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AKC Meet the Breeds: Chinese Crested

A fine-boned, elegant toy dog who craves human companionship, the Crested comes in two varieties. The Hairless has soft, silky hair on its head (crest), tail (plume), and feet (socks). Wherever the body is hairless the skin is soft and smooth. The Powderpuff is entirely covered with a double soft, straight coat. The two types often come from the same litter. Any color or combination of colors is allowed.

A Look Back
It is believed that Chinese mariners sailed with this breed -- thought to have evolved from African hairless dogs -- on board. During the time of the Chinese plagues, hairless dogs were stowed aboard ships to hunt vermin. By the mid-19th century, Cresteds began appearing in European art, and entries of the breed in American dog shows began in the late 1800s.

Right Breed for You?
The Crested is prone to more frequent skin irritations, allergies, and sunburn than a coated dog would experience, and its owner should always take precautions to prevent this. Although no dog is truly "hypoallergenic," Cresteds shed little to no hair and are on AKC's list of breeds recommended for those with allergies. They are also alert and playful companions and do well in families with gentle children.

  • Toy Group; AKC recognized in 1991.
  • Ideal size is 11 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Companion; ratter.



AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.

Comments (2)

  • acfg49 22 Jun, 2011

    The Chinese Crested Dog is considered a somewhat rare member of the Toy Group and most people are only familiar with the Hairless variety. What is even less well known is that there are two varieties of this breed. The Powderpuff has the same characteristics as the Hairless with the notable distinction of luxurious and silky "hypoallergenic" hair covering the entire body. The 'Puff is an elegant and spritely little dog not to be overlooked when considering the rescue or purchase of a toy dog.

  • imdesinging 18 Mar, 2010

    My dog, Bubbles is a Powderpuff Crested. She is a wonderful companion, highly intelligent, and absolutely entertaining. When I got her, she came to me through a rescue center, she had already had some training. She is two years old and she is still easily trained. Bubbles has already learned to do her "deeds" on a leash (instead of a doggie door and yard), and since we live in an apt building I have been able to train her not to bark indoors and outdoors. This breed is good with children, too.