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Chinese Crested

As far back as the 13th century there are written reports of the Chinese crested in China, although many think they were around much longer than that. Traders and explorers recorded encountering these small hairless dogs as long ago as 1000 A.D. Many believe they descended from Mexican hairless dogs and traders took them with them on their travels where they were thought to keep the ships vermin free.

Since the Chinese favored small dogs, they bred the hairless dogs to even smaller dogs. Once that was done, they continued to breed and trade the dogs, so that by the 16th century they were found in many port cities in Africa, Asia and Central and South America. In the 19th century these dogs were starting to be seen in paintings, as people of Europe were starting to import them. They were first brought to Europe as part of a zoological show some time in that period.

Although well known for hundreds of years in South America, the Chinese Crested did not come to North America until around 1800. First exhibited in the west in 1885, the first American Breed Club wasn’t established until 1979, and full recognition wasn’t granted until 1991.

Gypsy Rose Lee did a lot for Chinese Crested popularity by becoming a breeder herself; in fact it is possible to trace the beginnings of the majority of Chinese Crested kennels to Gypsy Rose Lee!

Now known world wide, (some as winners in the worlds ugliest dog contests), they are very loving companion dogs, as well as very loyal and affectionate little dogs.

Height: 11-13 in male’s 9-12 females

Weight: up to 10 lbs

Size Small

Life Span:10-12 years


  • Exceptionally loving
  • Needs less exercise than most other breeds
  • Very little shedding
  • Good for novice owners
  • Good for apartment living
  • Very little grooming needed
  • Not a barker


  • Likes to climb
  • Likes to dig
  • Slightly difficult to train


By: Linda Eastabrooks

Former AKC Breeder


Chinese Crested

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