Chinese Crested Dog
The Chinese Crested Dog is an unusual looking toy breed of dog. A Chinese Crested dog was dubbed the “World’s Ugliest Dog”. It is speculated that the breed was originally used as a rat-catcher on ships and farmland. There are two types of Chinese Crested Dog: the Hairless, created by a dominant gene, and the Powderpuff.
The Hairless variety can have various amounts of body hair. A true Hairless has very little hair and has human-like skin. Hair generally exists in some amount on its paws, tail and head. The Hairless Chinese Crested Dog also often does not have a full set of teeth. The Powderpuff, where it does have hair, has a double coat, as opposed to the single coat of the Hairless. The Powderpuff can appear similar to a terrier, yet its fur is very soft. Because amounts of hair vary, it can be hard to designate between a hairy Hairless and a Powderpuff. Due to the coats of both types, the Chinese Crested Dog is said to be a good pet for allergy sufferers. Both types generally weigh from 10 to 13 pounds. The toes of the Crested are also longer than the toes of most breeds, giving them a “hare foot”.
The origins of the Chinese Crested Dog are speculated but unknown. Some believe that it is a 13th century Chinese dog, some think the hairless mutation originated in Africa, and others think it might be a cross between a Mexican Hairless and a Chihuahua. Recent DNA testing has revealed a close relation to the Basenji.
The breed typically makes a good family pet because of its playful and affectionate nature. The Chinese Crested Dog generally likes most people and is rarely aggressive toward anyone.
Despite the lack of hair on the breed, grooming takes work. The Powderpuff’s soft coat requires brushing every two day. Grooming the Hairless is different; its skin is similar to human skin, susceptible to dryness, acne, and sunburn. It should be bathed twice a week, and moisturizer and sunscreen for babies or gentle skin should be applied regularly. The Hairless also needs to be trimmed and shaved.
The Chinese Crested is not affected by many of the hereditary diseases typically found in toy breeds, yet they are prone to several conditions. They often have dental problems, progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. The properly-cared-for Chinese Crested Dog can live for 15 or more years.