Thanks to genetic technology, the origin of the Chinese Crested can be traced back to the Mexican Hairless dog, not the African Hairless Terrier as was once believed. In the 1950's a breeding programme was started and by 1987, the breed became officially recognised. All litters contain both the Hairless and non hairless (Powderpuff) puppies. The hairless gene is dominant, but all Hairless Crested have the ability to produce a powderpuff puppy due to a recessive gene.
Chinese Crested (both hairless and Powderpuff) are playful little dogs who love human attention and companionship. They do very well within a family and are good with children, other dogs and pets. They can be wary of strangers, but this is more to do with their timid nature than aggression. They love to be around people and can play all day. Cuddling up to you is one of their favourite things and they really do dislike being left alone. They are best suited to someone who is at home for most of the day. They make wonderful therapy dogs. For such small dogs they aren't yappy and rarely bark. They can howl and be taught to 'sing'. Like some other small breeds they can shiver when they are excited or nervous. They aren't difficult to train and some do well in agility and obedience classes. The key to this breed is companionship; if they are with you, able to kiss you, then they are happy. Chinese Crested have minimal exercise needs, but do enjoy a short walk and game of fetch. The hairless variety will need a coat/jumper in winter and sun protection in summer to prevent sun burn (especially the lighter colours). The skin can also dry out, so you will need to apply a moisturiser a few times a week. Powderpuff grooming should be done little and often to keep the coat in top condition. They don't really shed and are classed as non-shedding, hypoallergenic dogs. Hairless dogs coats require similar maintenance to human skin. They can suffer acne, sun burn and dryness. Non-lanolin creams are bests as some dogs can react to it and can have skin allergies.
Health wise, like many toy breeds, patellar luxation can be a problem. Breeders usually have their dogs checked/certified. Hairless Crested can have problems with their teeth, where as the Powderpuff does not.
Chinese Crested dogs have a playful and loving temperament. They will be devoted to their family and will get on well with other dogs, pets and strangers. Early socialisation in puppyhood will help prevent timidity and plenty of reward based training will stop them getting into mischief.
This dog will become dependent on its family, loving to be the centre of attention and hating to be left on alone.
Health problems that may affect Chinese Cresteds include progenerative retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina which can cause blindness), patellar luxation (dislocation of the knee cap) and lens luxation (dislocation of the lens within the eye that can cause blindness).
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 13 - 15 years
- Weight: 3.2 - 5.4 kg
- Height: 10 - 13"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Short
- Grooming Requirements: Once a week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Flat
- Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
- Breed Type: Toy Dog
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Up to 30 Minutes
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