Chinese Crested (Hairless)

Other names/Nicknames:

  • Chinese Hairless

Country/Date of origin:

  • China
  • Han dynasty 100 BC


  • 9 to 13 inches at shoulder


  • 5 to 12 pounds


  • Affectionate with family but suspicious of strangers.
  • Does not like to be handled.
  • Active and alert.
  • Rather delicate.


It is widely accepted that hairless dogs are spontaneous genetic mutations.  They have been reported all over the world but for some reason they are more often found in Central and South America.  The Crested dogs are recorded in China 2,000 years ago but it was in Central America that they were fostered, keeping the breed alive when it fell out of favor in its native land.  The Chinese Crested is found in two varieties—Hairless and Powderpuff—and both types can be found in the same litter.  A breed club was formed in 1975, and the Chinese Cresteds were accepted for registration in the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1992.

Body Type:

  • A small dog that brings to mind a little pony.
  • Long tail, held low, is not altered.
  • Erect ears are not altered.
  • Fringing is optional.
  • The feet of the Chinese Crested are extraordinarily long.  They are so exaggerated in shape that it can appear that they have an extra joint.


  • The Hairless variety has hair only on the head, feet and tail tip.  It can be any color.
  • The texture of the skin of the Hairless should be smooth and fine grained.  It is warm to the touch, although it is the same temperature as haired dogs.
  • Skin can be as colorful as the hair coats:  blue, pink, lilac, golden, spotted, or the same shade as the hair.
  • Color of the skin is variable.  It darkens (tans) in the summer and is lighter in the winter.

Health and Wellness:

  • Missing teeth are a problem that seems to be connected to the hairless gene.
  • Toenails are sometimes missing in the Hairless variety.
  • Hairless variety can get severe acne.
  • Will sunburn if not protected with suntan lotions.

What you should know:

  • One of the early supporters of Hairless variety was Gypsy Rose Lee.
  • A Chinese Crested in motion reminds one of a prancing pony.  It certainly looks like one with its mane and hairy tail
  • Cresteds and Powderpuffs are often born in the same litter.  Legend has it that the hairy pups are to keep their hairless siblings warm.
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