The Chinese Crested was originally from Africa and known as the ‘African Hairless Terrier’ it wasn’t until they were taken about the Chinese trading ships, that would stop along the African shore lines, and used as vermin hunters that they were renamed the Chinese Crested and the name has remained ever since. They were also known to be used by the Aztecs as bed warmers and later used for a meat source too.
Today there are two very different varieties of Chinese Crested:
Hairless (see Odin) can have a small amount of hair on their feet, head and tail but will remain hairless everywhere else on their body
Powerderpuffs will have fur all over in a long, soft coat.
Although very different in appearance, these are both the same breed of dog and are both now equally recognised by kennel clubs all around the world. The Hairless and Powderpuff can be born in the same litter and each Hairless dog carries one gene for Hairless and one for hair. Two hairless genes are fatal They are a rare breed and not too many are seen as pets in Australia.
Between both varieties, their can be many colours of both skin and coat. These can include solid colours, mixed and spotted.
As a breed, the Chinese Crested is a very loving, alert and agile dog. Their appearance, for the hairless especially, is always guaranteed to draw attention and they are always happy to take it, loving any affection. It is important to socialise them from a young age, to help build confidence and to ensure not to baby them as small dog syndrome can develop quickly. They are a breed that enjoys companionship so do not do well being left home alone for long periods of time. They enjoy the company of other dogs or humans as much as they can.
Despite their lack of fur, the Hairless Chinese Crested is a very clean dog, omitting no doggie odour. They should be bathed as little as possible with their skin to be maintained with cream or oil as needed. They shed very little hair (as they don’t have too much to shed to begin with!) and are an ideal pet for allergy sufferers.
Due to their long coat, the Powderpuff requires daily brushing and extra grooming during shedding times. Their undercoat can matt quickly if unattended to.
They are a breed that can gain weight easily, so it’s important to control their diet. For the Hairless Chinese Crested, throughout the sunny months it’s important to protect their skin as they can get sunburnt. A good dog sunscreen should be used and also a thin material type dog shirt to cover most of their body.