Chinese Crested Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Chinese Crested Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Chinese Crested Dogs are a rare toy breed found with two hair types: hairless and Powderpuff. They were initially used as ratters on ships but are now bred as companions. Cresteds are considered good dogs for allergy sufferers due to their natural lack of hair.

Sunburn and sensitivity to extreme cold or hot temperatures are problematic for this breed. Otherwise, the Chinese Crested tends to be a generally healthy breed with an average 12-13 years lifespan. Their average weight is 8 pounds, and their height is about 7 inches.

Chinese Crested dogs originally hail from Africa and Asia. The prevailing theory is that large, hairless dogs were transported from Africa to China many centuries ago. Once there, the dogs were bred to be smaller until the breed became the toy dog we know today, standing about 10 inches high and weighing about 8 pounds.

Whether hairless or “Powderpuff,” Chinese crested are friendly little lap dogs who are excellent for apartment life, older owners, or anyone who likes a conversation piece. 

In 1991, the Chinese crested was recognized as a member of the Toy Group in the American Kennel Club (AKC) and became a registerable breed.

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What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Chinese Cresteds?

The Chinese Crested Dog is alert, affectionate, and enjoys human companionship. They remember things that get your attention and are likely to do them repeatedly to entertain you. Often described as “cat-like,” you may find your Chinese Crested sitting in high places, such as the back of the couch or the arm of a chair.

Chinese Cresteds learn quickly and have been known to participate successfully in performance activities such as agility, obedience, flyball, and lure coursing. They are active dogs, though they are not hyper. They love children, but supervision is a must as the dogs are tiny. They might not be the best choice for a family with toddlers unless you are prepared to watch them closely.

They get along with other dogs well, and they are not excessive barkers. Unfortunately, they are tough to housebreak, so the utmost patience should be exercised with the Chinese Crested in this regard. People often refer to them as “clownish,” and they love to please and entertain their owners.

 More of the Puff breed’s traits and characteristics are listed in the table below.

Chinese Crested Dog Breed Features

Chinese Crested Dog Breed information

Height – Males and Females

10 to 13 inches 

Weight – Males and Females

7 to 9 pounds

Relation with family

Chinese Crested dogs are good family dogs—particularly in families with older children who understand how to play gently with this tiny pup.

Relation with children

High – older children

Low – young children

Relation with other dogs


Shedding level

Minimal compared to hairier, shaggier breeds. 

Drooling level


Coat type 

Hairless variety: patches of a soft single coat

Powderpuff variety: Double coat

Coat length


Powderpuff’s undercoat is longer than the outer coat

Coat grooming frequency

Daily Brushing and monthly professional grooming

Relation with strangers


Playfulness level


Adaptability level


Openness to strangers


Trainability level

High for obedience but challenging for potty training

Energy level


Barking level


Mental stimulation needs level



12-13 years 

How Does the Chinese Crested Interact with Family?

Chinese Cresteds are best for pet parents who can be with them for most of the day, and they are good with gentle, affectionate families. They can do well with older kids, other dogs, and cats if properly socialized and are great for apartment-dwellers. 

Interact with Other Dogs?

Chinese Cresteds tend to do well with other dogs if properly socialized and introduced. However, some Puffs exhibit signs of resource guarding. 

That means they may be possessive over food or toys, so supervision and feeding separately may be necessary for families with more than one dog. Keeping children away while dogs eat is equally important. 

Another aspect related to Chinese Cresteds’ interactions with other dogs involves the difference in size. Larger rougher breeds can unintentionally cause severe injuries by being too rambunctious when playing with the tiny Puffs.

How are Chinese Cresteds with Older People?

Chinese Cresteds make excellent pets for older people because their favorite pastime is curled up in their owners’ laps. Their ideal owners are retirees or those who work from home because they do not do well with isolation. Furthermore, their exercise needs are low, so indoor play would likely be enough for most Chinese Crested dogs. Their daily brushing is easy, and it offers particular bonding time to owners and hairy or hairless Crested doggies. 

How are Chinese Cresteds with Children?

Chinese Cresteds tend to be very active and happy little dogs that enjoy playing and cuddling. The one exception to this is young children. Chinese Cresteds are tiny, and their bones break easily because they are delicate and fragile. They are not the right choice for a family with young children who might handle the small Puffs roughly.

Chinese Cresteds can be defensive if they feel threatened, and they will growl and nip when they are frightened. For the safety of the dog and the children, consider another breed if you have small kids.

How are Chinese Cresteds with Neighbors or Guests?

Chinese Crested puppies must learn to distinguish between neighbors and strangers who might pose threats from a young age. It is essential to socialize your Puff with as many people as possible, and this will help them grow up to be confident and friendly adult dogs. Enroll in a puppy socialization class if possible. 

Do not coddle your Puff or shield him from the world by carrying him in your purse. This will make him fearful of new situations. Instead, use treats to teach him that new people and places are fun and safe. This will help him develop that extroverted Chinese Crested temperament that we know and love.

What are the Physical Traits of the Chinese Crested?

