Do Chinese Crested Dogs Shed?

The Chinese Crested Dog is a small, mostly hairless dog that likely hails from Mexico, not China (despite the name). Although it comes in a tiny package, this unique-looking dog breed has a lot of love to give to the right person.

Is the Chinese Crested much of a shedder?

Chinese Crested dogs shed very little. The Hairless version of this dog has fur that grows long around parts of its body and will shed throughout the year.

The much furrier Powderpuff version will shed seasonally, but not much. Grooming a Chinese Crested can be difficult since you must maintain its long fur and its bare skin.

I’m sure you’re quite eager to learn more about the very interesting Chinese Crested Dog. Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll discuss Chinese Crested shedding habits for both the Hairless and Powderpuff varieties as well as this breed’s grooming requirements. 

Chinese Crested Shedding

Shedding Level

The Chinese Crested doesn’t often have much fur, making it a very low-shedding breed.

As I touched on in the intro, there exist two versions of the Chinese Crested Dog. Depending on which one you have, you might expect slightly more shedding or a good deal less.

One version is called the Hairless Chinese Crested:

Hairless Chinese Crested puppy walking outside on grass.
Hairless Chinese Crested

Despite its name, the Hairless is covered in fur, just not on most of its body. Instead, this variety features a fuzzy tail called a plume, fur around the feet (which enthusiasts nicknamed “socks”), a long mane around its head and chest (the crest), and a hairy face and ears.

The second variety of Chinese Crested is known as the Powderpuff:

White Powderpuff Chinese Crested walking on green grass.
Powderpuff Chinese Crested

And this variety has fur from head to toe.

The difference between a Powderpuff and a Hairless Chinese Crested Dog is significant enough that you might at first think these are two separate breeds, but they aren’t.

The reason that Powderpuff Chinese Crested Dogs are so furry is due to the breed’s genes. Hairlessness is a dominant trait in this dog, but since the trait is incomplete, Powderpuff Chinese Crested Dogs have a long coat that grows freely.

More importantly, unlike the Hairless variety, Powderpuffs are double-coated.

A double-coated dog is likely to shed seasonally. In the fall, it will release its warmer-weather coat for a more insulating layer through the winter. Then, in the spring, that insulating layer will come off and the fuzz that grows back will be lighter to withstand the hot months to come.

Powderpuff Chinese Crested Dogs will shed more than the Hairless variety in almost all cases because the former has more fur.

To confuse matters, there’s also a third type, although it’s more like a sub-variety of the Hairless breed. It’s commonly referred to as a “hairy Hairless Chinese Crested.” And it’s basically just a hairier version of the Hairless Chinese Crested.

The main difference between the “hairy Hairless” and a Powderpuff is that the Hairless varieties only have one single coat, while the Powderpuff has a double coat.

So, even though a “hairy Hairless” Chinese Crested Dog’s coat can rival that of a Powderpuff, since the coat is only one layer, it won’t shed more frequently during seasonal changes than it will during the rest of the year. You can’t say the same about a Powderpuff.

Grooming Your Chinese Crested Dog

Grooming Effort

Grooming the Chinese Crested rolls both fur-brushing and skincare into one, so the routine is more complex than for most dogs.

Let’s start by talking about the Hairless Chinese Crested Dog’s grooming requirements. In any areas where this dog grows hair, you need to brush the coat with a bristle brush.

Avoid brushing near or on the skin, as this can be very painful for your pup.

If yours is a Hairy Hairless Chinese Crested Dog, you might have to regularly trim its fur to prevent it from becoming too unruly. For less fuzzy Hairless versions, occasional trimming is recommended.

You can trim your Chinese Crested Dog’s fur yourself or let the groomer do it, whichever is more comfortable for you.

Since the Hairless Chinese Crested has so many exposed areas of skin, you need to care for its skin like you would your own. If you’re going to the dog park for a few hours, put sunblock on your dog’s skin to prevent burns. Many dog owners use sunblock formulated for babies.

Chinese Crested Dogs can have very light, pink skin or brown, even black skin. The lighter their skin, the more prone they are to sunburns. Any exposed skin can burn though no matter the color.

In the winter, use an oil-free, hypoallergenic moisturizing cream so your Chinese Crested Dog’s skin doesn’t dry out. You should also apply moisturizer after you bathe your dog (more on this momentarily).

