Chinese Crested Dog: Your New Pet
From China comes this emblematic dog breed, very known for its peculiar appearance, it is the Chinese Crested, a dog mostly hairless but with strands of hair that gives it an elegant appearance.
This is an exotic dog so you might want to know some important details about it before getting into the adventure of breeding. In this article, we will summarize the essential aspects of the breed so you can decide on adopting a dog.
Many aspects are convenient for you to know beforehand about the Chinese Crested, even more, if you plan to adopt one. Such aspects are:
- DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT: In males, the height is about 28 to 33 centimeters, and in the case of women is about 23 to 30 centimeters. The weight oscillates between 2.5 and 5.5 kilograms. As we can see, they are small dogs. This helps them in their role as companion dogs.
- NECESSARY SPACE FOR LIVING: They can live in a closed apartment, in fact, their particular fur makes them live better in interiors. However, we cannot forget to take it out for walks very often, since their great energy demands them to perform physical activity.
- NECESSARY EXERCISE: They have a lot of energy and an athletic body. They demand a lot of daily physical activity and they have to be active to be happy.
- LIFE EXPECTANCY: If you have a Chinese Crested dog, you can hope for it to be with you for a long time since they can get to live until 13 and 15 years. Naturally, your dog will reach that age if you rear it with a lot of care, which includes periodic check-ups with the veterinarian.
- FUR: The traditional image of the Chinese Crested dog consists of big regions of bare skin, which contrast with strands of hair in the head, tail, and paws. However, this is not the only possibility for this breed. In general, there are two versions, one hairless and one with hair.
The version with hair (Powder Puff) possesses long fur, the same is soft and silky. The owner must brush it constantly to avoid tangles and hair loss. The color of the fur can vary and it can be spotted.
The hairless version is the most emblematic. The bare skin is soft, almost like human skin. These dogs require a lot of care; you must bathe them constantly to prevent dirt. Besides, is recommendable that you apply moisturizers to its skin to keep its aspect and to maintain its health, and its diet must include some vital dermo protective elements.
- ADEQUATE WEATHER: The weather these dogs a lot. If the climate in your country is mild, there may be no problems, but in general, is better to keep them in controlled environments.
Cold is their natural enemy, being dogs so uncovered, they can quickly suffer the ravages of low temperatures and suffer from hypothermia. This compensates in part thanks to the fact that their corporal temperature is higher than other dogs’, but it is better to help them in winter by wearing specialized coats. In that regard, you have to avoid wearing wool since this could cause it allergies.
The sun is another harmful agent to these dogs. Just like in humans, their skins can be mistreated with radiation or ending up tanning. If you are going for a long walk with your Chinese Crested is very recommendable to put sunscreen to it to prevent damages, particularly if your Crested has light skin color since dogs with dark skin color resist better the sun.
Temper and Personality of the Chinese Crested
It is an affable dog that gets very fond of a member of the family in particular and hardly changes it for another. Next to this person, Crested will feel a lot of joy. They tend to be playful like to do tricks and often playing with their owners.
They are excellent for training, they love learning and are attentive. If you teach it tricks, it can memorize them immediately. Their intelligence makes them catch easily the wishes of their master, just like his emotions and feelings.
They get along very well with children and enjoy playing with them. However, the kids could harm the dog if they are gruff, so it is not recommendable that they play with it if they do not understand the need for treating the dog carefully.
We must prevent that it is too spoiled since they tend to be so if you do not educate it correctly. The owner must make the Coton understand that it is a dog and he is the master, otherwise, conduct disorders will arise.
They are not aggressive dogs. However, they could be a little shy with strangers. If they do not trust in someone, they may avoid contact and could even get restless.
With other pets they do not have too much conflict, in general, they like to get along with other species. If we are going to get it together with other dogs, it is better that these are smaller or the same size of the Crested, since their hairless skin makes them fragile and could get harmed playing with other dogs.
The early socialization is vital to prevent these dogs from becoming fearful. If they do not have contact with other animals or pets, the dog may be extremely shy or may suffer conduct disorders when meeting with something unknown.
History and Origin of the Chines Crested
The subject scholars have not yet been able to obtain a consensus on the true origins of the Chinese crested dog this is something natural if we consider that their ancestors probably accompanied the humanity before the beginning of the registered history.
The DNA is probably the best witness to understand the process of evolution this dog has gone through. When one studies its genetic, we can see that there is no kinship with other Chinese breeds. On the contrary, they seem to have a lot of closeness with two breeds native from America: the Xoloitzcuintle from Mexico and the Hairless Dog of Peru.