The breed comes in two varieties, a hairless version and one with a long, full coat, referred to as Powderpuff. Both the hairless and Powderpuff varieties can come from the same litter and, aside from appearance, are in every way the same breed of dog. The Powderpuff trait is a straight recessive gene. In contrast, the hairless gene has a lethal effect in zygotes that feature double hairless genes, meaning all Chinese crested dogs carry at least one of the recessive Powderpuff genes. Regardless of coat, all Chinese crested dogs are “hairfooted,” meaning their toes are slightly longer than most breeds. This gives them longer quicks in their nails, so care must be taken during trimming not to cut too deeply.

The Chinese Crested’s physical traits are summarized in the table below: 


Trait information


Toy – Companion

Height – Males and Females

10 to 13 inches 

Weight – Males and Females

7 to 9 pounds

Skull/ Head

The head is wedge-shaped and smooth

The skull is fairly long and slightly arched 


Dark, bright, medium-sized, and almond-shaped


Large, mounted high, and carried erect


Tapering but not sharp


Narrow, in keeping with the muzzle, and solid in color that matches skin color




Average needs


12 to 13 years


Hairless variety: patches of soft single coat

Powderpuff variety: Double coat

Coat color

Different colors, from slate to pink and chocolate; some have splotchy spots all over their bodies,


Long, fairly straight, and tapering. Set high and carried up or out

Legs and Feet

Legs wide apart, long and slender.

Hare feet are narrow, with elongated toes

How to Feed a Chinese Crested?

Some hairless Chinese Cresteds have missing teeth. Don’t worry, this is a perfectly normal trait in hairless dogs. (Xoloitzcuintli dogs have this, too.) In that case, most vets recommend soft food or experimenting with a combination of soft food and solid kibble. (But check with your vet first.)

Chinese Cresteds are tiny creatures! Even an extra pound can create health problems for your pup, including heart disease. So, be sure to include the treats you give (for training or because you love them) in their overall daily meal count. Instead of leaving food out all day for them to graze, have specific mealtimes when the food is available. Talk with your vet if you see your pup gaining a little extra weight. They’re in the best position to help you put together a mealtime and exercise plan to help your dog lose weight and still maintain its nutritional needs. 

Base your Chinese Crested’s diet on a toy breed’s unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout its different life stages. Chinese Cresteds fall in the toy breed class, and most dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large, giant, and even toy breeds. 

It is always a good idea to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as your Chinese Crested grows. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Puff from the table; all it does is add weight; instead, follow the advice below to ensure your furry friend’s optimal health.

Despite the Chinese Crested’s pint-size, it is an active, athletic breed that needs food containing animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. A dog of this size, activity level, and demeanor will thrive best on premium dry food because this food type contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

However, your Chinese Crested portion depends on life stage, health, metabolism, activity level, and of course, the brand and formula of food it eats. Feed your Chinese Crested a food formulated for a toy breed with recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors, or look for a brand developed for all life stages.

The Chinese Crested will require between ½ cup and ¾ cup of food per day, spreading the feeding times over 2 to 3 times per day. Because these dogs are so small, overfeeding is a common problem that leads to obesity and many other health problems associated with being overweight.

Feeding Chinese Cresteds several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. However, fresh drinking water must always be available for your little furry friend. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

 An example of premium food specially formulated for Puffs and its benefits are listed below:

The best dog food for Chinese Cresteds is Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food.

Diamond Naturals dry dog foods offer a formula for small breeds that has balanced nutrients that are necessary for small breed dogs. The small kibble is easy for your dog to chew and helps keep their teeth clean by reducing plaque. The main ingredient is chicken and chicken meal, followed by barley and white rice. The flavor combination is enjoyed by most dogs, and the added vegetables and fruit provide vitamins and phytonutrients to keep your dog healthy.

Below is a list of the Diamond Naturals Small Breed Formula Dry Dog Food range benefits.

  • Optimal nutrition for small breeds
  • Easy to chew
  • Tasty
  • Supports immune and digestive health
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Includes fruits and vegetables
  • High in protein and fat

When Chinese Cresteds are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why Diamond Naturals recipes are crafted with everything toy-sized dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should a Chinese Crested Puppy Eat? 

It is essential not to overfeed your Crested Spaniel because they are reasonably inactive. Their daily calorie must be closely managed because even a few extra pounds of body weight could be risky in small canines. 

Furthermore, it is imperative that the calories of the daily treats are worked into the calculation of your Furry friend’s food portions. Treats must never exceed 10% of the daily diet’s caloric intake.   Also, divide your toy Chinese Crested’s food into small meals to be eaten at different times throughout the day to prevent the deadly risks of bloat.

When Chinese Crested puppies become three months old, owners can provide them with three meals per day until they reach six months, then reduce the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Chinese Crested puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for toy-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Chinese Cresteds should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • The exceptions are Chinese Cresteds with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the Health Tests that a Chinese Crested Should Take?

Chinese Crested breeders should have the following health tests done:

Chinese Cresteds are generally healthy dogs with an average life expectancy of 15 years or more. Through testing and selective breeding, responsible breeders strive to eliminate genetic health diseases from their breeding programs. The following tests are recommended for Chinese Cresteds:

Patellar Luxation is a knee joint misalignment that can cause the dog to limp or hop when running. It can be painful for the dog and may require surgery. This condition can be caused by an injury or inherited from the dog’s parents.

