Monday, 3 January 2011

The bald truth about the Chinese Crested

The top dog for 2010 in the Dog World/Arden Grange table (UK) is the Chinese Crested Ch Vanitonia Unwrapped (left), who clinched the title by winning best in show at the LKA, reported Dog World just before Christmas.  Vanitonia Unwrapped - pet name "Nora" - is believed to be the first dog to take eight Best in Show awards at UK all-breeds championship shows during one show season, and she is still less than two years old.

I've been having a low-level exchange with the Kennel Club about the 'Cresties" for a while now. My beef? That the dogs are being shaved and
depilated to look like they're hairless when they're not.

I spend enough on my dogs without having to buy them jumpers, too, so the hairless Chinese Crested is not a breed I have ever been interested in. But my hackles rose when I read an editorial about grooming them in Dog World a few weeks before Crufts last year. The writer wrote openly about how many of the dogs are not really hairless and so to meet the breed standard that calls for a smooth, hairless body the hair is removed.  She then went on to explain how to shave the poor little mites and then apply a depilatory crème as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
It isn’t - as you can see from the pictures of the very sore-looking Cresties below.

The Chinese Crested comes in two varieties. There’s the  ‘powderpuff” which has a full coat – and, indeed, is rather appealingly scruffy. And there's the "hairless" which can, in fact, be born with a varying amount of hair.  If it's sparse, they're known as a 'true hairless' and if they have more, they're known as a 'hairy hairless'.
True hairless  (Photo: Tommy Gildseth, CC-BY-SA)

The hairy hairless can be very hairy indeed...
It’s the hairier Cresties that have the best ‘furnishings’ – the luxuriant mane, tail and ‘socks’ that make the dogs look like My Little Pony. The ‘true hairless’ has much less hair in the 'right' places and so is nothing like as showy.  Indeed, the true hairless is usually pretty obvious in the ring because of this – and also because of the primitive dentition that comes with the hairless gene.  Certainly, a judge only has to look in the dog's mouth to tell the difference between a dog carrying the hairless gene and a shaved powderpuff (which sadly does happen).  So, the less hirsute ones are the genuine article and the ones with fluffy 'furnishings' are, mostly, dogs from which a lot of body hair has been removed. Sad to say, almost every bald dog I saw in the ring at Crufts was a fake. And the reason? These are usually the ones that win.
Worse, I was contacted shortly before Crufts last year by a groomer who told me that some breeders are waxing the dogs and even using epilators – both of which pull the hair out from the roots. Ouch.  It made the breed top of my watch-list for last year’s Crufts - and I'll keep an eye out this year, too.
I dream of the day when I contact the Kennel Club to tell them of such issues and they write back thanking me for drawing it to their attention and reassuring me that they will do everything in their power to make such abuses stop.  Oh, and then actually stop it.
It started off promisingly enough. This is the email I got back from the KC’s Sara Wilde: “We are very concerned at the suggestion that owners may be using depilatory creams and thereby causing harm to their dogs.  This is clearly against Kennel Club rules which are in place to ensure dogs’ welfare and we will be monitoring the situation at DFS Crufts.

“We have also recently written to the breed clubs to highlight our concerns.  You will, I am sure, be aware that our Breed Watch pages highlight the specific issues of clipper rash and razor burns in Chinese Crested Dogs and thus the judge at Crufts (as well as other shows) has had this matter highlighted to them.  At Crufts there will be clear notices displayed in all grooming areas reminding exhibitors of KC rules relating to preparation of dogs for showing and these areas will be monitored by the stewards as in the past.  Our policy of random testing for banned substances in the coats of dogs remains in place.”
Two hours after this email, another one landed in my inbox - this time a post from a closed Chinese Crested list, forwarded by a concerned Chinese Crested owner who is also horrified at the practice of denuding the dogs. It read: “…I have just had a member of the KC general committee on the phone and they have had insider info that Jemima Harrison will be targeting Chinese Cresteds at Crufts. They also have undercover cameras with the intent to film people shaving their dogs. This will be used in the next programme due to come out. PLEASE, i urge everybody, put differences aside and all pull together. For the good of the breed be on the look out and DO NOT shave at CRUFTS. please tell as many as possible.”

Now there IS no "next programme", we were not filming at Crufts and the KC had no reason to think that we were, although it’s certainly true that there are now any many people who will send me photographs and videos of things that alarm them.  But I did go to Crufts and I did visit the Cresties to see for myself what was going on.

I walked round with vet Pete Wedderburn, who writes a column and blog for the Daily Telegraph. Pete took the Crestie pictures above of very sore-looking dogs.  He was particularly shocked at this male's clearly raw testicles.

Afterwards, on one of the main Crestie internet lists, they chatted about how, although the KC had warned there may be spot-checks, there had been none on the Chinese Crested.  So much for the promised monitoring.  
I nagged the Kennel Club about this again recently. Their reply: "[It is] in hand, Jemima, and will be announced in due course."

But I will be surprised if they take steps to stop this because many Crestie exhibitors see absolutely nothing wrong with denuding the dogs. They don't want things to change.

