The Crested Tzu is a designer dog, an intentional crossbreed between a Chinese Crested breed dog, a frequently hairless canine that helped to keep sailing ships vermin free, and a Shih-Tzu, a popular companion to ancient Chinese royalty. The Chinese Crested dog is a very old breed, and despite its name, its original development did not occur in China. Sometime 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 on ships. It didn’t take long before their worldwide distribution obscured which port they came from although many experts believe they came from either Mexican or African ports. They were popularized in the United States of America in the 1900’s and were first allowed to compete with the American Kennel Club in 1955, in the miscellaneous class, but they were 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. The Shih Tzu is also a very old breed, and like the Crested, we can’t be absolutely sure of the Shih-Tzu’s exact ancestors, although most experts believe them to be a cross of the Lhasa Apso breed from Tibet and a small Chinese dog, such as a Pekingese. They were favored by the royalty of China for many centuries and kept at court as far back as the Tang dynasty, which lasted from 618 to 907. During the Ming dynasty, these small, friendly dogs became popular among the commoners as well. During the Chinese Revolution, the Shih-Tzu breed was nearly wiped out, and only seven males and seven females were saved. It is from these fourteen dogs that all of today’s modern Shih Tzus are descended. In the early 1900’s, Shih Tzu’s began to be dispersed to other countries, such as Norway, England, and North America, and today they are the twentieth most popular breed dog according to the American Kennel Club.