogs, namely Canis africanus;
but it is not firmly established either that such a species
exists or that the Chinese Crested originated in Africa. It is
also possible that this dog originated from two breeds of dogs,
one coming from Africa, one from China. It is now believed that
the dog has no correlation or genetic relation to the Mexican
Hairless dog. It is more closely related to the Basenji. Recent
DNA has established that the dog is of African origin and shares
genes with the Basenji. The Peruvian or Mexican hairless has no
connection to the Chinese crested.
|Pictures of Ming, Onyx and Mia from Cori -
Ming (HL) and Onyx(PP).
Just playing in the yard.
Mia my pure white
powder puff shaved down for summer. - Cori
Although there is an anecdotal history of hairless dogs in
many seaports (apart from the hairlessness, it is unclear how
closely these dogs resemble the modern Chinese Crested),
European visitors in the 1700s remarked in particular on
hairless dogs in Chinese port cities, as well as dogs owned by
Chinese sailors plying the African trade route. Paintings of the
breed (and later, photographs) reached Europe in the 1800s.
Early Chinese Cresteds may have been valued as ratters (rat
both on ships and in agricultural communities, though such
traits are rarely evident in the breed today. The breed has also
been called the Chinese Edible Dog, the Chinese Hairless Dog,
the Chinese Ship Dog, the Chinese Royal Dog.
The Chinese Crested was officially recognised by the FCI in
1987,in the UK Kennel Club in 1981 and by the American Kennel
Club in 1991. The USA parent club is the American Chinese
Chinese Crested Dog - Powderpuff
The Hairless variety can vary in amount of body hair. Fur on
the muzzle, known as a beard, is not uncommon. A true Hairless
often does not have as much furnishings (hair on the head, tail,
and paws). The difference between a very hairy Hairless and a
Powderpuff is that the Hairless has a single coat,
often with hairless parts on the body, while the Powderpuff has
a thick double coat. The skin of the Hairless comes in a variety
of colors, ranging from a pale flesh to black. Hairless cresteds
often lack a full set of teeth, but this is not considered a
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. Due to its coat type, both Powderpuff and Hairless are
considered good pets for allergy sufferers.
The Complete Chinese Crested (Book of the Breed S)
By Brenda Jones
"Hairless breeds of dogs have been found in many parts of the world since earliest civilisation. The Xoloitzcuintli, featured in Brenda Jones's authoritative book, predates the Chinese Crested by some two thousand years and its existence has been well documented in numerous Mexican and South American cultures. The Chinese Crested, which is now the most popular of the hairless breeds, is unique because it carries a gene for a long coat. The myth grew up that this was so that the long-coated puppies could keep their littermates warm! Brenda Jones unravels fact from fiction and gives a definitive account of the history, genetics and care of this fascinating toy dog."
More from the Dog Shop from Amazon.co.uk
The amount of bodyhair on the hairless variety varies quite
extensively, from the true hairless which has very little or no
body hair and furnishings, to what is called a hairy hairless,
which if left ungroomed can grow a nearly full coat of hair.
These hairy hairless are not a mix between powder-puff and
hairless Chinese Crested's though, but is merely a result of the
varying expression of the hairless gene, which the powderpuff
does not have at all.
Chinese Cresteds tend to be affectionate, energetic and
playful. They are considered great family pets, with endearing
personalities. Some are known "singers" or "screechers" while
others are known to "smile." They are generally happy lap-dogs
with candid personalities and usually aren't the grumpy type but
some males can become a tad bit aggressive as they age. In
addition, Chinese Cresteds do not tend to be a "one-person" dog,
spotting one particular member of the family as their "owner"
seeing as how many of the Chinese cresteds are happy with
anyone. However, most cresteds choose to be attached to certain
people. Often, this person is the one who gives the dog the most
safe and secure feeling, and the dog would clearly show its
affection towards him/her above others in the family.
Grooming of the Crested is work for both varieties. The Puffs
have a very soft and fine double-coat that requires full
brushing every other day to avoid matting. Although a Puff's
coat does not continuously grow like that of some other breeds,
it can be quite long at full length and some owners choose to
put their Puffs into a "pony cut." This lower-maintenance option
keeps the body hair and facial hair short, leaving the crest,
feathers, and tail plume at full length.
Maintenance of the Hairless variety's skin is similar to
maintaining human skin - and as such it can be susceptible to
acne, dryness, and sunburn. A Hairless should be bathed at least
2 times per week to avoid acne and other skin conditions (some
dogs shower with their owners every day). Hypoallergenic or
mildly perfumed moisturizing cream can keep the skin from
becoming too dry when applied every other day or after bathing.
Burning can occur in regions that lend themselves to strong
UV-rays, especially in lighter-skinned dogs. Many owners apply
baby sunscreen to their pets before spending time in strong sun.