I should say, by the way, that I have no evidence to suggest that Vanitonia Unwrapped is shaved and depilated for the show-ring.

But others most certainly are and, helpfully, one American exhibitor has posted a how-to-guide online.


  1. The practice became widespread in the 1990s, if you look at dogs from before that era, they are very clearly natural. The AKC Judge's educational video shows how much the breed has changed since then (since it features natural dogs):

    If you read the breed standards, they all describe the hair growth pattern of a natural hairless, the FCI one even stating 'no large patches of hair anywhere on the body'. Natural dogs are not as glamorous, however, so they have fallen out of favor. Being bred for extreme amounts of coat seems to be something that even a hairless breed is not immune from in the show ring.

    1. This is nasty nasty. What people will do to animals to make themselves look good.

      There are a number of very dubious grooming practises the poor crested is not alone.

      In a number of show terrier breeds the hair is literaly ripped out the follicle. This is to encourage the called for breed standards of coarse hard hair.

      Trimming and shaving is frowned on I would go as far as to say it woud get your dog disqualified. The hair grows out soft if trimmed but "stripping" a dog as its called is the "correct way" as the new hair grows thicker shafts apparently so this is the way they are always "trimmed".

      It 's incredibly painful. I've seen Sealyhams looking like Chinese cresteds sore raw and red with speckled blood the entire coat removed from their back. This was at a top breeder and shower in Europe. I've seen it done to Westies, Scotties, Norwich etc. It's dispicable and should be banned and th ebreed standards changed.

  2. My god. I'd heard the term "hairy hairless" before but I had no idea they were THAT hairy. I imagined a few extra patches of fluff more than what you see at the show, maybe a ridge on the back or something. Not an entire hairy dog almost as much as the powderpuff. If the dog is supposed to be hairless but has to be shaved.........what's the point?

    1. I have two hairy hairless Chinese cresteds and I have to clip them otherwise their skin gets really bad. They get spots, blackheads and dry itchy skin when their body hair gets to long. Also because these dogs sweat and don't generally pant to cool their body temperature the extra hair doesn't help. I would never dream of using any type of hair removal on them, that's just cruel. The dog can't tell you if it's burning them and I wouldn't use anything on them I wouldn't use on myself.

  3. Apologies for the double-post.

    Yah --- this is more what I'd imagined:

  4. Dogs with sparse hair up the legs and striped down the back are called 'Moderate Hairy Hairless' or 'H-pattern' dogs. Most of the dogs in the ring nowadays are almost fully coated. Dogs with this hairless gene (FOXI3), including the Peruvian Hairless and Xolo, can produce 'hairier' pups, but it's only in the Crested where such dogs have stopped being petted out and have been elevated to the 'ideal' show ring type, and only in the past 20 years. There are still people who breed and show natural hairless dogs, but they are in the minority. So many lines have bred heavily into excess body hair that it will be difficult to return to the natural type as the norm again without significant effort.

  5. this breed is a complete farce as far as showing is concerned....not only is the idea of waxing/creaming them horrible but the fact that they aren't even what the claim to be (hairless) is ridiculous!

  6. Breed by breed the ugly & disgusting side of the show world is getting revealed!

    A big thank you, Jemima.

    1. there's nothing ugly about Chinese cresteds. How about an article next about how pet dog owners abuse their pet dogs by never grooming them, worming them only once a year, rubbing their faces in wee and poo to 'train' them, keeping them shut in cages like hamsters for hours and hours on end. Leaving a solitary dog completely alone for 18 or more hours pet day and wondering why the poor bugger goes completely nuts since it's hard wired to belong in a 'pack' with other living beings around it, feeding it crap, sweets, human food, 'treats', buying a breed which is totally unsuitable for them because they 'like the look of it', going to the nearset dog dealer and buying a farmed puppy because it's quick and easy, you don't have to research the breed, the dog dealer won't ask any questions to make sure you are suitable to own the breed and refuse to sell if you are not, and you can pay on credit card. Percentage wise, many many thousands more dogs in private homes, are abused. But hey, let's bash pedigree dogs and breeders and exhibitors cos they are all in league with the devil.And since I stand up for what I believe and am not trying to hide, I will not stay anonymous. Anonymous is for ignorant trolls.

    2. Woah, anonymous didn't say the breed was ugly. They said this SIDE OF THE SHOW WORLD is ugly. This is the problem, people take it as a personal attack instead of coming at it with an open mind and an investigatory approach. Of course the issues you have mentioned are bloody awful, and I truly believe some of these people should be put away for a very very long time. But this blog is aimed at faults with PEDIGREE dogs, more specifically their breeding. Not issues that span most of the dog world (and I'm not denying they don't happen with pedigrees). Don't take it personally, but listen and if you can justify this then go for it. If not, then there is clearly something wrong

  7. i think its important to keep this in perspective....these grooming practices are strange and somewhat bizarre, but i fear that you are drifting away from your message about health reform, which is the most important.

    its my understanding that the breed is actually quite healthy and long-lived.....that people choose to carry out this extreme grooming needs addressing, but how does this help the average pet owner who needs to find a healthy pup.

    please stay on target jemima, and resist getting sidelined by ''stuff''

  8. To quote CRUFTS DFS 2011
    "With nearly 28,000 healthy, happy dogs enjoying the thrills and excitement of Best In Show with their owners, there's no better place than dfs Crufts to experience and learn about the wonderful world of dogs."

