Did you know?
are of the species “Canis Familiaris”, but the Chinese Crested Dog is “Canis Africanus”.
Chinese Crested Dog
Dog: A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world’s worship. – Ambrose Bierce
Although the origin of the Chinese Crested Dog is unknown, dogs of this type have existed in the Caribbean and Central and South America for hundreds of years. Some believe they originated in Africa since it was noted in several 19th Century texts as the African Hairless Terrier. Interestingly, the breed has been show to share a genetic relationship with Mexican Hairless Dog (Xoloitzcuintle).
They take their name from their early association with the Mandarins in China. Chinese sailors took them aboard to keep the rodent population down and thus they were once known as the Chinese Ship Dogs.
The famous burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee is credited with being the first to breed the dogs in America.
There are two types of Chinese Crested Dogs. The Hairless has a “crest” of hair on the head and neck. There is also hair (or a plume) on the tail and “socks” on the feet.
The Powderpuff is completely covered with a soft double coat of straight, long hair. Both varieties can be born in the same litter.
Photos displayed courtesy of Martine Couture, Crestars, Alberta
This little dog should stand no more than 13 inches (33 cm) at the shoulder and should not weigh more than 12 pounds (5 1/2 kgs). The Hairless variety has smooth human-like skin that needs protection from the heat and cold. Although low maintenance for grooming they still require the application of moisturizing lotion to protect their skin and also sunscreen as they are susceptible to sunburn.
The amount of hair on the hairless variety varies. The crest may grow to any length and there may be fur on the muzzle, known as a beard. The skin of the hairless may be any colour and ranges from pale and flesh-like to black.
While the hairless has erect ears, the powderpuff may have drop ears. The powderpuff’s thick coat does require grooming to keep it mat and tangle free. It may be any colour or combination of colours.
These dogs do not shed, are odorless, and are an excellent choice for people with allergies.
The Chinese Crested is a fun-loving, playful, and agile little clown. These “little pony dogs” are affectionate, lively, intelligent, alert, inquisitive, and entertaining companions.
Among their many endearing qualities is their ability to use their feet like hands to cling to objects. This may be because of another of its unique features. He has a “hare foot”, meaning that his toes are more elongated than other dogs who have the “cat foot”. It has been observed that, much like cats, they enjoy sitting in high places such as the back of a couch or arm of a chair.
A friendly family dog, the Crested is not aggressive towards children or other animals. They are happiest with the companionship of a home, and are best in a one dog family. This breed is not an outside or kennel dog.
With a medium activity level and a tendency to be much quieter than other small, yappy breeds, they fit well in environments that are generally not “dog-friendly” such as apartments. Cresteds enjoy a brisk walk and learn quickly, performing well in sports such as Agility, Obedience, Flyball, and Lure Coursing. They are, however, happy in a quieter and less active household too.
Chinese Crested Dogs have been seen on the silver screen. Fans of RomCom may remember Krull the Warrior King from the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”.