Chinese Crested Dog
The history of the Chinese Crested dog is among the most interesting of all dog breeds. Contrary to their name, Chinese Crested dogs likely did not originate in China. Instead, some researchers speculate that the breed originated as a mix between the Mexican Hairless Dog and the Chihuahua. Others theorize that the Chinese Crested dog is a variation of the African Hairless which, through selective breeding, was made smaller by the Chinese. Regardless, there is evidence the Chinese Crested made its way to China in the 16th century, where it found use aboard ships as a hunter of rodents, and eventually as food for the sailors. The breed is also known for being loyal companions to the sick, elderly, or bed-ridden, who will happily lounge on laps, for hours on end, serving as a living heating pad.
Chinese Crested INFO
A litter of Chinese Crested puppies can contain two varieties of dog: the Hairless, as well as the Powder Puff. Although the two types look drastically different, they are indeed both the same breed of dog, and a result of complicated genetics. The hairless variety has varying degrees of hairlessness, from completely bald with only tufts of hair on the head, tail, and paws, to a single coat of patchy covering. A Powder Puff Chinese Crested has a full double coat of long, silky fur. The breed is recognized in the toy group, and weighs only 10 – 13 lbs.
Chinese Crested dogs make great companions for families, as they are good with children and other animals. Hairless Chinese Crested dogs are hypoallergenic and therefore are good for allergy sufferers. Although rarely aggressive, proper socialization from a young age is important, or else these dogs can be fearful around strangers and new stimuli. Their exercise requirements are low, despite being athletic and agile. A versatile breed, Chinese Crested dogs are equally suited to apartment or country living.
The life expectancy of the Chinese Crested is 15 -17 years, although some have been reported to live well into their 20’s! The breed suffers from fewer health complaints than most toy breeds. The hairless variety is more prone to sunburns, skin irritations, and allergies than a typical dog. Acne is also common, but over-the-counter human acne medication can be used as treatment. The breed is prone to dental disorders, such as “primitive mouth,” where all the teeth, not just the canines, are pointed. Ocular disorders are also typical, such as Primary Lens Luxation, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Dry Eye Syndrome. As with almost all purebred dogs, patellar luxation is a concern, as well.
Chinese Crested dogs, especially the hairless variety, have gained notoriety recently from their “success” in the World’s Ugliest Dog Competition. Although the breed has won the competition numerous times, the most well-known of competitors was Sam, who claimed the title in 2003, 2004, and 2005. While they may not be the most conventionally attractive of dogs, the Chinese Crested win over the hearts of their owners with their sweet and loving personalities.