Chinese Crested Information
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, humanlike 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 Hairless variety can vary in amount of body hair. Fur on the muzzle, known as a beard, is not uncommon. A true Hairless often does not have as much furnishings (hair on the head, tail, and paws). The difference between a very hairy Hairless and a Powderpuff is that the Hairless has a single coat often with hairless parts on the body, while the Powderpuff has a thick double coat The skin of the Hairless comes in a variety of colors, ranging from a pale flesh to black. Hairless cresteds often lack a full set of teeth, but this is not considered a fault.The look of the Powderpuff varies according to how it is groomed. When its fur is completely grown out on its face, it strongly resembles a terrier; however, the Powderpuff is usually shaved around the snout as a standard cut. Its fur is incredibly soft. Due to its coat type, both Powderpuff and Hairless are considered good pets for allergy sufferers.The amount of bodyhair on the hairless variety varies quite extensively, from the true hairless which has very little or no bodyhair and furnishings, to what is called a hairy hairless, which if left ungroomed can grow a nearly full coat of hair. These hairy hairless are not a mix between powederpuffs and hairless Chinese Cresteds though, but is merely a result of the varying expression of the hairless gene, which the powderpuff does not have at all.Perhaps the most famous of the Chinese Crested dogs was a hairless purebred named Sam who was dubbed the "World's Ugliest Dog" in competition from 2003 to 2005. He died before he could compete in 2006. Sam's most characteristic ugly traits were his extremely wrinkled skin, deformed teeth, and cataracts. While other Chinese Crested hairless dogs have been in the competition and won, it is arguable that none have been as ugly as Sam, whose looks literally scare people.
The crested is not affected by many of the congenital diseases found in Toy Breeds. They are, however, prone to some of the conditions below.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.Eyes is a concern within the breed, having at least two forms of progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which can eventually lead to blindness. For one of these forms of PRA, there exists a genetic test, prcd-PRA Since this test can only reveal the existence of affected or carrier status of this one form of PRA, breeders and owners of the breed should still have regular eye exams by veterinary ophthalmologists. As with all other Toy Breeds, the Cresteds can be prone to patellar luxation This inheritable condition is caused by shallow knee joints (stifles) and results in kneecaps that pop out of place. Its onset is often at a young age, and can cause temporary to permanent lameness based on the severity. Breeders should have their stock certified free of patellar luxation. Many countries kennel clubs maintain a centralised registry for health results.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.