An eye exam performed by a board-certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist should be done every year. This is typically called a “CERF” exam because the results are submitted to the Canine Eye Registration Foundation.

The Chinese Crested should be tested for signs of Congenital Heart Disease.

Chinese Cresteds should be tested for the genetic marker that causes Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd-PRA & RCD3- PRA) and Primary Lens Luxation (PLL). These inherited eye diseases can cause a dog to lose its vision.

What are the common health problems of Chinese Cresteds?

Chinese Cresteds have a lifespan of 13 to 18 years and have some health problems to be aware of. It’s important for potential pet parents to know what these health issues are, so you can help your pup live the healthiest life possible.

  • Eye Problems: Sometimes, Chinese Crested dogs inherit eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and gradual failing eyesight with no cure. These dogs can also develop glaucoma (eye pressure that leads to optic nerve damage) and primary lens luxation (dislocation of the lens in the eye). Medication or surgery may be an option with glaucoma (if caught early enough) and lens luxation.
  • Skin Problems: Hairless Chinese Cresteds are prized (and yes, sometimes teased) for their delicate, bare skin. But their bare skin is prone to sunburn, acne, and even skin cancer. Slather your dog’s pink skin areas with dog-friendly sunscreen to help prevent serious problems. If your pup gets a serious sunburn, rash, or noticeable irritation, schedule a visit with the veterinarian. They can help you pinpoint the problem and prescribe an appropriate cream, ointment, or medication.
  • Dental Disease: Researchers have found that hairless dogs are also genetically prone to teeth issues. That’s certainly true of Chinese Cresteds. Schedule annual teeth cleanings by a canine dentist or veterinarian to prevent serious issues.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: Some Chinese Cresteds are prone to orthopedic conditions like Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, a disorder characterized by joint degeneration that can lead to limping. This condition can be diagnosed with an X-ray evaluation and treated with surgery and pain medication.
  • Patellar luxation occurs when the dog patella (kneecap), which usually sits on the groove of the femur (thighbone), shifts out of alignment. When luxation of the patella occurs, your dog may experience intermittent hind limb “skipping,” lameness, or the limb locking up at an odd angle.
  • Reactions to Medications and Vaccinations: Sometimes, Chinese Crested dogs have bad reactions to vaccinations or medications. It’s always best to chat with your vet about potential side effects or reactions before scheduling shots or treatments for your pup.

You can minimize serious health concerns in a Chinese Crested by purchasing a Puff from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices and screening for common diseases and conditions.

What is the Exercise Need of a Chinese Crested?

Chinese Crested puppies enjoy active play and brisk walks like many young dogs. Moderately active, alert, and lively, they’re not hyperactive or in need of several walks each day. Your Chinese Crested will probably be satisfied with a brisk morning walk plus some evening chasing or tug-of-war in the backyard or house, totaling about 30 minutes. Just don’t forget the sunscreen for your hairless variety if you’re heading outside to play!

Of course, Chinese Cresteds are known for their agility. They excel in competitive sports like flyball and obstacle course racing. After all, these dogs were bred to hunt rats, which takes some energy. Its small size and moderate exercise requirements make the Chinese Crested an excellent choice for apartment living.

What are the nutritional needs of Chinese Cresteds?

The nutritional needs of a Chinese Crested include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the Chinese Crested are listed below.

  • Protein: Chinese Cresteds need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids essential for Puff’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Chinese Crested’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Chinese Cresteds need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Chinese Crested sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, that too many carbohydrates can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Chinese Crested puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging Chinese Crested by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of the Chinese Crested.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Chinese Cresteds are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for a Chinese Crested’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Chinese Cresteds.

What is the Shedding Level of Chinese Cresteds?

Even though their shed level is very low compared to other dogs, they need daily brushing, whether hairless or Powderpuff Cresteds. Doggie parents of hairless Cresteds should note the following:

  • Hairless Chinese Crested dogs have a lot of exposed skin, which means they’re prone to many of humans’ same issues. 
  • They can get acne, rashes, and sunburns.
  • Chinese Crested need to layer up in colder temperatures

Just be careful about what fabrics you use to clothe your pooch—many Cresteds are allergic to wool and lanolin. In general, itchy fabrics can lead to irritation or rashes.

What is the Coat Grooming Frequency of Chinese Cresteds?

Puppies should be bathed as needed with a mild, puppy-safe shampoo and kept warm and out of drafts until completely dry. Cresteds should be brushed regularly, especially the Powderpuff variety. It would be best if you brushed your Powderpuff Crested pup daily or every other day with a pin brush followed by a comb to make sure you get the tangles out. 

Unlike other double-coated dogs (dogs with an undercoat and a top coat), the Powderpuff’s undercoat is longer than the topcoat and more prone to tangles. You may also need to give their muzzle a haircut about twice a month, and, unless they are filthy, they only need a bath about once a month. 

Brush the Chinese Crested’s teeth regularly and provide appropriate chew toys. Have your veterinarian check his teeth yearly. Poorly maintained teeth may lead to other health problems. Clean ears with a cotton ball and mild ear cleaner made for dogs. If the inside of the ear is red, irritated, has a foul odor, or a dark brown residue, have your dog checked by a veterinarian. 

