With their distinct personality and appearance, Chinese Crested Dogs remind us of the diversity and joy that our canine companions bring into our lives. Whether it's the elegant hairless variety that turns heads with its unique look or the fluffy, soft powderpuff stealing hearts, each Chinese Crested has a special place in the dog world. 

This breed not only challenges the conventional idea of a dog's coat but also brings a mix of playful energy and loving companionship. Let's dive into the world of Chinese Crested Dogs and uncover what makes each variety special.

What Are the Different Varieties of Chinese Crested Dogs?

Diving right into the heart of the Chinese Crested breed, we find two distinct varieties: the Hairless and the Powderpuff. Each variety showcases its own unique flair and characteristics, making them both equally endearing and fascinating.

Hairless Variety

The Hairless Chinese Crested is a true standout in the world of hairless dogs. This variety typically sports soft, flowing hair on their head (often referred to as the crest), on their feet (socks), and a plume on their tail. 

The rest of their body boasts smooth, hairless skin, which demands special attention and care. Their skin is prone to sunburn and needs protection during harsh weather, underscoring the importance of sunscreen and appropriate clothing. 

Despite their delicate skin care needs, the hairless variety is known for their vibrant energy and loving nature. They truly embody a unique blend of beauty and spirited companionship.

Powderpuff Variety

On the other hand, the Powderpuff variety presents a stark contrast with its luxurious double coat. This full coat consists of a soft, silky undercoat and a longer outer coat, giving these dogs a distinctly fluffy and elegant appearance. 

The Powderpuff Chinese Crested requires regular grooming to maintain their coat's beauty and prevent matting. But don't let their posh look fool you; they share the same playful and affectionate traits as their hairless siblings.

The Powderpuff variety, with their hypoallergenic coat, often becomes a favorite for families, blending seamlessly into the role of a loving companion dog.

Where Does the Chinese Crested Dog Originate From?

The origins of the Chinese Crested Dog weave a tale as interesting as the breed itself. Despite the name, the breed’s history isn't rooted solely in China. 

In fact, it's believed that their journey began in Africa, where they were known as "African Hairless Terriers." This breed was later picked up by Chinese traders, who used them on ships to control vermin, giving them the name we know today. 

It's this rich and varied history that contributes to their unique characteristics. Over time, the breed was refined and developed, becoming a beloved pet in various parts of the world. 

The Chinese Crested gained a significant boost in popularity thanks to personalities like Gypsy Rose Lee, an American actress who was an avid breeder and advocate of the breed. Her influence helped propel these charming dogs into the spotlight, solidifying their place in the canine world.

What Are the Key Characteristics of the Breed?

When it comes to personality and traits, the Chinese Crested Dog is as unique as its history. 

Here are some of the key characteristics that define this breed:

  • Size and Appearance: As a member of the toy breed group, the Chinese Crested is small in stature but big in presence. They typically don’t grow very large, making them perfect companions for those living in smaller spaces or who desire a manageable-sized pet.
  • Temperament: Known for their affectionate and playful nature, Chinese Crested Dogs thrive on human companionship. They are incredibly loyal to their families and can be great with children, making them ideal as family pets. However, their social nature also means they don't like being left alone for long periods (cue the separation anxiety).
  • Health Problems: Generally healthy, the Chinese Crested Dog does have a few breed-specific health concerns to watch for, including eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy and lens luxation and joint issues such as patellar luxation. Regular vet checkups are essential to catch and manage any potential health issues early.
  • Intelligence and Trainability: They are not just pretty faces; these little dogs are smart and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. Positive reinforcement works wonders with them, as they respond well to gentle, consistent training methods.

Tips for a Happy and Healthy Chinese Crested Dog

Owning a Chinese Crested Dog means embracing their unique needs and quirks, ensuring they live a life full of happiness and health. At A Pup Above, we understand that every dog deserves the best, and we're here to help you make that a reality for your Chinese Crested, whether they're the hairless showstopper or the fluffy powderpuff. 

