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Did You Know?
  • Entries of the breed at American dog shows began in the late 1800's.
  • The Chinese Crested is AKC's 132nd breed.
    American Chinese Crested Club was founded in 1979.
  • Gypsy Rose Lee acquired a Crested in the early 1950's; became an ardent breeder.
  • Became eligible for AKC registration effective February 1, 1991

So you want to own a Chinese Crested?

The Chinese Crested is a breed that generally does well with people with allergies. This information is based on breeds who possess a single layer of coat and therefore usually produce less dander than double-coated breeds. The American Kennel Club does not recommend or endorse any specific breed, nor does it claim that this breed will not affect people with allergies.

It is important to use lotion to keep the hairless variety's skin from becoming dry. Suntan lotion should also be used to protect the skin when outdoors.

Chinese Cresteds are happy and alert. They are loyal and affectionate dogs who make wonderful, playful, and entertaining companions.

History [top of page]

While the factual origin of the hairless dog has not been definitively established, it is believed that the Chinese Crested and other hairless dogs shared a common ancestry. However, the Chinese Crested is an ancient breed, dating as far back as the 1500's. Allegedly, early Chinese explorers and traders took these dogs with them on their ships and they frequently sold or traded the dogs with people met along the way. As a result, Cresteds have been found in port cities wherever Chinese ships have visited.

Spanish explorers found Chinese Cresteds in Mexico and other parts of Central and South America. British and French explorers also found the breed in various parts of Africa and Asia during the 1800's. By the mid-19th Century, pictures of Cresteds began to appear in numerous European paintings and prints.

There are two types of Chinese Crested; the Hairless, and a coated-type, called a Powderpuff. They are shown together, and are judged by the same standard, noting the different characteristics for the Powderpuff dealing with coat and with dentition. Legend has it that the Powderpuff was designed by Nature to help keep the newborn Hairless puppies warm.

With the advent of organized dog shows in the 1800's, it was not too long until Cresteds began appearing in competition. Although rather rare, they have been seen at shows in various countries around the world for the major part of this century. Today, there are numerous Crested Clubs throughout the world. The breed is recognized by many kennel clubs and is seen in increasing numbers.

Prior to 1965, the Chinese Crested was eligible for entry in the Miscellaneous Class for many years. There was one such entry at the Ninth Annual Bench Show under the auspices of the Westminster Kennel Club, held April 28 through May 1, 1885 at Madison Square Garden. The Chinese Crested was included in the list of breeds eligible for the Miscellaneous Class in 1955 when the list was first published in the Dog Show Rules. In 1965 the list was revised to include only breeds that were registered by a registry organization whose pedigrees AKC accepted. In view of this, and the fact that there was no reliable standard, no national specialty club and no certainty as to country of origin, the Chinese Crested was dropped from the list.

The Chinese Crested became eligible to compete in the Miscellaneous Class at dog shows, obedience trials and tracking tests on February 1, 1986. On April 1, 1991 the Chinese Crested became eligible for regular classification in the Toy Group offered at all-breed shows.

Breed Standard [Top of page]

General Appearance

A toy dog, fine-boned, elegant and graceful. The distinct varieties are born in the same litter. The Hairless with hair only on the head, tail and feet and the Powderpuff, completely covered with hair. The breed serves as a loving companion, playful and entertaining.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Size - Ideally 11 to 13 inches. However, dogs that are slightly larger or smaller may be given full consideration. Proportion - rectangular-proportioned to allow for freedom of movement. Body length from withers to base of tail is slightly longer than the height at the withers. Substance - Fine-boned and slender but not so refined as to appear breakable or alternatively, not a robust, heavy structure.


Expression - Alert and intense. Eyes - Almond-shaped, set wide apart. Dark-colored dogs have dark-colored eyes, and lighter-colored dogs may have lighter-colored eyes. Eye rims match the coloring of the dog. Ears - Uncropped large and erect, placed so that the base of the ear is level with the outside corner of the eye. Skull - The skull is arched gently over the occiput from ear to ear. Distance from occiput to stop equal to distance from stop to tip of nose. The head is wedge-shaped viewed from above and the side. Stop - Slight but distinct. Muzzle - Cheeks taper cleanly into the muzzle. Nose - Dark in dark-colored dogs; may be lighter in lighter-colored dogs. Pigment is solid. Lips - Lips are clean and tight. Bite - Scissors or level in both varieties. Missing teeth in the Powderpuff are to be faulted. The Hairless variety is not to be penalized for absence of full dentition.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck - Neck is lean and clean, slightly arched from the withers to the base of the skull and carried high.

Topline - Level to slightly sloping croup.

Body - Brisket extends to the elbow. Breastbone is not prominent. Ribs are well developed. The depth of the chest tapers to a moderate tuck-up at the flanks. Light in loin. Tail - Tail is slender and tapers to a curve. It is long enough to reach the hock. When dog is in motion, the tail is carried gaily and may be carried slightly forward over the back. At rest the tail is down with a slight curve upward at the end resembling a sickle. In the Hairless variety, two-thirds of the end of the tail is covered by long, flowing feathering referred to as a plume. The Powderpuff variety's tail is completely covered with hair.


Angulation - Layback of shoulders is 45 degrees to point of shoulder allowing for good reach. Shoulders - Clean and narrow. Elbows - Close to body. Legs - Long, slender and straight. Pasterns - Upright, fine and strong. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet - Hare foot, narrow with elongated toes. Nails are trimmed to moderate length.


Angulation - Stifle moderately angulated. From hock joint to ground perpendicular. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet - Same as forequarters.

Coat[Top of page]

The Hairless variety has hair on certain portions of the body: the head (called a crest), the tail (called a plume) and the feet from the toes to the front pasterns and rear hock joints (called socks). The texture of all hair is soft and silky, flowing to any length. Placement of hair is not as important as overall type. Areas that have hair usually taper off slightly. Wherever the body is hairless, the skin is soft and smooth. Head Crest begins at the stop and tapers off between the base of the skull and the back of the neck. Hair on the ears and face is permitted on the Hairless and may be trimmed for neatness in both varieties. Tail Plume is described under Tail. The Powderpuff variety is completely covered with a double soft and silky coat. Close examination reveals long thin guard hairs over the short silky undercoat. The coat is straight, of moderate density and length. Excessively heavy, kinky or curly coat is to be penalized. Grooming is minimal-consisting of presenting a clean and neat appearance.


Any color or combination of colors.


Lively, agile and smooth without being stilted or hackneyed. Comes and goes at a trot moving in a straight line.

Temperament[top of page]

Gay and alert.

American Kennel Club (