The unique thing about the Chinese Crested Dog is the fact that two distinct varieties of the same breed can be born in the same litter. One is a completely hairless version of the dog and the other has a double coating of fur which is soft and silky, close examination reveals long, thin guard hairs over the short, silky undercoat, this is called the the veil. This variety is known as the powderpuff.
Powderpuffs do not carry the hairless gene and it is impossible to pair two powderpuffs and expect them to produce hairless puppies! Hairlessness can be easily perpetuated because it is controlled by a dominant gene. In other words, mating a hairless dog to a normal dog always has the potential to produce some hairless puppies. Hairlessness is one of the more common random mutations of mammalian species. Although the hairless trait first occurred as a spontaneous mutation, it has been documented in every breed of dog and has been intentionally perpetuated in many species such as hairless cats, rats, mice and guinea pigs. Because the trait is dominant, every dog that exhibits the trait is also capable of reproducing it. Hairless dogs have the genetic potential to produce both hairless and coated puppies. This is because every hairless carries the (H) dominant hairless gene, as well as the (h) recessive hairless gene. Every hairless dog can hand down to its progeny either hairlessness, or a full coat of hair. The recessive expression of this gene will be masked unless it is paired with another recessive gene. That combination (hh) produces normal puppies. In the Chinese Crested these are known as Powderpuffs.
Genetics part I:
Genetics part II:
The powderpuff should be small and dainty. It gets its name from the soft veil of long and silky hair. The powderpuff looks strikingly different from its hairless siblings so much so that some people may actually mistake them to be two separate breeds.
Your powderpuff should grow up to a full height of thirteen inches at the maximum, It has an average weight range between five to twelve pounds, although there are always exceptions to the rule. It has a rather long tail which is held low and should not be altered. The ears are fringed and can be dropped or erect. The powder puff, like it’s hairless counterpart, has very unique feet which are extraordinarily long unlike other dogs. This unique feature makes them look as though they have an extra joint in their paws and is called a harefoot.
There are a few other features that distinguish the powderpuff from the hairless crested dog including the fact that it can be drop eared. This is something that should not be found in the hairless variety. Powderpuffs should have a normal canine mouth with a full set of dentition, no tusks or lacking molars here. The genes of the powder puff are void of the defects found in the hairless variety. Their genes also need to be maintained in the breeding pool for the purpose of ensuring good health of the hairless crested dog, as a suggestion powderpuffs should be used at least every 5 generations in any breeding programme.
The long and silky coat of the powderpuff is available in a wide variety of color combinations. The hair on its body can easily get tangled up and requires constant grooming care.
Professional Grooming Tips by Leslie A Gould of Les-Lee’s Chinese Cresteds in United States.
Powderpuff Grooming Videos on YouTube by Kennel Curlious of Canada!