of the history of this fascinating breed, the Chinese Crested, cannot be stated
as factual since much of it has become obscure over the centuries. As is
the case with many of our very old breeds, the early development of the Chinese
Crested is undocumented, therefore permitting spread of many tales and
theories. The origin of the Chinese Crested has been one of speculation
over the years. Some historians have theorized that the Chinese Crested
is the result of the cross breeding of the Mexican Hairless and the Chihuahua
indicating the root of origin being Mexico; others have theorized that the
Chinese Crested had evolved from African Hairless dogs which were reduced in
size by the Chinese. While either theory may be possible, there is
pictorial confirmation that during the 16 century (as early as 1550) Chinese
traders obtained the Chinese Crested either from the ports of Mexico or Africa
and in turn sold or bartered them at ports throughout the world. In the
1800’s the Chinese Crested appeared in Central and South America as well as
various ports in Asia. The Chinese Crested were of great value to the
Chinese sailors during the time of the plague. The dogs were stowed away on
board ships to hunt vermin, which were greatly infested with fleas carrying the
disease. The Chinese Crested also served as a hot water bottle for those
suffering from stomach pains and needing warmth. The final conclusion for this
breed on ships was sailors serving them as a meal, thus the breed was also
known as the Edible Dog, the Chinese Ship Dog, the Chinese Hairless, and the
Royal Chinese Hairless.
Chinese Crested had started to appear in paintings by the mid-19th century.
Photos began to appear of the breed in the 1850’s and 1860’s; there were some
dogs exhibited at zoological shows in England. At that time, there was no
known established breeding program.
the 1800’s dog shows became an organized sport throughout the world with an
occasional Chinese Crested being entered in competition. Three Chinese
Cresteds were shown in 1878 at the Gilmore Garden (predecessor to Madison
Square Garden) show. A picture of both the Powderpuff and Hairless
appeared in Harpers Weekly. During this period, a well-known journalist of the
times, Ida Garrett, became interested in the Chinese Crested. thus turning a love of the breed spanning over the next 60
years. In 1885, a Chinese Crested was shown at Madison Square Garden from
April 28 through May 1 under the auspices of the Westminster Kennel Club’s 9
Annual Bench Show.
Garrett bred, exhibited, and wrote extensively about the Chinese Crested Breed
with precedence being the Hairless variety. In the 1920’s Mrs. Garrett
had befriended Debra Wood, who in the mid-1960’s founded the American Hairless
Dog Club. This club eventually served as a Registry for all Hairless
breeds. There were ladies in the entertainment industry who were
responsible for rekindling an interest in the breed. Gypsy Rose Lee had
acquired her first Chinese Crested from her sister, June Havoc, in the early
1950’s. June Havoc had obtained the dog from an animal shelter in
Connecticut and it soon became Gypsy Rose Lee’s first Chinese Crested. It
was believed that her Chinese Crested was abandoned when its owner died while
in port. Through the diligent efforts of Ida Garrett, Debra Wood, Gypsy
Rose Lee, June Havoc, and Florence Gorsky the Chinese Crested breed began being
Chinese Crested was in the Miscellaneous Class of the American Kennel Club in
1955 when the first breed list was printed in the American Kennel Club Dog Show
Rules. The revised list in 1965 dropped the Chinese Crested due to lack
of an acceptable registry, no National Specialty Club, or reliable
standard. At the time there were 200 Chinese Cresteds registered.
friends and supporters of the breed formed the American Chinese Crested Club in
1979. A reliable Standard was developed as well as a dependable
Registry. Through intense work and commitment to the breed by the
membership of the American Chinese Crested Club, in September of 1985 the
Chinese Crested was once again able to compete in the Miscellaneous Class at
American Kennel Club shows. From 1979 to February of 1991 the hairless
and powderpuff Chinese Crested were shown as separate varieties, both needing
to adhere to the same Standards, the only difference being the hairlessness of
one variety and the coat of the other variety. While both varieties may appear
to be different breeds, upon familiarity it becomes easy to see that they are
the same breed with the differences being the lack of hair on the Hairless and
complete hair covering the Powderpuff. The Chinese Crested became eligible for
full American Kennel Club registration on February 1, 1991. Two months later on
April 1, 1991 the Chinese Crested was given full recognition by the American Kennel
Club to be shown at American Kennel Club shows in the Toy Group. On this
momentous day, two Chinese Cresteds had won Best In Show; the first was Ch.
