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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021

Crustie dog close up

The Crustie is a mixed or cross breed having two purebred parents, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Chinese Crested. She is a small cross with a life span of 12 to 15 years. She has talents in sighting, watchdog, racing, herding and military work. She is a very loyal dog who loves attention and will keep looking for it till satisfied!

Here is the Crustie at a Glance
Average height 8 to 12 inches
Average weight 7 to 13 pounds
Coat type Straight, fine, silky or can be hairless
Hypoallergenic? Yes – both parents are
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low or none is hairless!
Brushing Depends on what coat. Daily brushing if long and silky, daily application of sun lotion and moisturizer if not coat
Touchiness Very sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low – can suffer from separation anxiety
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Moderate to good depending on coat
Tolerance to Cold Low to moderate depending on coat
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate to average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Good to very good – can be stubborn
Trainability Moderately easy to train
Exercise Needs Somewhat active
Tendency to get Fat Moderate – not prone to obesity
Major Health Concerns Eye Problems, Legg-Calve-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, PSS, Hypoglycemia, Collapsed Trachea
Other Health Concerns Dental Problems, Reverse Sneezing
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $300 to $900
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $535 to $635

Where does the Crustie come from?

The Crustie is most likely from the US where most designer dogs come from, but this is only an educated guess as we really do not have any information on who bred it and why. Over recent years the increase in popularity of a lot of these mixes has seen too an increase in breeders. Some are genuine and know what they are doing but some are just in it for profit. Avoid funding ignorant or bad backyard breeders and puppy mills. With no other information on this first generation dog we can look at the temperament and looks of the parents for some ideas.

The Yorkshire Terrier

In England in the mid 19th century Scottish workers came looking for work in Yorkshire bringing with them a dog called the Paisley Terrier or Clydesdale Terrier. They were used for catching rats and mice around the mills. These were crossed with other terriers and in 1861 we see the first Yorkshire Terrier in a show called a broken haired Scotch Terrier. In 1870 they started to refer to them as Yorkshire Terriers because that is where most of the breeding and development had happened. In America the earliest record of one being born there is in 1872.

Today the Yorkie as they are often referred to is a confident and clever small dog with quite an intrepid spirit. They can have a range of personalities, some are more cuddly, some are more active, some are mischievous. One thing most Yorkies have in common though is if you spoil them too much they can become quite a handful!

The Chinese Crested

Despite being called Chinese they are not actually originally from China, but come from either Mexico or Africa. However it was when they came to China they were reduce in size and bred into the dog we know today. They were popular as much with common people as with the emperors themselves and Chinese sailors are said to have kept them on ships with them to hunt vermin. Eventually they made their way to Europe sometime in the 1700s. When they reached America is not known but the first club formed was in 1974.

Today this a rare dog in China. They are alert and happy dogs who love their people very much and want lots of cuddles and lap time. He is intelligent but some trainers rate them lower on the scale than they really are because of a lack of understanding. He makes a great companion dog but can have a strong stubborn side. He may not react well to strangers and unless has some training and socialization can even nip at them.


Crusties, despite their name, are actually happy and cheerful dogs, with energy and playfulness, liveliness and intelligence. She is a very loyal dog and can make a great addition to any family. She loves to bask in a lot of attention and will need owners happy to give that to her otherwise she will not be happy. She is also sensitive and does not like being left alone for long periods. She is a social dog preferring to have her owners around her and is friendly to visitors too.

What does the Crustie look like

She is a small dog weighing 7 to 13 pounds and standing 8 to 12 inches tall. She can have erect or flappy ears and her coat can be like a Yorkies, or like either Crested coats, hairless or silky and fine. She can even have a coat that has thing spots in places. Common colors for those with a coat are grey, black, white and blue.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Crustie need to be?

It is an energetic dog but being small even an energetic dog is quite easy for most people to keep up with. She will get some of her needs from her indoor playtime and because of her size she can live in an apartment happily. Then she will need a couple of walks a day and those should equal 15 to 20 minutes each. It would be nice for her to get some time off leash in a safe place like a dog park. You can play some doggy games with her and she can socialize. While a yard is not needed for her as long as she is getting outside twice a day, it is a bonus place to explore and play in if there is one.

Does she train quickly?

The Crustie is moderately easy to train so it will be steady going, not super fast but also not super slow. She tends to listen well and want to obey to please you. She is smart so with the right positive approach she learns well. Be firm and consistent and use rewards, treats, praise and so on to reach her and encourage her. Also include early socialization to ensure she is the best dog she can be and is confident and trustworthy.

Living with a Crustie

How much grooming is needed?

How much grooming she needs is really going to depend on her coat. She can be moderate in terms of maintenance in general and is low shedding so good for people with allergies. Is she is hairless while she may not need a lot of brushing there may still be some to do around the head, tail and feet. Also she will need moisturizing to look after her skin, and sunscreen will be essential when taking her out. If she does have a coat it tends to be long and silky so that should be brushed daily to keep it shiny, debris and tangle free. Only bathe her when she really needs it too.

Her teeth should be cleaned at least two to three times a week and her ears checked weekly for infection and wiped clean using a cleanser and cotton balls. There should be no inserting anything into her ears. Her nails need to be clipped when they get too long, if you are not aware of the nerves and blood vessels in them have a groomer do it for you.

What is she like with children and other animals?

The Crustie is usually friendly with other pets, especially if she has been raised with them and well socialized. With children it can vary so make sure she is socialized just in case. Usually though she is playful and affectionate towards them. She can also learn to be good around other dogs.

General information

She is alert and can be a good watchdog, barking to let you know of any intruder. She barks occasionally otherwise. She will need to be fed ½ to 1 cup of a good quality dry dog food each day. That amount should not be fed to her all at once, but divided into two meals.

Health Concerns

There are several health concerns a Crustie can inherit from either parent. They include Eye Problems, Legg-Calve-Perthes, Dental Problems, Patellar Luxation, PSS, Hypoglycemia, Collapsed Trachea and Reverse Sneezing.

Costs involved in owning a Crustie

A Crustie will cost somewhere between $300 to $900 depending on the type of breeder you buy from and where you are. She will need to be dewormed when you get her, have a physical exam, her vaccinations, blood tests, micro chipped and spayed. She will also need a carrier, collar, leash, crate and some other basic items. These initial costs come to about $400. Annual medical costs for some essentials like check ups, shots, flea prevention and pet insurance come to $435 to $535. Non-medical annual needs like grooming, license, basic training, treats, food and toys come to $535 to $635.


Looking for a Crustie Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

A Crustie could be a great family dog or companion for those wanting a small dog that is hypoallergenic, loyal and affectionate. You will have to make it clear whether you want a hairless one or not to the breeder and be prepared for some thinning on the coat even on those with hair. The hairless varieties do require a bit of extra care for their skin too.

Featured Image Credit: RobertArt, Shutterstock

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.

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