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The Chinese Crested: A Cute Little Dog who Needs a Big SPF!

Are you thinking about adopting a small dog, but concerned about shedding, or the hassle of grooming a long haired dog? You might want to consider the unusual charm of the Chinese Crested. Standing only one foot tall, and weighing about ten pounds, the Chinese Crested really stands out from other breeds because many of the dogs are basically bald.

Most Chinese Crested have hair only on their heads, tails and feet, which really cuts down on the maintenance of their coat. As you can imagine, it does mean that you need to pay attention to their skin. The small dogs do need sunscreen for extended trips outside. Indoors they occasionally need a little lotion. If you live in a colder climate, they might need to wear a cute little sweater on chilly winter days, depending on your weather. For many people applying sunscreen or remembering a sweater for their dog is a great trade if someone in their human family has allergies or asthma.

Chinese Crested dogs are generally good with children who have been taught to be gentle with the friendly dogs’ skin. The breed is characterized as being alert, intelligent and highly trainable, with a ton of personality. These small pets need a lot of companionship, but they rarely bark. They do not need a lot of time outside, although most are quite happy to take neighborhood walks with their families. Consequently, the Chinese Crested is a good breed for an apartment dwelling family to evaluate. Best of all, the dogs are extremely loving and loyal to the families who nurture them.

Despite their name, Chinese Crested actually originated in Africa. They received the “Chinese” label after Chinese traders brought the dogs to minimize the rats on their ships. The dogs were first bred in the United States in 1880. The famous entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee bred Chinese Crested dogs in New York City, beginning in 1950, which helped add to the rare breed’s popularity in our country. Interestingly enough, Lee’s first Chinese Crested came from an animal rescue!

While the nearly Hairless variety gets the most attention, the “Powderpuff” Chinese Crested also make fine pets for the right families. The toy dogs have long glossy hair, in every color combination you can imagine. They share all of the entertaining personality traits which make the breed so endearing, but have a long coat that needs grooming instead of sunscreen. Interestingly enough, both the Hairless and Powderpuff puppies can be born in the same litter!

If your research indicates that a Chinese Crested might be right for your family, deal only with a responsible breeder or rescuer, and avoid pet stores and puppy mills. This breed can have some problems with their teeth. Be sure to discuss this issue with the breeder, and avoid giving your new friend bones to chew, just to be on the safe side. Stick with softer rubber or stuffed toys that your dog can fetch, and you will have a friend for life!

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