Darshire Sun Nee Dal of Luvan and the second was Ch. Razzmatazzmanian Stripper,
both hairless females.
the Chinese Crested has been around for a long time, it remains a relatively young
breed. The establishment of the breed over the past 30 plus years has required
meticulous breeding programs and promotion of the breed. The evolution of the
Chinese Crested has been a fascinating one; it has grown from being an almost
extinct breed, to being ranked 62 out of 150 American Kennel Club register able
Care & Additional Information
Chinese Crested Breed can be compared to an Easter basket – you have such a
wide diversity of colors and varieties. You are not only able to get both
Hairless and Powderpuffs, but any solid or mixed color is also
acceptable. The Chinese Cresteds have noses colored solid brown, black or
gray. Eyes can be any one of a variety of shades of brown.
has a clean body and single coat with silky straight hair on its head, feet and
tail. Some have more furnishings than others and possibly more hair on
the body. This excess hair can be removed by various methods.
Caution should be taken with the more vulnerable Hairless. Protection
from both cold and direct rays of the sun is frequently required. The
Hairless does not have normal dentition. It often has primitive “tusks”
instead or normal incisors and frequently does not have a full set of
teeth. Because the Hairless is a mutated gene and teeth are an extension
of skin, it is not a surprise that this condition exists. Ears may be
down for a pet, but must be erect for show competition.
has a double coat of straight silky outer hair of moderate length and
density. Ears may be down for a pet, but must be erect for show
competition. Because of his coat the Powderpuff is more adaptable to
changing weather conditions. The Powderpuff have normal dentition unlike
its Hairless counterpart.
the whelping box
you may get all Powderpuff, all Hairless or some of each! You have three
choices when breeding a Chinese Crested:
to Powderpuff - this will produce an all Powderpuff litter.
to Powderpuff - may produce both varieties or just one of them.
to Hairless this - may produce both varieties or just one of them.
care must be given to the Hairless Chinese Crested’s skin.
They will get blackheads and frequently have incomplete hair follicles.
Skin problems are more evident during pre-puberty and puberty. At these
times the Hairless frequently get “teenage” acne. Cleanliness of the skin
is of utmost importance. Regular bathing and skin lotions are beneficial.
You may, if desired, apply a small amount of body lotion to the hair to
condition it prior to brushing. Any acne or sores should be treated with
an antibiotic cream twice a day. Once a week, a complete bath and conditioning
will help your Hairless to have healthy skin. Baby shampoos should only
be used around the eyes, since they tend to dry out the skin. A Hairless
Chinese Crested’s skin should always be treated as you would your own face and
body; use soaps and shampoos that are gentle and lotions that do not contain
perfumes or lanolin.
Powderpuff Chinese Crested will enjoy its weekly bath, hair
conditioning and blow dry. Be sure to use a spray conditioner when you do
your daily brushing and combing. This care will ensure that the coat does
not mat. A soft pin brush as well as a stainless steel comb is ideal for
your grooming needs. If the bristles of the brush are too stiff they will
tend to break the hair. It is wise to first groom through a Powderpuff with
the stainless steel comb to ensure all mats are removed and then brush through
the coat with the pin brush.
are important to the Chinese Crested as well as any dog for proper
eating. Regular teeth maintenance is a must. Brushing the Chinese
Crested’s teeth once a week with a soft bristled child’s toothbrush along with
toothpaste made for dogs will help keep the teeth and gums healthy.