The Chinese Crested Dog is small, elegant, and graceful. The hairless variety is almost hairless except for soft and silky tufts on his tail, lower legs and feet, and the top of his head. There is also an equally correct longhaired variety called the Powder Puff. The body is rectangular, slightly longer than the height at the withers. The dog is fine-boned, but not excessively fragile. The head is wedge shaped with a slightly domed skull. The large ears stand at attention and the paws look like rabbits' feet. Dewclaw removal is optional. The almond-shaped eyes are wide set. The plumed tail reaches at least to the hock. It is carried gaily when the dog is in motion and hangs down with a slight sickle-shaped curve when the dog is at rest. The Chinese Crested Dog can be any color, and the colors on the coat and skin sometimes change with the seasons. The skin color can be spotted or solid.
Scholarly dog fanciers can't agree on where the Chinese Crested Dog originated. Seafaring traders and explorers reported encountering small hairless dogs as long ago as AD 1200 in China and Africa. They were distributed to other countries by seafarers, and were first recorded in Europe and America in the 1800s. Gypsy Rose Lee and her sister June Havoc popularized Chinese Cresteds in America. This unusual breed was first exhibited in the West in 1885, but the first American breed club was not established until 1979. Full AKC recognition was granted in 1991. The similar Mexican Hairless is a distinct breed, and not to be confused with the Crested.
Sweet and lively. Playful and cuddly. Exceptionally loving, and likes to hug and smile. Affectionate with children. An entertaining companion. Intelligent and very alert. Puppies should be well socialized and exposed to loud noises when young to avoid potential timidity. If owners do not baby them, these dogs can grow up to be very well-adjusted.