The Chinese Crested definitely has a unique appearance. Some say his flowing mane and tail make him look like a pocket-sized pony, though others think his fringy hair and feathered feet qualify him as a member of a 1980s hair band. Nevertheless, the affectionate, devoted Chinese Crested can make a great family pet.

A Dog of Many Names

Found on nearly every continent, this little dog is an experienced traveler. Because of a genetic mutation that caused the breed to be hairless, the Chinese Crested became the ideal sailing companion for Chinese merchants. In addition to his vermin hunting skills, the lack of hair meant there were no places for plague-bearing fleas to hide.

From his travels abroad, the Chinese Crested wound up in many cities around the world, earning a new name in each city. Regardless of the name he was called, the Chinese Crested grew in popularity, making his way to the U.S. by the mid-20th century.

Skin Is In

There are two varieties of Chinese Crested — hairless and powderpuff. Undeniably recognized by his lack of hair, the hairless Chinese Crested is clean-cut with only tufts of hair on his head (crest), feet (socks), and tail (plume). The powderpuff variety is born with a long, flowing coat.

The coat of a Chinese Crested — or in some cases, the lack of one — isn’t the only thing that sets him apart. He is also the only dog that sweats all over his body. Be sure to keep his sensitive skin clean and use sunscreen for prolonged trips outside. He also requires some extra insulation in cold climates, but avoid wool, as it can irritate his skin.

Devoted and Fun-Loving

The Chinese Crested is a dog that loves to be at the center of family life. He enjoys constant companionship makes a great pet for families of all ages and physical abilities. Because of his lower level of energy, he may not need a yard or to be taken out on long, daily walks, but quality time with his owners is a must.

He can also be an excellent companion for city dwellers as long as he receives lots of love. Friendly and playful, the Chinese Crested can be a dedicated and fun-loving member of the family.

Photo Credit: Julie Wells