Trim your Crested’s nails regularly. If you feel uncomfortable with this procedure, have your veterinarian or a groomer do it. Untrimmed nails can create splayed feet and make walking painful for your pet.

What is the Drooling Level of Chinese Cresteds?

The drooling level of Chinese Cresteds is low, and they are not slobbery dogs at all; just a quick heads-up. Chinese Cresteds are very affectionate, and some tend to show their love by licking, aimed mainly at their primary pet parent. However, early training can discourage them from overwhelming you with doggie kisses if this is an issue.

However, drooling is a natural process, and if your canine companion drools more than usual, it might indicate a health problem to report to your vet. The primary triggers of drooling are listed below:

  • The thought of delicious meals like a favorite treat or meat
  • Mouth and throat problems like fractures in the mouth, throat, or esophagus.
  • Plaque build-up can also irritate the mouth and cause excessive saliva.
  • A foreign object stuck in the throat prevents swallowing, thus causing drooling. 
  • Growth in the mouth also stimulates drooling.
  • Stomach upsets.
  • Extreme heat, especially during summer
  • The main symptom of diseases like kidney disease, liver problems, seizures, botulism, and rabies is drooling.
  • Motion sickness and anxiety. Dogs who do not like traveling will get anxious whenever they board a car. Stress makes dogs pant and breathes with their mouths open, thus causing drooling.
  • Excitement and agitation make dogs drool.
  • Sexual excitement, like when a male Puff spot a female Chinese Crested in heat, causes drooling. Likewise, a female in her heat cycle might drool if she picks up the scent of a male.

What is the Coat Type of the Chinese Crested?

The Chinese Crested comes in two distinct varieties, the Hairless and the Powderpuff. The Powderpuff has a soft and silky coat, and the Hairless has hair on its head or “crest,” its feet or “socks” and its tail or “plume.”

Hairless and Powderpuff puppies are born in the same litter. If both parents are Powderpuffs, all puppies will be Powderpuffs, but a Hairless Chinese Crested can produce either Hairless or Powderpuff puppies.

Hairless Chinese Crested’s skin may become sunburned. It is suitable for them to spend time outside on a sunny day, but you may need to limit their exposure to the sun by providing shady areas, protective clothing, and sunscreen. 

Some dogs are not as sensitive to the sun, and others may build up a base tan towards the end of the summer, so they do not burn as easily. In general, young puppies that have never been exposed to the sun will burn very quickly. If your dog is sunburned, use an after-sun aloe lotion to help soothe the skin. If you are concerned about the severity of the sunburn, take the dog to a veterinarian.

Hairless Chinese Cresteds also share the process of sweating with humans. Unlike other dogs that pant to regulate body temperature, this hairless breed has sweat glands, and they sweat as humans do. Because they sweat, like humans, they tend to get acne or blackheads.

Most products used to treat and prevent acne in humans can also be used on the Hairless Chinese Crested. Prevention is the key. A weekly bath with a quality shampoo and conditioner, clean clothes and bedding, freshwater, a good diet, fresh air and exercise are essential. 

Resist the urge to squeeze pimples or blackheads. This can cause infections, scarring, and discolor the skin. If the dog has severe breakouts, consult a veterinarian. Your vet can also advise you on the correct shampoo, conditioner and skincare products to use that will not damage your Crested Cutie’s tender skin.

What is the Coat Lenght of the Chinese Crested?  

The Powderpuff Chinese crested will feature a double coat of long, fine hair that is very soft and silky to the touch. When left untrimmed, this gives the Powderpuff a look very much like a traditional spaniel. However, owners will usually trim down the hair around the muzzle and face. The coats can get quite long if left uncut, and colors can range from black or blue to yellow or chocolate, with tricolors occurring. 

Hairless crested pups can still have varying amounts of fur, depending on how strongly the gene presents itself. Most commonly having fur around all four feet, the end of the tail, and the crest on the head. Hairless cresteds who have more hair will often be trimmed or shaved down to just these points as well. As it’s almost the only hair they have, the crest on these hairless dogs tends to be a dramatic flair.

For the non-furred parts of a hairless, their skin is soft, and colors range from pale peach to black. The patches of fur on a hairless Crested grow in a single silky coat. The fur of a Powderpuff grows in a thicker double coat, which provides warmth in colder climates.

Regardless of coat, all Chinese crested dogs are “hairfooted,” meaning their toes are slightly longer than most breeds. This gives them longer quicks in their nails, so care must be taken during trimming to not cut too deeply.

What are the Social Traits of the Chinese Crested Breed?

The social traits of the Chinese Crested are affection, playfulness, friendliness, and possessive nature. The Chinese Cresteds are intelligent and learn fast, but they can be bored with long training sessions. Puffs’ playfulness and desire to please make them fun to be with.

But don’t mistake their buoyancy for a “devil-may-care” attitude. These dogs tend to be quite sensitive and respond best to tenderness and patience—they won’t quickly forget harsh words. Cresteds crave TLC in return for their unwavering attention and affection.

If you have never had a Chinese Crested pup before, you might not expect the social traits listed below.

