The two types of Chinese cresteds are the powderpuff and hairless varieties. A powderpuff Chinese crested has a coat of straight hair that covers its entire body.
The Chinese crested is fine-boned and slender, among the most elegant and graceful of breeds. It is slightly longer than tall. Its gait is lively and agile. It has an alert, intense expression. In the hairless variety, soft silky hair is found only on the head (crest), tail (plume), and feet and lower legs. The skin of the hairless areas is smooth and soft. In the powder-puff variety, the entire dog is covered with a soft silky coat of moderate density and length.
Of the half-dozen or so "hairless dog breeds," the Chinese crested is the smallest. They measure between 11 and 13 inches at the shoulder, and weigh only around 12 pounds. That makes Chinese cresteds a little bit bigger than Chihuahuas on average, but they're still small enough to fit in a moderately sized handbag.
The Chinese crested is a combination of playful pixie, gentle lap dog and sensitive companion. It is devoted to its family and willing to please; it is also good with other dogs, pets and strangers. Its demeanor should be gay and alert.
The Chinese cresteds' predecessors, the African hairless terriers, first gained favor with Chinese traders when their value on the high seas was recognized.
One of the earliest and most influential proponents of Chinese cresteds in America was a newspaper reporter named Ida Garrett. Garrett took notice of the breed at dog shows in the late 1870s, kicking off a lifelong passion.
Chinese cresteds had a celebrity fan who helped popularize the breed around the same time that Ida Garrett and Debra Wood worked together.
The Chinese Crested originated in Africa where they were called "African Hairless Terriers." Chinese trading ships stopped along the shores of Africa on their routes and brought the dogs onboard their ships to hunt vermin. They renamed the dogs "Chinese Crested" and the name stuck.
No dog is totally nonallergenic, but certain breeds are more hypoallergenic than others.