Chinese Crested: Color, Lifespan, Characteristics & Facts

Who can forget a naked dog?

With a bit of a pony look, furred head, tail, and feet, and mostly a hairless body, the Chinese Crested dogs are listed as one of the best companion dogs. However, they are not meant for those who prefer their canine companion covered up.

This canine companion is a perfect fit for dog lovers looking for lively, portable, charming, a loving and entertaining toy breed companion for a gentle household.

With its hairless yet graceful, fairy tale look, it is hard to confuse a Chinese Crested dog for another breed.

This puff is a renowned lap dog, happy when curled up with his companion or family. He radiates heat from his exposed skin and hence gives as much warmth as he gets.

The Chinese Crested puppies come in two varieties, the Powderpuff and the hairless. People with mild allergies will find Powderpuff tolerable because it is a relatively low-shedding dog. However, he needs regular brushing and grooming to keep his coat from constant tangling.

Breed Overview

Other Names: Crested, Puff

Origin: China, Mexico, Africa

Height: 11-13 Inches

Weight: Male 5- 12 Pounds, Female 5-12 Pounds

Life Span: 13-15 Years

Colors: Black, Apricot, Chocolate, Cream, Tri-color, Blue

1. Personality & Temperament

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The puff is a happy and alert breed that adores and dots on his family. Expect lots of snuggles and kisses from this loving, happy little pooch.

He is an excellent companion breed and an intelligent pup. However, unless socialized and trained, he can easily bite strangers out of impulse. Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class could be a great place to start.

Even though this breed is not particularly yappy, the puff tends to be adamant about his guard duties. Hence he may bark, howl, or sing when a stranger starts to approach your door.

Crested’s general temperament can be affected by factors such as socialization, heredity, and training. Opt for a crested puppy with a middle-of-the-road personality.

Puffs with sweet temperaments tend to be playful and curious, and can easily approach and be held by other people. Those with high temperaments may end up beating up their littermates or continuously hide in the corner.

2. How to Care for The Chinese Crested Dog


Just like people, crested pups don’t all require the same amount of food. In this case, daily consumption of 1/4 – 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals will suffice for crested dog.

The quality of the dog food you buy for your Crested will make a huge difference. To further nourish your pup, consider feeding him canned dog food. This could help limit the amount of dog food you have to shake into his bowl.

Keep your Chinese Crested powderpuff in good shape by giving him the best dog food for small dogs. Then measure his food and feed him in two intervals to make sure he doesn’t get overweight.


The Chinese hairless Crested have skin tones of pink and black, and they are bald except for the head, tail, and feet that have soft, flowing hair.

To protect his skin, shave any hair on his body. Avoid using moisturizers and sunblocks and just let your Chinese Crested hairless pup’s skin remain natural.

Bathe the hairless puff regularly with high-quality shampoo because his hairless nature makes him prone to minor skin problems like acne. While grooming, check for any blackheads.

Powderpuff coats have a silky double coat that can be solid or spotted. Compared to hairless crested they require a lot of grooming. Their copious undercoat will mat if you don’t groom it regularly. Bathe and brush their coats periodically but not as frequent as the hairless.


A Crested only needs minimal activity. If you are looking for an excellent jogging companion, this toy breed isn’t it.

However, mental stimulation is equally essential for crested pups. There are many puzzles and toys designed for mental stimulation in dogs that will prove useful for your Chinese Crested terrier.

For his exercise needs, play-sessions in your backyard and daily short walks will satisfy him. If you have your Crested exercising outside, make sure to put some sunscreen on him or dress him in protective clothing to protect his skin from the sun.


This toy breed is generally easy to train. However, you need to have a lot of patience with this breed because they have a stubborn streak.

They are naturally timid dogs, and so you need to handle positive reinforcement and corrections sensitively. Socialization is very crucial for puffs. Find a place that offers puppy classes separate for small dogs so that your pooch can socialize with dogs his size.

