Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More


Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Crested-Tzu also spelled Crested Tzu is a small mixed dog who has the Chinese Crested and the Shih Tzu as parents. She is a talented dog with skills in racing, watchdog, military work, herding and sighting. She has a life span of 12 to 15 years and is a loving but sometimes dog who could be a great companion or family dog.
Here is the Crested-Tzu at a Glance
Average height Up to 13 inches
Average weight 9 to 15 pounds
Coat type Hairless, or silky and fine
Hypoallergenic? If one parent is the hairless version of the Chinese Crested and she has a coat like that (or lack of) then she could be
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding None to low
Brushing Daily if has a long fine coat as tangles easily
Touchiness Quite sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to moderate
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Low to good depending on coat
Tolerance to Cold Low to good depending on coat
Good Family Pet? Very good to excellent
Good with Children? Very good to excellent
Good with other Dogs? Very good
Good with other Pets? Good to very good
A roamer or Wanderer? Low
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to their size
Good Pet for new Owner? Good to very good
Trainability Moderately easy
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Average
Major Health Concerns Eye problems, Legg-Calve-Perthes, Patellar luxation, kidney and bladder problems, liver problems, Umbilical hernia,
Other Health Concerns Dental issues, allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, snuffles, reverse sneezing
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $200 to $450
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $550
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $300 to $700

Where does the Crested-Tzu come from?

This particular cross breed was developed very recently compared to other designer dogs and for that reason she is harder to find. Designer dogs is a popular trend at the moment and as used to describe mixed breeds created using most commonly two purebred dogs. The specifics of her creation, purpose and breeding are not known as is the case with most designer dogs. Since there are a lot of bad breeders out there using this trend to make money take care where you buy from. Also keep in mind that there are no guarantees in what traits or looks they can pick up from their parents. In order to get a better understanding for the Crested-Tzu since we have no origin story known we can look at the parents for.

The Chinese Crested

The name here is quite deceptive as this dog is not actually originally from China, but rather comes from either Mexico or Africa. But it was in China that he was bred down to be a smaller dog and he became very popular. From the royals all the way down to the peasants. They came to Europe in the 1700s and in America the first club was formed in 1974.

It is hard to find him in China now. He is a happy and alert dog, very loving and demanding of your time and affection. While he is smart he sometimes gets rated lower than is true by some trainers not familiar with him. He can be quite stubborn and does not do well around strangers so early socialization and training are important. Otherwise he is a great companion dog.

The Shih Tzu

The Shih-Tzu is thought to be in the top 14 oldest breeds around, coming from either Tibet or China. They were treasured as companion dogs and can be found in paintings and documents across Tibetan and Chinese history. They were referred to as little lion dogs and were docile, intelligent and happy. The first breeding pair to leave China and come to England happened in 1928.In 1969 he was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

The Shih-Tzu today is still very much a companion dog. He wants to please and be with you, he is very affectionate and loves to receive it too. He will spend as much time as he can in your lap and is a happy little dog when he has lots of attention. He can be lively and likes to play and is friendly too.


The Crested-Tzu is a loving and affectionate dog, always cheerful and a great companion or family pet. She is alert and intelligent and eager to please too. She can have a stubborn side to be prepared for but is usually good with guests and good with children all the way up to seniors. She can be energetic and loves to play and have fun.

What does the Crested-Tzu look like

She is a small dog weighing 9 to 15 pounds and standing up to 13 inches tall. Her ears are flappy and she can look like either parent, it can vary by quite a bit. She can inherit the hairless trait from the Chinese Crested so could just have hair on her tail, ears and head. Or she could have silky fine hair all over. Common colors include chocolate, gray, golden, brown, black, white, cream and salt and pepper.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Crested-Tzu need to be?

She has moderate exercise needs, a couple of daily walks outside and play time both inside and outside will keep her happy. Trips to a dog park would be something she would enjoy though be aware some dog parks have size requirements, if your Crested-Tzu is on the smaller side she may not be big enough for some parks. She is perfect for apartment living due to her size and needs and does not need a yard though if there is one it would be a bonus.

Does she train quickly?

She is smart and eager to please but she has a strong stubborn streak. She is moderately easy to train still you just need to get past that willfulness. Usually bribery with treats is a very successful method! Praise her and encourage her, be consistent and firm and keep it positive. You will also need to stay patient. Early training and socialization are important. House training can be difficult though, it will be gradual.

Living with a Crested-Tzu

How much grooming is needed?

If she is hairless she will not need brushing apart from round the head and tail. But she will need careful looking after when out in the sun including sunscreen. Those with fine hair will need brushing on a regular basis ie daily as it mats very easily. Long hair should be kept shorter to keep it easier to maintain which would mean a trip to a professional groomer once a month. She should be given a bath just when she needs one using a dog shampoo. Her nails will need clipping when they get too long and that may be something you let the groomer do as you should not cut too low through a dog’s nails. Her ears should be checked and wiped once a week and her teeth should be brushed two to three times a week.

What is she like with children and other animals?

The Crested-Tzu is a very social dog who gets on well with other pets, dogs and children. She will play, be affectionate and loving, but smaller children should be supervised just because of her smaller size. Teach children how to play with her, being a smaller dog she is not a dog to get carried away with.

General information

She is alert and will bark to let you know if there is an intruder or something that needs your attention. She otherwise will bark occasionally. She should be fed ½ to 1 cup of good quality dry dog food each day, split into two meals.

Health Concerns

There are certain health concerns to be prepared for that can be passed on to offspring from the parents. These include Eye problems, Legg-Calve-Perthes, Patellar luxation, kidney and bladder problems, liver problems, Umbilical hernia, Dental issues, allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, snuffles and reverse sneezing. Visit the puppy at the breeders to see the conditions and health of the other dogs. Ask the breeder to see health clearances for both parents.

Costs involved in owning a Crested-Tzu

A Crested-Tzu puppy can cost between $200 to $450 though being such a new arrival those prices may change especially if she becomes a popular one. Other costs include getting a crate, carrier, collar and leash, spaying, chipping, blood tests, shots and deworming come to between $360 to $400. Medical yearly costs for just the basics like check ups, flea prevention, vaccinations and pet insurance come to between $435 to $550. Other yearly costs for essentials like food, grooming, treats, toys, license and training come to between $300 to $700.


Looking for a Crested-Tzu Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

The Crested-Tzu is a good dog well suited to living in an apartment and able to be happy with a larger family or just as a companion with a senior. She is happy and affectionate and a great loyal dog to have. She is stubborn too and be prepared for the some troubles with house training.

Featured Image: Left: Chinese Crested (Source: popovicmjeljica, Pixabay), Right: Shih Tzu (Source: 12122, Pixabay)

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

Did you know: an average of 18 dog foods are recalled every year?

Get FREE Dog Food Recall Alerts by email whenever there's a recall.