Chinese Crested: The Top Choice for Therapy Work

Chinese Crested: The Top Choice for Therapy Work

Are you looking for the perfect breed to become a therapy dog? Look no further than the Chinese Crested! Known for their loving and affectionate nature, Chinese Cresteds make excellent therapy dogs due to their gentle demeanor and ability to connect with people. In this article, we will explore why the Chinese Crested is the top choice for therapy work and how they can bring comfort and joy to those in need.

History of Chinese Crested Dogs

Chinese Crested dogs have a long and fascinating history that dates back several centuries. Despite their name, these unique-looking canines actually have origins that are believed to trace back to Africa, not China. The breed is thought to have been brought to China by sailors, where they were bred and eventually gained popularity in the royal courts.

Origins of the Chinese Crested Breed

The Chinese Crested breed is believed to have descended from the African hairless dog, which was prized by sailors for their ratting abilities on ships. These dogs were crossed with local dogs in China, resulting in the distinctive appearance of the Chinese Crested breed that we recognize today. The breed comes in two varieties: the Hairless, which has only a crest of hair on its head, feet, and tail, and the Powderpuff, which is covered in a soft, fluffy coat.

Popularity of Chinese Crested Dogs in Therapy Work

Chinese Crested dogs have gained popularity in therapy work due to their affectionate and gentle nature. Their small size and hypoallergenic coat make them ideal for providing comfort and companionship to individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings. Their playful and sociable personality also makes them well-suited for emotional support work, helping to reduce stress and anxiety in those they interact with. Overall, Chinese Crested dogs have proven to be a top choice for therapy work due to their loving and caring demeanor.

Characteristics of Chinese Crested Dogs

Physical appearance

Chinese Crested dogs are known for their unique appearance, with their hairless bodies and distinct tufts of hair on their head, feet, and tail. They come in two varieties – hairless and powderpuff. The hairless variety has soft, smooth skin with hair only on certain parts of their body, while the powderpuff variety has a full coat of soft, silky fur. Both varieties have a slender build and elegant posture.

Personality traits

Chinese Crested dogs are affectionate and playful companions, known for their loving and loyal nature. They are social animals that thrive on human interaction and enjoy spending time with their owners. Despite their small size, they are confident and outgoing, making them great therapy dogs. They are also intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train.

Health considerations

Like all dog breeds, Chinese Crested dogs have their own set of health considerations. Due to their hairless nature, they are more susceptible to sunburn and skin issues, so it’s important to protect them from prolonged sun exposure. They also have a tendency to develop dental problems, so regular dental care is essential. Additionally, they can be prone to certain genetic health conditions, such as patellar luxation and progressive retinal atrophy, so regular check-ups with a veterinarian are important to ensure their overall health and well-being.

Training Chinese Crested Dogs for Therapy Work

Basic obedience training

Before diving into specialized therapy training, it is important to establish a strong foundation of basic obedience training for Chinese Crested dogs. This includes commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel. Consistent and positive reinforcement is key in this training process to ensure that your dog is responsive and well-behaved during therapy sessions.

Socialization techniques

Socialization is a crucial aspect of training Chinese Crested dogs for therapy work. Exposing your dog to a variety of people, environments, and other animals from a young age can help them become comfortable and confident in new situations. This will make them better equipped to handle the diverse settings they may encounter during therapy sessions.

Specialized therapy training

Once your Chinese Crested dog has mastered basic obedience and socialization, they can begin specialized therapy training. This may involve teaching them how to interact with different types of individuals, such as children, elderly individuals, or individuals with disabilities. They may also be trained to perform specific tasks or provide emotional support during therapy sessions.

Overall, training Chinese Crested dogs for therapy work requires patience, dedication, and a strong bond between the dog and their handler. With the right training techniques and positive reinforcement, Chinese Crested dogs can excel in therapy work and provide comfort and support to those in need.


In conclusion, the Chinese Crested dog breed has proven to be a top choice for therapy work due to their affectionate nature, intelligence, and adaptability. These unique dogs have the ability to connect with people on a deep emotional level and provide comfort and support in various therapy settings. Whether they are visiting hospitals, nursing homes, or schools, Chinese Cresteds have a special way of brightening the lives of those around them. If you are considering getting involved in therapy work with your dog, the Chinese Crested is definitely a breed worth considering.