Start crate training him from an early age. This will help him accept confinement if you ever have to leave him alone or when you need to put him in a dog carrier for the Vet’s visit. It can be challenging to housetrain a Crested, and hence, crate training will prove very helpful.

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3. Common Health Issues of Chinese Crested

Crested dogs are generally healthy, but they are also prone to certain health conditions. If you want to buy a puff puppy, find a good breede willing to show proof of health clearances for both parents of the pup you intend to purchase or adopt.

For Cresteds, expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), Auburn University, and Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) to certify that his eyes are healthy.

Common health issues you should be aware of include:

Dental Issues

Hairless dog breeds have tiny, peg-like teeth that sometimes slope towards the front of their mouth and cause dental problems. Dental issues in Cresteds crops due to the genetic link between their dominant hairlessness and missing teeth.

Hairless puffs need canned food because they can’t feed on kibble as Powderpuff do. Powderpuff has healthy toy breed dentition.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca

Also known as “dry eye.” This condition is as the name suggests, a result of the inflammation and dry eye as a result of a deficiency in the tear film’s water portion.

The pup’s eye becomes dry, and his membranes left with only mucus and oil. The symptoms are commonly mistaken for conjunctivitis. Vets use a Schirmer Tear Test to make the diagnosis. Treatment consists of ointment and eye drops.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

This condition involves gradual deterioration of the retina. Affected Cresteds become night-blind, and as the disease progresses, they lose sight during the day. However, as long as his surroundings remain the same, affected puffs can adapt well to limited or lost vision.

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4. Children and Other Pets

Because of their sweet and gentle nature, children are adored by Cresteds. However, kids need to be old enough to understand that they have to be extra careful with toy breeds.

If you have kids in the same household as a puff, teach them how to approach and touch them. Supervise any interactions between young children and dogs to prevent any tail or ear pulling and any biting on either part of the party.

No matter how friendly your Crested is, never leave him unsupervised with a child. Teach your children never to approach him while he’s sleeping or eating or even to try and take his food away.

Chinese Cresteds love and are playful with other pets.

5. The History of Chinese Crested

Despite the name, Crested dogs didn’t come from China. They evolved from African and Mexican hairless dogs, but the Chinese reduced them in size.

The Chinese bred this toy breed for its ratting abilities, which proved useful in their ships, and the sailors traded puffs at different ports.

The Chinese used them as living heating pads and also believed that they had magical healing powers. Chinese emperors and sailors kept Cresteds as their companions.

It was officially recognized in 1987 by the Federation Cynologique Internationale, in 1981 by The Kennel Club, in 1991 by the American Kennel Club, and in 1995 by the Australian National Kennel Council.

6. The Regular Expenses of Owning A Chinese Crested

To adopt a Chinese Crested, it will cost you around $300, which is meant to cover the expenses of caring for the pup before adoption. Depending on their breeding, buying a puff will cost you anywhere from $1000-$4000.

5 thoughts on “Chinese Crested: Color, Lifespan, Characteristics & Facts”

  1. I adopted my beloved puff and have not regretted it for a moment. My fur baby loves to chase the squirrels in my yard. He hasn’t caught one yet but he gets so excited when he sees one teasing him with their fluffy tail. He also keeps me warm when I sleep. He loves to snuggle. Best dog ever.

  2. I have crested that was a rescue. Never thought I would fall in love with a hairless, pimply dog. He really is a great little guy. Definitely want another one.

  3. My little female Chinese Crested was 18 this past March. She has never chewed up anything, never nipped at anyone. She does love her mom’s lap! If I have a lap, she’s in it! The most lovable dog that I have ever been around! I pray she dies before me, but only by a day! I will understand her leaving me, but she would never understand me leaving her! I’m 85.
    My beautiful little girl is Miss Crissy!

  4. Hey Rose

    At the end of this article, we listed 2 communities that rescue Chinese Crested, you can contact them to adopt one <3

  5. Looking to adopt a rescue . My baby is 15 and I love him so much. Just wonder if you have anything for me to love. They are the best.

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