    Sorry anon 19:26 but does taking a razor blade or epilator to your dog really equate to joyful, exciting and thrilling? Maybe for the egos of humans but not for the WELFARE of dogs.

  9. Anonymous, who is not on target here? The cruelty, the hypocrisy, is the same whether you breed for ill health because it wins in the ring, or you torment a healthy long-lived animal with waxing because it looks good in the ring...

    Is there nothing short of legal action will get through to people who carry on these practices? Regardless of whether disfigurement is bred for, as in the basset, the shar-pei and other breeds,or achieved painfully through wax and epilators, it´s surely time to stop it. What can be done?

    1. believe me it is no different that women epilating/waxing. It does not hurt.... so try it for yourself and see. I have been epilating for 20+ years and it gets easier and less hair with time.

    2. Well, i'm a woman and it hurts me. So your experience counts for you only, not for everyone. (btw; there are whole movies out there which have as premiss that waxing is painfull)

      But even then, i'm grown & can choose my action, these dogs cannot consent to this practice. Their owners are hurting them & they can not understand why.

      That's abuse in my book.


    3. UrbanCollieChick12 July 2013 at 21:37

      If by "epilator" they mean that EPILADY crap that was sold in the 80s, that thing HURTS LIKE HELL! I used one for all of two seconds on my thigh, once, and it went in the trash.

      Using that would be serious cruelty!!!!! I actually would understand charging someone with cruelty using that on a helpless little dog.

  10. Anonymous 1926 is clearly missing the point. Who said that shaving is a 'grooming practice'. It's the whole idea of what is considered perfect in looks and then rewarded is how we got into this mess in the first place. The dog does't care if it comes first or not.

    Don't want a dog with hair, so shave it - don't want a dog with a tail, so lop it off - don't like the look of those ears (america) cut them off - not an entire male, give it a false nut - too dainty and delecate to interact, carry it in a bag - can't see because of too much skin, operate - can't give birth naturally, c-section it is! I wish these were exaggerations.

    Health is part of welfare and vice versa - if you leave one for the other you may as well walk round with a blind fold and your fingers in your ears.


    1. well said Emma - we need to breed AND raise for healthy type - i've always thought it wierd the extent to which people will 'alter' their dogs to fit a fashion! By the way, cresties are wonderful happy, healthy dogs for the most part - I have three powderpuffs, and they are just fabulous fun - and they love their agility! Just a note: most hairless breeders are working to keep the hairless dog healthy- they usually do this by crossing a hairless with a powderpuff, which is why many are 'hairy hairless'- I think this should be encouraged, and 'hairy hairless' sould be celebrated and accepted rather than shaved!


    Shaving a "hairy hairless."

    1. And you think this dog is being tortured?? Obviously not.

  12. Oh please, this article is the most biased piece of garbage I have ever read.

    Obviously the person who wrote this has never seen a Chinese Crested gotten ready for a show, sounds like they have never even seen a crested in the flesh at all!!!
    Yes some dogs are shaved but the photos used in this article are WAY over the top.

    Get a grip people NO-ONE uses wax and NO-ONE uses epilators.... are you people really that DAFT to believe this verbal vomit???????

    The most any groomer will use is hair removal cream which does NOT hurt the dog in ANY way.

    Next time you write a piece of crap like this do some REAL WORLD research first not just use google!

    1. hear hear. Bigotted reporting in the extreme. And the really sad part s that so many ignorant people actually believe what she says :0(

  13. Your article has violated copyright law but using photos of dogs you do not have permission to use. You need to remove the photo of the Silver and White hairy hairless and the black and white true hairless taken from my website.
    I am appalled by the practice of shaving and using chemicals on the dogs. I produce true hairless (one litter every year to year and a half)and if a hairy is born (rare for my breeding) it is desexed and it will not be shaved into canine topiary. However, even though I am a purist, and support the True Hairless I do take offense to the stealing of copyrighted photos off my website.I also take offense to your using the term mangy when describing the exotic naturally hairless dog. You have not looked inside that dogs mouth yet you make derogatory statements about his dentition. Shame on you. Who made you the Crested police. Lyn Brownell Gaea Plantation

    1. hear hear. She is nothing but yet another example of the animal Nazi's who feel they should be allowed to dictate to others what dogs to keep and how they should keep them. Anyone who doesn't agree will be labelled an animal abuser!!

  14. Am I wrong about the true hairless having poor/primitive dentition? Happy to correct or qualify if I am.

    I am able to use your images under "Fair Dealing/Fair Use" - a part of copyright law which allows the use of copyrighted images for news/review/criticism. If you would like me to caption them as your copyright, please let me know.

    I am pleased to hear that you are appalled by the practice of shaving/using chemicals. What do you think should be done?


