Chinese Crested Breed
These dogs are sweet, lively, playful and cuddly. The Chinese Crested Dog is a smaller (10-13 lbs) breed of dog known for its unusual appearance and entertaining personality. It is a member of the toy dog group. Two types can be born in the same litter; the Hairless and the Powderpuff. At first glance, the "Hairless" and "Powderpuff" varieties of Chinese Crested Dogs appear to be two different breeds, but hairlessness is a dominant trait within a single breed. The Hairless has soft, human-like skin, as well as tufts of fur on its paws ("socks") and tail ("plume") and long, flowing hair on its head ("crest"). In addition to being a dominant gene, the "hairless" gene is lethal when homozygous. All living hairless Cresteds are therefore heterozygous for this trait. The Chinese Crested is further distinguished by its "hare foot," (having more elongated toes) as opposed to the "cat foot" common to most other dogs.
Chinese Cresteds tend to be affectionate, energetic and playful. They are considered great family pets, with endearing personalities. They are exceptionally loving and likes to hug and smile. Affectionate with children. Some are known "singers" or "screechers" while others are known to "smile." They are generally happy lap-dogs with candid personalities and usually aren't the grumpy type but some males can become slightly aggressive as they age.
Grooming of the Crested is work for both varieties. The Puffs have a very soft and fine double-coat that requires full brushing every other day to avoid matting. Although a Puff's coat does not continuously grow like that of some other breeds, it can be quite long at full length and some owners choose to put their Puffs into a "pony cut." This lower-maintenance option keeps the body hair and facial hair short, leaving the crest, feathers, and tail plume at full length. Maintenance of the Hairless variety's skin is similar to maintaining human skin - and as such it can be susceptible to acne, dryness, and sunburn. A Hairless should be bathed at least once per week to avoid acne and other skin conditions(some dogs shower with their owners every day). Hypoallergenic or oil-free moisturizing cream can keep the skin from becoming too dry when applied every other day or after bathing.
Cresteds have what is called a "primitive mouth." This means that most of their teeth are pointy like their canines. Hairless varieties of the Cresteds can be prone to poor dentition. Poor dentition may include missing or crowded teeth and teeth prone to decay when not properly cared for. Most dogs of the Puff variety have few, if any, dental defects. Allergy and autoimmune diseases has been observed in the breed. The severity of these ailments, often leading to the premature death of the dog means this is something breeders need to take seriously, in order to avoid this becoming a problem for the breed. The lifespan of a Chinese Crested Dog can be quite impressive. Many well-cared-for Cresteds live to see 15 years or more.
The Hairless allele (the wild type) is a dominant (and homozygous lethal) trait, while the Powderpuff allele acts as a simple recessive trait in its presence. Embryos that receive two copies of the Hairless allele will never develop into puppies. Thus all Chinese Cresteds carry at least one copy of the Powderpuff allele. The Powderpuff trait cannot be bred out because it is carried by all Chinese Cresteds (even the hairless ones). All Hairless Chinese Crested have the ability to produce Powderpuff puppies, even when they are bred to another Hairless. It is believed in some breeder circles that it is necessary to include Puff to Hairless breedings in order to reduce the number of health problems (most notably deafness and poor dentition) that can occur from repeated Hairless to Hairless pairings down the generations