Many experts find it very difficult to trace the origins of this breed. Contrary to its given name, the Chinese Crested Dog didn’t come from China.

chinese crested image

It could be that these dogs evolved from either of the two front-runner countries: Africa or Mexico.

The theory that the Chinese Crested Dogs have their roots in Africa is backed by many 19th century texts, saying that these dogs were originally called African Hairless Terrier.

On the other hand, there is scientific evidence showing that the Chinese Crested shares a genetic origin with the Mexican Hairless dog (Xōlōitzcuintli).

The Crested is believed to have accompanied Chinese seafarers on the high seas as early as 1530 as ratters. These dogs were also traded to many merchants, hence they were distributed around the world including Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and possibly Central and South America.

By the mid-19th century, the Chinese Crested became the subject of countless paintings, as well as in prints. The Chinese crested gradually became popular both in America and Europe. The Chinese Crested was officially accepted by The Kennel Club (UK) in 1981.

It was then followed by the FCI or Fédération Cynologique Internationale six years after (1987). Because of the support and unrelenting efforts exerted by many of its admirers, this breed was finally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1991.

chinese crested hair

Traits and Behavior

The Chinese Crested Dog is loved because of its wonderful nature. They are affectionate, lively, playful and highly intelligent making them an excellent family companion. Generally, they are compatible with children, especially if they were raised with them since they were puppies. This unique dog is easy to please and will warm up towards strangers.

chinese crested wearing jumpsuit

They can be trained as watchdogs considering that they are curious and highly territorial. They will bark when alarmed. The Chinese Crested is full of energy which means it requires plenty of time from its owner. It enjoys participating in agility games just like most dogs.

Owners should be cautious regarding the strong hunting instincts these dogs inherited from their ancestors. Vigorous activities may pose danger to their nude skin.

Pet Care and Diseases

The Chinese Crested Dog occasionally exhibit rashes due to their skin’s hypersensitivity towards the grass. Although it’s a healthy breed, it is also predisposed to certain health problems such as:

chinese crested face
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA & PRCD PRA)
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) or Dry Eye
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCP)
  • Genetic Deafness and Closed Ear Canals

The body of a Chinese Crested is unprotected and highly sensitive due to the lacks of coating. Almost fully naked, the skin is vulnerable to extreme heat or prolonged exposure to the sun.

As an intervention, sunscreen should be applied to the skin whenever these dogs try to roam outside. They perspire quite easily and do get pimples on their skin.

If their skin becomes dry, lotion (without lanolin) can be applied. This breed sheds less and is not so prone to fleas.

Close supervision should also be done during cold weathers. A thick covering should be wrapped around their body so they won’t suffer in cold temperatures. The CCD should be monitored when submerged in water. Rough underbrush may hurt its unprotected skin. Scratches and cuts do happen and they need to be attended to with hydrogen peroxide or any other antiseptic agent.


The Chinese Crested dog is considered to be a small breed. It is approximately 11-13 inches tall from the withers and weighs 5-12 pounds.

An elegant, playful toy dog, the Chinese Crested Dog comes in two varieties: Hairless and Powderpuff. The Hairless variety appears almost nude, with only the head, tail and feet covered in soft and silky hair.

The nude black or mottled skin is soft and smooth to touch. On the other hand, the Powderpuff variety is completely covered with a double soft, straight coat. Both the Hairless and Powderpuff may come from the same litter. The coat can be of any color.

chinese crested hairless and powderpuff

General Information

The lifespan of this breed is approximately 13-15 years. The average litter size is about 2-4 puppies. Earlier names of the Chinese Crested include Chinese Hairless, the Chinese Edible Dog and the Chinese Ship Dog.

Breed Club

Visit these dog club websites dedicated to Chinese Crested Dogs. Click these links: