Is the Chinese Crested Dog Hypoallergenic?

Undoubtedly! Producing little dander, non-slobbering, and seriously low hair-shedding—they’re a consummate hypoallergenic dog!

The Chinese Crested Hypoallergenic Dog

These lively and alert toy pooches, with their unmistakable ear and facial hair, make the most loving and devoted family members.

However, if encountering canines typically sends you into a fit of sneezing, sniffles, and scratching—Chinese Crested dogs possess an even greater benefit—they’re phenomenally hypoallergenic!

For starters, they don’t drool or slobber. Surprisingly, even something as innocuous as a little spit on your skin can spark an explosive reaction, leaving you itching like crazy.

To be fair, it’s not saliva itself, but the proteins contained within. Known as an IgE-mediated allergy, the human body incorrectly identifies the salivary proteins as a threat—and so the immune system goes into overdrive—promoting some icky adverse effects.

But, the Chinese Crested dog, unlike some other breeds—the Bloodhound for example—don’t drool (called the rather boring ptyalism in veterinary circles). Hence, keeping you free of side effects!

Additionally, these pooches are low on the dander count. These are (completely natural) unwanted remnants of your doggie’s dead skin cells—again, the proteins of which can give you unpleasant reactions.

But, it’s hair-dropping where the Chinese Crested is king (or queen). So, do Chinese Crested shed at all?

These cute-looking breeds have two varieties—coated (or Powderpuff) and hairless. The furry variety is covered in a short, silky, soft coat—which has a seriously low propensity to shed.

However, the hairless variety, well, has no hair—hence, it has nothing to drop anyway!

Actually, that’s a little untrue—it does have the distinctive covering on its tootsies, tail, and head. But, ninety percent of the Chinese Crested dog is fur-free. If it’s not there—it can’t cause you any allergy issues!

Thus making these pooches one of the best hypoallergenic dogs.


What’s Coming up on This Page?

  1. Quick Facts
  2. About the Chinese Crested Dog
  3. Grooming and Care of Your Chinese Crested Dog
  4. Exercising Your Chinese Crested Dog
  5. Training Your Chinese Crested Dog
  6. Chinese Crested Health Issues
  7. Conclusion
  8. Chinese Crested FAQs
  9. Chinese Crested Fact Summary

Chinese Crested Quick Facts

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Hypoallergenic Dog: Yes! One of the best!
Shedding:  Extremely low
Drooling: No
Size: Small
Breed Group:  Toy
Lifespan:  13 to 18 years
Energy Level: Moderate
Trainability:  Easy
Family Dog: Yes

About the Chinese Crested Dog

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Also called the Royal Hairless, Puff, Chinese Hairless, Dr. Seuss Dog, Chinese Ship Dog, and Chinese Crested Powder Puff—this pooch is a little deceptive.

The tiny size and affectionate personality give an impression of a happy lap dog that wouldn’t be too bothered if it stayed in your home all day—or at least, never wanting to venture any further than your backyard.

In truth, these doggies have probably seen more of the world than Columbus and Magellan combined.

Similar Dog Breeds To Chinese Crested

The Story Behind the Chinese Crested Dog

Ready for an interesting fact?

The Chinese Crested dog isn’t Chinese – well, not originally anyway.

Although, to be fair, this Asian nation did have a massive impact on the breed. The Chinese love making things small—whether it’s the technology in your smartphone—or canines. As you can see in the Shi Tzu and Pekingese—these resourceful people were the masters of selective miniature breeding.

And, that was their impact on the Chinese Crested dog.

For years, doggie experts have known that these pooches didn’t originally come from China, but were introduced into the country from Africa. However, at that time they were much larger pooches—around the size of a Labrador. Over the generations, the Chinese refined the breed into the tiny tot we see today.

However, some surprising evidence has emerged.

Investigating the DNA of Chinese Crested dogs, scientists discovered that these doggies shared a genetic mutation with a Mexican dog, the Xoloitzcuintli (try saying that after a few cold ones).

Hence, the dog didn’t originally hail from Africa, but South America. So, from Mexico, to Africa, to China—this worldly traveler virtually circumnavigated the globe.

And, it didn’t end there.

One of its names, the Chinese Ship dog—gives away the next part of the story.

Small, yet efficient at catching disease-carrying rats, the miniaturized Chinese Crested became prevalent on the massive navy of merchant ships. Hence, in every port, the resourceful Chinese sailors would make a little money on the side by trading them to the locals—giving these pooches a worldwide presence.

Their popularity in America is down to two ladies—Debra Woods and Ida Garrett. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, they promoted the Chinese Crested breed in lectures, publications, and exhibitions.

In 1979, The American Chinese Crested Club was formed, and, eventually—in 1991—the breed was recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club).




