Showsight Presents The Chinese Crested

chinese crested Q&A

WITH PAT FRANKLIN, SUE KLINCKHARDT-GARDNER, DR. SOPHIA KALUZNIACKI, HEATHER LINDBERG & DEIRDRE PETRIE

SK: Lively, elegant and happy little rectangle with trimmings. HL: Elegant, entertaining and unique. DP: Elegant, graceful, loving, devoted and silly.

Chinese Crested should be. But while judging, please do keep in mind the temperature as a shaking Hairless might not be shaking out of fear but more so from the cold temperature. I also see far too many square dogs being shown and bred. The standard reads, “Rectangular: body length from withes to base of tail is slightly longer than the height at the withers”. And finally, there is too much body hair on the Hairless variety. So many exhibitors are showing their exhibits with crests covering the shoul- ders, boots up to the elbows and poorly kept skin. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are bet- ter now than they were when you first started judging? PF: I do feel they are better now than when I first started judging. There is definitely more consistency in the breed. SKG: Absolutely better now. In the beginning of our AKC recognition breed type was not consistent and soundness was rare. We can still improve but we have come so far. SK: Some things are better. I am not seeing as many dogs with skin conditions. However, I am seeing more Puffs with a lot of cottony undercoat, which is not correct. I also feel that there are more dogs with large, round eyes, which are also incorrect. Heads with muzzles too short are also more common. The head-to-muzzle ratio should be one-to-one, meaning that the distance from occiput to stop equals the distance from stop to tip of nose. A muzzle shorter than that just detracts from the whole expression. The Crested should be elegant from tip of nose to tip of tail and everything in between. HL: The Chinese Crested breed is one of the few breeds that I have seen a true improvement in. I do feel that the breed is better today than it was when I first started. I believe they are better in part because the gene pool has increased and we have placed great emphasis on breed- ing quality as well as improving dentition. Soundness and dentition have completely changed for the better. DP: I think in general dogs have gotten better over time since I started in the breed in 1986 but since I’ve started judging the breed in 2006 I think the quality ebbs and flows. Two problems that existed in the breed in 1986 still appear today—although I have seen improvement— those being round eyes (the standard calls for an almond- shaped eye) and short tails (the standard calls for a tail long enough to reach the hock). 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? PF: Two things stand out. First is the proportion of the body. Second is the Powderpuff coat. It should not resemble a Maltese coat. The Crested is a double-coated breed. The coat should not lay flat like a single coated breed and it should not hang to the floor. The standard states, “The Powderpuff variety is completely covered with a double soft and silky coat. Close examination reveals long thin guard hairs over the short silky undercoat. The coat is

2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? PF: As an owner I feel they must have a wonderful personality. As a judge, they must have good movement, nice skin, correct hair and placement of hair and be proportioned correctly. SKG: Soundness, level topline, correct tail carriage and breed type—all of which are sometimes difficult to find right now. SK: Balance, soundness, level topline and happy attitude. HL: First and foremost, I must have structural soundness and freedom of movement. As breeders, we have worked very diligently to improve the overall quality in structure of the breed. I must also have overall balance, a good temperament and a level topline. DP: My background in Sighthounds tends to make me a bit of a movement freak along with level toplines and pretty, elegant, wedge-shaped headpieces. These are three key features of the breed that I focused on as a breeder. The standard calls for “Gait: Lively, agile and smooth without being stilted or hackneyed”. It also calls for “Forequar- ters: Angulation, layback of shoulder is 45 degrees to point of shoulder allowing for good reach”. Thus, I seek a beautiful stride showing reach and drive when I judge the breed. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? PF: Cresteds, according to the standard, are meant to be slightly longer than the height at the withers. At this point in time I feel there are too many square dogs being shown. SKG: I’m seeing some really long bodies. Cresteds are rectan- gular, but some are looking like Corgis. This is not right for our breed. SK: I think that there seems to be too much emphasis in judging on abundant and exaggerated furnishing. I love good furnishing on the hairless, but too much, to the point that you have to look at the dentition to see if it is a shaved down Puff, is just not what the breed is all about. HL: I fear that tails are beginning to come too far forward over the back and this is becoming commonly accepted. Also, short tails are being seen more often. The tail should be long enough to reach the hock and may be carried slightly forward over the back. At rest the tail is down. In today’s ring we see many resting on their backs at a standstill. This is perhaps not a major fault but some- thing that needs to be recognized and corrected. DP: Under temperament in our breed standard it calls for a “gay and alert” dog. In the general description of the stan- dard it reads “playful and entertaining”. Unfortunately as a judge as well as a spectator I see too many Cresteds that are shy, standoffish and fearful—definitely not what a

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2017 • 263

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