    1. What does fair use allow?

      Under fair use rules, it may be possible to use quotations or excerpts, where the work has been made available to the public, (i.e. published). Provided that:

      The use is deemed acceptable under the terms of fair dealing.
      That the quoted material is justified, and no more than is necessary is included.
      That the source of the quoted material is mentioned, along with the name of the author.

      Note the word MAY in the first sentence. Copryright law is a bit complex. You are obviously more au fait with 'shady dealings' in order to sensationalise something and prove that you are the all knowing dog person. Anyone respectable and responsible would respect the copyright of others and if the owner of an image requests that you remove them, they should be removed, especially since you stole the photographs to use to demonstrate a personal opinion (that is not educational nor news) and made up your own caption for the photograph which is NOT fact, NOT news and NOT educational. You are just the lowest of the low and I would not be in the least surprised to hear that you also work for the Sun newspaper or others of that ilk since your reporting style would be perfectly suited to them. Shame on you for your half truths, lies, wrong opinions presented as fact, and sheer sensationalism.You didn't even know the implications of 'primitive dentition' nor how the teeth were different in hairless and hairy dogs.

    2. and I note that all the comments on this site are moderated/censored. We wouldn't want the facts to come out would we? Best delete anyone who actually knows what they are talking about and can show that what you say is incorrect.

    3. Yeah she censors everything *rolls eyes* that's why she is allowing your comments to be published right? Because you know people cam't handle the truth and all that

  15. There are pictures of some hairless dogs' dentition here, you can see for yourself:

    The primitive dentition refers to many dogs having straight, tusk-like incisors. Also, all dogs with the Foxi3 gene (Xolo, PIO, and Crested( do not grow a full set of premolars, which is what the term 'incomplete dentition' in the dogs refers to. Even the hairiest dogs lack premolars, if they carry the hairless gene. It doesn't harm their quality of life in the slightest, and missing teeth in old age is a common issue in many toy breeds for the simple fact that they have small, delicate mouths.

    1. A dog with an actual "primitive mouth" would have teeth like a wolf. What the Chinese Cresteds and Xolos have is deformed teeth caused by a canine form of ectodermal dysplasia. Many people who suffer from one of the human variants of this condition also have "pointy" teeth-- not because there's anything primitive about them, but because a genetic defect affects structures formed from the embryonic ectodermal layer.

  16. Lyn, you say that you do not shave your dogs, and breed for "true hairless" types.

    What, then, do you have to say about the "Hairy hairless" Jemima pictured, that, on your site, you show "groomed" and standing next to a "Best of Winners" sign? You even admit that it's the same dog.

    Or were your words "I am appalled by the practice of shaving and using chemicals on the dogs. I produce true hairless (one litter every year to year and a half)and if a hairy is born (rare for my breeding) it is desexed and it will not be shaved into canine topiary..." a mistake?

    If you truly believe this, those pictures wouldn't be there.

    Then again, the fact that they are shows that either you have not updated your website since you had your revelation of the practice of shaving, or you are not quite truthful in your words you have posted here.

    Or maybe we're all just idiots and don't realize that, silly us, "Hairy" Cresties, whether "hairy hairless" or "powderpuff," shed all that fur out and become a true hairless, just in time for the showring!

    1. I'm in California USA and I've had Chinese Cresteds since 1972. That's about 20 years before the AKC recognized the breed. I started showing in the late 1990's. I followed the AKC rules to a T while others shaved their hairless. I called it to the attention of a judge and was told that everyone liked the extra long furnishings so that's what we put up. I told him that we would loose our true hairless breed and he shrugged his shoulders and walked away. I quit showing because I couldn't compete and stay true to the breed. I just lost my last little crested. She was 3 months short of being 16 years old. Her conformation was spot on but she was a true hairless. She barely had any hair on her feet. She was a beautiful little 8 pound crested with almost perfect conformation but could never compete against the shaved hairy hairless. It's very sad and I blame the American Kennel Club and the judges.

  17. This article is a gross generalisation which includes incorrect information and will do nothing but harm to the Chinese Crested breed. Surely before publishing this article your research should have involved visits to breeders and viewings of these dogs for yourself? But I guess the article wouldn't be nearly as juicy then would it?
    As a breeder of Cresteds, who shows, my dogs are not waxed and I have never heard of anyone ever doing this - that would be absolutely ridiculous, incredibly cruel and defeating the object when your waxed dog won't show in the ring because it's in pain!
    To correct some of your "FACTS" - Cresteds only come in two types (not three!) the Hairless and the Powderpuff. Within the Hairless type there are varying degrees of body hair ranging through true hairless, moderately hairy, hairy to extremely hairy - much the same as in humans! The picture you show as a Hairy Crested would in fact be classed as an Extremely Hairy and not put in the show ring, but pet homed. Also, the amount of hair on their head, feet and tails (furnishings) does NOT always dictate the amount of hair on their body and you will find there are many true hairless dogs with adequately full "furnishings" that do not have lots of body hair.
    Your statement that a true hairless is identified because of "universally poor teeth" is completely false and misleading - a primitive mouth (not a poor mouth - there is a big difference here if you actually do some research) consists of missing or never developed teeth and is found in almost all hairless breeds. Then again many hairless dogs (including the True Hairless) also possess completely normal dentition - proving your "slightly mangy" identification statement false.
    Research is still being conducted into the FOXI3 gene responsible for the naturally occurring hairless mutation. As yet there is no concrete understanding as to how the amount of body hair a hairless dog inherits is distributed. Two True Hairless dogs can be mated and produce Extremely Hairy hairlesses. If you then repeat the mating some time down the track they could produce True Hairlesses. As a breeder my goal is to produce healthy (health tested), sound dogs with great temperaments, as true to the standard as possible with as little body hair as possible - whilst retaining nice full furnishings. The health, temperament and standard stuff is going great - the body hair is still something everyone's trying to work out - the scientists included!
    I agree that no animal should be subjected to any kind of pain or suffering and you will find the ethical, reputable breeders are doing the right thing - if there are bad guys out there hurting dogs then they obviously need to be weeded out and stopped but please don't slam the entire Crested breed as a sham with incorrect information and inflammatory remarks.

