Chinese Crested Information
The Chinese Crested comes in two very distinct varieties, the Hairless and the Powderpuff. Both these types can be born in the same litter. Hairless and Puffers are affectionate and loyal to their owners. Once they get to know you, and you get to know them, they have a quirky larger than life personality. They are often quick, graceful, happy and are very intelligent. They are also tolerant of cats. As far as a toy breed goes, they are not as fragile as they are often made out to be, but are still a breed that very much enjoys companionship and doesn’t like to be left on their own for long (which is why they’re great in duos or small packs)
Cresties, as they are affectionately called, love to learn new things and excel at agility and other canine sports. Often they make fantastic therapy dogs due to their loyalty and affections. They benefit from routine to assist with toilet training. Some are very active dogs, whilst others are more than willing to snooze the day away in your company. They really are a mixed bag of nuts!
As with any small dog, they really blossom with socialisation so they do not become shy and over protective of their humans. Often this behaviour is nannied and makes it so much worse. At the end of the day, they are like any other small dog – just sometimes without hair! Due to their alert nature, they can make fairly good watchdogs, as they are not afraid to let the house know when someone unknown approaches.
The Hairless type obviously have a hairless body, with hair on the head ("crest"), tail ("plume") and paws ("socks"). The Powderpuff variety has a long, soft coat. Both varieties may be any colour or combination of colours. They are “hare footed” which means their feet are long and narrow, and they often use their feet like hands to clasp treats and give fantastic cuddles.
Cresteds are generally a healthy breed. As with any small breed of dog, they are predisposed to certain medical problems such as luxating patellas (kneecaps), eye and skin problems. Dentalissues often arise in the hairless type.
Hairless variety: Hairless Cresteds are extremely susceptible to sunburn and require sunscreen virtually year round or being a predominantly indoor dog. They cool off by sweating through their skin (many do not pant at all) and benefit from weekly bathing. Good, high quality chicken based nutrition is the most important element to acquiring and maintaining smooth, clear skin. Lotion should be used sparingly, only when your dog's skin feels dry to the touch. Overuse can result in breakouts. Coconut oil can be a natural alternative to lotions and creams. What hair they do have should be brushed regularly to prevent matting. If you want your hairless Crested to have the look of a show dog, you will need to groom its face. Some hairless Cresteds have hair on their entire face, so leaving them fuzzy is adorable, as long as they can still see and don’t get food stuck around their mouth. The hairless variety tends to have poor teeth, so retained baby teeth as well as tooth loss is common. Often when they lose enough teeth, their tongues will hang out, as there is nothing to keep their tongue in their mouth! Regular tooth-brushing is crucial to maintaining good dental health. When it starts to get cold, most hairless varieties appreciate a nice warm set of PJ’s. Some have a predisposition to seasonal allergies, lanolin and wool products, so these should be avoided.
Powderpuff variety: Regular grooming of the coat is necessary to prevent matting. They do not have the poor dentition of the hairless variety, but still benefit from regular tooth brushing.
Both varieties should be protected from the cold. Obviously, the hairless variety is at greater risk for frostbite and hypothermia, but neither variety should be left outside in cold weather. You would not go outside naked in the winter, and neither should your Crested!