The Crested Cavalier comes from two very different parents breeds - the Chinese Crested and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - that originated worlds apart. The Chinese Crested has somewhat mysterious origins; most cynologists believe that the breed descended from either Mexican hairless dogs (today known as Xoloitzcuintli) or African hairless dogs (today known as the Abyssinian Sand Terrier) and were picked up by shipping merchants in South America or Africa as seafaring pets. By the 13th century, the Chinese Crested appeared in port cities across the world. It was particularly favored in China for its ability to hunt small vermin, earning the prefix to its name. Nevertheless, the Chinese Crested was propagated throughout Europe and North America thereafter. In the 1950s, American celebrity and Chinese Crested advocate, Gypsy Rose Lee, led an effort to popularize the breed in the United States. Though the American Kennel Club registered the breed in 1991, it has never achieved the widespread popularity that many toy breeds enjoy in the country today. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, on the other hand, is a popular breed in Europe and the United States. It is a product of Spaniel and Asian toy hybrids that were bred over the course of several centuries starting in the 1500s. By the 17th century, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were one of the most favored breeds in England and earned their modern name from their biggest fan of the time, King Charles II. There were no strict breeding guidelines in place for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and the purebred variety weakened during the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 1920s, however, American financier Roswell Eldridge, traveled to England to buy two Spaniels. Eldridge offered generous prizes to breeders for the best “old type” male and female dogs, similar to the ones depicted alongside King Charles II in artwork and literary accounts. In doing so, Eldridge restored breed stability and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was officially recognized by the AKC in 1996. Given the parent breeds’ long history, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Chinese Crested may have been bred in Europe and United States for over a century. Nonetheless, their hybrid, the Crested Cavalier is not recognized by the AKC.