  18. Hmm, in the USA you can use a photograph under Fair Use but UK law differs. The UK excludes photographs from it's Fair Dealing legislation unless you are doing a crit/review of the photograph (not the subject)in which case you need to acknowledge the source and credit the photographer..
    "Fair dealing with a work (other than a photograph) for the purpose of reporting current events does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that (subject to subsection (3)) it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement."

  19. Thank you for the clarification.

    Blogger websites are hosted in the US.


  20. The fact that the hairless can be born in all varieties proves nothing, since as is plainly shown by looking at breed history, the true hairless was the norm up until the late 1980s in the UK, when the shaved HHL became fashionable and were soon exported in large numbers to the U.S. and elsewhere as the breed's popularity grew. Prior to that, there was no 'chaos' of hair type inheritance, because natural hairless dogs were selected and preferred almost universally. The fact that there is lack of consistancy nowadays and a minority of naturally hairless dogs is a testament to the power of show ring fashion and not biology. I would love to hear the excuses as to why the PIO and Xolo people manage to control the same gene that is claimed to be chaotic by people who prefer the hairy hairless.

    "The quest by some for ‘true’ hairlessness might be honourable but seems rather naïve considering the generally accepted demand for long & flowing crests & heavy furnishings. It therefore seems hypocritical not to accept slight cosmetic enhancements." ~JUDGE ANDREAS G SCHEMEL (Admitting that the standard is to be winked at when it suits the current ring fashions)

    Anyone whose knowledge of the breed extends beyond the status quo in the show ring as it has existed in the past 15-20 years cannot in honestly make the claim that the decline of natural hairless dogs was some kind of genetic accident, it was selected against willfully because it was rewarded in the show ring and is appealing to more people than natural hairless dogs.

  21. Yipes, link correction from my previous comment!

    Admitting it's the same dog.

    Guess that's what I get for putting in the complete WRONG link!

    1. Ha! I'm buying an N'co dog. :) awesome breeder for real!! There's hairless and puffs. Varying degree of hairless which is defined as SINGLE Coated. The puff has a soft undercoat where the hairless has a more "hair" like coat without the undercoat. My puppy is a VERY hairy hairless being sold as a pet.

      I have another crested who is hairless with some body hair and recently lost a more hairless female :( . shaving ANY of the crested regardless of hair is necessary to remove stray or even significant hairs.

      I was advised to use clippers to thin and shorten the hair and then a mans razor to smooth.

      Chinese crested are amazing dogs. Their hairless gene is difficult if not impossible to control. She breed two hairless dogs (hairier hairless) and got two puffs and a very hairy. You just don't know.

      Hairless is single coated, Puff is double coated. A Hairy hairless is a hairless. Not a SINGLE crested would meet show requirements. Spare hair and or tufts on all I've seen. Shaving is required.

      Sorry....a little repetitive. I don't have time to review...

  22. The irony of the "hairless" breed being a fraud to cover up the desire for more hair... I just love it. What a sham.

    And there's no copyright infringement here at all. There's no expectation of exclusivity when the content that is being criticized here is published on the internet for free.

    It does amaze me though how fast the people become embarrassed about the photos they proudly put up on the internet once you call them out on the content.

    The GSD people didn't like the photos I posted. Too bad.

  23. Jemima,
    Nice to see you have taken on board the comments about the incorrect facts in your original article and changed some wording, e.g."universally poor teeth" to the correct primitive dentition and removing your disgraceful reference of true hairless dogs as "slightly mangy" to the less hirstute.
    There are still some facts you are incorrect on though. Again, I reiterate there are ONLY TWO types of Crested (not three), the Hairless and the Powderpuff. The hairless merely come in varying degrees of hairlessness - it does not make it a separate type of dog. Your updated reference to the Primitive Dentition still states a hairless dog and Powderpuff can be differentiated by their teeth and you imply a true hairless has a primitive mouth whilst a hairy hairless doesn't. All hairless Cresteds, whether they be hairy or not carry the FOXI3 hairless gene (that's what makes em' hairless!) and as such passes on the primitive mouth - However this is not a fool proof method of identifying a Puff from a Hairless as you imply. Some True Hairless can have almost perfect dentition so please get your facts corrrect - they don't make sense in the article.
    I would also like to know how you came to the following conclusion; - "Sad to say, almost every bald dog I saw in the ring at Crufts was a fake. And the reason? These are usually the ones that win" - Did you talk to the Crested owners there and ask them if they waxed/shaved/whatevered their dogs? Did you witness the "denuding" of these dogs? Are you such an Crested expert that you can spot, what you call, a so called "fake" Crested over a True Hairless because of the amount of furnishings they had? As I mentioned in my previous post there are also plenty of True Hairless dogs with enough furnishings to be showy out there - how could you tell the difference?

