Naked and hairy: both are born in the same brood, and are fundamental to garantee the breed's balance through the generations.
It may be amazing, but both the naked dogs with topknots, and the hairy ones are varieties of the same breed, the Chinese Crested Dog. Some have hair only on the head, feet, tip of tail, and eventually, a little on the back. The others are completely covered with hair, and look different among themselves, something in between a miniature Shih-Tzu and a great Tibetan Terrier, or even an Afghan in reduced proportions.
Affectionately called Powder Puff, the hairy one may have a varied length of coat, generally with a smooth and silky texture, first coat short and silky, and the second coat long and fine, perceptible when one examines it more carefully. Sometimes coat may be excessively dense, twisted or curly, which is penalized by the official Standard. According to the English writer Mirrie Cardew, on her book A Chinese Crested Dog for Me, the great variation of the hairy ones probably goes back to the ancestors of this breed.
Similarly, the naked one presents variations in amount of hair in the few hairy parts of its body; differences in amount and length. In the hairless part of the body, the skin is smooth, but at the same time, rougher and harder than the skin in the hairy ones. Dick Dickerson, in an article published by the AKC Gazette, as president of the American Chinese Crested Club, observes that the hairless frequently changes colors and markings when it grows, and its skin grows darker in contact with the sun light, and lighter when there's no contact with the sun. He adds that, curiously, the hairless dog has sudoriparous glands, where hairy ones and dogs in general don't. For that reason, it "sweats" more than it pants, in order to relieve body heat. Mirrie states that its skin heals very fast, if scratched or cut.
Both dogs, the naked and the hairy one, are fundamental for the successful breeding. As the naked usually has scattered teeth, many times lacking the pre-molars, and the hairy one has all teeth, the breeding among them is fundamental. If only the hairless dogs are bred among themselves for several generations, this emphasizes problem of lack of teeth, and worse, it brings a gene which may lead to the death of the naked puppies, though they are usually very resistent.
Recognized by the main cinology entities, among them the FCI and the AKC, they may participate in expositions. The most important specialized clubs are in England (the Chinese Crested Dog Club, founded in 1969) and in the United States (the American Chinese Crested Club, founded in 1979), according to the information of Dick Dickerson, one of its founders.
Normally an excellent companion, this dog loves people, is very sociable and outgoing. Mitsue R. Kobayashi, who has bred this dog for the last 4 years in Granja Viana, São Paulo, explains that the "naked and hairy dogs have the same temperament, gay and cheerful. They adapt right away to the place where they live." Marcos P. Novoa y Novoa adds that his hairy Chinese is very comunicative and easygoing: "if you take away the bone it is playing with, it will simply come after you without complaining."
The Chinese draws a lot of attention. Smart and alert, it learns very easily. It "sounds the alarm" when someone is coming, day or night. It ajusts well to children and animals. Both varieties are a perfect option to people who look for a companion dog, not to mention the people who are allergic to fur, who find in the naked Chinese a perfect companion.
Physical Details: (Based on the AKC Standard)
Teeth - its absence in the naked ones is not penalized, but it is in the hairy
ones. Eyes - dark in the dark individuals. Recently, light color eyes started
being admitted in individuals who have light color coat. Ears - large and erect.
Height - from 28 to 33cm. Individuals a little bigger or a little smaller are
not penalized. An old limitation for maximum size has been abolished. Colors -
any color or combination.
General Appearance: Colors and markings in coat may change when they grow. For instance, a black hairy puppy may become silver. When they're 6 months old, they look like a miniature adult.
Health: It is very healthy.
Breeding: Breeds easily. In the first days of life, the hairy ones compete more. Breeding two naked ones, or naked with hairy, puppies come in both varieties. Breeding two hairy ones, all puppies are hairy.
We would like to thank the people mentioned, and Hilda
Drumond, for the final text editing.
Text: Marcos Pennacchi
Owner: Mari Silvia Zampieri de Marco