Here are some tips to keep your furry friend thriving:

Exercise Needs and Play

Despite their small size, Chinese Crested Dogs have a good amount of energy. Regular play sessions and walks are vital to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Exercise helps prevent excessive barking, a common trait when they get bored or anxious.

Skin and Coat Care

For the hairless variety, skin care is paramount. Use sunscreen to protect them from sunburn and moisturize their skin to prevent dryness, especially in cold weather. The powderpuff variety, on the other hand, requires regular grooming to prevent matting of their double coat.

Training and Socialization

Start training your Chinese Crested puppy early with positive reinforcement methods. They're intelligent and learn quickly, making them a joy to train. Socialization is also key — expose them to different environments, people, and other pets to develop a well-rounded temperament.

Balanced and Nutritious Diet

Your Chinese Crested's diet is crucial for their overall health. These little dogs need a well-balanced diet that's rich in nutrients. For the hairless variety, extra attention to their skin health through diet can make a big difference. 

At A Pup Above, we offer a range of human-grade, cooked dog foods that are perfect for keeping your Chinese Crested's coat shiny and skin healthy. From Texas Beef Stew to Turkey Pawella, our meals are packed with non-GMO veggies and real meat — a delicious and nutritious choice for your best dog.

Health Check-Ups and Awareness

Be vigilant about health issues common to the breed, like eye problems and joint issues. Regular vet visits and being aware of the signs can help catch any issues early on. Also, understanding their lifespan and health needs as they age will help you provide the best care throughout their life.

Love and Companionship

Above all, Chinese Crested Dogs thrive on love and companionship. They make excellent best friends and are known to form strong bonds with their families. Give them plenty of affection and time, and you'll have a loyal companion for life.

Chinese Crested Feeding Chart

Now you know how important a healthy diet is for your Chinese Crested's health, but how much should you feed them? At what age does that change? And what's the scoop on treats? 

Here's a chart with the breakdown.

Feeding Guide by Life Stage:

  • Puppies (under 1 year): Little bodies need a high-quality dog food that’s packed with nutrients. Serve up small portions of either puppy-formulated kibble or wet food three to four times a day. Keep those tiny tummies happy and those tails wagging!

Fun Snack Idea: Tiny bits of apple or carrot can be great for snack time. They're not just tasty; they're also loaded with vitamins. For more snack ideas, check out our blog on the best veggies for dogs.

  • Adults (1-8 years): A balanced diet is key. Mix it up between our high-quality dry food and fresh food, crafted to meet all their nutritional needs — from proteins to carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.

Daily Calorie Needs: About 40 calories per pound of body weight.

Extra Boost: Sprinkle some omega-3 and omega-6supplements into their meals to keep that undercoat lush and skin glowing. Probiotics are also a good idea to support a happy gut — learn more about Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics for Dogs here!.

  • Seniors (over 8 years): Keep an eye on the calorie count to maintain a healthy weight and help manage any health conditions. Gentle on the teeth, soft foods can make mealtime easier for older dogs.

Gentle Eats: Opt for softer, easy-to-chew options that still pack a nutritional punch.

A Final Word

In the world of the Chinese Crested Dog, every day is an opportunity for joy and companionship. These charming dogs, with their distinct varieties and endearing personalities, truly make some of the best friends you could ask for. 

At A Pup Above, we believe in nourishing these wonderful companions with the love and care they deserve. Our meals, crafted with the same devotion you have for your pet, are designed to support their health and happiness. Just as the Chinese Crested Dog brings a unique spark to your life, we aim to add that extra bit of goodness to their meals. 

Remember, whether your Chinese Crested is basking in the sun or snuggling on your lap, they're not just pets — they're family, and they deserve nothing but the best!


Chinese Crested Dog Breed Information | American Kennel Club

Dog Sunscreen: What to Know About Dog Sunburn Protection | AKC

How to Socialize a Puppy | America Kennel Club

Chinese Crested Dog | Animal Corner