  • Show your new furry friend enough love, and she will actually put her paws around your neck to hug you. That is how caring they are. 
  • Their cheerful, loving disposition makes them ideal therapy dogs. 
  • There is no end to the Crested’s playfulness, and they never get tired of playing with kids and other animals.
  • They can entertain themselves with toys and dash around the house and backyard when no one else is available.
  • Being in the spotlight makes Chinese Cresteds very happy. If you praise his efforts in training, your Crested will even show you.
  • Your Chinese Crested is alert and intelligent and will always alert you by barking. Sometimes its barking will be helpful, but it could often become annoying.

How Do Chinese Cresteds Interact with Strangers?

Reserved with strangers, some Crested lines and individuals are high-strung and anxious about new people and new situations. They can quickly turn timid around larger dogs or strangers. However, being timid doesn’t mean they won’t bark at strangers, so they do make a fairly good watchdog. Early and frequent socialization will help build a confident, stable temperament.

Is the Chinese Crested Playful?

Chinese Cresteds are playful with children, adults, and even senior citizens and make excellent family dogs. They also enjoy playing with other dogs. However, their size may lead young children to see them as more playthings than living and breathing family members. Parents with small children should supervise the interactions closely or choose another breed.

While Chinese Cresteds get along well with other pets and children, keep in mind that their jealous streak can come into play here. They crave attention and want all of it, so if you’re giving another pet or small child attention, they might start to get a bit nippy. They are also possessive over their toys, and it could become a problem if a small child should grab the pup’s favorite toy.

Is the Chinese Crested breed Protective?

Yes, the Chinese Crested is a dedicated companion who is always alert. Puffs often bark when someone approaches the home or other animals walk through the yard. They are not effective as guard dogs due to their tiny size, but they make excellent watchdogs.

It may seem crazy to think about a 7-pound bundle of fluff as a watchdog, but it’s true. The Chinese Cresteds’ confidant temperament and territorial tendencies mean they will always let you know when a stranger is up to no good. Not that they will scare intruders away.

These little tough guys must be socialized at a young age. Chinese Cresteds need to be exposed to many people and unusual sights and loud sounds so that their naturally cautious nature does not turn into suspiciousness. A suspicious dog can lead to a defensive dog if not properly socialized.

What is the Adaptability Level of Chinese Cresteds?

Chinese Cresteds are highly sensitive and drastic changes like relocations could trigger some anxiety. However, if changes don’t include separation from its beloved human family, Cresteds will adapt without problems.

What are the Personality Traits of Chinese Cresteds?

Happy and playful, the Chinese Crested likes to snuggle. He loves being in the spotlight and will always be delighted to have your attention. The hairless variety can be clingy, while the Powderpuff has a more independent nature. Both are affectionate with family members and people they know, smiling and taking any opportunity to make them laugh. Choose a hairless if you like the feel of a warm body under the covers — that’s where he’ll be whether you like it or not.

When you’re not around to entertain, the Crested enjoys playing with his toys, inventing games, running around outdoors, or zipping over the furniture. If he goes outside, he’ll need a securely fenced yard. Cresteds are agile and can be good climbers, so make sure your yard isn’t easily escaped.

The Crested doggy may be small, but that doesn’t mean he’s not active. Besides playtime in the yard or around the house, a Crested will enjoy a daily walk or personal playtime. He can be good at dog sports such as agility and rally. His alert, but not yappy, nature makes him an excellent watchdog.

This is a sensitive dog who will be aware of your emotions. If you’re happy, your furry friend will be too, and if you’re sad, he’ll try to make you feel better.

Can Chinese Cresteds be Aggressive?

Chinese Cresteds are not known to be aggressive. They are an adorable, gentle, and affectionate breed that does not get easily angry. Without proper training, though, Chinese Cresteds’ jealous streak might trigger aggressive reactions. 

Can Chinese Cresteds be Dangerous?

No, Chinese Cresteds are not dangerous, except maybe if small children are left with the Puff without supervision. Even grabbing a tiny hand full of the Chinese Crested’s hair could lead to an aggressive response and even biting.

Do Chinese Cresteds Ever Attack?

Brussels Chinese Crestedins often display small-dog syndrome. They are not shy to show aggression toward other dogs, even several times their size. However, it would be mostly a show of teeth and lots of barking, but they are not likely to attack. 

Can Chinese Cresteds Kill Humans?

No, Chinese Cresteds are not likely to kill humans; however, that does not mean they won’t try. One of their character traits is disregarding their dwarf-like size and challenging large dogs, so why not humans? 

Do Chinese Cresteds cope with being left alone?

They like people a lot and don’t like being left alone. Chinese Crested are prone to separation anxiety, and if left alone for too long, they can get into some trouble. These dogs have been found to chew, bark, dig, and climb when left alone, so they’re not great for owners who aren’t home all day. Owners that aren’t home too often can take their dogs to daycare or hire dog sitters or walkers.

Can I leave my Chinese Crested at home?

