Although hairless dogs have existed all over the world for thousands of years, little is known about their early beginnings. Experts believe that the Chinese Crested's larger ancestors were originally from Africa and were brought to China in the 13th century. It is also believed that all modern-day hairless breeds, besides the American Hairless Terrier and Rat Terrier hairless varieties, are thought to have descended from these African dogs. During the 1500s, hairless dogs began showing up in Central America, South America, and other parts of Asia. Chinese Cresteds were used as hunters, companions, and saw work on ships and ports to dispatch vermin. Even today, this hairless breed can be found in various port cities.
The Chinese Crested is an elegant and graceful dog that is known for its distinctive hairless characteristics. There are two varieties of the breed which include the hairless type (hair only on the head, tail, and feet) and the coated type or "powderpuff" (completely covered with soft, silky hair). Besides the coat type, there is little difference between the two and both express odorless and hypoallergenic traits. Chinese Cresteds could not be mistaken for any other breed due to their light or dark almond-shaped eyes, large erect ears, and unique hairdo. Their tapered muzzle has a dark or light-colored nose depending on the color of the coat and the tail of the breed is long and slender, mostly feathered in hairless dogs and fully covered with hair in the powderpuff variety.
Chinese Cresteds tend to be lively, entertaining, and quite charming. Since they are a hairless breed, even though there is a coated variety, they have hypoallergenic characteristics which make them a great choice for individuals suffering from pesky allergies. Maintaining their skin is very similar to the way that humans maintain theirs with the use of lotions and sunscreens, while the powderpuff's fluffy coat needs to be brushed daily. Cresteds absolutely love being the center of attention and take any opportunity to make new friends. They generally get along very well with children and other animals but this small dog may need to be supervised to prevent accidental injury. The Chinese Crested is highly trainable, eager to please, and intelligent enough to learn a wide variety of disciplines, relatively easy for a novice dog owner who can be patient with this sensitive breed. Do not let their small frame and unique appearance fool you, these little dogs are energetic and their alert, but not yappy, nature makes them a decent watchdog. They are known to compete in dog sports but a short walk around the neighborhood is plenty for the Crested. With a happy personality, sweet disposition, and a non-shedding coat, the Chinese Crested is an ideal companion for a variety of households and will never make anyone feel unwelcome.