  24. I was sent this feed this morning by a Crested breeder friend. Personally I think this issue is ridiculous, and I cannot believe that anyone is making an issue out of this! There are dogs and other animals in the world that are being subject to very real and brutal cruelty!! Surely the time of these goody two shoes would be better spent raising awareness on these matters, where animals are tortured or used in other hideous manners in various countries. How can you possibly suggest that shaving is cruel?? The use of any wax product on a crested is not a practice I have ever heard of, and one that no breeder would ever subject a dog to. The skin on a crested in quite fine, and the utmost care is always taken by breeders.

    You fail to talk about the owners who love there dogs, and care for them so much, that they will moisturise the skins (on show dogs and pets!) to ensure they do not get dry skin, or break out in black heads which can occur. Other breeders i know of also will clean the skin once a week to clear all the pores on the dogs. Failure by any breeder or owner to do this in a large number of environments can cause significant issues with the skin. Most of the owners of these dogs dedicate hours a day, and a large amount of money to care for their dogs. WELFARE is an issue first and foremost to the majority of breeders of ALL BREEDS!

    It is just preposterous to suggest that shaving a crested is a cruel or inhumane action. So you don't shave your legs? Trim any part of your bodies? Never get hair cuts or colours? Never have your children's hair cut? Wake up!

    Sadly there are some people in the dog show community who's action are not in the best interests of dogs. These people are very much in a minority. So if you have to target the cruelty that is occurring, do just that and target the CRUELTY subjected by specific people. The photo's you have in this post do not in any way show a crested in any form of pain or soreness! Nor do i see any mark, cut, scratch, burn, neglect or other mark or form of neglect to suggest any form cruelty!!! How do you know that the picture of the testicles is not a result of licking? I see no burn or mark to suggest neglect. Don't sit up on a soap box and tell us all how bad we are because of certain grooming techinques such as shaving! The welfare of our dogs, is first and foremost to the majority of breeders.

    What will be next for this group of PETA activists? Attempts to ban the scissoring of poodles, to ban the stripping of any wire coated breeds, to prevent the use of clippers on dogs? Where will this madness end? The answer to that is, it won't! These radicals will just continue until they have destroyed dog showing, and in the process many breed's around the world.

    1. UrbanCollieChick12 July 2013 at 21:46

      Moisturizing skin? Blackheadsa/ Breakouts? Yeah, THAT'S sort of trivial. But itching, sensitive skin, isn't this the sort of thing that leaves one prone to rashes and sunburn and the cancers that come with it. And let's not forget the dental issues that some of these dogs get.

      Humans evolved to be hairless, and it was out of our control. We also have sweat glands and other adaptations to match AND....get this. We kind of MISS the hair because we wear CLOTHES to keep warm when and where needed!!!!

      And one is a "goody two shoes" for having a problem with these animals? Wow. Goody two shoes. Mature.

      You don't have to belong to the wackos at PETA to see that continuing this bunch of genetic messes is cruelty at the biological level; all for a whimsical fancy. Can't be compared to humans. Can't. If you loved a dog you would breed it for the best health a dog can experience, and that includes giving it some freaking fur!!!

    2. I have a HHL, and he hasn't been shaved once in the years I've had him. He has blackheads, and has always had them. Before Telly I had a standard poodle mix - she had blackheads too but they were harder to see under all her hair.

      Telly is black, with black skin, which gets darker in the summer because he's out more. I've never known him to get a sunburn, he's never had a rash, and he's about the healthiest, most robust little tank of a dog I've ever had. He's missing about three pairs of teeth, and his canines on the bottom are curved, like little tusks.

      I've never shown a Chinese Crested but I used to have two Portugese Water Dogs that were shown. One finished as a champion in Europe, being shown in a lion cut. She was beautiful that way and I never saw any ill effect from her being clippered down close to the skin.

      I wouldn't say the Chinese Crested is a genetic mess - it's sure an unusual looking breed, but Cresties are generally healthy and long-lived. They are intelligent, affectionate, playful dogs, who are wonderful companions.

  25. Even if the crestie is shaved to meet standards in the show ring how is that different from preparing a poodle? They get parts shaved (almost to the point of hair-lessness) and you cant say those pom poms are how they naturally grow...Its just different breed different standard, and without the hours of brushing!
    I find this article to be one person's opinion instead of a well researched article which presents both aspects of the situation.