Any person or family with gentle, patient older kids would do well to consider welcoming a Chinese Crested into their home. This pup doesn’t need much space, but they do need attention. Separation anxiety can lead to bouts of barking or even escape attempts. As long as there’s someone home, this loving breed is just as happy in a tiny apartment as a large house with fellow pets and kids. If you do have to be gone, check your pup into doggie daycare or arrange for a pet sitter or neighbor to swing by for a while.

Can Chinese Cresteds be left alone for 8 hours?

No, Chinese Cresteds should never be left alone for more than about two hours at a time. One reason is that the bladders of these tiny canines are too small to hold it in for hours on end, and they will need to go potty several times during the day. Pups who learn to accept being alone at an early age will be less inclined to suffer separation anxiety when they are older. Still, eight hours of separation is a long time.

Chinese Cresteds can learn to be alone for six or more hours if they have a doggy door that allows them to take potty breaks outside. They love playing, so leaving them with a supply of favorite toys might keep them busy. However, the puff will be much happier if you hire a dog sitter or use the services of a doggy daycare center.

How to Train a Chinese Crested?

Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at eight weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is six months old to begin training, or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. 

However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines, like kennel cough, to be up to date. Many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper, and parvovirus) have been completed. Instead of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing it with family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.

Unfortunately, Chinese Cresteds can be difficult to housetrain. It’s essential to set up a strict potty schedule if you want to succeed. Don’t give a Crested any chances to have accidents in the house. The more often he does, the more difficult it will be to teach him that it’s not allowed.

How Frequently does a Chinese Crested Bark?

Chinese Crested dogs tend to bark, but not excessively, making them a good choice for keeping the peace with your apartment’s neighbors. Barking is usually an attention-seeking behavior, and Chinese Cresteds bark to demand attention, food, or treats from their owner. Instead of giving in, ignore your Chinese Crested’s barking. Your Puff will learn that barking gets him nothing and that behavior will decrease over time.

It takes patience and consistency. If one person in the family gives in and gives the dog attention when barking, that will undo weeks of training. It will take time, but you can improve barking behavior.

However, Chinese Cresteds are simply vocal dogs. Let’s face it; barking is their only way of communication, and most dogs have different-sounding barks for different purposes. So if you cannot tolerate a little barking, the Chinese Crested is probably not the breed for you.

Likewise, if you live in an apartment and your neighbors are sensitive to noise, a Chinese Crested might not be the best choice for your lifestyle.

Below is a list of bark types that owners will learn to recognize. 

  • Chinese Cresteds hate being left alone, and one way of coping with loneliness is barking. 
  • A lack of exercise and anxiety can also trigger barking.
  • Alarm barking is when your Puff is barking as a way of alerting you of approaching danger. Alarm barking can save you from danger; however, Puffs may bark before ascertaining that there is a real danger.  
  • Another type of barking is demand barking, where a Puff feels entitled to something or your attention and would bark as a way of demanding their rights. This type can be lowered through proper training and ignoring the barking.
  • The Chinese Crested uses arousal barking to show their frustrations.
  • Boredom barking signals that your Chinese Crested is tired or bored due to being left alone or infrequent exercises. 
  • Frequent barking can be a nuisance to both the owner and neighbors. Some types of barking tend to be monotonous and continuous. 

You can train your Puff to stop barking by using positive and negative motivators.

  • Whenever they start barking, command them to be quiet and if they obey, reward them with their favorite treat or toy. If your pup disobeys your command, you can withdraw benefits like not giving them their best toy.
  • Engage your dog in their favorite activity or exercise. Tired Chinese Crested might sleep while you are away.
  • Look for attractive toys that would keep your Chinese Crested busy while you are away.
  • Continuous barking might call for a visit to the vet.

What is the need for Mental Stimulation of a Chinese Crested?

The need for mental stimulation of a Chinese Crested is essential as it lowers the risks of destructive behaviors resulting from boredom. Puffs are smart and learn fast, and they need regular mental stimulation. The playful and intelligent nature of Puffs further calls for frequent mental activity. There are different ways of mentally stimulating your Puff, and some of them are listed below.

  • Playing with interactive games or toys, including dog puzzles and canine board games.
  • Encourage sniffing during regular evening walks.
  • Provide healthy chews like dehydrated sweet potato strips. Chewing for more extended periods calms the brain, thus lowering stress levels.
  • Hide and seek games
  • Drop and fetch games
  • Regular walks

These mental stimulation techniques should start at an early stage. Chinese Cresteds who are eight years and older tend to have problems with their thinking ability. The primary signs of mental disorientation are listed below.

  • Excessive anxiety
  • Frequent accidents
  • Failure to recall previously learned commands
  • Changes in sleep and wake patterns
  • Low interest in physical activities
  • Poor social skills

What are the Breed Standards of Chinese Crested?

The Chinese Crested is a compact yet sturdy dog with a body as long as tall, offering a square appearance. The Chinese Crested is small-boned and well-balanced. It has prominent ears, set high and erect, and dark eyes that are balanced and display an alert and intelligent expression. A short, fox-like muzzle should show a scissor bite.

Chinese Crested dogs come in two coat types. The hair on the Chinese Crested is soft and silky. The hairless variety has soft, smooth skin, with hair on the ears and face, the top of the head and down the neck, the feet, and the tail. The Powderpuff Crested is born with hair. He has a short, silky undercoat topped with long, thin guard hairs.

