The Powderpuff Chinese Crested! The hidden gem of the small breeds. People hear “Chinese Crested” and they think “hairless dog.” But let’s not forget the amazing and wonderful Powderpuff Chinese Crested! Powderpuffs are born in the same litter as hairless, except with a full double-coat of hair. Grooming and caring for a Powderpuff is not so different from other coated dog breeds. Here is a guide to help you keep your Powderpuff looking fabulous!
Puffs need to be brushed every day to avoid matting. I use a pin brush and comb for brushing. Dampening the hair slightly with a misting spray before brushing will prevent any broken ends. This is not required, but it does make the coat look better over time. Between the ages of 6-10 months, a Puff will change from a puppy coat into his/her adult coat. Matting will happen especially quickly during this time if brushing is not done daily. Make sure brushing is part of your puppy’s routine from the day you bring them home. Getting into the habit early will make thing easier on both puppy and owner.
I recommend bathing every 1-4 weeks, depending on how dirty your Puff likes to get. I have had Puffs who love to play in mud puddles, roll in freshly mowed grass, and swim in the lake … they needed to be bathed often! I try to avoid bathing more than once a week to avoid a dried-out coat. Always brush and remove any tangles or mats before getting your Puff wet. To bathe, I use an all-natural shampoo/conditioner, such as Rocco & Roxie Dog Shampoo. Make sure to rinse the shampoo out well, then follow up with a blow dry on a cool to slightly warm setting.
There are several options for grooming your Powderpuff Chinese Crested. They can be totally natural, with long hair, a furry face, and long ear hair. They can be shaved down into the same pattern as a hairless, with long hair only on their head, feet, and tail (usually referred to as a “pony cut”). Or they can be groomed to a style anywhere in-between. You also have the option of grooming at home, or using a professional groomer.
If you choose to groom at home, these are the products I recommend:
For grooming the entire body, I use a Andis UltraEdge Professional Clipper. This is a bigger up-front cost, but if you are willing to groom at home, this will save a lot of money over your pets’ lifetime. You can double, triple, (or more!) the amount of savings if you have multiple Puffs (which most people do – if you don’t yet, you likely will soon, lol). Keeping a Puff shaved will make the coat care much easier. If brushing your Puff every day sounds like a lot of work, shaving is a great option. Personally, in the spring I give my Puffs a pony cut, allow their hair to grow throughout the summer and fall, so by winter they have a longer coat for the cold winter. This keeps coat maintenance minimal.
If you are just wanting to keep your Puff’s face and/or ears groomed, the Wahl Peanut Clipper a perfect small option. I always use the Peanut on ears and faces, even though I also own the Andis, because it is small and so easy to maneuver.
You will also want to cut nails about once a month. If you are new to cutting nails, it is better to go too long than too short a first. You may also want to purchase septic powder just in case you cut too short.