Chinese Crested

  • Overview

    Fans of this toy breed, who often takes top honors in the world's Ugliest Dog competition, know that true beauty is in the eye of the beholder. They're drawn to this clever little mop-topped dog for their exuberant playfulness and gentle dispositions. These unique dogs make spirited, sweet companions for owners who appreciate their attention-grabbing appearance and are willing to spend a little extra time primping and caring for their special coats to help them look their best.

  • Personality

    The Chinese Crested is quite playful indoors, where they often jump, prance and swat at objects like a cat. They love to hug and be hugged, but unlike most dogs, they can almost actually grasp onto others. They have a long hare foot with elongated toes that helps them grip onto toes and people.

    They are not overtly gregarious or outgoing, but they can be social among people whom they can tell appreciate their charming personalities and interesting appearances. Although most Chinese Cresteds will not go out of their way to make friends outside their family, they tend to bond so closely to their owners that they will trail along behind them throughout the house. Take care to socialize these small, delicate dogs with plenty of people while they are still puppies so that they do not develop timid, anti-social tendencies. Once they are comfortable with people, they won't want to let them out of their sight.

  • Coat Care

    Chinese Crested dogs have two coat types, and puppies with each kind of coat are born in the same litter. Hairless Chinese Cresteds have silky hair on the head, which is known as the "crest," and on the tail and feet. The Powderpuff Chinese Crested have a recessive gene that gives them a full coat.

    The Hairless Chinese Crested is mostly bald. They have soft, flowing hair that resembles human hair on the tops of their heads, the plume of their tail, and covering their feet. Despite their names, Hairless Chinese Cresteds aren't completely hairless. They have hair on their body that needs to be shaved to protect their skin.

    Powderpuff Chinese Cresteds have coats in a variety of colors, like mahogany, blue, lavender, copper and gray. Many of the coats are spotted or multi-colored. The Hairless Chinese Crested has pink or black skin. Using excessive amounts of sun block or moisturizers might seem like a great way to protect their sensitive skin, but it actually leaves them even more prone to infection and skin problems. Make sure to bathe the Hairless Chinese Crested frequently with moisturizing shampoo.  Chinese Cresteds can be prone to dental issues, and the Hairless variety are especially vulnerable. Make sure to brush their teeth at least twice a week and check for irregularities and infection. Powderpuff Chinese Cresteds need to be brushed regularly with a pin or bristle brush, paying special attention to the long, silky under coat, which mats easily. Some owners choose to shave the faces of their Powderpuff Chinese Cresteds to help them stay comfortable and tidy. Some Powderpuffs develop mats between the pads of their feet as well, so be sure to check their feet and trim any excess hair around the feet.

Brushing

The hair on top of the head and the "socks" around the feet should be brushed to remove debris and prevent any mats or discomfort.

Bathing

Make sure to bathe the Hairless Chinese Crested frequently with moisturizing shampoo.

Hair Clipping

As silly as it sounds, you will have to shave the hair on your Hairless Chinese Crested to protect his skin. Some owners choose to shave the faces of their Powderpuff Chinese Cresteds to help them stay comfortable and tidy. Some Powderpuffs develop mats between the pads of their feet as well, so be sure to check their feet and trim any excess hair around the feet.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Drop coated dogs have sensitive ears and long hair that tends to grow into the ear. Their ears need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Shih Tzus and Havanese are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth

Chinese Cresteds can be prone to dental issues, and the Hairless variety are especially vulnerable. Make sure to brush their teeth at least twice a week and check for irregularities and infection.