Most everyone is familiar with the adorable looks and clownish good nature of the French Bulldog.
Sitting fourth on the list of most popular dogs, according to the AKC, the Frenchie's charm seems in no danger of fading.
But how familiar are you with the Chinese Crested? Equally charismatic, the toy Crested is unusual in appearance but has no shortage of fans.
A French Bulldog Chinese Crested is about as unlikely a mix as you could expect.
A cross between a Frenchie and a Crested is not common, but you cannot mistake him. Physical characteristics are somewhat unpredictable but expect dominant traits like a snub nose and hairlessness from the parents to persist in the puppies.
Temperament may be a little more consistent because the French Bulldog and Chinese Crested are pretty similar in this regard.
We discuss origins, breed standards, and temperaments of the French Bulldog and Chinese Crested separately and then compile a reasonable picture of the puppy and her role in your family.
Both the French Bulldog and Chinese Crested have elaborate histories
Despite its name, the French Bulldog owes much of its foundation to Great Britain. The Old Bulldog was a powerful and athletic dog that first appeared in England after the mid-1650s.
The best modern representative of the original bull-baiting dogs, according to Dogbreedinfo.com, is the Old English Bulldogge.
Not to be mistaken for the re-created Olde English Bulldogge of America, the Original English Bulldog stands 15 to 18 inches tall and weighs 40 to 70 pounds, with males being significantly larger than females.
In the generations after bull-baiting became illegal in 1835, English Bulldog fanciers would split into three groups.
One group, wanting to preserve a breed whose original purpose was obsolete, created pets. Bulldog Breeders would begin the selection for exaggerated undershot jaws, flattened faces, and shortened legs.
The second group of Bulldog owners added terrier bloodlines to produce specialized dogs for hunting vermin and fighting. Such dogs were even more athletic than the original Bulldogs.
The final group's goal was to create miniature and toy Bulldogs. They crossed Bulldogs with ratters in the 1850s to produce a smaller dog, and the common result was upright ears.
When the Industrial Revolution displaced laborers, especially lace workers, from Nottingham, England, to Normandy, France, the toy Bulldog largely went with them.
The French further developed the miniature Bulldog through crossbreeding with more ratters. French Bulldogs officially became a separate breed about 1860.
Early French Bulldog litters could have upright bat ears or rose ears like the larger Bulldogs. Although receiving much resistance, the Americans would standardize bat ears around 1896.
Similar to the French Bulldog, the Chinese Crested's origins belie his name. However, other than knowing their origins were not likely Chinese, the Crested's history is obscure.
Most probably it was the African Hairless or Xoloitzcuintle who the Chinese first brought aboard their ships in the 1500s.
Regardless of how the hairless dogs came to China, the merchants proceeded to spread them throughout the Eastern world. They took a liking to the small hairless dogs and used them to control their ships' rat populations.
Devoid of fur, what became familiar as Chinese Ship Dogs or the Chinese Hairless were resistant to fleas.
Another compelling theory is that a sole kennel in the United States created the Chinese Crested from crossing the Mexican hairless with the Maltese.
The result was a small dog who, when she has hair, is soft and silky to the touch. However, paintings depict dogs identical to the modern Chinese Crested aboard ships as early as 1530.
Chinese Cresteds gained a foothold in the US by the 1800s but did not become an AKC breed until 1931.
What physical traits will your dog have?
Hairlessness is a dominant gene in the Chinese Crested. However, if a puppy inherits two copies of the gene, it is fatal, and the pup will not survive to be born. Powder puffs, or Chinese Cresteds with a full body of hair, have two recessive gene copies.
Hairless dogs have one recessive and one dominant gene, expressing a lack of fur through the dominant allele.
Presumptively, many Chinese Crested Frenchie mixes are at least partly bald because hairlessness is dominant. Many hybrids are cream or fawn, gray, or black. They may have speckles like a Chinese Crested, and haired parts can be very sparse throughout the body.
French Bulldog Chinese Cresteds, in many cases, have tufts of medium-length hair on top of their heads and around their faces.
Usually, they do not get the luxurious locks of the Chinese Crested but instead random wisps similar to the Frenchie's bristly hairs.
French Bulldog Chinese Crested mixed dogs will be 10 to 12 pounds and stand about 12 inches tall at the shoulders.
