The Chinese Crested comes in two distinct varieties: as a double-soft straight coated variety known as the Powderpuff, and as the Hairless Chinese Crested with soft, silky hair only on its head, tail, and feet. Both variations can arise within the same litter. They are intelligent and calm; they make excellent family dogs.
Besides the Chinese Crested’s distinctive variations, they are also known for their graceful, elegant movements. They appear fine-boned, are generally 11 to 13 inches tall at the shoulders, and weigh between 5 to 12 pounds. The hair can be any solid color, mixed, or spotted. In the Hairless, the skin can range from pink flesh to black, or mottled. They need an occasional brushing and trimming.
The Chinese Crested is a happy, alert creature. They can be loyal, loving companions. As one of the more sensitive breeds, the Chinese Crested needs constant attention. It is generally quiet, and does not serve well as a watchdog. However, it is suspicious of strangers and may alert you. They generally fare well with other dogs and children; children should be taught to be gentle with the Hairless’ bare skin.
While there is no definitive answer to the Chinese Crested’s origin, it is believed to have evolved from African hairless dogs which were reduced in size by the Chinese. These dogs were believed to have been used by Chinese mariners for centuries to hunt vermin and their disease-carrying fleas.
The Chinese Crested maintains a clean, tidy appearance naturally. They require only occasional brushing and trimming. The Hairless Chinese Crested needs additional skincare to maintain health and reduce the risk of sunburn. They should be protected from hot and cold weather. Their exercise requirements can be met through active indoor play or the occasional walk outside as long as it has been suitably protected from the elements.
The Chinese Crested is a notably healthy breed with relatively few health concerns. Occasionally, the breed may suffer from Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome. The hairless varieties are susceptible to sunburn, wool allergy, and tooth loss. They average 13 to 15 years.
- Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome: a degenerative disease of the hip joint.
The Complete Dog Book. New York: Ballantine Books, 2006. Print.
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