Physical Characteristics and Coat of the Chinese Crested Dog

Initially, it appears that there are two different breeds of these pooches—the Chinese Crested hairless dog and the coated variety.

Remarkably—they’re the same.

One single litter of puppies can contain both the furry and non-furry types—dependent on the particular dog’s dominant genes. If you’re seriously scientifically savvy, you can read about the genetic magic behind the DNA here.

So, let’s tackle them one by one!

The Chinese Hairless dog version has incredibly soft, almost human-esque skin.

It’s a little of a misnomer to call them ‘hairless’ however, as they do have at least some covering—the amount of which varies from dog to dog.

To a greater or less extent, it has cute tufts on its paws and lower legs—promoting an almost hiking-sock appearance. Furthermore, they often proudly display a decorative tail plume and long hair on the head (or crest).

Just like us humans, their skin can range from a pale flesh coloring through to black—and often combines a mixture of both.

Conversely, the Powderpuff (hairy) type has a soft, silky, long double coat.

If the fur is allowed to completely grow out on the face, it becomes almost terrier-like in appearance. However, typically, proud pet parents—not wanting their peers to think they have anything as common as a terrier—usually shave their fur babies around the snout.

One further difference between the two forms is—their teeth.

Due to a quirk in the genetics of the hairless dogs—they frequently lack a full set of premolar teeth. However, this seemingly has little effect on the ability of the affected pooches to eat, doesn’t alter their appearance, and isn’t considered a fault by the AKC.

If you have predilections for coloring in your pooch—with the Chinese Crested dog, you’re spoilt for choice. Not only does the hairless variety come in a variety of nude skin shades, their hair hues (and that of the Powderpuff too) are vast in choice.

Typically, they include one, or a combination, of the following colors:

  • Apricot.
  • Black.
  • Tan.
  • Blue.
  • Chocolate.
  • Cream.
  • Palomino.
  • Slate.
  • White.
  • Brown.
  • Pink.
  • Red.
  • Sable.
  • Silver.

The Chinese Crested has an elegant countenance, holding its head high, with a slender and fine-boned frame. Bright and almond shaped eyes beg for attention, while its long and erect ears promote an air of always being on alert.

A typically-sized Chinese Crested measures around 11 to 13 inches high and weighs 8 to 12 pounds.




Chinese Crested Dog Temperament

Despite differences in appearance, the Chinese Crested Powder Puff temperament and that of the hairless variety are the same—completely and utterly adorable.

Don’t fall for the small dog’ stereotype!

Despite their elegant and exotic appearance, they’re not yappy or snappy—but happy and soppy.

Every aspect of the Chinese Crested dog’s nature is appealing—they are patient, friendly, and have a low propensity for barking. When they meet a stranger, it’s as if they’re being reunited with a long lost friend—they simply love everyone.

Within your home—they want to be involved in everything!

Go to the bathroom, and they’ll follow you to discover the details of your toiletry habits. Open a low cupboard, and the Chinese Crested will climb in and investigate the contents like a CSI operative.

Their outgoing, trusting, and insatiably friendly nature means they’re ideal as first-time family dogs, homes with other canine or feline companions or those prospective pet parents that want a friend who will shower them with attention.

However, there is one issue—Chinese Crested dogs and young children.

Firstly, let me say this—they adore kids—of any age. These sweet doggies aren’t in the slightest way aggressive and will happily play and run around with small humans. In fact, many pet parents explain that their Chinese Crested has the strongest bond with younger family members.

The problem is that their huge joie de vivre and desire to play can make small children want to engage in a little too much rough and tumble. These slender-boned doggies just don’t have the physical resilience to stand up to rowdy horseplay, which can lead to them being unintentionally injured.

Furthermore, especially in the Powder Puff varieties, their eye-catching tail and ear plumes can prove to be a magnet for hair pulling. Chinese Cresteds are phenomenally patient—but even they have their limits.

However—once the children are old enough to understand the boundaries—they’ll have no better playmate.


Chinese Crested Dog Grooming and Care

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Looking After Their Coat

At the risk of stating the completely obvious—hairless Chinese Crested dogs require hardly any grooming. Hence, they can make the ideal companion for pet parents who lack the desire, knowledge, or time to spend hours brushing their beasties.

Admittedly, you will need to pass a comb through its socks, tail, and face every now and then—but that is just a once a week duty.

And, as a further benefit—little hair means little doggie odor!

However, that doesn’t mean it’s all plain sailing.

No coat means the doggie’s skin has no protective covering. Perhaps the most significant risk is sunburn. So, depending on your location, you may need to apply pooch-friendly sunscreen.

