Chinese Crested Dog: Characteristics of Hairless & Coated Varieties

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1. Appearance

The Chinese Crested Dog is a small to medium-sized breed known for its unique appearance. There are two varieties of Chinese Crested Dogs: the hairless variety and the coated variety. Despite their differences in coat, both varieties share similar physical characteristics.

2. Hairless Variety

The hairless Chinese Crested Dog is the more well-known variety. As the name suggests, these dogs have little to no hair on their bodies, except for a soft, silky coat on their heads, feet, and tail. Their skin is smooth and can range in color from pink to black. The hairless variety is prone to sunburn, so it's important to protect their skin with sunscreen or clothing when outdoors.

3. Coated Variety

The coated Chinese Crested Dog, also known as the Powderpuff, has a full coat of soft, silky hair that covers its entire body. The coat can be long or short, and it comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Unlike the hairless variety, the coated Chinese Crested Dog does not have any issues with sunburn and is better suited for colder climates.

4. Size and Weight

Both varieties of Chinese Crested Dogs are small to medium-sized dogs. On average, they stand between 11 to 13 inches (28 to 33 cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh between 8 to 12 pounds (3.6 to 5.4 kg). Despite their small size, Chinese Crested Dogs are sturdy and well-muscled.

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5. Temperament

Chinese Crested Dogs are known for their affectionate and friendly nature. They are highly social dogs that thrive on human companionship and make excellent family pets. They are generally good with children and other pets if properly socialized from a young age. Chinese Crested Dogs are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train.

6. Exercise and Training

Chinese Crested Dogs are active dogs that require regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks, playtime, and interactive toys are essential for their well-being. Despite their small size, they have a surprising amount of energy and enjoy participating in various activities such as agility, obedience, and even therapy work.

When it comes to training, Chinese Crested Dogs are intelligent and quick learners. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, treats, and play. Consistency and patience are key when training a Chinese Crested Dog, as they can be sensitive to harsh training methods.

7. Health and Lifespan

Overall, Chinese Crested Dogs are a relatively healthy breed. However, like all dogs, they are prone to certain health issues. Some common health concerns in Chinese Crested Dogs include dental problems, allergies, patellar luxation (knee dislocation), and eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and glaucoma.

The average lifespan of a Chinese Crested Dog is around 12 to 14 years, but with proper care and a healthy lifestyle, they can live even longer.

8. Grooming

Grooming requirements for Chinese Crested Dogs vary depending on the variety. The hairless variety requires more attention and care compared to the coated variety.

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Hairless Chinese Crested Dogs need regular bathing to keep their skin clean and free from dirt and oils. Moisturizing lotions or oils can be applied to keep their skin hydrated. It's important to protect their skin from the sun with sunscreen or clothing when outdoors. Additionally, their teeth should be brushed regularly, and their ears should be cleaned to prevent infections.

Coated Chinese Crested Dogs require regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling of their long or short hair. They also need regular bathing to keep their coat clean and healthy. Like the hairless variety, their teeth and ears should be regularly maintained.

9. Common Health Issues

As mentioned earlier, Chinese Crested Dogs are generally healthy, but they are prone to certain health issues. Some common health problems in Chinese Crested Dogs include:

- Dental issues: Chinese Crested Dogs are prone to dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental care, including brushing their teeth and providing dental chews, is essential.

- Allergies: Chinese Crested Dogs can develop allergies to certain foods, environmental factors, or even grooming products. It's important to identify and avoid allergens to keep them comfortable and healthy.

- Patellar luxation: This is a condition where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position. It can cause lameness and discomfort. In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the issue.

- Eye conditions: Chinese Crested Dogs are prone to eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and glaucoma. Regular eye examinations by a veterinarian are important to detect and manage these conditions.

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10. Conclusion

The Chinese Crested Dog, the dog with and without hair, is a unique and charming breed. Whether you prefer the hairless variety or the coated variety, both have their own distinct characteristics and require specific care. With their affectionate nature, intelligence, and adaptability, Chinese Crested Dogs make wonderful companions for individuals and families alike. Remember to provide them with proper exercise, training, grooming, and regular veterinary care to ensure they live a happy and healthy life.

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