French Bulldog mixes usually have the short-legged square shape of the Bulldog along with snub noses. They may not experience quite the shortening of the Frenchie with the infusion of the relatively long proportions of the Chinese Crested.
If you think about the negligent effect rat terriers had on the dwarfed features that persist in the French Bulldog, you can expect that the Chinese Crested may not have a strong influence either. Any significant lengthening of limbs and snout is especially unlikely with first-generation breeding.
You may have a good watchdog
While Frenchies are gregarious and friendly with most everyone, Chinese Cresteds are reserved with strangers and will bark and show a propensity to bite when threatened.
However, a Chinese Crested with good social upbringing tends to warm quickly to visitors once she becomes familiar with them.
Your mix will probably be somewhere between the two extremes, not aggressive or a nipper but willing to announce the presence of visitors.
One of the most important responsibilities that toy dog owners overlook is socialization. Tiny dogs require just as much exposure to novel people and items as German Shepherds and other large breeds.
French Bulldog Chinese Crested hybrids require socialization to decrease their likelihood of becoming nervous and fearful around people. Training your dog to be comfortable around many people also may help you avoid excessive barking.
Be mindful of the weather
Chinese Cresteds are content in the heat and even thrive in hot temperatures. It is not surprising that many Chinese Cresteds seek warmth and bask in the sun, given that they have little hair.
The opposite is true of the cold as their small size and thin or absent hair leave them defenseless. Chinese Cresteds may not be able to tolerate temperatures that even dip into the 50s, so always keep an eye on your dog's body language.
French Bulldogs do not tolerate extremes in cold or warm temperatures. They do not have thick coats, and their broad flat snouts make it impossible for them to cool inhaled air. A French Bulldog's struggles to breathe normally predispose her to overheat much more quickly than other breeds.
You cannot expect that your French Bulldog Crested mix will be able to withstand either warm and humid or frigid climates. Most of them will be both hairless and have at least a moderate shortening of the muzzle.
A dog's snout does not have to be shortened to the exaggerated degree of the French Bulldog to compromise his ability to cool himself.
How much exercise can your Frenchie Chine Crested handle?
Chinese Cresteds are very athletic, which may surprise you. Their relatively long legs make them fast and nimble, and they have a ratting background.
Since they worked on ships, you can expect your Crested to have balance and agility. Purebred dogs can jump more than twice their height at a standstill and have remarkable climbing and leaping skills.
French Bulldogs are the exact opposite of Chinese Crested in the athletic department. They can likely scramble fast enough to get away from you, but they are quite slow compared to other toy breeds.
Even if they could muster the fleetness to run a lure course or agility trial, their flat faces prevent any effective lung capacity.
Your French Bulldog Chinese Crested will likely be more agile and nimble than a Frenchie but still will possess limited powers of endurance and probably will not win any fly ball competitions.
You should limit your hybrid to moderate walks of short duration a couple of times a day. Limiting exercise even further will be paramount when it is hot outside.
You may have to become imaginative and figure out a way for your dog to obtain exercise and mental stimulation indoors. Caloric considerations may take more of your focus than exercise to keep your dog at a healthy weight.
Luckily, your Frenchie mix is not likely to pine away for lack of strenuous exercise as long as she can spend plenty of time with you.
Along with sufficient companionship, you should engage your dog in training, games, and interactive puzzles to engage her mind.
Grooming is not always a cakewalk
It may seem like your French Bulldog Chinese Crested hybrid will require minimal grooming if she has little coat.
Chinese Cresteds who are hairless need you to pay continuous attention to their skin. The Chinese Crested skin is susceptible to dryness and subject to develop blackheads.
You must refrain from applying anything like lotion or sunscreen to a Chinese Crested's skin and, at the same time, must bathe her in a special shampoo once a week. When you bathe her, you have to focus on how quickly she dries, so she does become chilled.
A Chinese Crested mix needs very similar attention. Haired dogs do not shed much but require you to brush them at least three times weekly.
According to Barkspace.com, you should use a moisturizer and sometimes a detangler because the fur is fragile, easily breaking or becoming snarled.
Applying sunscreen is debatable, some sources advising you do and others not. We advise skipping sunscreen and lotions in the French Bulldog Chinese Crested that is prone to acne. Consider thin clothing instead.
As always, you can consult with a medical professional about any doubts regarding your dog and find a veterinarian-approved sunscreen.