And, while the Chinese Crested is hypoallergenic for you, a lack of fur can mean your little dog is prone to allergies.

Everything he or she rubs against or sits on will be in direct contact with the skin and—if susceptible—may invoke a reaction. However, the use of skin lotions and providing your Crested with a hypoallergenic bed or blanket can dramatically reduce the risk.

And now for the Powderpuff!

Ideally, you should brush the fluffy fur daily. Strangely, the hairy Chinese Crested’s coat is dissimilar to that of most other dogs—having a shorter undercoat than the longer overcoat—opposite to the majority of breeds. While this makes them easier to brush, it does mean a higher chance of matting.

Some owners opt to give their Cresteds a ‘pony cut’—keeping longer hair only on the bottom of its legs, head, tail, and crest—making for easier grooming.

Teeth and Nails

Chinese Crested teeth can be problematic.

Firstly, they have a propensity to suffer from root and crown abnormalities. Hence, if you notice your pooch experiencing pain when eating, it’s time for a chat with your veterinarian.

Additionally, they are also prone to dental decay, so it’s essential to keep those canine chompers as clean as possible:

  • Use doggie-friendly toothpaste at least twice a week.
  • Give you Chinese Crested small-dog forms of dental chews.
  • Utilize high-quality foods—preferably avoiding anything with grains that are liable to stick to the teeth.

Regular trimming of the nails is essential—to avoid cracking or splitting—but take care.

Chinese Cresteds have a hare foot—elongated central toes—unlike a cat foot in most other dogs. This difference means that the nail quicks (hyponychium) of Cresteds extend deep into their nails—so don’t trim them too short. Otherwise, this will cause pain and bleeding.



Chinese Crested Dog Training and Exercise

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Chinese Crested dogs are lively and energetic—meaning that they need sufficient daily exercise and stimulation to keep them both happy and healthy.

However, it doesn’t take that much activity to satisfy their needs.

In general, 20 minutes of outside walking per day is usually sufficient. Equally, if you don’t have time for strolling—a few play sessions every 24 hours in your yard can meet its requirements.

Hence, these pooches are ideally suited to apartment life.

Just a couple of factors to bear in mind.

Chinese Crested dogs are notoriously proficient at digging—so make certain that there’s no chance of your exploratory pooch tunneling under any walls or fences in your yard.

Secondly, especially in the hairless varieties, they can feel the cold in the cooler months. Hence, ensure they have a doggie coat if outside when the temperature drops. Or conversely, sunscreen in summer.

Training Your Chinese Crested Dog

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The Chinese Crested dog absolutely adores being around people—especially when this means a little one-on-one time with their pet parent.

So, these pooches welcome personal training sessions—making them very easy to teach obedience and tricks.

However, being sensitive types, gentle training with positive reinforcement is essential. Any harsh correction and you’ll have an upset, unwilling, and unresponsive pooch.

Find out what rewards work best for your particular Chinese Crested training lessons—and you’ll have a wonderfully well-behaved doggie.

In addition to obedience, they excel at agility sports, flyball, and lure coursing.



Chinese Crested Health Issues

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The Chinese Crested isn’t prone to many of the congenital diseases typically found in other smaller dog breeds. However, they are more inclined to suffer from eye issues, including:

Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)

Weak fibers in the eye can lead to the lens becoming dislocated—a condition known as primary lens luxation.

This can prove extremely painful for the Chinese Crested dog and, depending on where the lens moves to, it can lead to permanent blindness.

In susceptible dogs, it happens around the ages of 3 to 6 years. Hence, experts recommend that Crested dogs are checked out by a vet every six months.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

A genetic issue meaning that the Chinese Crested’s retinas gradually begin to fail.

First, night vision begins to suffer—you may witness the optic disc of your doggie’s eye(s) beginning to darken. Should you suspect PRA, visit your veterinarian immediately.

Although incurable, there are many highly effective medications to slow the progression towards blindness.

Dry Eye Syndrome (Canine Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca)

In this condition, the tear ducts, conjunctiva, and corneas become inflamed, reducing tear production.

Signs include swollen eyes, the doggie trying to itch its eyes on furniture and bedding, and mucous-like discharge.

If untreated, this can lead to permanent damage to the cornea—resulting in some vision loss or complete blindness. However, early treatment with antibiotics, corticosteroids, and lacrimal stimulants can effectively address the issue.

Although less common, other issues known to affect Chinese Crested dogs include:




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For dog-related sneeze and snuffle sufferers, the Chinese Crested is the ideal pooch. Whether the low-shedding Powder Puff or the completely bald hairless variety—they’re unlikely to cause unpleasant and unwanted reactions.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

These eye-catching canines are one of the most lovable, attentive, and fun-loving doggies on the planet. Whether you want an attention-showing companion, an excitable playmate or a walking buddy—they’re hard to beat.

