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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, 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.
Though possibly associated with China since the 13th century, some believe the Hairless mutation originated in Africa, and others believe it may be a cross of the Chihuahua and Mexican Hairless Dog, which it resembles. It is sometimes said that this breed (among others, such as the Rhodesian Ridgeback) belongs to a different species from most dogs, namely Canis africanus; but it is not firmly established either that such a species exists or that the Chinese Crested originated in Africa. It is also possible that this dog originated from two breeds of dogs, one coming from Africa, one from China.
Although there is an anecdotal history of hairless dogs in many seaports (apart from the hairlessness, it is unclear how closely these dogs resemble the modern Chinese Crested), European visitors in the 1700s remarked in particular on hairless dogs in Chinese port cities, as well as dogs owned by Chinese sailors plying the African trade route. Paintings of the breed (and later, photographs) reached Europe in the 1800s. Early Chinese Cresteds may have been valued as ratters (ratcatchers), both on ships and in agricultural communities, though such traits are rarely evident in the breed today. The breed has also been called the Chinese Edible Dog, the Chinese Hairless Dog, the Chinese Ship Dog and the Chinese Royal Dog. The Chinese Crested was officially recognised by the FCI in 1987,in the UK Kennel Club in 1981 and by the American Kennel Club in 1991. The USA parent club is the American Chinese Crested Club.
Chinese Cresteds tend to be affectionate, energetic and playful. They are considered great family pets, with endearing personalities. Some are known "singers," while others are known to "smile." They are generally happy lap-dogs with candid personalities. In addition, Chinese Cresteds tend to be a "one-person" dog, spotting one particular member of the family as their "owner". Often, this person is the one who gives the dog the most safe and secure feeling, and the dog would clearly show its affection towards him/her above others in the family. Train your pup using Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer tips!