Chinese Crested

Chinese Cresteds are believed to have sailed with Chinese mariners before the 19th century and were useful in hunting vermin aboard ship.

Common Characteristics

  • Size: 1 to 20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6 to 15 years
  • Pet purchase cost: $501 to $1000
  • Allergies: Mild
  • Shedding: Mild
  • Primarily suited for indoors


Common Reasons for Surrender

Some people adopt Chinese Cresteds without first doing research on what to expect from the breed, simply because they want a dog that’s a unique breed. A highly sensitive breed, Chinese Cresteds must have plenty of attention and do not do well home alone for long periods. When an owner fails to give his Chinese Crested enough attention, the dog tends to react by regressing on his training and by having accidents in the house. That regression leads to the Chinese Crested going to a shelter or a rescue.


An extremely affectionate and intelligent breed, Chinese Cresteds make ideal companions with both humans and other dogs. They are also used as therapy pets. Because of their intelligence, Chinese Cresteds train easily and don’t need a lot of exercise, making them great pets for people who live in apartments.


Chinese Cresteds need a lot of attention or they will regress. If you work full-time, you’ll probably want to find another breed. A Chinese Crested that does not get enough attention will become easily depressed. Because they are bred to be companions, they do not adjust well to crating or to being in a cage. Cresteds prefer to follow you around and if you sit down, the Crested will be in your lap. This rare breed has “opposable thumbs" which means if your Crested becomes bored, watch out. She’s going to start looking for things to do and sometimes that means opening cabinets and taking out tasty treats or jumping on the fridge.

Cresteds often deal with many allergies, including wheat grass and carpet cleaners.


Avoid cheap and generic foods with your Chinese Crested, so he does not develop skin problems. Opt for a high quality, wheat-free kibble. Keep any treats wheat-free or opt to give your Chinese Crested a carrot, green beans, or other healthy vegetables. Never give your Crested a rawhide because, if he swallows it, he may develop serious intestinal problems.

Offer treats in moderation as Cresteds easily gain weight. An overweight Crested is susceptible to knee problems.


Your dog won’t need much exercise. You can simply take him in the yard and watch as he strolls around. Some Cresteds get wild bursts of energy, often zipping and zooming through the house for a few minutes before lying down for a nap. Be careful with how much jumping your dog does because Chinese Cresteds typically have weak knees.

Chinese Cresteds love to run, so if you have a fenced-in back yard, let your dog out and watch him run. But, never let him out alone if you live in an area with birds of prey or wild animals like coyotes. Chinese Cresteds are small enough to become prey and have been taken by hawks and coyotes, even with their owner standing right next to them.

Possible Health Problems 

Generally a healthy breed, Chinese Cresteds, particularly the hairless kind, often deal with poor teeth, which may fall out. As a result, the Chinese Crested typically needs more dental work than other breeds.


Grooming depends on the type of Crested. Your hairless Crested must have sunscreen every day, regardless of the time of the year and even if he’s staying in the house all day. If he sits in the sun under a window without sunscreen, his skin will burn.

Cresteds with hair often get mats very easily. To avoid matting and to keep grooming minimal, give him “the powder puff cut” by simply shaving him.


Your Crested wants to please you, which makes training easy if you use positive reinforcement. An extremely sensitive breed, Cresteds require love and kindness. If you attempt to be the alpha, or stern and commanding, you will lose your Crested’s trust and training will come to a grinding halt.

Remain positive with your Crested, and you can teach him tricks, including how to dance and to wave.


Playful dogs, especially when they are younger, Chinese Cresteds don’t require much exercise and are easily entertained. A nice stroll around the yard will keep your Crested happy or a quick run around the house will generally tire him out.

We want to thank Bare Paws Rescue for help with this profile.

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