Some of the breed standards of Chinese Cresteds are given in the table below.

Breed Standards 

Chinese Crested Breed Information 


Apricot, black, black white, and tan, blue, chocolate, cream, palomino, pink and chocolate, pink and slate, slate, and white


Chinese Cresteds are very small, which classifies them as a Toy breed

Eye Color 

The color of the Chinese Cresteds’ eyes is dark.

Average Weight 

8 pounds 

Average Height

7 inches

Average lifespan 

Chinese Crested Dogs have a lifespan of 12-13 years. 

What are Chinese Crested Dogs Known for?

The Chinese crested is a small breed in the toy group known for its eye-catching appearance. The crested is one of the most unusual breeds in the dog world; their furry feet and flowy manes make them look like they were bred for an ‘80s hair commercial. 

Are Chinese Crested Dogs Rare?

Yes, Chinese Cresteds are rare. This breed is typically more challenging to find in the United States than other popular dogs, but it’s still possible to adopt a Chinese Crested through local rescues and responsible breeders.

Where to Buy or Adopt a Chinese Crested?

A purebred Chinese Crested’s price can be as low as $1,200 and as high as $2,000. Lower prices are generally available within shelters and rescues, but puppies can cost as much as $4,000 from top breeders. Black Chinese Cresteds are specially bred and are the most expensive variety.

If you want to bring a Chinese Crested home, you should not rush. The only “purebreds” available upon request are not the real thing and are likely bred on puppy farms. The more realistic way is to put your name on a waiting list, and while you’re waiting, learn as much as you can about this giant dog in the cutest little dog body.

Finding a reputable breeder or rescue facility is crucial. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. They are more interested in placing pups in suitable homes than making big bucks. 

Be wary of breeders who only tell you the good things about the breed or make irrational promises to promote the dogs. Be especially suspicious when you are offered a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. 

Chinese Crested puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they are so popular. Cute puppies sell, and that makes the Puff a favorite of puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. Do your homework before buying one of these little dogs, and you’ll be well rewarded with a wonderful companion dog.

The best way to ensure you get a healthy Chinese Crested puppy from a breeder or a rescue organization is to reach out to the registered organizations for the specific breed, if available. Although this breed is reasonably rare, the Chinese Crested is recognized by the AKC, UKC, and FIC, listed below, along with other registered kennel clubs that might put potential Puff owners in touch with reputable breeders 

  • American Chinese Crested Club Inc. (ACCC) For ACC clubs across the U.S.
  • American Canine Registry
  • American Kennel Club
  • America’s Pet Registry
  • Dog Registry of America Inc.
  • Federation Cynologique Internationale
  • Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • American Canine Association, Inc.
  • Australian National Kennel Council
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • National Kennel Club
  • New Zealand Kennel Club

If you manage to track down Chinese Crested breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Chinese Crested puppies are often peppy and playful—all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes.

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

You might find a Chinese Crested puppy or a rescued adult to adopt or buy from abroad, but not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries will enable the importation of Chinese Cresteds may find the logistics challenging. 

Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Chinese Crested is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel. Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What are the Rescue Clubs for Chinese Cresteds?

There are millions of homeless dogs worldwide; many are purebreds needing homes. Adopting a Chinese Crested can be life-changing, not only for the dog but also for the adopter. If you prefer adoption over purchasing a pup from a breeder, then your first stop should be the National Chinese Crested Rescue website. A Chinese Crested rescue group is an excellent idea to adopt an older dog or even a Chinese Crested mix.

Chinese Crested mixes may be available for adoption in shelters and rescues, but small dogs such as mixed breed Puffs are often adopted quickly. If you want to adopt an AKC registered or a mixed breed Chinese Crested, the best first step is to contact shelters and breed-specific rescues to let them know you’re interested.

Chinese Crested mixes may include Beagle, Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, and terrier and spaniel types. Chinese Crested mixes adopted from a shelter may share physical characteristics of the breed, but their temperament may not match the breed standard. Shelters and rescues attempt to determine each dog’s personality through a series of evaluations; even if the dog’s temperament does not follow the breed standard, you can get the dog that suits your home. 

The adoption fee for a Puff from a rescue group or animal shelter will probably be between $75 and $200. Most dogs from rescue groups and shelters will be vaccinated, microchipped, spayed/neutered, and vetted before adoption.

You can also reach out to your local rescue organization or animal shelter and ask if they have any Chinese Cresteds or related mixes available for adoption. If not, you can always put your name on a list so that when one comes in, you’re the first one they call.

Below is a list of registered rescue centers and kennel clubs to reach out to for guidance.

  • Canada Guide To Dogs (National Chinese Crested Rescue, Inc.)
  • Canada Chinese Crested Rescue Groups
  • Chinese Crested RescueMe Germany
  • American Chinese Crested Club Inc. (ACCC) For assistance with adopting a rescue 
  • Bare Paws Chinese Crested Rescue
  • Crest-Care
  • Delaware Valley Chinese Crested Club, Inc.
  • New Jersey Chinese Crested Rescue
  • Rocky Mountain Chinese Crested Rescue
  • We Love Chinese Cresteds Rescue

Facebook is another resource for pet adoption. You can search for Chinese Crested rescue groups in your region.

