The Chinese Crested is the most unusual looking dog as most of its body is hairless. This is a result of certain genes in its body that make it have either a little or a lot of hair. There are two types of dogs in this breed, the Hairless and the Powderpuff, which is the exact opposite of the hairless. It has a thick double coat that needs constant grooming to keep it in shape. Every pup is born with both the genes.
The origination of this dog is a near mystery. There are reports that it was used by the Aztecs as a bed warmer and also as food. Some Chinese came across it and adopted it, using it as a ratter aboard their ships. However, there is no genetic evidence to prove this. Some believe that it originated in Africa. There is supposed genetic evidence that ties this dog to the barkless breed, the Basenji, who is still used by African villagers today to hunt meat.
Nobody really knows how this breed actually originated. However, it was bred and developed by Gypsy Rose Lee into the dog that it is today.
The basic standard for this breed states that it should be 11 to 13 inches at the shoulder. Its weight should be between 9 to 11 pounds. It should be small-boned, and elegant and graceful in movement. Eyes should be dark if it has dark skin and light if it has light skin. The rims of the eyes should be the same color as the skin.
Both the hairless and the powderpuff varieties are born in the same litter. Each pup carries both genes, for hair and hairless. However, two powderpuffs give only powderpuff pups, whereas in combination with the hairless, may produce both types of puppies.
The powderpuff has a long double coat that needs constant attention and care. If not brushed regularly, the undercoat is prone to matting. The way the coat looks totally depends on the way the dog has been groomed.
Care can be quite extensive. The hairless variety needs to receive a lot of care for its skin because it is prone to acne. Also, the skin should be moisturized with oil or cream to keep it healthy. Sunscreen is required when the dog is out. It should be bathed regularly.
This dog needs extra attention, which it loves. It likes to be held, cuddled, and loved. It is not recommended for small children because of its small and delicate body, and sensitive skin. It can get injured very easily.
The hairless breed tends to have a loss of teeth. It is such a common problem that it is not penalized in dog shows. However, the powderpuff does not this problem. Hence, professional breeders have decided to breed the hairless up to the powderpuff in an attempt to reduce this teeth issue.
Apart from the tooth-loss problem, the hairless variety needs good care for its skin. It is recommended to keep the dog’s diet in check, as it can become overweight. It can remain active indoors and does not necessarily require a yard, however, daily walks are a must. Also, making the dog wear a sweater in winter is recommended if it is hairless. Its life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.