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7 Facts About Chinese Cresteds You Probably Didn’t Know

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on May 18, 2023

Elegant, affectionate, and often sporting distinctive hairdos, the Chinese Crested is a breed that often leaves a memorable impression. Here are seven intriguing facts about the Chinese Crested that may come as a surprise even to those who think they know the breed well.

  1. Chinese? Not Exactly

Despite the name, Chinese Cresteds may not have originated in China. While they were indeed bred and popularized in the country, many researchers believe that their ancestors were large, hairless African dogs that were reduced in size by Chinese breeders.

  1. Two Varieties, Same Breed

A unique characteristic of the Chinese Crested breed is the existence of two distinct varieties – the Hairless and the Powderpuff. The Hairless variant has hair on its head, tail, and feet, while the Powderpuff is covered with a full double coat. The fascinating part is that both types can be born in the same litter.

  1. They’re Not Completely Hairless

Hairless Chinese Cresteds aren’t entirely bald. Instead, their skin is covered with a soft down, giving them a unique velvety feel. This characteristic makes them wonderful cuddle companions but also requires specific skin care to prevent skin irritation and sunburn.

  1. Onboard Exterminators

Historically, Chinese Cresteds were renowned as vermin hunters on ships. Their small size made them adept at chasing down rats and other pests in tight spaces, making them a sailor’s ally during long sea voyages.

  1. Unusual Feet

Most dogs have what is called “cat feet” – compact, rounded foot structures that are efficient for endurance and stability. Chinese Cresteds, however, have “hare feet,” with elongated toes that resemble those of a hare. This trait makes them particularly agile and quick on their feet.

  1. Frequent “Ugliest Dog” Winners

Despite their elegance and charm, Chinese Cresteds often bag the dubious honor at the annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. Their unique appearance, combined with certain health issues like missing teeth or acne, often puts them in the running, even though many fans of the breed find them absolutely adorable.

  1. Skin and Sunscreen

Chinese Cresteds, particularly the Hairless variant, need protection from the sun just like humans do. Their exposed skin can burn easily, so it’s recommended to apply pet-safe sunscreen or dress them in sun-protective clothing before spending time outdoors.

Chinese Crested dogs, with their captivating grace, unique hair patterns, velvet-like skin, and sprightly demeanor, are full of surprises. From their not-so-Chinese origins, the existence of two types in one breed, their not entirely hairless skin, their past role as shipboard exterminators, their unique foot structure, their often misunderstood physical appeal, to their need for sun protection, these little-known facts highlight the fascinating complexities of this breed. Whether you’re a Chinese Crested owner, a potential owner, or simply an enthusiast, these intriguing insights should deepen your understanding and admiration for these remarkable dogs.

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