These hairless breeds share more similar characteristics with the Chinese Crested than any other breed. For example, we can mention the existence of two variants: a hairless one and another one with hair.
How is it possible that dogs bred in places so distanced can share so many characteristics? That is one of the most fascinating questions that must be solved to understand the origin of this singular dog.
To start, many believe that these bare dogs (just as the other “primitive” breeds) do not descend from the Canis Communis as most of the actual breeds. On the contrary, it is believed that their ancestor was the Canis Africanus.
So, these dogs were originated in Africa and then they arrived in China in some unknown way. Registers start mentioning the existence of dogs similar to the Crested since the 13th century, but, probably, they were there long before.
This unknown period gives the freedom to create many theories, one would be that these dogs were natively bred in China since specimens brought from Africa and their characteristics are the results of years of selective breeding in Ancient China.
Another theory a little more bold talks about the possibility that some Chinese sailors arrived in the Latin-American coasts. There, the sailors were fascinated with these dogs and so they took them back to their Empire as a gift for their leaders.
The Crested Dog and Ancient China
When the breed was already in Chinese lands, it must have gone through a selective breeding process to cultivate the differencing characteristics that we know today, including the small size and the strands of hair we find on their heads and paws.
The selective process probably was easy for the ancient Chinese people. It is known that the Chinese civilization was master in the art of breeding small breed dogs. Such was the fascination they felt for breeding small dogs that this is where breeds like the Shi Tzu and the Pekingese appeared.
Once their size got small, they started to develop a close relationship with the same sailors that maybe brought them from their original natal land. They performed very well the job of exterminating the dangerous rats of the navies, which were disease carriers. In that regard, they are very similar to the Terriers.
They were very popular on navies and they earned the nickname of Chinese navy dogs. On ships of the Asian country, they arrived in uncountable ports worldwide. The historic registers witness their presence in very distanced places as Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa. In these places, some local variants of small hairless dogs bred that posteriorly spread throughout the world.
The Chinese Crested in the rest of the world
During the period of discovering, the European explorers would take these variations to the New World, so their presence became normal in Asia, Africa, Central America, and the South.
Now, if we talk about their official history in Europe, we have to say that the first Chinese Crested dogs to be taken to the United Kingdom were exhibit in zoos and did not have the acknowledgment from the Kennel Club until the year 1881. It was then when their standard was defined, at least for the hairless version. The Powder Puff had to wait until the year 1984 to be recognized and accepted at dog competitions.
In North America their success is due to two special women, the journalist Ida Garrett and the breeder Debra Woods. They work hard promoting the breed during the decade of 1880. Garrett wrote many articles about them and Woods developed a breeding program very successful that ensure the breed a solid future in the American land.
In actuality, the Chinese Crested is not the most popular companion dogs in the world. However, they have a special place in the dog exhibitions and they have to get relevance in the culture popular, even appearing in many Hollywood movies.
Behavior with other dogs
The Chinese Crested is a breed known not only for its particular appearance but also for its joyful and easy-to-take character and personality.
The dogs of this breed are characterized for being affectionate, playful, always attentive and observing the environment. The Chinese Crested has a personality that overflows energy, which makes it very active. They will need to do a lot of activities and to play daily to satisfy their needs. They love playing the most of the time, with adults and especially with children, although if they develop effective relations of partnership with other dogs or pets, this would be their game partners.
The personality of the Chinese Crested is moldable and adaptable. They are smart dogs, so educating them will not be something so complicated. In fact, the Chinese Crested is a dog that shows an open attitude before the relations with others, and with the frequency it needs the company of another dog to be its partner of games and antics.
The dog of this Asian breed has the advantage of being sensible, sweet and affectionate. Its conduct is serene and is very far from being aggressive or conflictive since the coexistence point of view.
It is recommendable to make them socialize since they are pups. Getting it together with other dogs of their same breed or of a different one. Coexisting for moments with different humans so when it is an adult, it will be able to socialize effectively with humans and with other pets.
If this socialization process is not effective, then maybe the captivating nature of the Chinese Crested is opaque by shy and distant conducts. It would be then a mistrustful and fearful dog, hard to adapt to new things and with fears and conduct disorders.
For your Crested to discover friends in other dogs, you have to adopt it after it is 2 months of life. In these first months, it will discover what is to interact with its mother and siblings. Take it to the park or to places where it can share with educated dogs and puppies. Let it socialize with them and learn to make friends.
