Chinese Crested Powderpuff picture, also called Crested, Powderpuff and Puff
Chinese Crested Powderpuff – “Toby”

   The Chinese Crested originated in Africa where it was called the African Hairless Terrier!

The unique-looking Chinese Crested is a toy breed and despite its name, it originated in Africa. It is thought that the term ‘Chinese’ became part of their name due to their popularity with Chinese traders, who regularly picked these dogs up to be ratters onboard their ships. This breed showed up in Europe in the early 1800’s and in the United States in the later 1800’s. There are two varieties of this breed, the Chinese Crested Hairless variety and the Chinese Crested Powderpuff. These two are as different in their coats as their names describe them. The hairless variety only has hair on particular parts of its body, while the puff variety has a long soft coat.

Chinese Cresteds are loyal and affectionate companions that love to play. These cuddly and entertaining animals are companion dogs through and through. They are very social and love everybody, including children and other pets. Be sure that children are well behaved enough that they do not play too roughly with them, as this is a somewhat delicate little dog. Cresteds are best suited to devoted owners because they need constant human companionship. They may have trouble adjusting to a new owner if changing homes. They are very alert to their surroundings, yet usually do not bark excessively.

When selecting a Chinese Crested dog, look for dental problems and signs of allergies and autoimmune disorders. It’s also a good idea to request test results for eye problems and patellar luxation. They are most suited for warm to moderate climates, especially the hairless variety.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Species: lupus familiaris

Common Name(s)

Chinese Crested, Crested, Powderpuff, Chinese Crested Powderpuff, Chinese Crested Hairless, and Puff

Breed Type

The unique-looking Chinese Crested is a toy breed. These cuddly and entertaining animals are companion dogs through and through. They are best suited to warm to moderate climates, especially the hairless variety.


Contrary to what its name suggests, the Chinese Crested breed originated in Africa, where it was called the African Hairless Terrier. The breed’s current name is thought to have come from its popularity among Chinese traders who passed through the area, picking up these dogs to use as ratters on their ships.
The Chinese Crested made its way to Europe in the early 1800’s, and to the United States later in the century. There are two varieties of the breed: the Hairless, which only has hair on certain parts of its body, and the Powderpuff, which has a long, soft coat.


The Chinese Crested is a small dog with a broad head and long muzzle. Its eyes are round and dark, and its ears upright. The Chinese Crested Hairless has long hair on its head, tail and feet. The Chinese Crested Powderpuff has long, silky hair all over. Both types come in a number of colors, and may be solid, mixed, or spotted.
Cresteds measure about 12 inches tall, and should not weigh more than 10 pounds.

Care and Feeding

A good diet for the Chinese Crested would include fish and rice, and be low in fiber.
Grooming: Daily brushing is recommended for Powderpuff Chinese Cresteds, especially when shedding. The Hairless variety needs frequent baths, along with some oil or cream to keep their skin soft.
Chinese Cresteds need annual checkups to maintain good health. Vaccinations are due on the following schedule:

  • 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
  • 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
  • 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
  • Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster

Chinese Cresteds shed very little, so they are great for allergy sufferers. They are, however, prone to allergies themselves, so it might be advisable to run an air purifier and try to avoid exposure to possible allergens.

Housing Your Dog

This breed is best suited to indoor living. Both varieties need to be bundled up when it’s cold out, and the Chineses Crested Hairless may sunburn if outdoors for extended periods. It is important to note that this breed often enjoys climbing and digging.

Social Behaviors

The Chinese Crested is a very sociable breed that gets along with everyone. It loves children, but is not recommended for young ones for fear that they will play too roughly. They usually do well with other pets of any type. Cresteds may have trouble adjusting to new owners.

Handling and Training

Chinese Cresteds are eager to please, making them easy to train. They are great at learning tricks


Chinese Cresteds are quite active little dogs, but they are not particularly demanding when it comes to exercise. A daily walk and plenty of off-leash play is sufficient to keep this breed in good shape. They enjoy running in large spaces, but the area should be fenced in for their own protection.


The Chinese Crested Hairless and the Chinese Crested Powderpuff both carry a copy of the Powderpuff gene, and for this reason both types are often found in the same litter. When choosing a mate for your Crested, look for family history of dental problems, deafness, eye and joint problems, and autoimmune disease. Hairless to Hairless breedings may increase the incidence of hereditary health problems.

Common Health Problems

Chinese Cresteds are an overall healthy breed, but may suffer from allergies. Their effects may be minimized by reducing exposure to suspected allergens. Regular checkups are necessary to check for eye problems, patellar luxation, and autoimmune disease.


Chinese Cresteds are somewhat rare. Prices vary greatly, and are sometimes in excess of $1,000.


Chinese Crested“, Dog Breed Info Center, Copyright 1998-2008
Cusick, William D., “What to Feed a Chinese Crested“, Referenced online, 2008
Chinese Crested Puppies for Sale“, Copyright, LLC, Referenced online, 2008
Chinese Crested Dog“, Wikipedia, Copyright 2008

Featured Image Credit: Veronika_Andrews, Pixabay