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Chinese Crested
Characteristics, History, and Health

Chinese Crested

While the precise origins of the Chinese Crested are not well documented, there is a consensus that they are one of the oldest dog breeds in existence. The Chinese Crested has a fascinating history that can be traced back to large, hairless dogs in Africa. These dogs were then bred to be smaller by the Chinese, who used them as ratters on ships during long voyages. The breed was not exclusively Chinese, however, as similar dogs were found all over the trading routes in Central and South America, Asia, and Africa.

Main Info
Unknown but believed to evolved from the African hairless dog
Alternate Names
Crested, Chinese Ship Dog, Chinese Royal Hairless, Dr. Seuss Dog
Life Expectancy
13-18 years
Average Male Height
11-13 inches
Average Female Height
11-13 inches
Average Male Weight
8-12 pounds
Average Female Weight
8-12 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Silky, Hairless
Coat Colors
Apricot, Black, Black & Tan, Black & White, Black White & Tan, Blue, Brown, Chocolate, Cream, Red, Sable, Silver, White, White & Black, Slate, Palomino, Pink, Pink & Slate, Pink & Chocolate, White & Chocolate
Coat Pattern
Spotted, White Markings

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Chinese Crested Dogs are prone to eye disorders such as primary lens luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, and glaucoma. They can also suffer from patellar luxation, epilepsy, degenerative myelopathy, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis 7 (NCL-7), and multiple system degeneration. Other genetic conditions for which this dog may be affected include chondrodystrophy and intervertebral disc disease (CDDY and IVDD risk) with or without chondrodysplasia (CDPA), and Scott Syndrome.

Personality and Behavior

Chinese Crested dogs are known for their affectionate, lively, and alert nature. They thrive on human companionship and can be very playful. The breed is known to be intelligent and relatively easy to train. Despite their size, they are agile and can be quite athletic. However, they may be somewhat reserved or cautious around strangers or in unfamiliar settings.

Chinese Crested dogs, like many Toy breeds, can be prone to developing 'small dog syndrome' if not properly trained and socialized. This can manifest in behaviors like yappiness, possessiveness, or nervousness. Proper socialization from a young age and consistent, gentle training can help mitigate these issues and ensure a well-adjusted, happy pet. Their hairless patches make them sensitive to extreme temperatures, and require protection from the sun and cold weather.

Fun Facts

This breed has two varieties: Hairless and Powderpuff, the latter a genetically recessive trait.

The breed was popular among sailors and was often used as a ship's mascot, where it would hunt vermin and provide companionship to the crew. It was also a popular breed among Chinese royalty, who kept the dogs as pets and believed that they had healing properties.