Showsight Presents The Chinese Crested

A BLAST FROM THE PAST… CHINESE CRESTEDS by ARLENE BUTTERKLEE

I n the years before American Ken- nel Club (AKC) recognition, Chi- nese Crested fanciers were limited to showing their dogs on the rare breed circuit. Th e shows of the time were extremely competitive, with many of the Crested fanciers making treks cross coun- try to compete with their dogs. Th ese early specialties often had over 50 dogs, which was remarkable since there were not many Cresteds in the country. Crested fanciers had to unite to show, as there were few opportunities to compete. During the time before AKC recogni- tion, the Chinese Cresteds were shown as two varieties with each variety (e.g., the hairless and the powderpu ff ) being awarded a set of points. In addition, both the hair- less and powderpu ff were represented in the group. When hairless dogs were presented in the pre AKC show ring, they were absolute- ly hairless, with hair on the head, feet and tail only. Exhibitors would not show dogs with less-than-optimal placement of hair as indicated by the standard. Th e hairless crest stopped “at the stop” and did not grow down the neck of the dog. Additionally, Cresteds that were hairless were shown with the hair on the ears and the face. Rarely, if ever, would a hairless muzzle be trimmed. Similarly, the hair on the feet was confined

“Kriquet”, Best in Specialty Show, c. 1988.

to the toes of the dog. It never came up the leg, and was not trimmed. Th e skin on the hairless was soft and supple, like that of a baby’s bottom. Any pimples or blackheads were not favored. Early breeders did not accept any body hair on the dogs at all. It was clear that hairless dogs had to be hairless. And when looking at them untrimmed, there was no doubt at all that they were really born hairless. Th e powderpu ff s are the completely coat- ed counterpart to the hairless variety. Th ey were shown completely natural with hair on the face and ears, as well as all over the body.

Powderpu ff s were considered a “wash and show” kind of dog. Th e maintenance was minimal, and the standard reflected the desire to keep them natural. In England, the powderpu ff s were a di ff erent kind of dog than in the US. Th ey were much larger, had excessive coats, and they were shown with drop ears and trimmed faces. In speaking to some fanciers of the breed overseas, the term “Afghan type” was used to describe the pu ff s. Prior to AKC recognition, the standard specified that the Crested’s eye color should be “so dark as to appear black.” Th us, the early standard disallowed all light eyes and

“Thunder”, Best in Show, c. 1990.

“Maple”, Best in Show, c. 1992.

“Chessecake”, Best in Show, c. 1992.

118 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2015

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