A Chinese Crested participating in an agility competition
Unless the dog is a "True" Hairless (one with virtually no
hair growth on non-extremities), trimming and/or shaving must be
performed to remove stubble growth. Many owners use a clipper
for the face and ears and to remove any longer growth that was
allowed to occur, and then use a variety of methods to achieve
complete hair removal of non-extremities. Commonly used methods
include a man's razor and hypoallergenic shaving cream, waxing,
and electric razors. Some people have had success with hair
removal cream, although one should be sure to apply an amount to
a small test area to be sure no adverse reaction occurs.
The Chinese Crested is further distinguished by its "hare
foot," (having more elongated toes) as opposed to the "cat foot"
common to most other dogs. Because of this the quicks of
Crested's run deeper into their nails, so care must be taken not
to trim the nails too short to avoid pain and bleeding.
The crested is not affected by many of the congenital
diseases found in Toy Breeds. They are, however, prone to some
of the conditions below.
Cresteds have what is called a "primitive mouth." This means
that most of their teeth are pointy like their canines. Hairless
varieties of the Cresteds can be prone to poor dentition. Poor
dentition may include missing or crowded teeth and teeth prone
to decay when not properly cared for. Most dogs of the Puff
variety have few, if any, dental defects.
Eyes is a concern within the breed, having at least two forms
of progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which can eventually lead
to blindness. For one of these forms of PRA, there exists a
genetic test, prcd-PRA. Since this test can only reveal the
existence of affected or carrier status of this one form of PRA,
breeders and owners of the breed should still have regular eye
exams by veterinary ophthalmologists.
As with all other Toy Breeds, the Crested's can be prone to
patellar luxation. This inheritable condition is caused by
shallow knee joints (stifles) and results in kneecaps that pop
out of place. Its onset is often at a young age, and can cause
temporary to permanent lameness based on the severity. Breeders
should have their stock certified free of patellar luxation.
Many countries kennel clubs maintain a centralised registry for
Allergy and autoimmune diseases has been observed in the
breed. The severity of these ailments, often leading to the
premature death of the dog means this is something breeders need
to take seriously, in order to avoid this becoming a problem for
the breed. Many are
allergic to anything related to sheep such as wool and lanolin.
Because of their exposed skin it is possible for them to get
poison ivy, ring worm or to have simple scratches become
inflamed. Owners must be aggressive in monitoring the condition
of their dog's skin.
The lifespan of a Chinese Crested Dog can be quite
impressive. Many well-cared-for Crested's live to see 15 years or
The winner of the 2007 World's Ugliest Dog Contest held at
the Sonoma-Marin county fair in California was a Chinese
Crested-Chihuahua mixed breed dog named Elwood.
The winner of the 2006 competition was a Chinese Crested named
Famous Chinese Crested dogs
- Halston on ABC's "Ugly Betty"
- 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 Lackey from the 2003 film Good Boy!
- Fluffy, Cruella De Vil's dog from the 2000 film 102
The American burlesque entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee (1911-1970)
owned a number of Chinese Crested's, and helped create a popular
awareness of the unusual breed.
The Hairless allele (the wild type) is a dominant (and
homozygous lethal) trait, while the Powderpuff allele acts as a
simple recessive trait in its presence. Embryos that receive two
copies of the Hairless allele will never develop into puppies.
Thus all Chinese Cresteds carry at least one copy of the
The Powderpuff trait cannot be bred out because it is carried
by all Chinese Crested's (even the hairless ones). All Hairless
Chinese Crested have the ability to produce Powderpuff puppies,
even when they are bred to another Hairless.
It is believed in some breeder circles that it is necessary
to include Puff to Hairless breeding in order to reduce the
number of health problems (most notably deafness and poor
dentition) that can occur from repeated Hairless to Hairless
pairings down the generations.
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Hello I just wanted to ask if you could please put on your
website a little about the horrible disease
beautiful little girl Tinkerbell died just 2 nights ago. We
had no knowledge of the existence of this disease, and if we
had maybe we could have got Tink to the vet in time to save
her. Tink was a happy, loving and funny 9 year old ex crufts
champion, never ill, and the queen of our household and we
love her dearly.
She was a little subdued and quiet one day the following
day still quiet and a little sniffly and lethargic, like
maybe a cold. We decided that if she was no better by
morning we would take her to the vet. She died overnight,
horribly I might add. We contacted the PDSA and they do not
do post mortem, so we searched the internet for clues as to
what could have happened.
We very quickly found Addison's disease and it seems she
had an Addison Crisis.. We are not breeders or experts and
we only had Tink with us for 3 years, after she had retired
and had her puppies. She was still complete and unneutered
(which apparently puts them at more risk of this disease)
my Chinese crested powder puff is pregnant
and am so excited i loves these dogs there the best. there
friendly loving an intelligent they are brill pets and are