SaTaMu - Chinese Crested Dogs 

Myths and Truths


By Rhonda Brown
Sa’TaMu Chinese Crested Dogs
[email protected]

Published in:

National Dog - THE Ring LEADER Way
Hairless Dog Feature November 2010

There are a number of ‘interesting’ so called truths that are constantly being passed from person to person about Chinese Crested Dogs.  Many of these are myths.  So what are the truths?  What are the Myths?  Here some will be explained.

Chinese Cresteds should move like a Prancing Pony.
The movement of the Chinese Crested should be high stepping, so that the dog looks like a prancing pony.

The standard on which the breed is assessed states that the Chinese Crested should move with reach and drive;  this does not equate to a high stepping, ‘prancing pony’ type movement.  “Gait/Movement - Long, flowing and elegant with good reach and plenty of drive”. (Chinese Crested Dog Standard, Kennel Club London 1994.  Amended October 1995.  F.C.I Standard No 288)

Hairless Chinese Crested Dogs have a higher body temperature than coated dogs.
Hairless Chinese Crested Dogs feel very warm to the touch, therefore it is believed that they have a higher temperature than coated breeds of dog.

The body temperature of hairless dogs, including the Chinese Crested Dog, is the same as that of coated breeds.  The skin of the Hairless Chinese Crested ‘feels’ hot to touch as they do not have body hair to insulate the heat their body produces.  The hairless Cresteds skin may feel cool or cold to the touch in cold weather or when there is a strong breeze, not because their temperature has dropped, but because the body heat is not being trapped against the skin by hair.  The internal body temperature of a coated dog and that of the hairless Crested is the same.  

Hairless Cresteds are shaved to be hairless.
Some believe that Chinese Crested hairless are coated dogs that are shaved to be presented with hairless bodies with hair left only on the head, feet and tail.  

The hairless variety of Chinese Crested Dogs has a  hairless gene.  This gene may be expressed as either very hairless or very hairy, the same as with humans.  Some Cresteds do need to be shaved to present smooth skin with no body hair, whilst others naturally have no body hair.

Due to the Hairless being hairless, they are more delicate than other breeds of dog.
It is believed that because the hairless has no body hair it must be delicate and easily injured.

The hairless Chinese Crested Dog is a small dog, and as such more delicate than a rottweiler, but they are usually quite sturdy.  They love to play, run, jump, chase, hunt, etc, all without being hurt.

Powder Puffs are born in each litter to keep their hairless siblings warm.
It is thought that because hairless puppies do not have hair, they need their coated siblings to keep them warm.  

As with any breed, newborn puppies need to be kept warm;  being a hairless Chinese Crested is no different.  Powder puffs are born with a short coat and are no more able to keep their hairless brothers and sisters warm than those of coated breeds.  A litter of Chinese Crested Dogs may be entirely hairless, entirely powder puff or a mixture of both.  It is the job of the mother to keep her babies warm.

The Powder Puff variety of Chinese Crested Dog looks like an Afghan Hound.
It is often thought that a Powder Puff should have the appearance of a small Afghan hound and that they should be groomed as such.

The Powder Puff has a very different coat from the Afghan, finer and lighter with more lift.  The outline of a deer type Crested has a similar outline to the Afghan hound, but it is virtually impossible to emulate the grooming if the Puff has a correct veil type coat.  

Powder Puffs are genetically stronger than their hairless litter mates.
There is an occasionally heard myth that the powder puffs are genetically stonger than the hairless Chinese Crested Dogs.  

Genetically the hairless gene is dominant(strong), while the coat/hair gene is recessive.  The hairless may need extra care as regards sunscreen when outdoors and jackets when the weather is cold, that is not a genetic weakness, but a reaction to weather conditions.  The only difference genetically, is that the hairless has the dominant gene while the puff has the recessive.

The Chinese Crested Dog has an extra bone in the foot which is why its  foot is long.
The Chinese Crested has a hare shaped foot.  This is a long, more agile foot, that has an extra bone, this accounts for the extra length.

Chinese Crested Dog have a long foot.  In the ‘standard’ this is named a ‘hare' foot.  The reason the foot is long, is because the bones are elongated.  The Cresteds have the same number of bones in their feet as other breeds, the bones just happen to be a little longer.

Dentition of the Hairless variety is unusual with tusk shapped teeth and also with missing teeth.

The gene for hairlessness is closely related to the gene for dentition.  Because of this gene, the shape of the teeth of the hairless may be tusk shaped (like that of the elephant) and there may also be missing teeth (like the hippopotamus).  The teeth often are not deeply rooted into the gum, and the enamel not as strong as other dogs.
The powder puff has regular canine dentition.

Chinese Cresteds can sing.

Although heard more from some Cresteds than others, the Chinese Cresteds will often sing when their owners go out, when a bitch is in season, or when they are very happy.  It is something special to hear a pack of cresteds in fine voice.

The hare foot of the Chinese Crested is used for holding items and climbing.

The long foot of the Chinese Crested Dog is more agile than the cat foot of most dogs.  This front feet can be used to hold toys, food, etc  more like a hand than a foot.  Due to the hare foot, the Cresteds can also climb fences, crates, furniture, etc as well as jump.

There are many more myths and truths that are now heard and will be heard in the future about the hairless breeds of dog.  Here, some of those myths and truths have been explained.  Living with these interesting dogs and learning their foibles is an enjoyable, interesting and life-long learning experience.

Contact Details
Rhonda Brown
Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
Phone : 0412591353
Email : [email protected]

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