  26. Anon wrote: "Again, I reiterate there are ONLY TWO types of Crested (not three), the Hairless and the Powderpuff. The hairless merely come in varying degrees of hairlessness - it does not make it a separate type of dog."

    Thanks for this. Have corrected it.

  27. Shane
    I once tried an epilator on my legs. It was my choice. It HURT like hell and I haven't touched one since.
    You say that the pictures above do not show soreness. I totally disagree. Pete Wedderburn's photo clearly shows sore testicles.
    You ask whether Jemima has ever shaved her legs etc.
    May I suggest (if you are male) that you try shaving or epilating your own testicles, and then report back on the experience.

  28. I was thinking of a Crested for show as they are stunning little dogs with great attitude.
    Until the breeder showed me how to shave, cream and tape ears
    Didnt have one

  29. Viatecio said...
    Lyn, you say that you do not shave your dogs, and breed for "true hairless" types.Then again, the fact that they are shows that either you have not updated your website since you had your revelation of the practice of shaving, or you are not quite truthful in your words you have posted here.

    You are making a foolish assumption, I did not produce the hairy hairless dog. I purchased him, already an AKC champion, sight unseen on the sellers word that it had only a little body hair. I posted his photo as an educational tool for those who are unaware of how hairy some of the Champions can be.I do breed for hairlessness, and I don't shave HHL dogs for the show ring. You have never met me or been to my home and seen my dogs.Those who know me call me a purist. Don't make assumptions, they will make you look foolish.Perhaps you should do a little more investgation before you sound off.I have nothing to hide-LynB

  30. I have one final comment to make regarding this blog . I do beieve a little more research should of gone into it before it was published. I also feel using photos from someone's website without asking permission whether legal or not is not only inconsiderate, it is wrong. I also feel that the Chinese Crested breed is being ruined by the breeders of the hairy hairless. Fewer and fewer naturally hairless are being produced. It takes decades to breed out body hair once it has been introduced. Body hair in a hairless used to be the minority, and the hairy hairless ones were desexed and sold as pets. Now the naturally hairless are the minority. One day there will be no more of the exotic naturally hairless Chinese Crested. Excellerated extinction at the hands of Show breeders. I agree that many dogs are abused by the use of razors and dipilatory cremes. The skin is an organ and it does absorb the chemicals put on it. These cremes slathered on the entire body are not healthy. I have seen razor burned dogs. Razor burn is very pain ful. I have also seen dogs very carefully shaved that have no discomfort. BTW I have a lovely, healthy, naturally hairless dog, with pink testicles. NO chemicals, no shaving, no irritation, just very pink skin. Thank goodness his photo was not up on my site or he might be listed in this article as an abused dog. Many Cresteds also blush. that's right, their muzzles turn bright pink when excited.I don't agree with shaving a hairy dog to make it appear hairless. I refer to them as canine topiary. However, to paint all who sculpt their canine topiary with the black brush of abuse is irresponsible journalism.-Lyn B Gaea Plantation

  31. Ok, so I assumed that you bred the dog.

    Bad choice on my part. I apologize.

    But that still doesn't explain how and why the dog that is shown WITH HAIR in the one picture is shown in the next picture as a picture-perfect, show-winning specimen.

    SOMEONE had to take some type of hair-removing tool to the dog, be it a razor, hair removal cream, plucking/stripping (highly unlikely)...SOME WAY to remove that hair, and then someone ELSE had the audacity to show it and win as a True Hairless Chinese Crested.

    If it wasn't you, then why are they on your website if you are so set against the practice?

    As for the issue with poodles...yes, the dog is being turned into a Hairdresser's Dream, the perpetual My Little Pony. I'm not a fan of it, when other breeds are allowed to be shown in a coat that at least keeps the whole "dog" resemblance.

    The Chinese Crested is being advertised as a hairless breed, and being shown as so. Part of it is true, as the True hairless actually does come, straight from the birth sac, with the little furnishings on the head and feet. The other part is a lie, as the other dogs are subjected to hair removal in order to pass them off AS hairless specimens. Kinda like the Civil War spies who wore silver nitrate to pass themselves off as black...when they actually weren't...but they sure took in a lot of info because they looked convincingly black. Bad example, I apologize, but my brain is fried and my trademark is bad examples anyway, so there you go.

    While the poodle looks way over-the-top (I'd say "Stupid," but someone will get offended without even realizing that I'm not calling for a ban on the hideous clip...just expressing an opinion), it's not advertised as coming that way straight from the bitch, not is it advertised as hairless except for the little pompoms. People who consider the breed are told that it needs regular grooming and clipping, even if just a simple puppy cut, because of the hair-type fur.

    Just my thoughts on that.

  32. The breed was originally all natural (rather consistantly), and the standards the world over describe the true hairless and minimal grooming (which full body shaving and depilating is NOT). They cannot be compared to Poodles or Lowchens or any other 'hairdresser' breed, except by people trying to defend the practice of breeding incredibly hairy (and more glamorous in their opinion) dogs. The hairy fashion began out of a mania for creating dogs that looked like fluffy draft horses, and has frankly gotten out of hand. Many breeders do not know how it was before the 1990s, and how the breed was then, but that is not an excuse for not dealing with the issue as it has developed to this point.

