The Crested Peke is a designer dog, an intentional crossbreed between a Pekingese, a diminutive companion to ancient Chinese royalty and Chinese Crested dog, a frequently hairless canine that once helped to keep sailing ships vermin free. The Pekingese breed is one of the most ancient breeds, developed as a companion for royalty in China sometime prior to 700 BC, and much of their history has been lost in myth and legend. While the legend that this diminutive canine is not a dog at all, but the offspring of a marmoset and a love-struck lion is an unlikely origin story, recent DNA testing does tell us that this dog, known in China as Fu-Lin, or Lion Dog, is more closely related to the wolf than most breeds. These tiny but fierce dogs were often bestowed upon favored visitors to the country and they quickly gained popularity in both Europe and the United States, gaining recognition with the American Kennel Club as early as 1906. When the Qing Dynasty fell in the early 1900’s, most of the royal dogs were slaughtered, and it was the dogs that were given to visiting dignitaries and scattered throughout the world that kept this breed from going extinct. The Chinese Crested dog is also a very old breed, and despite its name, it was not actually developed in China. At some point in the 1500’s, Chinese traders obtained these small dogs from a far away port and began selling bartering with them, trading them to sailors to hunt vermin. Unfortunately, we can only speculate as to which port they were originally obtained because it didn’t take long before they were distributed throughout the world. They were popularized in America in the 1900’s and were first allowed to compete in the miscellaneous class with the American Kennel Club in 1955, but dropped from eligibility just ten years later. It took twenty years for the Chinese Crested breed to regain that status and another six to be further recognized as a breed in the toy group. Although they have not yet managed a Best in Show win at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show held in New York each year, Chinese Crested dogs, both purebred and mixed, have taken the top place in ten of the World’s Ugliest Dog competitions since it started in 2000.