Chinese Crested Breed History
Some claim that the breed originated in Africa, and it was called the "African hairless terrier." There it was picked up by Chinese trading ships to be used as a ratter in the 13th century and also used for trading with merchants throughout Egypt, Turkey, and Central and South America. History suggests that hairless dog breeds arose by mutation, principally in Central and South America, but that the Chinese crested existed in China as early as the 1200s. It was in the 1800s that evidence of the breed was first recorded in Europe by way of paintings, and later, by photographs. In the latter part of that century, Ida Garrett, an American credited with popularizing hairless dogs, helped to garner admirers for the Chinese crested. Gypsy Rose Lee, a famous stripper in her time, was one of the breeders committed to improving the favor of this breed. But it wasn't until 1991, an entire century later, that the breed was finally recognized by the AKC. It quickly gained popularity with those interested in dog shows, but it hasn't been as successful in gaining the attention of pet owners.
Chinese Crested Breed Appearance
A fine-boned and slender dog, the Chinese crested is considered to be one of the most graceful and elegant breeds. It is slightly longer than it is tall, and the legs are long and straight. The feet are narrow, hare-like feet with elongated toes. The wedge-shaped head has almond-shaped eyes are wide set, and they offer an intense and alert expression. The large ears are not cropped and sit erect. The cheeks taper smoothly into the muzzle, which features a solidly pigmented nose. The teeth meet in either a scissors or level bite. The slightly arched neck is lean, and the tail is slender, tapering to a curve at the end. The gait of this breed is described as smooth, agile, and lively. For the coat, the hairless variety features soft and silky hair on certain portions of the body including the head (crest), the tail (plume), and the feet (socks). The hairless portions of the body are soft and smooth. The coat of the powder-puff variety features a soft and silky double coat over the entire dog. The hair is straight and moderately long and dense. The Chinese Crested can come in any solid color or combination of colors.
Chinese Crested Breed Maintenance
The coat of the powder-puff variety needs considerably more care than that of the hairless type. The powder-puff should be brushed daily, paying close attention to the wooly undercoat to prevent matting. The hairless Chinese crested needs to have its skin cared for on a regular basis. Apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn when it is outside, massage in moisturizer to keep the skin soft and supple, and bathe to prevent blackheads. Because this breed sheds little or no hair, it is a good choice for people suffering from allergies. This is a very clean breed that is not prone to odor, fleas, or ticks. The Chinese Crested needs minimal exercise because it is very active indoors. This breed is good for apartment dwelling, and it loves to play games. It can be taught tricks, and it is usually good at jumping and climbing. Be sure to keep the hairless variety warm in winter months by providing a sweater when going outside. It is sensitive to the cold.
Chinese Crested Breed Activity Requirements
Described as a playful pixie, the Chinese Crested is a gentle companion that is devoted to its family. This breed is normally very good with other dogs and pets, and it is friendly with strangers. Owners of this breed say that it loves to hug and that it craves human companionship. It is exceptionally good with children, and it likes to learn and perform tricks. To ensure a well-adjusted dog in adulthood, do not baby it when it is a puppy. This breed is highly intelligent and alert. It does not bark, but it does tend to dig and climb.