The Chinese Crested is either the Hairless or the Powder Puff: the first only having hair on their heads, ankles and tip of tail; the second has a covering of thin, long, soft hair. The ‘Cresties’ are very small and slight and have become novelty lap dogs. Any type of home environment will suit him and his exercise requirements are modest. He is intelligent and affectionate but his fragility makes him unsuited to being a family dog. Small children should not be allowed to play with him.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 11.3% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS159.31
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- The Chinese Crested’s very small size makes his skeletal system fragile so that broken bones are not uncommon
- Dental problems or missing teeth
- It is unnatural for a dog to be hairless and he is susceptible to sunburn
- He will also suffer from the cold in winter
- Eye disease: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) gradual loss of vision
- Primary lens luxation (PLL) (annual testing) (displacement of the lens)
- The Chinese Crested is one of the 15 high profile breeds designated by the Kennel Club as requiring particular monitoring by reason of visible conditions which may cause health and welfare concerns.
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Progressive retinal atrophy, (prcd-PRA)
- Primary lens luxation (PLL)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Von Willebrands Disease (vWD) type 2
- Canine Multiple System Degeneration (CMSD)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Canine cutaneous histiocytoma (red lumps on the skin – usually benign and usually disappears)
- Cerebellar ataxia (neurological defect causing loss of co-ordination and weakness
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: