What is a Hairless Chinese Crested

As the Poodle gets groomed to dance in the show ring so does the hairless Chinese Crested.

The hairless quality is due to the presence of a hairless gene… the symptom of that gene is lack of hair on the body of the dog.  This gene can also attribute to the lack of some teeth with lower k-9’s leaning slightly forward in some mouths. There can be differing degrees of lack of hair on the body. Some hairless dogs have a little hair on the top of the head, the tip of the tail and on the lower leg and foot. Others have hair that has to be groomed to make the hairless appearance. However having no body hair as in a true hairless: Hair in all the right places and little body hair as an ideal hairless:  lots of  hair as in the hairy hairless:  The hairless puppy is totally hairless at birth and carries the hairless gene as well as the puff gene .. The hairless gene is what determines that it is a hairless puppy not the lack of hair on its body – that is just a symptom of the hairless gene.  The hairless Chinese Crested is complete in itself it has a hairless gene and a powderpuff gene and does not need the Powderpuff for any reason.   The Powderpuff can not improve the hairless qualities  in the hairless puppy because hairless qualities are linked with the hairless gene and the Powderpuff does not have one.  The Powderpuff CAN NOT produce a hairless puppy, it can only parent a hairless puppy when breed to a hairless mate and all the hairless qualities then come from the hairless parent.   When having two hairless parent you have two hairless gene pools to pull from and in this way you can improve the quality of the hairless puppy.
CH Stewart LittleA hairy hairless is born naked and by the time it is one month old shows differing degrees of body hair.  Often competing with the powderpuff.  Having this amount of extra body hair gives it the ability to grow ample extra long hair for the crest, boots and tail.  This is the Chinese crested you are most likely to see in the show ring.   Unlike the Poodle that is rarely seen on the street in it Show Dress, this is the look everyone wants but they do not realize that the Poodle is sculpted for the ring and so is the hairy hairless Chinese Crested.

Ideal Hairless

CH Mstic-Heart Pandee ChanglingIn my opinion this is the best dog that I  produced  She was born totally naked with just a bit of fuzz on the top of her head and a little on the tip of her tail.  As she grew the hair started to appear down the center of her back and on the back or the hind legs.  By the time she was 6 weeks old she had body hair that had to be groomed.  This is about half the hair that a hairy hairless has and more hair that the true hairless.  IMO this is the best dog for the show ring.  No matter how much hair she develops it can not change the gene.  Genetically there is a hairless and a powderpuff.

True Hairless   

 CH Mstic-Heart Ostara       This is is a true hairless mid 90’s version with very little hair on the ears,  neck, feet and legs.  On a true hairless you can always see the skin on the legs and feet through the little bit of hair they have.  The hair on the head stops and the base of the skull and there is no neck hair to make a mane.  The face is mostly bare and there is only a small fringe of hair around the ears and  will never get more than that.  The body has no hair to groom and the tail has hair only on the last 2/3   This is not today’s popular style of Chinese Crested.

In the beginning

Before 1991 the Chinese Crested dog could be shown in AKC in the Miscellaneous class but could not take breed points because its breeding was not controlled by an AKC breed standard.  Since 1991  the Chinese Crested dog has been part of the AKC Toy Group.  It is registered with AKC papers,  and must conform to the breed standard as set forth by AKC and is subject to DNA testing by AKC. The Chinese crested hairless dogs could then be shown and compete for breed points, but had to compete in the same ring for the same points with its counterpart the powderpuff.

The dog shown in miscellaneous class before 1991 looked much different than the dog  shown in today’s show ring.  The Chinese Crested breeders and the winning choices of the AKC judges have sculpted the pony look we now see and identify as the Chinese Crested dog.  When the judge favors a certain look the breeders attempt to breed that look to stand a better chance of winning in the show ring a breed’s appearance changes. There is mass confusion in today’s public eye thinking that today’s crested is a real hairless dog.  As a breeder since 1991 I have watched many changes in the appearance of the hairless dog as it became a hairy hairless dog.   

The Crested on the cover of this book “How to raise and train a Chinese Crested” Written by Edita Van der Lyn with assistance from Deborah Wood. Copyrighted in 1964 it shows the typical appearance of the breed at that time.  Today there are very few cresteds born that have that appearance.  At this time I just happen to have one with that look…. photos are of Alopecia dob 10-30-05   He is an extreme true hairless dog with only a slight cropping of hair on the top of the head and tip of the tail and not anything to mention on other parts of the body.   This style of crested has soft thin skin that feels like silk the ears go up with no problem at all and the body tends to be roached.  The ones that I have birthed seem to be on the smaller side making them adorable pets but they would never win in today’s show ring.
In the 90’s the breed begin an appearance change.  A NEW  look started.  This dog is what I refer to as the old look and I  now classified as pet quality and not show quality.  In the early 90’s this dog would get points and champion but now it probably would not.  It is a true hairless with very little hair on the body, neck, ears, or legs.  It has hair on the head and the tip of the tail.  The hair that it has will never get very thick and the length will vary but will never look like  the plumbs we see on the Chinese Cresteds in today’s show ring