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The Chinese Crested Dog is believed to have come from Africa and not from China, despite its name. Standing 23 to 33 centimetres and weighing 10 to 13 pounds, it comes in two varieties that can be found in one litter, the Hairless and the Powder Puff. This dog may be small in size but it boasts of a unique appearance and a big personality. It develops a strong bond with its owners so it tends to have separation anxiety when left alone.
Are you thinking of getting a Chinese Crested Dog? Here is a brief background of this unique, elegant-looking toy dog.
Albeit its name, the Chinese Crested Dog is believed to have originated in Africa in 19th century known as the African Hairless Terrier as evidenced by written texts. However, some argue that dogs of the same appearance, indeed, have been around in China since the 13th century. Other breed experts argue that there is also evidence making a genetic connection to the Mexican Hairless dog referred as the Xoloitzcuintli. It is believed that Chinese traders brought these hairless dogs back with them and used them as vermin hunters in ships. The breed was renamed by its Chinese owners to its current name.
The Chinese Crested came to the UK in the late 1800s. A first Chinese Crested Dog breed club was established in 1979. It was recognised by The Kennel Club in 1981 and by the American Kennel Club in 1991. However, it is considered one of the rare breeds in the world until this day.
The Chinese Crested Dog has a unique, graceful and elegant appearance. There are actually two varieties for this breed, which can be found in a single litter: (1) the Hairless, with a silky hair on the head, tail and feet; and (2) the Powder Puff, a genetically recessive kind with a full coat. Belonging to the Toy group, the Crested stands 23 to 33 centimetres and weighs 10 to 13 pounds. Both varieties have a slightly elongated and rounded head, cleanly chiseled cheeks, strong jaws with a perfect scissor bite, dark, almond-shaped eyes, large and erect ears that are set low, and a slender, medium to long body.
The Hairless Crested has a soft, flowing hair on its head, feet and tail, and is bald on the rest of its body. The Powder Puff Crested has a silky double coat with a thick, flowing undercoat. According to KC standards, all colours and colour combinations are acceptable. This breed usually come in black, white, blue, brown, cream, sable, fawn, gold, liver, mahogany, and tri-colour. The skin tone of the Hairless can pale cream, pink and black.
The two varieties have different grooming needs. The Hairless needs to be bathed frequently as its hairless body tends to develop skin problems like acne and blackheads. Applying sun block or moisturizers is a big no-no. The Powder Puff requires a lot of work to groom. Its undercoat tends to matt easily as s puppy so brushing daily is a must. As it gets older, it can be done weekly. Because the Powder Puff has a long, flowing hair, it needs to be taken to a professional groomer several times a year so grooming at home becomes more manageable. Bathing can be done as needed, not as frequently as the Hairless.
Chinese Crested Dogs are prone to dental problems, especially the Hairless variety. Make sure to brush their teeth at least three times a week and give them dental chews to remove tartar build-up. You also have to clean and keep their ears dry to avoid infections. Their nails should also be trimmed as overgrowth can be uncomfortable and may cause scratches to people and other pets. Lastly, always inspect your dog’s skin for bumps and fleas.
The Chinese Crested Dog is a happy, friendly and sweet breed. This lap dog has a big personality, as interesting as its unique coat. It loves human companionship and forms a strong bond with its family. That being said, it tends to develop separation anxiety and becomes destructive when bored or anxious. It thrives in a household where one person always stays home. It is a good choice for first-time dog owners as long as they are willing to provide for its unique needs especially when it comes to its sensitivity to sudden weather changes.
Unlike other toy dogs, the Crested is playful and good with children and are not snappy toward them at all. However, interactions should always be supervised to avoid mishandling. This breed is suited for older kids who know how to handle small dogs. When it comes to animals, this breed tolerates other pets, even cats especially when raised together. However, other small pets it is not familiar with are a different story as the breed might consider them fair game. While it is tempting to baby and spoil this breed, this can actually cause unwanted behavioural problems like nipping and barking. Spoiled dogs have a tendency to be timid and anxious around new people, places and scenarios.
The Chinese Crested is an intelligent dog but can be challenging to train because of its sensitive nature. Once you know how to approach it, gentle yet firm with the right amount of positive reinforcements, it is highly trainable. Be patient and consistent when it comes to house training as some owners tend to let go of accidents because they are easy to clean up.
A typical serving for an adult Chinese Crested Dog is 1/4 to 1 cup of excellent quality dry dog food per day. However, make sure you measure its food and avoid free-feeding so it wouldn’t pack extra pounds. As a tiny dog, a slight change in the amount of food that looks harmless already has a big impact. As tempting as it is, also go easy with the treats.
Typical calorie needs of adult Chinese Crested Dogs per day:
The Chinese Crested Dog should be given high quality food formulated for toy dogs. First off, kibble size matters. Small dogs will have trouble chewing large pieces, which can be a choking hazard or a cause for indigestion. While you may feed your Chinese Crested with home-prepared meals, you may be denying it some important nutrients found in good commercial food. Reliable brands hire vets and nutritionists to formulate a complete and balanced food for dogs. If you are having doubts, ask your trusted veterinarian.
The Chinese Crested Dog that is properly cared for can live up to 14 years. It is generally a resilient dog, but like other breeds, it is predisposed to certain health issues like autoimmune diseases, closed ear canal, heart problems, and eye problems including Dry eye, Primary Lens Luxation and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. It can also develop Patellar luxation, Legge-Calves-Perthes, Epilepsy, Von Willebrand disease type II, Degenerative myelopathy, and Canine Multiple System Degeneration.
The Crested may be lively but it is not hyperactive. It only needs minimal exercise, about 30 minutes’ worth of short walks daily, paired with free time at a secured garden. As a breed that loves digging and escaping, keep an eye on it during exercise time and ensure that the fence is strong and high. During cold months, it should wear coats and protective footwear when outside. On the other hand, it should only be taken out early in the morning or at night time during summer.
Owning a dog is not an easy feat. Neither will it be going to be easy on your pocket. This is the reason why you need to be financially prepared. Majority of the costs will go to pet insurance,food and veterinary bills. Here is a breakdown of the expenses in owning a Chinese Crested Dog.
As a rough estimate, it will cost you around £100 per month to care for a Chinese Crested Dog, depending on the type of insurance you choose.
Are you sure the Chinese Crested is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Still unconvinced the Chinese Crested Dog is the right breed for you? The Pet Finder on our website will assist you in finding which breeds fit your current lifestyle.
3rd Jan 2019
Reading Time: 5 minutes
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