A fine-boned, elegant toy dog that craves human companionship, the Crested comes in two varieties. The Hairless has soft, silky hair on its head (crest), tail (plume) and feet (socks). Wherever the body is hairless the skin is soft and smooth. The Powderpuff is entirely covered with a double soft, straight coat. The two types often come from the same litter. Any color or combination of colors is allowed.
The Crested is prone to more frequent skin irritations, allergies and sunburn than a coated dog would experience, and its owner should always take precautions to prevent this. Although no dog is truly ‘hypoallergenic,’ Cresteds shed little to no hair and are on AKC’s list of breeds recommended for those with allergies. They are also alert and playful companions and do well in families with gentle children.
A Chinese Crested is a wash and wear dog, but a thorough bath is of utmost importance paying particular attention to their skin. First and foremost, do a gentle preliminary bath to lift dirt, debris, oil, and environmental factors to bring the skin and coat back to a neutral state. Always choose the mildest shampoo to get the job done. Depending on your Cresties lifestyle, a maintenance bath can be done as frequently as weekly to every other week. A brush out should be done weekly in order to keep the coat from matting and becoming tangled. This breed needs more attention paid to their skin as the Hairless Variety tends to get blackheads and acne. Resist the urge to squeeze blackheads and pimples. This can cause infections and permanently discolor the skin. A Dead Sea Mineral Mud Bath can be used weekly if blackheads and acne are an issue. Apply the mud bath and allow it to sit for 3 min, rinse, then wash as usual. The mud bath will exfoliate the skin and sloth off the dead skin cells. This mineral rich mud accelerates natural exfoliation and restores the skin’s natural pH balance.
Finishing the Dog: Tools and Finish Grooming
The coat should be mat and tangle free. The Powder Puff Variety should be line dried and line brushed all the way down to the skin. Pay particular attention to the armpits, behind the ears, legs and thighs as these friction areas tend to mat easily. The coat should be light, airy and move freely with the dog. Lightly neaten the outline of the dog and clip the muzzle and cheeks close. If you are working with the Hairless Variety, bare skin should be smooth and free of any hair. In some instances, it might be necessary to help the body remain totally hairless. Pay attention to the sensitivity of the skin when selecting a blade. The muzzle, cheeks, and throat should be clipped closely. After clipping sensitive areas, it is a good idea to use an aloe based topical to promote cell regeneration and prevent clipper burn.
General Health Care
Prep work is the foundation of all grooming. Prep work includes ear cleaning, nail trimming, trimming the pads, anal glands, and proper dental hygiene. Mastering these skills sets the professional pet stylist apart from the rest. Prep work should be done before every bathing and grooming appointment. All dogs need to have their ears checked and cleaned on a regular basis. Some need to have the hair plucked from the ear canal. This allows the ear to have proper air circulation. It is not necessary to remove all of the hair in the ear, as some serves as a barrier to foreign debris. It is imperative that you are properly trained to pull ear hair before attempting this endeavor. Proper nail care is also very important. Long, unsightly nails are uncomfortable for the dog, as well as anyone they might jump on. Long nails also compromise the shape of the foot. Trimming the pads of the foot helps give the dog good traction on different surfaces and can minimize the amount of dirt the dog tracks into the house. It also affords the opportunity to treat and condition the paws from cracks and abrasions. Anal glands should also be checked and expressed if they are full. Some caring pet owners prefer to have the anal glands done by their veterinarian. Good dental hygiene is essential for a healthy pet too.
In order to maintain healthy skin and coat as well as overall health, it is important to provide good nutrition to your dog through a well–balanced diet, vitamins, and healthy treats.
Do they require a lot of grooming?
They can be a wash and wear dog. Keeping the skin and coat clean is the key to keeping your Chinese Crested in top condition.
What is a common problem in Chinese Cresteds?
As with all breeds of dogs, the Cresties do have some breed-specific health concerns. With an average life span of 13 to 15 years, Cresties are prone to dental issues, luxating patellas, deafness, and seizures. Some major health concerns are Progressive Retinal Atrophy, glaucoma, and lens luxation.
Do Chinese Cresteds shed or cause allergies?
The Powder Puff Variety has minimal shedding. Frequent baths and conditioning treatments will help eliminate some of the dander and shedding. As with any breed, a person suffering from allergies should spend some time around the breed to make sure their allergies don’t flare up around the breed.
Are Cresties good with children?
Cresties are loving dogs that usually do well with children, but they are not the ideal breed for a home with busy children since they can become easily overwhelmed by the noise and excitement children make.
What if I have a show dog?
Whether you have a show dog or a companion dog, the same basic care is given regarding nutrition, socialization, and hygiene. The difference is the maintenance, conditioning, and training for the show ring. It is always helpful if your breeder is willing to mentor you to lead you in the right direction upon entering the wonderful world of showing dogs. A great place to start is with the national breed club like the American Chinese Crested Club, accc.chinesecrestedclub.info.