Chinese Crested (Powderpuff)

Other names/Nicknames:

  • Chinese Powderpuff

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.  The main difference between the two varieties is the hair coat, of course, but the Powderpuffs can also have a drop ear, which is not permitted in the Hairless variety.  The Powderpuffs are not subject to as many genetic defects as their Hairless siblings and need to be retained in the breeding pool to maintain the health of the Hairless Cresteds.  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, dainty dog with a soft veil of long, silky hair.
  • Long tail, held low, is not altered
  • Heavily-fringed ears may be either erect or dropped.
  • 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 Powderpuff variety has a long, silky coat.
  • It can be any color or combination of colors.
  • Moderate grooming.
  • The hair tangles easily.

Health and Wellness:

  • Generally healthy.
  • Problems with teeth and bad breath.

What you should know:

  • One of the early supporters of this breed was Gypsy Rose Lee.  She, however, favored the Hairless variety.
  • A Chinese Crested in motion reminds one of a prancing pony.
  • The gait is fluid, with great reach and drive.  Surprisingly vigorous in a Toy dog.
  • Hairless and Powderpuffs are often born in the same litter.  Legend has it that the hairy pups are to keep their hairless siblings warm.
  • Long-lived.
Call Us