Chinese Crested

These pups have the honor of winning more Ugly Dog Contests than any other breed. But we say “ugly” is just another word for cuddly, playful, and — okay — a little strange.

Between their loving personalities and striking looks, Chinese Crested Dogs are sure to draw attention wherever they go. This breed is known for its hairless body, signature legwarmers and crest of long hair on the top of its head. But not all Chinese Cresteds look like David Bowie. Hair is a recessive gene in this breed, and Powderpuff Chinese Crested Dogs are born with long, silky coats that cover their entire body. 

What could be weirder than their looks? How about the fact that they have long “hare feet,” like a rabbit? Or that they need to wear sunscreen and sweaters? And to top it all off, these dogs don’t pant to cool down — they sweat.  

Like everything else about the Chinese Crested, their origin is puzzling as well. There’s some controversy as to whether Chinese Crested Dogs originated in the Aztec or in Africa, but what we do know is that they were once used by Chinese sailors to kill small vermin on their ships. In the 1930s, the breed was popularized in America by burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee, and many Chinese Cresteds can be traced back to her dogs today. 

Why We Love the Chinese Crested Breed

  • Chinese Cresteds are odorless, hypoallergenic, and non-shedding.  
  • The Chinese Crested not only has striking looks, but a lively and cuddly personality, without the yappiness that comes with many toy breeds.
  • These dogs are playful yet gentle and even-tempered, which makes them great pets for first time owners, the elderly and those with disabilities. 
  • Chinese Crested Dogs make perfect pets for families with children — just be sure your child knows to treat them gently due to their small stature.  

Things to Consider

  • While the Chinese Crested doesn’t shed, it does require some special skin care, such as sunscreen during the summer and regular skin treatments to prevent blackheads, acne and rashes.
  • These pups are prone to eye problems and skin allergies, and most are allergic to wool.
  • Their scant fur means that the Chinese Crested does best in warm weather climates and needs a sweater during the cooler months.
  • While generally friendly and affectionate, this breed can become timid around people if not properly and regularly socialized from a young age.

Why Rescue?

With their loving temperaments and eye-catching looks, Chinese Crested dogs are often sold by breeders for up to $2,500. Unfortunately, Chinese Crested Dogs are often subject to overbreeding, which can lead to health issues such as eye and skin problems. If you are thinking about bringing a Chinese Crested puppy or adult into your family, consider adopting a rescue dog. Not only will adopting a Chinese Crested rescue reduce the price tag for this striking and lovable breed, it will also provide a happy and stable home to a dog in need.

Chinese Crested Rescues

If you’re ready to take home a Chinese Crested Dog (and maybe even a trophy for ugliest pup!), there are plenty of rescues in need of a forever home. These are just a few:

Lively, cuddly & gentle
Avg. Weight
7 - 12 lbs
Special care
Avg. Life Span
12 - 14 Years
Chinese Crested near 20149
Animal Rescues near 20149
Organization City, State Contact
Persian Rescue of Virginia
Ashburn, VA
The Cats at Longstreet
Sterling, VA
Save The Tails Rescue Group, Inc.
Leesburg, VA 1 888 379 5558 x1
Humane Society of Loudoun County
Leesburg, VA (703) 777-2912
Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society
Reston, VA
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