Sure, around small kids you need to be a little careful—they’re tiny and delicate after all! But for an all-round family and pet-friendly doggie, the Chinese Crested is the perfect pooch.

Chinese Crested FAQs

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How Much Is a Chinese Crested Dog Worth?

Typically, a Chinese Crested puppy will cost between $1000 and 2000. However, depending on the history and bloodline, prices can exceed $5000.

How Long Do Chinese Crested Dogs Live?

Chinese Crested dogs have a remarkably long lifespan, living for 13-18 years.

Do Chinese Crested Dogs Sweat?


Unlike other breeds, Chinese Crested dogs possess sweat glands. For years, ‘experts’ said that this was impossible—yet it was proven to be true by the University of Bern in 2013.

Do Chinese Crested Dogs Bark?

When around family, other pets, or even strangers—Chinese Crested dogs are remarkably quiet.

However, hating being alone, they may suffer from separation anxiety—which can lead to protests such as barking and chewing.

Are Chinese Crested Dogs Hypoallergenic?

Yes! With low dander, no drooling, and minimal shedding, the Chinese Crested dog is hypoallergenic.

Do Chinese Crested Dogs Shed?

The coated variety sheds very little—while, naturally, the hairless type drops virtually no hair at all (apart from small amounts from its face, feet, and tail).

This is what makes the naked and the Chinese Crested Powder Puff hypoallergenic.

Are Chinese Crested Dogs Rare?


Although you may not see many Chinese Cresteds in your local park, they’re ranked at number 79 in the AKC’s most popular dog breeds.

Are Chinese Crested Dogs Smart?

Indeed! Their love of attention and eagerness to please makes them easy to train—as long as you use positive reinforcement. They respond badly to harsh correction.

Do Chinese Crested Dogs Smell?

Hardly at all!

Both the hairless and Powder Puff varieties keep themselves very clean. What’s more, the naked Chinese Crested has virtually no hair to retain any unwanted detritus or odors!

Are Chinese Crested Hard to Housebreak?

Yes, it’s one of the few downsides of a new Chinese Crested puppy.

Using a crate is essential, combined with lashings of positive reinforcement and—where possible—a doggie door with outside access.

chinese crested hairless dog

Chinese Crested Fact Summary

Breed Chinese Crested
Other Names Royal Hairless, Puff, Chinese Hairless, Dr. Seuss Dog, Chinese Ship Dog, Powderpuff, and Chinese Crested Powder Puff
Height 11-13 inches (27.9-33 cm)
Weight  8-12 pounds (3.62-5.44 kg)
Lifespan 13 to 18 years
Temperament Exceptionally friendly, alert, happy, lively, playful, sweet-tempered, and affectionate
Colors Apricot, black, tan, blue, chocolate, cream, palomino, slate, white, brown, pink, red, sable, and silver—or a mixture. Their skin can range from pale flesh through to black
Coat Hairless: skin covered, with varying levels of hair on the tail, ears, and feet

The Powderpuff variety has a thick double coat that is silky and smooth

How much grooming? Hairless: very little. Once a week, through the tail, ears, and feet, is sufficient

Powderpuff Chinese Cresteds can become matted without daily brushing and combing. Some owners opt for a pony cut to minimize grooming requirements

Do Chinese Crested shed?  Very minimal—especially in the hairless variety.
Dander levels Low
Saliva – Do they drool or lick much? Low – not prone to lots of drool or slobber
Energy levels Moderate
How much exercise do they need? The dog enjoys a daily walk of around 20 minutes—but can usually have its needs met by indoor or yard play. They should wear a sweater in cold weather and sunscreen in summer.
Health problems? Susceptible to eye problems, including primary lens luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, and dry eye syndrome
Good for an apartment? Yes, they are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard
Suitable for kids? Yes, this is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them. However, as very delicate dogs, care must be taken if left with very young children
How much do they bark? Rarely—unless left alone
Can they be left alone? They can suffer from separation anxiety, which may make them destructive when they have extended periods without companionship
Intelligent? Yes, extremely intelligent
Trainable? Yes. The Chinese Crested’s intelligence makes it easy to train, but it is sensitive and requires a gentle approach
Bear in mind This breed makes an excellent companion and is extremely clever. Be aware, however, that many dog trainers unfairly rate them low on the intelligence scale because they don’t fit the typical dog personality profile. The Crested is not a good breed for insensitive trainers
How popular as a pet? Somewhat popular – ranked 79th by the American Kennel Club. Additionally, the Chinese Crested hypoallergenic dog’s nature means they’re favored by allergy sufferers

Similar Dog Breeds To Chinese Crested

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