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The Chinese Crested dog is a graceful toy breed that comes in two varieties; with or without hair. The origin of these elegant canines is unknown. Still, despite their name, it’s more likely that they came from Africa and travelled to China around the 13th century. At the same time, hairless dogs of this variety were common in Central and South America, where they arose from spontaneous mutation.
The Chinese Crested pup first arrived in Europe in the late 1800s but did not gain pedigree status until 1991. Interestingly, the breed is now rare in China and an uncommon sight in the rest of the world, too, especially the non-hairless Powderpuff variety.
Aside from their distinctive looks, the Cresties personality makes them stand out as they don’t possess the usual high energy and playfulness of most canines. Instead, they are sensitive and gentle lap dogs that spend most of their days lazing around on the sofa.
Learn more about Chinese Crested Breed
Meet the Chinese Crested
The Chinese Crested is a small dog with a slender body, delicate bones, and large, erect ears. Adult Cresties weigh between 10 and 13 pounds (4.5–5.9 kg) and stand 11 to 13 inches tall.
There are two distinct varieties of this breed; the hairless and the powderpuff. Both types can appear in the same litter.
Hairless Cresties have no hair on their bodies or upper legs but silky hair on their head, tail, feet and lower legs. Their fur is soft and can vary in length and density, and their hairless skin is super smooth like a human baby. The skin of the hairless variety can be either pink, grey or black.
The Powderpuff Crestie has a full double coat of soft, silky hair that is thick and medium in length. Their coats require brushing every one to two days, especially as puppies, and they can have regular baths, too. Powderpuff Cresties can come in any solid colour, along with spotted combinations of mahogany, blue, lavender, or copper.
The hairless Crestie is exceptionally tolerant of the heat but very sensitive to cold weather; thus, they need to wear a sweater in low temperatures. Because of their zero tolerance to the cold, this variety naturally does better in warmer climates. You’ll also need to take care of their skin by washing it, protecting it from the sun.
The temperament of a Chinese Crested
The most famous personality trait of the Chinese Crested dog is its low energy levels and gentle, laid-back disposition. While they can be playful at times, they do not have bursts of energy like other dogs, nor do they desire to run around. Even so, they do enjoy going for daily walks, so it’s vital for their well-being not to skimp on exercise. Even so, when they are at home, they’ll be happy to curl up with you on the sofa.
Cresties have a delighted and friendly nature and are very loving and loyal towards their owners. However, because they have a high social drive, they can be sensitive and needy. They have a strong desire to please their humans and can take it to heart if you get mad at them. Unfortunately, their neediness also means that they do not like being left alone, and separation anxiety is common in this breed.
They are intelligent dogs, but they require gentle training methods because of their sensitivity. They are excellent climbers and jumpers, so they will excel in obedience sports and even learn how to perform tricks.
Early socialisation is essential with Cresties. Without it, they will distrust strangers and possibly try to bite them. What’s more, they may be chilled out pups, but they are not quiet. Instead, they see themselves as miniature guard dogs, so they bark whenever necessary.
10 reasons to add a Chinese Crested to your family
- They are one of the most unusual breeds - Chinese Crested are not your average pup by any means. They are unique in looks and appearance, with their furry feet, flowy manes, and cat-like laziness.
- They have two varieties - While the hairless variety is the most unique-looking, not everyone likes hairless pets. Luckily, the fluffy Powderpuff type is just as cute for those who want a furry friend.
- They are super chilled out - If you love dogs but don’t want to deal with an over excited and always energetic canine, this one’s for you.
- They are loyal and loving - Cresties are companion animals that love to be around their owners. They will cuddle with you on the sofa and sleep under the covers next to you.
- They are perfect apartment pets - Their small size and laidback nature make Cresties ideal for anyone living in a flat or a house without a garden.
- They do well with other pets - While many dog breeds are not a good choice if you have cats or another dog at home, this is not the case for Cresties. They are friendly towards other animals and become play buddies with them.
- They only need minimal exercise - You won’t have to reschedule your life for these pups as they are happy to have one short walk each day.
- You can teach them tricks - If you’ve always wanted to teach a dog how to jump through hoops, the Cresties jumping skills and intelligence makes this easy.
- They are the most graceful pups - Their slim bodies and delicate bones give Cresties an elegant appearance, a unique alternative to the standard muscular canine.
- The Chinese saw them as sacred - There are many stories about this breed’s history. The Chinese believed they had magical healing powers and served as companions for Chinese emperors.
Best homes for a Chinese Crested
Their low energy needs make this small breed great for people who live in apartments and flats. Likewise, they are fab for older people looking for a more relaxed canine who is happy with a short walk once a day. Another reason they are suitable for older adults is that they do best with owners who are home often.
Cresties suffer separation anxiety, so if you lead a busy life where you are always on the go, this is not the best breed for you. Finally, Chinese Crested dogs are generally good with children, and they typically enjoy having other pets around.