You can also search for adoptable Chinese Cresteds online through reliable websites such as


What is the History of the Chinese Crested?

The Chinese Crested origin story goes back centuries, long before the breed’s history was meticulously recorded. The prevailing theory is that giant, hairless dogs were shipped from African nations to China, where the dogs were slowly miniaturized through selective breeding.

As Chinese Cresteds became more popular in Asia, they were also brought on board trading ships to rid them of rats. After showing up on vessels worldwide, from North Africa to South America, they became known as “Chinese Ship Dogs.” The breed documented in Europe in the 1800s through paintings and photographs is strikingly similar to the Chinese Crested type.

The breed was popularized in North America by two dog-loving professionals, Ida Garrett and Debra Woods. Their observations and communications about Chinese Cresteds grew in popularity until the breed was welcomed into the American Kennel Club Stud Book in 1991.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Chinese Cresteds?

The prices of Chinese Cresteds range between $1,200 and $2,000. The cost of a puppy from a registered breeder could vary, depending on the breeder you select, the location, the sex of the puppy, and, of course, the demand for the breed at the time. 

The bloodline of the puppy and its parents could also affect the price. You will be hard-pressed to find this breed in a shelter, but if you do, the price could be $100 to $400, based on the cost of care provided while keeping the Chinese Crested and extras like vaccinations and sterilizations.

It is always best to consider annual expenses related to maintaining your Chinese Crested and its well-being before purchasing. The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, spaying or neutering, etc. You can expect to spend about $4,500 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $1,300 a year.  

The typical annual costs of having a toy-sized canine such as a Chinese Crested will not necessarily be much less than a larger dog. In fact, medical expenses throughout the Chinese Crested life could be more than average because the Chinese Crested breed is predisposed to many health problems. 

Except for the lower food volumes, vaccinations, microchips, and other expenses are the same, regardless of the dog’s size. Food and medical only, excluding toys, food and water bowls, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc., could cost an average of $650. The most regular annual expenses for dogs similar to the Chinese Crested are listed below.

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. Grooming might affect the maintenance costs of Chinese Cresteds if the services of a professional groomer is used to trim the Chinese Crested’s hair.

How to Name a Chinese Crested?

Choosing a name for your Chinese Crested involves essential building blocks, including the significance of the sound. The Puff’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but for your canine companion, only the sound matters. Chinese Cresteds respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

It is always a good idea not to rush into choosing a name. Spend a week or so with your new Puff pup, and its character traits might be all the inspiration you need. Call out any name ideas, using different tones and sounds for the two syllables, and watch your puppy’s reaction to the sound. Remember, you must compose a sound that your Puff will recognize from a distance, among many other sounds. 

Choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction and yelling or calling your Chinese Crested. Below is a list of suggestions of names inspired by your Puff’s ancestors and famous owners. 

Chinese Crested Breed Names

Chinese Crested Boy Names

Inspired by Movie and TV Roles

Chinese Crested Girl Names

Inspired by their size




In this movie, a Great Dane who moves to a new city and befriends a group of street canines

A member of a Canine street gang in the 2010 comedy film Marmaduke




Stage performer Burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee fell in love with the breed and became an active breeder and advocate for the dogs. Many Chinese crested dogs today can trace their lineage back to Lee lines.


The Chinese Crested In Ugly Betty


Means “Little Girl” in Italian


Chinese Crested in Good Boy!


Means “Little Girl” in Italian


Chinese Crested in Hotel for Dogs


A small supernatural being in folklore


Chinese Crested in The Young and The Restless

Tinker Bell

A fictional fairy character in Peter Pan

What are the Different Types of Chinese Cresteds?

There are two varieties of Chinese Cresteds—hairless and Powderpuff. 

  • The hairless version, with hair only on the head and legs, is the most common.
  • The Powderpuff version has a long, silky coat covering his entire body. Powderpuffs are not as common because the gene for the coat is recessive. The Powderpuff has a different look that might be mistaken for a different breed.

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Chinese Crested?

Chinese Cresteds are a rare and difficult-to-find dog breed, but purebreds are expensive and involve long waiting lists. Finding a Chinese Crested at a rescue center might be equally challenging because they are popular. However, below is a list of similar breeds that might be a good match for your family.

  • Pekingese – The Pekingese is another small toy dog that originated from China. Although the long hair gives it a very different appearance from the Chinese crested dog, this breed nevertheless is affectionate and loyal. It also has a rather independent and confident streak that may get it into trouble.
  • Shih Tzu – Like the Pekingese, the Shih Tzu is another long-haired toy dog with a big personality. Originating from Tibet, it is intelligent, alert, and active and traditionally might have been used as a watchdog. This breed also has a stubborn streak in training that expresses itself as a desire for independence. more about Shih Tzu Social life care & diet information.
  • Chihuahua – This loyal and intelligent dog is perhaps the smallest recognized breed in the world.
  • Xoloitzcuintli – Originating from Mexico, a relatively unknown toy breed with very little hair. Once considered sacred by Aztecs, it now makes for a loyal companion and watchdog with an alert temperament.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.