A Chinese Crested dog plays in a flowery meadow.

Chinese Crested

11 - 13"
7 - 12 lbs
Life Expectancy
12 - 16 years
Area of Origin
The Chinese Crested dog breed is known worldwide for their unique combination of hairless torso and tufted tail, feet, and head. Aside from their physical attributes, they make a loving and playful companion perfect for city living and small spaces (like apartments). Though they do better in warmer climates, they are very susceptible to sunburn and shouldn't spend too much time outside on hot days. There are two versions of the Chinese Crested breed: the Hairless and the Powderpuff. The Powderpuff is typically covered in a long and silky hair coat.
Energy Level
Friendliness to dogs
Friendliness to strangers
exercise requirements
affection level
friendliness to other pets
Grooming Requirements

Where Are Chinese Crested Dogs From?

Despite their name, the Chinese Crested breed most likely descended from the African Hairless Dog. Upon making their way to China, they were bred to be more compact, resembling the version we know and love today.

Explorers found similar breeds in Mexico, Central America, and South America in the 1500s, as well as examples in Africa and Asia as far back as the 18th Century.

The breed was registered by the American Kennel Club in 1991.

Caring for a Chinese Crested Dog

What Kind of Diet Does a Chinese Crested Dog Need?

What Kind of Diet Does a Chinese Crested Dog Need?

Chinese Crested dogs should be fed puppy food for their first 12 months, since growth is rapid early on and high caloric intake ensures proper bone and joint development.

This breed is prone to dental disease, so a dry food diet will help to decrease tarter build-up.

How Much Grooming Does a Chinese Crested Dog Need?

How Much Grooming Does a Chinese Crested Dog Need?

Hairless variations don’t require much grooming, aside from a monthly bath. However, they are prone to acne and dry skin. If you notice excessive itching or redness, consult with your veterinarian.

Powderpuff dogs will require far more grooming, due to their long, fluffy hair. They will need to be brushed daily to keep hair from tangling and knotting.

Are Chinese Crested Dogs Healthy?

Are Chinese Crested Dogs Healthy?

The Chinese Crested breed is relatively healthy, unlike many other breeds of their size. They are, however, prone to a few congenital diseases.

They need to be screened for multiple ocular diseases and have a yearly check-up with a veterinarian to ensure their happiness and health. Their skin is extremely soft and smooth, which requires daily maintenance in relation to their susceptibility to sunburn, acne, and dryness. A sunscreen approved by your veterinarian should be applied if they are spending time in direct sunlight.

The breed has a life span of 12 to 16 years of age.

Chinese Crested dogs are predisposed to: keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), retinal atrophy, lens luxation, glaucoma, patellar luxation, dystocia, sunburn, acne, dental diseases, allergies, and autoimmune diseases.

How Much Training Does a Chinese Crested Dog Need?

How Much Training Does a Chinese Crested Dog Need?

The Chinese Crested is a highly intelligent and easily trainable breed. However, they can be stubborn, so they will need a gentle (but persistent) trainer.

Socialization at a young age is important, since they can be timid by nature. Training should start at 6 to 8 weeks of age. Until your pet is fully vaccinated, they should not spend time at dog parks or playgrounds.

The breed loves playing and interacting with family, especially children. They also enjoy competition and agility training.

How Much Exercise Does a Chinese Crested Dog Need?

How Much Exercise Does a Chinese Crested Dog Need?

This is not an energetic breed, so a short 10-minute walk twice a day is enough to keep them in shape. Despite this, they still love to play and run around, so indoor activities are a great way to exercise and keep them engaged. These little dogs will make great couch potatoes if you let them.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of a Chinese Crested Dog?

What Do Chinese Crested Dogs Look Like?
Appearance varies by type. Powderpuffs have long, silky, and soft hair coats. The Hairless breed is not completely hairless, having small patches on their paws, tail, and head. Their skin is similar to a humans and soft to the touch. Skin color can be pale pink, black, or a combination of both.
How Big Are Chinese Crested Dogs?
Chinese Crested dogs are one of the smallest breeds in the world, growing to be 11 to 13 inches tall and between 7 and 12 pounds.
Chinese Crested Dog Body Type
The Chinese Crested breed has a slender body type, well-defined rib cage, and small waist. Their necks are lean and there is no slope between the shoulders and hips. Their heads are wedge-shaped and proportionate to the body.
Do Chinese Crested Dogs Have Long Tails?
Yes, the Chinese Crested breed has a long tail that is slender with a slight curl. It is covered in fur and carried over the back when at attention.
Chinese Crested Dog Front Legs
This breed has small paws and long, slender front legs.
What Colors Are Common for Chinese Crested Dogs?
Coat color varies for Chinese Crested dogs, and may include white, black, tan, gray, or a tri-color combination.
Chinese Crested Dog Back Legs
Hind legs are muscular with some angulation. Hocks are straight and well-aligned with the thighs. Declaws are commonly removed.

Chinese Crested Dog Facts

This unique breed has made their way into a variety of feature films and television shows, including How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, 102 Dalmatians, Cats and Dogs, Marmaduke, Hotel for Dogs, Ugly Betty, and The Young and the Restless.
Gypsy Rose Lee, a famous dancer and entertainer, fell in love with the Chinese Crested after receiving one as a gift. Many consider her responsible for popularizing the breed.
Chinese Crested dogs are known to have "primitive mouth," which means that they have all pointed and sharp canine teeth, as opposed to incisors and molars.

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