Showsight Presents The Chinese Crested

JUDGING THE CHINESE

CRESTED BY SHELLEY HENNESSY

T he Chinese Crested is a unique breed that comes in two distinct varieties; the Hairless, and the Powderpuff. When judging the breed, judges should remember that both varieties are judged by the identical standard except for differences in teeth and coat, which I will cover later. Please do not forgive or ignore faults in one variety that you would not in the other. Both varieties should be given equal consideration. Please do not put an inferior Hairless dog up over a better Powderpuff. Unfortu- nately, Powderpuffs do not seem to get the recognition in the Breed and Group judging that the Hairless dogs do. So many Toy dogs in the Group are heavily coated, and the Hairless Crested stands out more than the Powderpuff does. Please do not overlook either variety! The Chinese Crested may be free-baited or stacked in the ring. There is no preference for either presentation. Judges who insist on handlers free-baiting their dogs are not being fair to the handler or dog. And please move the dog around the ring before putting it up on the table, even if it is a single class entry. This shakes the kinks out of the dog (and handler), and on a cold morning or in a cold building it warms the Hairless up a bit, so it doesn’t shake as much on the table. Our current AKC standard is what we must judge by. There is an alarming tendency for people to misquote the standard in ads and articles, or leave out words that change the meaning of the standard. It is always a good idea to review the standard before a judging assignment. The Chinese Crested varieties are identical in outward appear- ance—except for coat. The breed should be fine-boned, elegant, and graceful. It is one of the bigger Toy breeds, 11-13" tall. You will find smaller and bigger ones. The standard states that “slightly” larger or smaller dogs may be given full consideration. As a judge, you will have to determine what your interpretation of “slightly” is. Keep in mind that extremely small dogs will probably not have the correct movement, and extremely large dogs will probably lack good breed type. However, please do not judge on the principle of “the smaller the better.” A larger, heavier dog with a level topline, good structure, and good movement should beat a smaller dog that hackneys or has a bad topline.

A RECTANGULAR BREED Many people seem to have a problem with interpreting the wording of the standard. It states: “ Rectangular… Body length from withers to base of tail is slightly longer than the height at the withers. ” Besides the fact that the word “rectangular” is specifi- cally stated in the standard, reading and understanding the next sentence will make it even clearer. When you say that the body length is “slightly longer” from the withers to the base of tail, this means that the length is even longer from the front of the chest to the base of the tail. It is not off-square, it is rectangular. This body type allows for the reach and drive of the correctly moving Chinese Crested. HEADS Heads vary greatly in the breed, ranging from a more Chi- huahua-type head with a shorter muzzle to a more Poodle-type head. Somewhere in the middle is correct. The muzzle and skull are balanced, and the head is wedge-shaped. Eyes should be almond-shaped, and this is a problem in the breed. There are many round eyes and small eyes. Be sure, when examining the dog, that you check under the crest for correct eye shape. Eye color varies. Dark-colored dogs have dark-colored eyes, and lighter-colored dogs MAY have lighter- colored eyes. Remember, the “may” when you find white or cream dogs with black eyes. Some light-colored Hairless dogs have very pale eyes. Blue eyes are not specifically mentioned in our standard, and you will find them on occasion. This may be addressed in a future standard, but for now, as a judge, you will have to consider them in terms of the other merits of the dog. Ears should be large. Small ears are a problem in the breed, and when set too high on the head, they change the expression of the breed. The hair on the ears may be trimmed (shaved) in either variety, and heavy furnishings on the ears may cause them to look as if they are not erect. Nose color also varies with the color of the dogs; while dark dogs should have dark noses, lighter-colored dogs MAY have lighter noses.

256 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2021

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