To begin with here are some other names for the Chinese Crested: Chinese Edible Dog, Chinese Ship Dog, Chinese Hairless, Chinese Royal Hairless, Pyramid or Giza Hairless, South African Hairless, Turkish Hairless.
The “crest” in its name refers to a copious shock of silky hair that graces the dog’s head.
The Chinese Crested is found everywhere, but has never reached great popularity. It has often been exhibited in circuses and carnivals as a “freak.” However, this little dog has many assets that go unrecognized.
There are two types of the Chinese Crested:
With a full coat, which is called the Powderpuff
The Powderpuff is just about identical to the hairless except for the coat. The two are interbred and shown together. If you breed a hairless to a hairless or a Powderpuff to a hairless you can end up with either type or both types of puppies. Breeding a Powderpuff to a Powderpuff will always produce the Powderpuff type puppies.
Some authors claim the origin of the Chinese Crested is Africa. Others find its origin in Mexico or any of several other warm countries. The Chinese Crested is known to have been carried by trading ships from and to many different ports where it was bought and sold. Therefore, its origin is shrouded by sea tales.
The date of origin of the Chinese Crested is considered to be during the thirteenth century. Oriental countries concentrated on breeding miniaturized dogs, so the Chinese Crested ancestors probably include some of these small, hairless mutations.
The Chinese Crested originally enjoyed a pampered life with few duties except those associated with being a good companion. Very early in the development of the Chinese Crested breed it was probably used as a ratter on trading ships and was even sometimes eaten by human residents of these trading ships (how horribly awful to think of eating such a beautiful creature).
The Chinese Crested is said to be “a nimble and cunning playmate.” He is a vigilant and sensitive house dog. The Chinese Crested is a loving and obedient pet. He socializes well with other pets and is only a little cautious of strangers. The Chinese Crested is lively and active, but is rarely seen in agility contests. He is easily trained and should do well in obedience work.
The Chinese Crested is fine-boned and graceful. He stands about 11 to 13 inches tall and weighs 5 to 12 pounds. He is athletic-looking and well muscled. The legs of a Chinese Crested are straight and strong. The Chinese Crested has a copious shock of silky hair that graces his head. Hair is absent over much of the remainder of its body except for tufts of hair on the tail and feet.
The Powderpuff has a flowing double coat of silky hair that covers its entire body. It is seen in any coat color or combination of colors.
As with most toy breeds the Chinese Crested needs a minimal amount of exercise which can be obtained in your backyard.
The Chinese Crested needs to be kept clean with frequent baths using a good shampoo followed by a moisturizer like baby oil or baby lotion. This routine is especially true for the hairless type.
The Powderpuff requires regular brushing and combing. The teeth need cleaning regularly.
You will need a good-quality bristle brush and a safety razor (to shave the face) for the Hairless variety. For the Powder puff coat you will need a good-quality bristle brush, a wide-toothed comb and clippers.
The skin of the Hairless type responds well to frequent oiling by massaging baby oil or Nivea face cream into the hairless parts. This helps to keep the skin on the Chinese Crested Hairless type smooth and nicely moisturized.
The Powderpuff puppy requires frequent brushing with a bristle or pin brush particularly when the puppy coat changes to the adult coat, at which time daily grooming may be needed. The coat of a Powderpuff Chinese Crested should be brushed in layers with the lie of the coat.
After bathing, grooming and blow-drying, the face should be shaved using clippers (10 mm blade). Take a line from the outer corner of the eye to the ear and in a gentle curve from the ear down to the “Adam’s apple.” This cut is similar to the face of a Poodle. In the U.S. the Powder puff face is not shaved. Finish off the entire body with a wide-toothed comb if desired. The comb will find any remaining tangles in the coat. Of note in the Chinese Crested is that the dog’s nails should be moderately long.