Chinese Crested Breed Information and Buying advice

Chinese Crested

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Chinese Crested?

Quick Chinese Crested Facts

Average Size of Adult
Very Small (1/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Toy (5/8)
Yes (1/2)

Why the Chinese Crested are great

The rare breed of the Chinese Crested is utterly adorable, made even more so with their nicknames: Puff, Curtis, and Crested. Originating in China, they belong to the toy group, with their tiny, handbag sized bodies and big round eyes, capturing hearts everywhere they go. They are renown for their easy handling and versatility, perfect for first time owners and long-time dog lovers. Some highlights:

  1. Chinese Crested love people and are always eager to please both in and out of the house.

  2. They are extremely social and playful, enjoying the company of both children and other animals.

  3. Their size and quiet temperament makes them extremely adaptable to live in a small apartment or house

  4. They also have a very low grooming maintenance level due to their lack of fur and therefore owners are able to save a decent amount of extra money.


Things to consider when looking at Chinese Crested for Sale

Although this breed seems to be somewhat perfect for all types of households, they can have a high level of separation anxiety due to their strong bonds that are formed with their family. However, due to their small size, they are more able to be brought around outside with their owners, which can help limit the time that they are left alone. Some downsides to the Chinese Crested:

  1. They are somewhat difficult to train, requiring patience and understanding by their owners for the best result.

  2. Early socialisation is key for a well-rounded and confident adult dog. This breed can be somewhat wary of other people and animals and needs an early introduction as a puppy to ensure that they are outgoing and comfortable.

  3. Even though they are a small breed, Chinese Crested can often try to be the dominating character, needing an owner that will put them in their place firmly but kindly.


History of the Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested is thought to have been bred in around China in the 13th century, but there is also evidence stating that they originated in Africa and was previously known as the African Hairless Terrier. They were first introduced into Britain in the 1900s but did not gain the popularity they have today until around the 1950s. Their original purpose was to hunt vermin, being used especially to help control the spread of the Plagues carried by rats. Today, they are usually used simply as companion dogs for families of all types.  


How big is the Chinese Crested?

Fitting into the toy group, males grow to about 28-33cm, whilst females grow to a smaller 23-30cm.  

How heavy is a Chinese Crested?

This breed is extremely light only weighing about 5.4kg.  

What Colour is the Chinese Crested?

Although this breed doesn’t have the largest amount of fur, their coats cover their faces, ears, necks and lower legs. Puffs can come in any colour from Blue, Black, Brown and Cream to Gold, Liver, Mahogany, Pink, Red, and Sable. These colours can be solid and also seen to be mixed with white.  


Do the Chinese Crested make good guard dogs?

Although Chinese Crested dogs are rarely aggressive, they make good watchdogs. They tend to stand away from the object and bark rather than be a part of it, alerting the owner but not making any move towards what is happening. Otherwise, they are not a barking breed, mainly howling when greeting their owners coming back home.  

Are the Chinese Crested easy to train?

Their stubbornness and dominance don’t make them the easiest breed to train, often needing a lot more attention to training than some other breeds. However, once they are trained, they do remain loyal to their families and will listen to commands.  

Are the Chinese Crested playful?

Chinese Crested are extremely fun-loving and lively, enjoying playing more than other forms of exercise. They are happy to play with children of all ages and other animals, but again, early socialisation and introduction are very important for this breed to thrive in your home and not feel overwhelmed and overpowered by people or animals.  

Can I leave a Chinese Crested Alone?

A rather big downside to this breed is that they tend to have a high amount of separation anxiety, stemming from their strong relationships made with their owners. They do not enjoy people left, often expressing this dislike through howling or barking. It is recommended that if you do leave your Chinese Crested alone, they should be left with adequate mental stimulation, for example with a Kong filled with treats, as this will help distract them from realising that they are alone and bored.  

Do the Chinese Crested like water?

Interestingly, this breed does enjoy swimming, especially to cool down in warm climates. However, they are very small dogs, and it is always recommended to keep a very close eye on your Chinese Crested when they go into water as they can easily be taken by a current or struggle to get out of the body of water that they are in.  


How long do the Chinese Crested live?

Chinese Crested tends to live up to about 12-14 years.  

How much exercise does a Chinese Crested need?

This breed needs up to about 30 minutes of exercise a day. Their small size means they don’t have a much energy as some large sporting dogs, but they still require outtings to let off some energy in a secure but open area.  

What are the Chinese Crested Common health issues?

A key note to mention is that their lack of hair means that they aren’t very good at maintaining heat in colder climates, and therefore coats ad layers are needed for when it gets cold to help them stay warm enough to function properly. Otherwise, they can be prone to some other health issues:

  • Eye Diseases

  • Patellar Luxation

  • Ear Diseases

  • Heat Problems

  • Epilepsy



How much space do I need for a Chinese Crested?

Fortunately, this breed is perfect for anyone with any size living area. Chinese crested are small dogs but are also very versatile when it comes to living area, and do not mind having a small space.  

How much grooming does the Chinese Crested need?

A benefit of this breed is that there is very little grooming required due to their lack of hair. However, there are two varieties of this breed. One is the hairless variety, which is the most common, and the other is called the Powder Puff Variety, which has a longish, soft and silky coat made up of a veil of hair on their body. Although this is only a little bit more fur than the hairless variety, to avoid tangles it is recommended to have weekly grooms. For both varieties, they do not shed and are a hypoallergenic breed.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Chinese Crested?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £500 - £700 for a well-bred Chinese Crested puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £20 - £50 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Chinese Crested Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Chinese Crested puppy buying advice:

  1. The Chinese Crested breed have two body types: fine, more delicate boned or a heavier type. It is important to know which one that you have as more care should be taken with the more fragile variety that can be prone to more health complications in their joints and for their bones.

  2. Due to their lack of fur, they are very prone to sunburn. Therefore, dog -friendly sun cream should be applied before going outside with your Chinese Crested to avoid damaging skin. If they become sunburnt, dog-friendly moisturiser should be applied to stop stinging and flaking of the skin.

  3. Chinese crested is a very small breed, classed in the Toy category. However, the smaller the dogs are the more problems they may have. Potential buyers must always pay attention to the size that the puppy is bred at, as dogs that are purposefully bred to be small and ‘puppy-sized’ is illegal and damaging for the puppy themselves.

  4. Due to the growing popularity surrounding this breed, always be aware of scams online. Scams can be spotted by the puppy’s listing price, which is usually lower than any other add online, and their description, which is either copied from other adverts or is very vague. Before you give any money to the breeder, be sure to go and visit the puppy yourself. This means you can see whether the puppy is real, and also gives you a chance to look at the breeder’s paperwork and see whether they are legal.


Other reading, Adopting Chinese Crested Puppies and Rescue Organisations