The Chinese Crested dog is a hairless dog which originated in China. There are other varieties of hairless dogs throughout the world, most of them probably began as mutations but were gradually developed as a specific breed. Some examples of other hairless dogs are breeds such as the Mexican Hairless and the Peruvian Inca.
The breed is a rarity, although it is becoming more popular in the United States and was accepted by A.K.C. into the Toy Group in 1991. The Chinese Crested, as opposed to other hairless varieties, is embellished with tufts of hair on the skull and over the ears, on the feet and pasterns and a flowing “mane” along the neck and the tail has a plume. This makes the little dog appear almost like a small pony in appearance and makes it actually more appealing than most of the other hairless breeds. The Chinese Crested also has a coated variety which is called the “Powderpuff”.
Because the skin is hairless, the breed can suffer from exposure to cold and heat and must be protected in severe weather. For obvious reasons this is not an “outdoor” dog. The Chinese Crested carries genetic malformations consisting of missing teeth, missing toenails and breeding difficulties. The “Powderpuff” has all the teeth. Both varieties can be born in the same litter. The Powderpuff is a “recessive” gene, but is necessary to the breed’s existence, since a mating of a hairless to a hairless can produce extreme genetic abnormalities that are often lethal. The most common mating and genetically healthier mating is a Powderpuff to a hairless, which will then produce both examples of the breed in one litter.
The skin color varies from pink to blue-black and may have pigmented spots of purple or black. The Powderpuff has a “veil” of soft undercoat all over the body. The breed is small, 9-13 inches in height. The head is finely chiseled, giving the appearance of refinement and elegance. There are two “body types” of Crested: one is a type which has a bit more bone and substance which is referred to as the Cobby type, the more fine boned and racier variety being called the Deer. Both types are shown and judged to the same standard. The skin must be fine grained and smooth.
The Chinese Crested has endeared itself to the hearts of its owners. The dog is sweet and affectionate and makes a perfect bed warmer on a cold night, loving nothing more than to curl up beneath the covers with its master. They are not aggressive in any case, but will bark a warning of strangers. Because this is a tiny dog, care must be taken with children in the household, so that they do not play with the dogs, especially the puppies, until they are old enough to understand how delicate the breed is.
For more information on the Chinese Crested or a complete list of dog breeds visit this Dog Behaviour website.
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