Chinese Crested Dogs are a lively, loyal affectionate little dog. They can sometimes be aloof to anyone but their ‘family’. They are good guards but are not normally a noisy breed. They are a companion animal and do not take too kindly to being left on their own but relish the company of their owners and the comforts that their owners enjoy.
It is a good idea to take your Crested along to your vet for a thorough check and to establish his/her records. One important check is to record the dog’s temperature when it is in good health as this is an important guide to monitoring health conditions.
Some Chinese Crested can develop allergic reactions to some of the ingredients in moisturisers and skin creams. It is therefore a good idea to test for sensitivity before smothering your hairless in any product that has not been used before. Put a small amount on the back of the neck where it cannot be licked off, if in 24 – 48 hours there is no reaction it is safe to use that particular product.
As the skin of a Crested reacts very much like our own to strong sunlight never allow a hairless to be out in strong sunlight without using at least a Factor 15 sun block for sensitive skins. They do like to sunbathe, so make sure the sun block covers all the skin including the underside, the inside of the legs and, if the edges of the ears have little or no hair pay attention to these areas as well. Dry dull days can be just as much of a problem for sparsely furnished ears. If the hair is sparse on the ears a small amount of Vaseline (or similar skin ointment) should be applied on the edges of the ears to prevent drying and cracking. Regular attention should be given to this.
Chinese Cresteds like to be kept clean! How often do you wash a hairless? The answer is as often as it needs it – all have varying skin quality – some need to be washed at least every week, sometimes more, others stay smooth and soft and feel clean for several weeks occasionally longer. Always wash and dry a hairless thoroughly before applying moisturiser. Only use a cream which will be absorbed into the skin and not block the pores. Blocked pores can cause spots and blackheads.
The skin quality of any individual Crested is governed by several factors, not just hygiene. Genetics, diet, colour and age also influence the type of skin a hairless is blessed with. Teenage acne is experienced by many hairless to some degree whether male or female. This usually happens between the ages of 6 months and 18 months. Products such as Tea Tree Lotion or Clearasil for sensitive skins are useful at this time, but care must be taken to stop the dog ingesting the lotion by washing as it will surely do if it is not distracted. If you are worried by your hairless’ skin seek breed specialist advice.
There are conditions that can affect the hairless which can be easily solved rather than subjecting the dog to expensive and time consuming tests which may not be necessary:
- Between the ages of 6 months to 24 months powderpuffs shed their puppy coat.
- This can be a difficult time as puppies will need constant daily or often more frequent grooming to keep their coat in good condition.
- It is the only time in their life that they will moult, after the adult coat has developed they shed hair like you or I. The level of grooming required once the adult coat is fully developed varies according to the quality of coat. It can be as little as 10 minutes or up to 1 hour or more a day for the rest of their life if a full coat is preferred.
- Using a comb, always remove tangles from the coat of a powderpuff before you get it wet. No amount of conditioner makes it any easier to comb free when wet and wet hair can stretch and break.
- Never use a brush as it rarely reaches below the surface and can leave knots underneath. If you feel you don’t have the time or patience to properly maintain a full coat consider having the coat clipped. They still look absolutely wonderful particularly in a lamb cut.
Where other breeds of dog and the powderpuff Chinese Crested have normal canine teeth, the hairless Crested usually has tusks, either pointing straight down or forward. Cleaning advice:
- Various proprietary systems are available today or you can use a junior toothbrush with an appropriate animal toothpaste, or use Logic which your vet can supply.
- Hairless Cresteds can have shallow roots to their teeth so take care when cleaning. If there is any inflammation of the gums, consult your vet.
- Do not be anxious to remove the puppy teeth of a hairless unless they are causing pain, are doubled up with the adult teeth or are totally misplaced. They may not be replaced.
- Some hairless retain puppy teeth well into old age.
- Powderpuffs should have nothing unusual about their teeth at all.
Pay particular attention to the inside of the ears – they must be kept clean. If you have any worries on this do visit your vet for advice on suitable cleaners and their application.
Always check the nails on all the feet. Nails on back feet often wear down more quickly than those on the front. When checking nails don’t forget the dewclaws if the dog still has these. If you are not absolutely sure how to clip the nails do take your dog to your vet to learn how if you wish to do it yourself. Incorrect clipping can be painful for the dog and may cause profuse bleeding.
In colder weather allow hairless Cresteds more to eat. This is their way to adjust their body temperature to compensate for heat loss. If only giving one meal a day, rather than increasing the size of this one meal, feed an extra meal with at least 6 hours between feeds.