Chinese Crested: A Unique and Captivating Companion

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested, with its distinctive appearance and endearing personality, is a toy dog breed that turns heads and wins hearts. Despite its name, this breed's origins are not well-documented in China but rather trace back to African or Mexican hairless dogs. They were popular on Chinese trading ships as ratters and companions, which helped them spread worldwide. This article explores the Chinese Crested's origin, appearance, and essential care tips, making it an excellent guide for potential owners.

Breed Summary

Country of Origin: China
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 79 of 196
AKC Classification: Toy group
UKC Classification: Companion Dog
Exercise Requirements: < 20 minutes/day
Height: Female: 11 in.; Male: 13 in.
Weight: Female: 5-12 lbs.; Male: 5-12 lbs.
Physical traits: Hairless, Medium-sized, Well-balanced
Coat: Length: Hairless: Long on head, feet and tail/Powderpuff: Long
Characteristics: Straight
Colors: Any color permissible
Overall Grooming Needs: High
Personality traits/Temperament: Affectionate, Alert, Lively
Energy Level: Average
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: High
Life Expectancy: 13-18 years

Origin of the Chinese Crested

While commonly associated with China, the Chinese Crested likely originated from African or Mexican hairless dogs, which were then bred in China to the type known today. Sailors favored them on their voyages for their rat-catching prowess and eventually introduced them to other ports, including in Europe and America. The breed was refined and popularized in the West in the 19th century.

Appearance

The Chinese Crested comes in two varieties: Hairless and Powderpuff, the latter having a full coat of fine hair. The Hairless is the more recognized type, with hair on its head (crest), tail (plume), and feet (socks). Both types feature an elegant and graceful build, weighing up to 12 pounds and standing 11 to 13 inches tall. Their skin can be any color, and for Hairless, care is needed to protect from weather extremes.

Temperament

Chinese Crested dogs are known for their affectionate, playful, and loving nature. They thrive on human companionship, often becoming attached to their owners. Despite their delicate appearance, they are alert and can be good watchdogs. They are generally friendly with other dogs and pets but can be reserved around strangers, making early socialization crucial.

Health Outlook

Chinese Cresteds have a lifespan of 13 to 18 years. They are generally healthy, but the breed can be prone to certain conditions like dental issues due to their small mouths, skin allergies, and eye diseases. The Hairless variety requires special skincare to prevent acne or sunburn, and using a premium dog shampoo can help maintain healthy skin and prevent dryness.

Nutritional Requirements

Due to their small size, Chinese Cresteds have relatively low food requirements but benefit from high-quality dog food rich in nutrients. A balanced diet supplemented with a complete healthy multivitamin can support their overall health, particularly their skin, coat, and dental health.

Exercise Requirement

Chinese Cresteds do not require extensive physical activity but do need regular, moderate exercise. Daily walks and play sessions should suffice to keep them healthy and prevent boredom. They also enjoy mental stimulation through games and trick training, which can be excellent for bonding.

Pros and Cons of Owning the Breed

Pros:

  • Highly affectionate and excellent companions.
  • Suitable for apartments due to their size and exercise needs.
  • Minimal shedding, especially the Hairless variety.

Cons:

  • Requires extensive skin care and grooming, particularly the Hairless type.
  • Can be prone to separation anxiety due to their strong attachment to owners.
  • Not suitable for roughhousing, hence care is needed around small children.

Space Requirements

Chinese Cresteds are well-suited to apartment living. They can adapt to any space as long as they have a warm, comfortable environment and are kept close to their family.

Suitability for Elderly

Their minimal exercise needs and affectionate nature make them ideal pets for the elderly, offering companionship without demanding high physical care.

Suitability for Kids

They are gentle and playful but their delicate structure requires supervised interaction with younger children to prevent accidental injury.

Cost

The cost of a Chinese Crested puppy typically ranges from $1,000 to $2,200, depending on the breeder's reputation and the lineage of the puppy.

What Should the Owner Be Like?

Potential owners should be those who enjoy close companionship and are committed to providing regular grooming and skin care. They should appreciate the breed's sensitive nature and be prepared for a dog that thrives on attention and affection.

Fun Facts

  1. The Chinese Crested is often a contender in the annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest, celebrating its unique appearance.
  2. This breed was once believed to have mystical healing powers, used in traditional Chinese medicine to transfer ailments from humans to themselves.

Conclusion

The Chinese Crested is a breed that offers immense love and companionship, wrapped in a truly unique appearance. For those seeking a small, affectionate dog with a manageable exercise routine and don't mind the grooming requirements, the Chinese Crested could be a perfect fit. Whether in a lap or on a cushion, they make every day a little brighter.

Are you familiar with the Chinese Crested or have this wonderful breed in your family?

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