Some Chinese Crested Dogs develop acne. You should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to go over dog-safe pimple treatments.

No matter the product you’re slathering on the Chinese Crested Dog’s skin, it must not contain lanolin. Your dog might be allergic to this ingredient, which will only worsen their skin woes.

Powderpuff Chinese Crested owners might not have to put sunscreen on their dog since it has no exposed skin, but other skin maladies can occur in Powderpuffs as well. Those include acne and skin irritation from allergies.

Combing with a bristle brush will work for Powderpuffs. You’ll have to brush your dog daily, especially during seasonal shifts. Do be aware that their undercoat is a lot shorter than their overcoat. This can lead to hair mats if you’re not careful.

You can trim the Powderpuff about as often as a Hairless Chinese Crested Dog, maybe slightly more frequently if the fur is getting long and unruly.

Get into a regular habit of bathing the Chinese Crested, doing so twice weekly. That goes for the Hairless and Powderpuff varieties alike. Frequent bathing and applying lotion afterward will lessen this breed’s skin issues.

Some Chinese Crested Dog owners use conditioner as well as dog shampoo when bathing their pups. Since conditioner isn’t formulated for canines, make sure you dilute it with water before applying.

Are Chinese Crested Dogs Hypoallergenic?

Chinese Crested Dogs are generally considered hypoallergenic, and they are listed as being hypoallergenic on the AKC website. So they may be more suitable to folks with pet allergies.

However, it’s important to understand that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic.

This is because, as explained in this FAQ, the thing that makes a dog allergenic in the first place is actually its skin. Or more specifically, its dead skin cells known as dander.

Heavy shedding dogs are worse for allergy sufferers though, because dander sticks to dog hair, so when a dog sheds, it spreads the dander around the home.

This is why the more a dog sheds, the worse it typically is for allergy sufferers.

Anyway, the good news is that both varieties of the Chinese Crested Dog (Hairless and Powderpuff) shed very little hair throughout the year, and are generally considered to be suitable for people with dog allergies.

At the very least, they’re typically far less allergenic than heavy shedding dogs like the Labrador, German Shepherd, or Saint Bernard.

Is a Chinese Crested Right for You?

Are you still not sure if you should adopt a Chinese Crested Dog? This section should help you make up your mind.

The Chinese Crested Dog might be related to the Xoloitzcuintli, another hairless dog. If they do share a lineage, then the Chinese Crested could very well be from Mexico, not China like its name suggests.

The American Kennel Club calls the Chinese Crested alert and lively. This breed is also incredibly affectionate, and loves being petted, snuggled, and otherwise doted on.

Here is a YouTube video showcasing some aspects of the Chinese Crested Dog’s vivid personality.

Since the Chinese Crested Dog weighs between eight and 12 pounds and only grows to 13 inches high, it’s a perfect companion for apartment dwellers. Homeowners don’t need a particularly large yard to accommodate this dog either.

Chinese Crested dogs don’t require much more exercise outside of their regular walks. Please remember to apply sunscreen before you two head outside!

The Chinese Crested is very adaptable and playful, so he gets along well with any other dogs in the household. That’s true also if you have cats or rodents like hamsters or gerbils.

This breed is generally fine around children, but the question is whether the kids will be fine around the dog. Since the Chinese Crested is so small, rambunctious kids aren’t the best match. Your pup could get injured.

Like a lot of small breeds, the Chinese Crested Dog thinks it’s 10 feet taller than it is, so it will bark, sometimes at perceived threats and at other times seemingly at nothing.

This breed is also prone to separation anxiety, which can intensify its barking. Chinese Crested Dogs can begin destroying the house to try to escape.

Bottom Line

The Chinese Crested is a small breed of dog that comes in two main varieties.

Hairless and Powderpuff.

The Hairless version is mostly naked while the sub-variety known as the Hairy Hairless Chinese Crested Dog has a lot more fur. Powderpuffs have a long double coat while Hairy Chinese Crested Dogs are single-coated.

Either way, this breed is very low shedding, especially the Hairless variety.

The only caveat is that grooming the Chinese Crested can be more time-consuming than the average dog, especially since all varieties need skincare. But it’s a tradeoff you may be comfortable with if you’re looking for an awesome little dog that doesn’t shed much.

With its big heart and its penchant for affection, the Chinese Crested could very well become your new four-legged best friend!

Do Chinese Crested Dogs Shed?

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