Even Chinese Cresteds with full double coats are vulnerable to sunburn, so take appropriate precautions to avoid direct sunlight in your mix.
What are your dog's health problems likely to be?
A compilation of problems common in the French Bulldog, Chinese Crested, or both, leads to a shortlist of health concerns for your hybrid.
- Luxating patella (both breeds) – The kneecap, or patella, migrates from its intended groove. Sometimes you can feel a luxating patella, and it often causes intermittent lameness.
- Hip Dysplasia (both breeds)
- Legge –Perthes disease (Chinese Crested) – The blood supply to the head of the femur, or ball of the hip joint, is disrupted and thereby causes tissue death and extreme pain in the hip.
- Dry eye (both breeds) – The eye does not produce enough tears or lubricants.
- Corneal ulcers (Frenchie)– Depending upon how flat your dog's face is or how the eyes protrude, the cornea (outer layer of the eye) is susceptible to injury.
- Bleeding disorders (Chinese Crested) – Von Willebrand's (missing clotting factor) and thrombopathia (Platelet disorder) can frequently occur in the breed and any offspring.
- Brachycephalic syndrome (Frenchie) – Affects a huge proportion of Bulldogs and represents a complex of abnormalities such as narrow nostrils and a long soft palate that impedes the back of the throat.
- Collapsing trachea (both breeds) – Common weakening of the rings in the windpipe of toy breeds, the collapsing trachea will exacerbate breathing difficulties from the brachycephalic respiratory syndrome.
- Allergies (both breeds)
According to Worldlifeexpectancy.com, the Chinese Crested can live 12 to 14 years and the French Bulldog 10 to 12 years.
Your hybrid's life expectancy will depend a lot on how much her conformation affects her breathing. If you keep your French Bulldog Chinese Crested out of the heat and maintain a proper weight for her small frame, you can reasonably expect her to live 12 or 13 years.
How are Frenchie-Crested mixes as family dogs?
French Bulldogs and Chinese Cresteds are surprisingly similar in disposition, given how different they look. Other than the Chinese Crested's more suspicious nature towards strangers, both dogs become very bonded with the people in their families. Some people might even describe the Chinese Crested as needy.
Both breeds are charming and entertaining, almost clownish, in their displays of affection. And the French Bulldog and Chinese Crested can display anxiety and separation when apart from their owners. Some also become destructive or excessively vocal and can cause harm to themselves.
Your French Bulldog and Chinese Crested mix need constant human companionship. If your dog has more of a Crested personality, he will likely need your constant doting attention as well.
If hairless, your mix may be heat-seeking, wanting to snuggle with you at night, maybe under the covers. Be vigilant, however, if your dog has an extremely short nose.
Your dog will be friendly and patient around children, but if she has the delicate frame of a Chinese Crested, you need to protect her from the very young who may accidentally injure her.
Chinese Crested-Bulldog mixes will also likely get along with other dogs like their parent breeds. As small dogs, they are always vulnerable to serious injury from large canid breeds like German Shepherds and Rottweilers, so constant supervision is a must.
Are Bulldog-Crested Hybrids smart and trainable?
Your French Bulldog – Chinese Crested hybrid will be a dog who is willing to please. She has a lively intelligence and is moderately easy to train, although she may inherit the Frenchie's stubborn streak. She might also acquire extreme emotional sensitivity from the Chinese Crested.
To give you an idea of how consistent you need to be with your training, the Frenchie ranks No. 109 and the Chinese No. 61 in trainability out of 138 dogs.
Your dog will probably be average in the obedience and intelligence categories, in line with breeds like the Bichon Frise and Siberian Husky.
Like most dogs, limit the duration of sessions because your pet will not have an unlimited attention span. Change things up to ward off boredom or attempts to anticipate your wishes.
This video shows a Chinese Crested with her puppy with French Bulldog present. Note the commonplace black color and a snub nose. This puppy appears to have inherited the predominantly hairless coat.
Two puppies from the same litter illustrate how the Frenchie Crested hybrid can have a full coat or have only tufts more like the Chinese Crested parent.
Both the pups are brindle and have inherited the short square build and semi-prick ear influence from the French Bulldog.
As a freelance pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. But her first and very most important job is as a dog auntie and cockatiel, tortoise, and box turtle mama.