Grooming and Maintenance:
Whether Powderpuff or Hairless, Crested's require a certain amount of care and attention on a weekly basis.
Start grooming your Chinese Crested at a young age. Grooming allows you the opportunity to bond with your puppy as well as check for any signs of illness that your dog may be showing. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise or rewards. Accustomise your Crested to being brushed and examined and you will find that veterinary check-ups and grooming sessions when the dog has reached maturity will be easy and enjoyable tasks. Hairless Cresteds are not prone to fleas which usually see them as a last resort however they can get ticks but these are easy to see.
Remember: Most modern over the counter flea and tick treatments affect a variety of pests. If you chose not to use one keep in mind that prevention is usually cheaper than cure!
Most grooming services are available at the local pet groomer's, and if you're unsure or wary about doing any of it yourself, especially shaving or nail trimming, you should seek the help of a professional.
If you want to try these tasks yourself begin by handling their paws and ears frequently — dogs are touchy about such things — and look inside their mouth.
Remember: A quick trick used by breeders to accustom the puppy to mouth checks is to lift the lips and say “Teeth” with praise and rewards if the pup doesn’t protest. This can gradually be expanded to opening the mouth wider etc. to check the whole mouth.
As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early and avoid nasty shocks with accompanying vet bills.
Remember: Be careful where you’re putting your hands, especially for puppies. Maybe one of the reasons little Fido-dido hates having his teeth checked is that your palm covers his nose and he can’t breathe properly!
The BIG THREE are the same for all dogs regardless of breed:
- Both varieties can have dental issues, but the Hairless is particularly prone. Ideally Brush their teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar build-up and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.
- Trim his nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them (or Quick’s as there known), and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding — and your dog may not cooperate the next time he sees the nail clippers come out. So, if you're not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers.
Remember: The Chinese Crested has a "hare foot" so the Quick’s of Chinese Crested run deeper into their nails and extra care must be taken not to trim the nails too short to avoid pain and bleeding.
- His ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection. When you check your dog's ears, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Don't insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear unless instructed otherwise by your veterinarian.
*Ear Taping and the various methods of ensuring that your Chinese Crested's Ears become erect are discussed in greater detail under our Ear Taping Section
Coat Care on the Chinese Cresteds depends largely on the variety of Chinese Crested Dog. Generally both varieties of this breed shed little to no hair and are recommended for allergy sufferers.
Remember: some people are allergic to the skin (dander) or saliva of dogs not the hair which means a low shed dog will affect them just the same!
However the dead hair that is dropped from the skin will become trapped in the existing live hairs, resulting in mats that become progressively worse without regular weekly brushing using a grooming comb for both varieties but especially the Powder Puff.
Always use non-allergenic and scent free dog products and shampoos, never use human merchandise on your dogs. Human PH levels are different to Canine and Hairless Cresteds in particular can have very bad reactions to certain products as they are prone to skin irritation. Talk to your Breeder, Groomer or Veterinarian about a brand or type of skin care products they recommend for your dog
Unless the dog is a "True" Hairless (one with virtually no hair growth on non-extremities), trimming and/or shaving is often performed for neatness to remove excess hair growth. Many owners use a clipper for the face and ears and to remove any longer growth that was allowed to occur. A “show” cut on a Hairless crested allows for both closely trimmed and full flowing fringing on its ears.
Hypoallergenic or mildly, perfumed moisturizing cream can keep the skin from becoming too dry when applied every other day or after bathing. Burning can occur in regions that lend themselves to strong ultraviolet rays, especially in lighter-skinned dogs. Many owners apply a good quality baby sunscreen to their pets before spending time in strong sun. Some Cresteds have skin allergies to Lanolin, so be cautious when using any products that contain it.
Because Hairless Cresteds can be prone to minor skin problems, to help minimise acne or blackheads let the skin remain natural as much as possible only using sun block or moisturizers when actually needed.
It goes without saying that come the winter months some type of coat or sweater should also be used, in harsh climates this is recommended even if the dog is simply going outside to toilet as they are very susceptible to chills and colds. With the reduced protection offered by a hairless body deep snow can burn or cause frostbite on the sensitive pads of the feet which should be quickly checked upon returning from an outing
Remember: Your hairless is basically naked! If in doubt use your own skin as a bench mark; if you’re cold their cold and if you feel the need for sunscreen then give some to little Fido-dido too!
Powderpuff Cresteds can be a lot of work to groom especially if you want to keep a “show” cut as it can grow to be quite long at full length. It is only in recent years with the formal recognition of this variety that the Powder Puff coat has been given real coat care, so we are only just seeing the beauty of the mature coat. Many pet owners choose to shave their Puff in a "Pony Cut" leaving long hair on the bottom of the legs, tail, head and crest for an easy care coat.
Regardless Powder Puffs have a silky double coat, and the undercoat is copious and will mat if the dog isn't groomed regularly. Brushing weekly is advisable with a pin or bristle brush. At around two years old when the adolescent coat will be shed en-masse to let the adult coat grow through, brushing is best done on a daily basis.
For an optimal coat, never brush when dirty. A light spray of water or ideally grooming spray to their coat is recommended before brushing through. All mats should be worked out slowly and carefully perhaps teasing them apart with the fingers first rather than yanking the brush through
Remember: Cresteds are sensitive souls with deep, long memories. If you want grooming to be a hassle free experience, a good rule of thumb is to treat Fido-dido’s hair as if it was attached to your own head. Otherwise get ready for a game of catch me if you can when he sees the brush coming!
Powder Puffs should be bathed regularly but not as frequently as the Hairless. Though in general a Powder Puffs skin is significantly less sensitive than a Hairless Crested they too need a high-quality shampoo to avoid stripping necessary oils from the hair and skin. The dog should be towelled off and blow-dried (on a very low temperature) to prevent him from getting chilled or his coat from getting over dried.
Remember: Brushing should ALWAYS be done before a full wash; otherwise the wet fur will tighten and pull together turning a teeny tangle into a nasty knot!
The Powder Puff is usually shown with a clipped face shaved around the snout in a similar pattern to the Poodle, but it is optional to do so and the face may be left untrimmed if preferred. When its fur is completely grown out on its face, it strongly resembles a terrier.
Not all human foods can be eaten by dogs, we are different species and certain foods affect us differently. Always consult your Breeder or Veterinarian about a brand or type of food products they recommend for your dog.
Remember: In the same way that you can’t eat the little red berries that birds enjoy so much little Fido-Dido can’t always eat the things you love!
Remember: some dogs have sensitive stomachs; if you’re changing your brand of food it might take little Fido-Dido’s tummy a while to adjust to his new diet
How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog.
The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.
Keep your Crested in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him a little bit twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you're unsure whether he's overweight, give him the following eye and hands-on test:
- look down at him. You should be able to see a waist.
- Place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward.
- You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard.