The Crested Schnauzer is an intentional crossbreed known as a designer dog, in this case, a cross between a dog used to eliminate parasite carrying vermin from ships, the Chinese Crested, and a highly efficient German ratting Terrier called the Miniature Schnauzer. The Chinese Crested dog is 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 distant ports and began using them to sell and barter with, often trading them to be vermin hunters on ships. We can only speculate as to which ports they were originally obtained from because they were popular with sailors from many nations and were quickly distributed at ports throughout the known world. They were popularized in America in the 1900’s and were eligible to compete in the miscellaneous class of 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 in 1991 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. The Miniature Schnauzer as we know it today is a slightly newer breed, although the original Schnauzer that it is derived from dates back to the middle ages in one form or another. The distinctive wiry coat and coloration began appearing after German dog fanciers crossed it with the Poodle from Germany and the gray Wolfspitz, better known as the Keeshond, sometime in the mid-1800s. Towards the end of the 1800s, the Miniature Schnauzer was developed not only by breeding the smallest of the Schnauzers together, but also by breeding them with other small Terrier and Pinscher type dogs. Possible contributors to the breed most likely include Wire Fox Terriers and Affenpinscher breeds, and it wasn’t until 1888 that the first Miniature Schnauzer was recorded in a German stud book. North American breeders began working with and breeding Miniature Schnauzers as early as 1924 and they were accepted as a distinct breed by the AKC in 1926. Although this crossbreed may still have some of the instinct and drive to hunt down rats or mice, most will most likely enjoy the life of a companion animal.