The Chinese Crested has great qualities to make friends. Usually, it gets along wonderfully with other pets. It is joyful, playful and for that, is going to see the other dogs as its partners. Besides, the Chinese Crested also establishes good relations with other pets, for example, cats and turtles.
It is recommendable that the dog that will be the company of the Chinese Crested is more or less its same size and contexture. This is because the Chinese Crested in its hairless variation presents the disadvantage of exposing its bare body, which makes it susceptible to suffer accidental damages during games.
Chinese Crested nature tends to be shy before new things. They can even develop fear. However, when the dog has socialized effectively, all these behavior problems are solved easily. Therefore, when the dog is an adult, you will have a friendly Chinese Crested to humans, dogs, and others.
Diet and Alimentation of the Chinese Crested
The Chinese Crested is a sweet, affectionate and lovely pet. This canine friend will wake beautiful paternal feelings in you but you have to be careful. Remember that, although it is a small size dog, it must not be excessively spoiled or treated like a baby.
Especially in the alimentation subject, you have to be extremely careful with overfeeding, since these dogs present a great appetite, and if we spoil them in excess, we may be giving it more food than we should. It is important to outstanding that the Chinese Crested is susceptible to get fat and suffer from overweight. So, the feeding is a subject to consider and manage with care for this dog friend.
The products and industrial preparing available in the market for the Chinese Crested are varied. In actuality, we have different brands and presentations to choose from. The recommendations will always be to buy the product of the best quality and that is free from added cereals to prevent allergies in these delicate dogs. When you are going to buy these products, preferably go for dry food and look for the presentations for toy breeds.
Similarly, when managing the portions, it is necessary to be very careful. It is estimated that for a dog with the size and energetic needs of the Chinese Crested, you can offer it some 100 grams a day. You can complement it with some snacks or awards, but pay special attention in not pleasing it much with this.
We can name some commercial preparing such as dry food of salmon for small breeds and mini, with the advantage that the Salmon and all the fishes are very rich in nutrients and ideal to take care of the Chinese Crested’s delicate skin. Besides, this also provides essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6. Always make sure this product does not have added cereals, especially corn or gluten.
You can complement or enrich the alimentation of the Chinese Crested with protein or vitamin supplements that you can get in vet pharmacies or pet shops. It is necessary that before buying these supplements you consult a specialist, the veterinarian and ask him if you can give some of these supplements to your Chinese Crested dog, how to do it and which one to buy.
One of these vitamin products is the salmon oil for dogs, which is a nutritional supplement that you can mix with the food that you give your Chinese Crested to eat, and it is recommended for those dogs with sensitive skin.
Any extra nutritional advice you need or any doubt you have about the food that you can give to your Chinese Crested is preferable that you consult it with the expert vet since the dogs of this breed could have special considerations because they are small breeds and have no hair, which makes them even more sensible. Remember to take care of the nutrition of the Chinese Crested. It is fundamental since the appropriate alimentation will allow you to take care of its health, just like its state and general appearance.
Health and General Care
A Chinese Crested dog is a pet easy to take care of as long as the person that adopts it is committed to it. Although it is a dog with a good mood and generally stable health, the Chinese Crested, or at least one of the variations, has the disadvantage of having no hair in almost all its body, leaving its skin extremely exposed, very delicate and sensible. Nevertheless, it is a pet easy to have and to take care of.
Talking about specific health issues, there are no diseases associated with this breed. In general, it has been observed that the Chinese Crested has good health and is very strong, except for their weak point that is their skin. This is where most of the advice on the care of this breed are directed.
Although this, the Chinese Crested, as the common of the dog breeds, can suffer from some diseases, among them patellar dislocation and ocular diseases as glaucoma, retinal atrophy, and cataracts, just like other rare diseases as stenosis of the aorta.
The teeth of the Chinese Crested are another weak point of these little dogs. This breed does not have good dental health because it has a primitive mouth, which means that the teeth and the canines are sharp. Sometimes, there is an absence of the dental pieces’ development or bad position of theses. These anomalies are more frequent in the hairless variation of the Chinese Crested. This oral condition makes these little dogs often suffer from cavities and loss of teeth. In the case of the Chinese Crested specimens of long hair, known as power variety, by fortune present more resistant teeth.
