How to Groom a Chinese Crested Dog

Hairless Chinese crested dogs have few hairs on their bodies.
chinese dog image by asiana from

The Chinese crested dog is a member of the toy group thought to have been used by Chinese mariners to control vermin. Possibly originating from the African hairless dog, Chinese crested dogs are popular companions favored by owners with allergies because of their minimal shedding and dander. The breed comes in two varieties that can both be found in the same litter, with the hairless trait resulting from a genetic mutation. The hairless crested has bare skin on the majority of her body and fine, flowing fur on her head, feet and tail. The powderpuff crested's body is covered by a straight, silky coat. Specific grooming methods will maintain the health of the skin and the appearance of the coat.

Hairless Chinese Crested Dogs

Step 1

Comb the fur on your dog's head, feet and tail several times a week. Because the fur is very fine, it is prone to tangles if not maintained. A quality dog-grooming comb with large, wide teeth works well on your Chinese crested's silky coat and prevents tangles and fur mats from forming.

Step 2

Bathe your dog frequently with a shampoo formulated for sensitive skin. The Chinese crested is prone to skin irritations and acne, so regular bathing is a must. Most hairless Chinese crested dogs do well with weekly or twice-monthly baths. In addition, because the breed's bare skin is sensitive, shampoos with heavy perfumes and dyes may cause irritations. A fragrance-free or hypoallergenic shampoo helps prevent skin problems following baths.

Step 3

Apply a moisturizing conditioner to your hairless Chinese crested's skin and fur after rinsing the shampoo from her coat. This helps to keep her fur soft and her skin smooth. Thoroughly rinse the conditioner after allowing it to work for about three minutes.

Step 4

Apply a moisturizer to your dog's bare skin several times a week. Because this toy breed is also prone to dry skin, applying a gentle moisturizer weekly will keep the skin soft and supple. When selecting a lotion for your dog, select a variety that is formulated for babies, or one that is labeled sensitive skin and free of dyes and fragrances.

Step 5

Apply 15 to 30 SPF sunscreen formulated for children to your dog's bare skin when she spends time outdoors. The breed's bare skin is prone to sunburn, so it is necessary to use sunscreen that is fragrance free and does not clog the pores.

Step 6

Clean your dog's teeth with warm water and a soft-bristle toothbrush. The breed is prone to tooth decay, and cleaning your pet's teeth weekly or ideally daily helps prevent serious dental problems.

Powderpuff Chinese Crested Dogs

Step 1

Brush your powderpuff Chinese crested dog daily with a soft-bristle brush. The powderpuff has long fur all over her body with a thick undercoat. Regular brushing helps prevent tangles and hair mats from forming.

Step 2

Comb tangles and mats from your pet’s coat with a wide-toothed comb. By using slow, gentle strokes, you will avoid irritating your dog's delicate skin.

Step 3

Shampoo and condition your pet's coat monthly. Though the powderpuff variety requires less frequent bathing than the hairless crested, its long, silky coat is less likely to develop tangles when kept clean and conditioned. Just like the hairless variety, the powderpuff has sensitive skin and requires specially formulated products.

Step 4

Rub moisturizer on your powderpuff's skin. Though not as sensitive as that of the hairless variety, the powderpuff's skin is also prone to irritation and dryness.

Step 5

Clean your powderpuff's teeth just as you would the hairless variety. Both types have the tendency to develop plaque buildup and tooth decay.


  • Do not use products that have strong perfumes or dark-colored dyes. These items can cause allergic reactions.

  • Do not let your hairless Chinese crested dog spend a lot of time outside without a sunscreen. Your pet's delicate skin may burn and blister, just like a human's.


  • Oatmeal-based shampoos and lotions are good choices for Chinese crested dogs because they are soothing to sensitive skin.

  • Dress your hairless Chinese crested dog in a sweater during cold weather as the breed is prone to chills.

Items You Will Need

  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Dog shampoo formulated for sensitive skin
  • Moisturizing conditioner
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Soft-bristle tooth brush


About the Author

Jennifer Lynn has been writing as a correspondent and reporter since 1991. She has written for numerous newspapers and currently writes as a correspondent for Gannett. Lynn has a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on English from Ohio University, where she also studied journalism at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

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