There are two varieties of Chinese Crested dog: the Hairless (with tufts of hair on the head, legs and tail), and the Powderpuff, which is double-coated – with long, soft hair. There are also two body-types of the breed: a fine-boned, more delicate-looking version, and a heavier, cobby type. The ideal height for adult male dogs is 28-33cm and for females 23-30cm. They should not exceed 5.4kg in weight when fully grown. The coat comes in many colours and combinations.
The exact origins of Chinese crested dog breed are not clear, but it's thought that it was developed from hairless dogs in Africa, which were bred with toy breeds by the Chinese to produce a small, hairless companion dog, said to have been owned by the royal Han Dynasty and used to guard treasure. Chinese sailors took the breed with them around the world, where the larger Chinese Crested dog breed helped to control the ships' rat populations. Explorers found examples of the breed in Mexico and other parts of Central and South America in the 1500s.
A happy, friendly, good-tempered breed, the Chinese Crested is a loving pet that thrives in human company and dislikes being left alone for too long. He has a playful nature and is never happier than when on his loved one's lap.
The Chinese Crested can be predisposed to skin complaints and sun burn. Like other small breeds they can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas), and as with many breeds hereditary eye disorders can occur and so eye testing is recommended.
A small breed, the Chinese Crested doesn't need very much exercise; about 30 minutes a day will suffice.
Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The Powderpuff's long coat will need grooming once or twice a week. The Hairless variety needs its tail, socks and crest to be groomed; the skin will need to be moisturised if it becomes dry and will need protection from the sun to prevent burning. Be aware that the hairless gene is associated with poor dentition and it is not uncommon for teeth to be missing in the non-coated variety.