It is recommendable, as for any pet, to take it for checkups to the vet and follow its indications, especially for keeping up with vaccinations and deworming. It is a mistake to think that since these little fellas do not have hair, they cannot suffer from superficial parasites. Of course, they could have it, for that, we recommend you to use antiparasitic collars to free them from ticks and fleas. You have to also take care of internal deworming.
When we talk about a hairless specimen of the Chinese Crested, its hygiene is extremely easy. This little dog is very neat. It does not have the strong characteristic smell of dogs. Its relative, the Chinese Crested with hair, might need a little more care in this aspect. You must brush its hair every day, especially during the hair change to prevent entanglements.
To both types of specimens, you must bathe each month with a special shampoo to prevent allergies. After the bath, you must dry it very well with a wet towel and retire the excess of moisture. The hairless dog requires that you apply it moisturizers or oils on its skin to protect it and hydrate it since it is very exposed to the factors of the environment such a sun, cold and allergens. It is fundamental to avoid irritations, sunburns, among others.
Therefore, during sunny walk days, remember to put sunscreen on your Chinese Crested. On cold days, you can buy it a cute and funny coat of the ones they sell in pet shops. Remember that the skin of these little dogs is very sensible and some fabrics can cause them allergies like wool, so the best option for them is cotton coats.
Equally, the alimentation advice for these dogs focuses on giving them the best nutrition possible, always taking care of no exceeding to prevent overweight. Besides, good feeding can be combined with moderate exercising routines, such as daily walks, playing moments at the park and the yard, catching toys or playing with obstacles. These games can strengthen your relationship with the pet and improve socialization.
Paying attention to this simple advice, you will be perfectly capable of taking care of a Chinese Crested dog at your home.
How to Train and Educate a Chinese Crested Dog
The Chinese Crested is a little dog with a lot of advantages considering certain aspects. Its small size makes it live comfortably in a city apartment or a big house, also, it sweet and kind temper turns it into a great company for the people that adopts it. Even more, the fact that is a very smart dog, makes the Chinese Crested an easy dog to educate and train.
These dogs have such good conduct and such an obedient personality that makes many dog experts consider that they do not need to be trained, only improve some aspect since they are observing dogs and learn very fast.
Although they are not the best competitors, or the most popular, or the best athletes, the dogs of the Chinese Crested breed are friends that can outstand in many activities thanks to its intelligence, obedience, and speed in learning.
The training starts since is a pup, if it is possible when you adopt it at 2 or 3 months of age. You have to teach it first to coexist with humans and with other dogs and pets. You have to take it to populated places, squares or parks where it can have this interaction with other individuals thus achieving effective socialization to release the fears and the shyness that has the Chinese Crested breed.
The positive reinforcement is an element of great utility when training and educating your Chinese Crested dog. Consists of awarding it, whether with compliments or with snacks when it follows an order and not doing it when the order is incorrect. This way, it will learn what it is right to do and what it must not do.
It has been proved that effective training sessions are those in which exercise and games next to its owner, with an adequate voice tone, with clear and precise orders, are enough to train the Chinese Crested for it to be a dog without conduct problems. On the contrary, if the training results not effective, the Chinese Crested could present anxiety conducts, destruction and shyness.
Taking it out for walks helps you to teach it where it must relieve itself. When evacuates inside the house, you have to say no in a firm tone, and at that moment you have to take it out for a walk. Remember you must take it out many times a day, around two or three times so, it can relieve itself. Start with a walk and make it walk beside you. Teach it games like catching the ball or smelling and finding objects. After a two-hour session, get back home.
Some connoisseurs indicate that the Chinese Crested could develop a behavior disorder called small dog syndrome. This is due to inadequate breeding and it manifests with rebellions and antics, and the dog does not recognize its owner as the leader. It is precise not to treat it as if it were a little kid and you have to correct early conducts as grunts, biting, hiding objects, among other bad behaviors.
You will realize that the Chinese Crested is an excellent animal to be the company of families, couples and lonely people. It requires care and frequent company as any dog. It is joyful, playful, friendly and also very smart which makes its training and education an easy task, even for someone who is not an expert in dogs.
Behavior with Humans
If well, the Chinese Crested dog does not have as much fame compared to other breeds of small or hairless dogs, the dogs of this breed are very known. How could we deny such a particular appearance! Besides, the Chinese Crested stands out for its kind and easy character.
The Chinese Crested has a smart and attentive personality. It is loving, affectionate and has good education, is smart and a little extrovert. With people is an excellent breed to have as a friend and a loyal companion. It lives comfortably with all kinds of family, as long as these proportionate it the love, care, and attention that this breed needs and requires.
