Showsight Presents The Chinese Crested

JUDGING THE CHINESE CRESTED

TEETH This is one of the two major differences between the varieties. While the Powderpuff must have full dentition, the Hairless is not to be faulted for missing teeth. While not mentioned in the standard, many Hairless dogs’ teeth may “tusk,” meaning that the teeth, both upper and lower, incline slightly forward (rather than straight up and down) while still retaining a scissors or level bite. Undershot bites are a problem in the breed and, while not specifically mentioned as a fault, will weigh in your final decisions. TOPLINE The Chinese Crested topline is often hard to judge. A cold and or nervous Hairless will make himself look terrible, and the coat on a Powderpuff will often destroy its topline on the move. The Pow- derpuff may be shown with its coat evenly parted down the middle or casually tousled; either is cor- rect. Check toplines carefully on the table. A Hair- less may be carefully stacked to give the appearance of a level topline, but movement will show the true picture. On the other hand, the Powderpuff may have a great topline, but the hair on its rear will “puff up” when moving, and make it look high in the rear—when it isn’t. Check toplines carefully. They are a major problem in the breed. TAILS & FEET The Chinese Crested standard does not call for a “gay” tail! It states that the tail is “carried gaily,” which is a big difference. It also says that the tail “ may be carried slightly forward over the back, ” not that it has to! See what omitting or changing words does to interpreting a standard? The original American standard and the stan- dards of some other organizations call for a tail that is carried “ up or out ” in motion. Since most Cresteds don’t read, they still carry their tails that way. I still remember a judge withholding ribbons from three beautiful puppies at a show several years ago when they did not have their tails up in the air, but rather out behind them while moving.

This still is a tail carried “gaily” and should not be faulted. The tail does not have to go over the back, and if it does, it is only carried “slightly” forward over the back. It should not curl over and touch the back. Handlers that push the tail over on the back while stacking the dog (more often done with Powderpuffs) are doing a real disservice to the breed, and are ruining the rectangular look of the breed. The Crested used to be shown with the tail curled around the left hock; many handlers still do, and it is a presentation unique to our breed. The feet on a Crested should be narrow; a true “hare” foot, with elongated toes. Many Crested use their feet to actually pick up small objects. COAT Here is the only other difference between the two varieties. The Hairless ranges from what many call a “true” Hairless, with very little crest, socks or tail plume, to dogs dripping with furnishings. With that extreme amount of furnishings often comes body hair, which is removed for the show ring. A judge is not there to try to determine whether a dog has had hair removed or not; most have to some extent. Judge the dog on the quality of the skin, which should be soft and smooth. There are some handlers who let the hair on the neck grow down over the withers. This goes against the standard, which states that the hair on the crest tapers off between the base of the skull and the back of the neck. While the hair may flow over the withers, the actual growth should not start there. And too much hair there often makes a dog look short-backed. The Crest will naturally part and fall to either side of the dog’s neck with most Hairless. The Powderpuff coat does resemble a small Afghan Hound in many respects. It should lay flat, and be soft and silky. It should not be excessively heavy or kinky or frizzy. Again; many handlers have taken it upon themselves to shave a large V-shaped patch on the front of the necks, which disrupts the flow of a beautiful Powderpuff coat and goes against the standard, which only states that the hair on the ears and face may be trimmed. MOVEMENT When the Chinese Crested moves, all the beautiful parts come together. With its head and tail carried up, the topline level, it moves with reach and drive. It should never hackney or appear stilted. It does not throw its front up in the air. It should not be cowhocked. CONCLUSION When judging the Chinese Crested, remember that both varieties should be given equal consideration. Remember that it is one of the larger Toy breeds. Do not auto- matically put up the smallest one; put up the best one. Do not award incorrect move- ment and bad structure. And always… JUDGE THE DOG.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR My current breed is Chinese Cresteds, but I have also bred Afghan Hounds and Whippets (and I also owned Collies) putting numerous titles on my dogs in Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Lure Coursing, Agility, Barn Hunt, and Scent Work. I am approved to judge four Groups (plus breeds in the other three Groups), Rally, and Lure Coursing.

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2021 | 257

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