It gets along amazingly with children. It is a playful and active friend and at the same time is patient and tolerant of children’s games. However, it is not recommendable as a little kid’s pet, since this dog for not having hair it is extremely delicate. If the children are going to play with the dog, it must be very careful to not harm the little dog.
With its adoptive family, the Chinese Crested will develop a strong feeling of friendship, love, and union. It is a fun little dog, very smart and easy to train. Soon, after a few repetitions, you will see it making perfect tricks and following your orders. It is a social and affective pet. Friendly with other companion pets of its home and with the visitors of the house is very kind and affectionate.
The general behavior of Chinese Crested dogs with humans depends on their education and training, although in most of the cases is an obedient dog that listens and pays attention to orders, possesses a lot of energy and enthusiasm for games and other activities. However, on occasions, it could act a little restless. This little dog is affective and educated with those it knows and it is closed to. Although it socializes and is kind to others, at first it could be a little shy with strangers. Thanks to its intelligence, it is easy for it to learn tricks and games.
The Chinese Crested expects from its owner someone who gives it the company and the attention it needs. It is important for its correct physical development and even more for its emotional stimulation that the Chinese Crested daily exercise with its owner or trainer, this will strengthen the relationship between both.
Big families, small families, couples and even lonely people look for the Chinese Crested. The reason is that they perform an important job. They are excellent companion dogs, kind, and sweet, affective and attached, with a Chinese Crested you will never feel alone. It is the ideal breed to have resting next to you on the couch while you read the paper. Besides, they have the advantage that, since they are hairless, they are hypoallergenic pets, adequate for those who suffer from allergies.
Equally, the Chinese Crested has been trained to hunt rats and small vermin, and also to participate in competitions of canine tricks for its jumping and playing qualities and that it learns and performs pirouettes, tricks, and other agility tests.
Although this breed of hairless dogs is not too known outside its native country, every day more people in Europe and America get interested in this breed and feel curiosity for a small dog of such peculiar appearance with great qualities to adopt.
The ideal environment for the Chinese Crested dog can be described by the environmental and homely point of view. This corresponds to the physical aspect of its care, but it is also necessary to keep in mind the affective and emotional environment that the adopting family must provide to this little dog when they take it as a pet.
In addition to all the wonders that we told you about the personality and behavior of this puppy, it is precise that you remember certain disadvantageous aspects of its physical characteristics when we talk about the ideal environment for the Chinese Crested. The hairless version of this breed presents a skin completely devoid of a barrier that protects this tissue, it is practically bare, so is logical that its skin is extremely sensible and it is affected by conditions like sun, rain or winter climates, coupled with the fact that small dogs tend to have problems handling extreme temperatures.
Therefore, on sunny days when you need to take your Chinese Crested out, do not forget to put sunscreen on all its body and its face. Sunscreen will prevent damages to the sensitive skin of the dog and possible sunburns.
In the case of the opposite season, when winter comes, the ideal thing is to keep it inside the house with the proper heating for a cool and comfortable environment. If you need to take it out for a walk, you will have a lot of fun buying some of the funny dog overalls available in pet shops. It will not only look cool with these outfits, but it will have protection and shelter for the cold temperatures of the environment in winter seasons.
Whatever it is the season, it is recommendable to apply moisturizers and hydrating body oils for the Crested’s skin is always fresh, soft and wetted, free from cracks, burns, allergies or other diseases that may affect the skin.
From the emotional point of view, just as the Chinese Crested offers a loyal, loving and affectionate company, this dog expects the same from its owner. Do not leave it alone for too long, be affective, sweet and attached but be firm before inappropriate conduct. Accompany it and play with it to exercise. Help it train. It is very important that the dog feels that it has the company, love, and support of a master and of a family that appreciates it. This positive affective environment helps to take the most advantage of the good qualities of this breed.
Lastly, the home of the Chinese Crested dog is not an object of concern. The advantage of being a small dog is that it fits anywhere. Whether a small apartment or a big house, the Chinese Crested will enjoy the same living in any of both. It adapts to any environment and it does not need too much space but a corner of pillows to sleep in. Therefore, it will live comfortable and happy in an apartment or the house. If the house has gardens or yards, is preferable that these are closed to prevent that when the dog runs or plays, it escapes and gets hurt.
In the case that the Chinese Crested lives in an apartment, it will adapt with no problems to the small environment. However, you must take it out for two daily walks as a minimum for it to evacuate and exercise.