  33. jenny stembridge7 January 2011 at 04:14

    I cant see how grooming practices have anything to do with the health of the breed. I have bred cresteds for 30 years, they are healthy and long lived. The gene for hairlessness is variable ie from total nakedness to hairy hairless. Just about all the dogs in the ring today and in the past have had some amount of hair removal, it is a show ring after all, and most crested would look quite scruffy if they went in natural. How about some other over groomed dogs being shown natural?? I am sure poodles, old english to name a couple would look really impressive without any grooming . This surely should be about health, not some sidetracking into grooming. The pink dog in photo didnt look to have sore testicles, just pink ones like the rest of him. Also to say a certain dog shows no sign of hair removal is quite ludicrous, all crested are prepared to some degree for the ring, and if done properly there will be no sign of hair removal!!! thats the whole point of it. Also I would like to point out that just because a dog has sparse cresting doesnt mean it has no body hair and visa versa, there are plenty of sparsely crested dogs that have the same hair all over, and some with lots of cresting who have little body hair. I have had judges think they are being clever by picking for first a dog they think has no body hair being totally wrong, just by amount of crest. Keep to breed health issues and stop being the grooming police, its just stupid, do something more constructive, its just ignorance of the breed and its genetics. Breeders want to breed dogs with hairless bodies and nice crests it just isnt that easy. But look back at old photos of cresteds from years ago and see what ugly , badly constructed dogs they were, but hey they were more hairless,

  34. I don't believe that the photo above clearly shows sore testicles.

    I have a very hairy spaniel lying next to me who has never been shaved, yet has two very bright pink and hairless testicles hanging out for all the world to see. How do you not know that that's how the dog's testicles normally are?

    I also agree with what LynB said regarding using someone else's personal photos without permission. It might be lawful, but it is inconsiderate and lacking in personal integrity, especially when the owner of those photos asks you to remove them from your site.

  35. "But look back at old photos of cresteds from years ago and see what ugly , badly constructed dogs they were, but hey they were more hairless"

    What an insulting thing to say, when dogs from kennels like Kojak, Debrita, Gingery, Mordor, and others had many lovely natural dogs. Even today there are plenty of equally ugly, poorly constructed hairy dogs!

    Today there is more consistent structure and worse body hair fault, whereas perhaps if you went back to before the 1970s you can say there were better natural hairless and less consistent structure. If anything that is in my opinion, 'breaking even' not 'improvement' in the modern dog. To say breed created by it's founders to be hairless has been improved by progressively losing it's primary breed trait is just laughable.

    Tolerating excessive shaving and hair removal creme use has given many people license to ignore proper hairlessness since it's easier to artificially fix than to naturally achieve. And yes, if you ask people who actually make an effort to reduce body hair, it IS possible to reduce the number of coated hairless in litters! That was common knowledge in the past! Tee fact it is harder now is a testament to people repeatedly breeding hair into their lines, so of course it becomes more common and harder to reduce! That is basic genetics!

    Just because people think hairier (and cobbier) dogs are 'prettier' doesn't change the fact that the standard and the breed founders set the true hairless as the ideal. Insulting the dogs and breeders of the past who worked hard to create the Hairless Crested is just the height of arrogance in my opinion. If you think their standard and their original vision for the breed was so inferior, then at least change the standard to reflect that rather than pretend to still respect it and claim the breed is 'hairless' when it is quickly becoming a single coated dog that gets a funny haircut for the show ring.

  36. And it's a fact that many people will pet out a true hairless, even if it has good structure, because 'it doesn't have enough furnishings'. That the true hairless is not desired in the show ring, not because of 'structure' but because of lack of 'glamour' cannot be denied, because if that was NOT the case then body hair would NOT have been steadily INCREASING in the breed for the past 20 years, there would be more balance the way it was in the 1980s. Simply looking at the dogs (and the standards) between then and now shows that balance has been lost more clearly than any amount of bickering over what is 'ugly' or 'prettier'. The historical evidence is there for anyone to see clearly.

  37. Why not just change the breed standard to one which accepts the dogs have varying degrees of hairiness and remove the need to wax, shave or clip the hair off.

    Breed healthy dogs, lose the obsession with making the dog look like a drawing of the breed standard.

    Thank you to the good breeders for breeding healthy animals, they don't need to shave the dogs, the breed standard just needs to accept them. Why home a hairy hairless as just a pet when its potentially a stunning healthy little dog which could pass on its genes.

    Human beings need to lose their obsession with purity. Dogs are a species, dog breeds are not. Lets not reduce the gene pool any more than necessary. Dog breed diversity is incredible, but shaving a dogs hair off which is potentially uncomfortable and results in sore areas is not welfare friendly. Let the hairy dogs be shown!

  38. "But look back at old photos of cresteds from years ago and see what ugly , badly constructed dogs they were, but hey they were more hairless"

    Gimme a break. You cannot breed 'good structure' without increasing the amount of hair? And you think Ms. Harrison is ignorant about genetics? Good structure is inherited, just like the amount of hair. Removing the true hairless from the gene pool because they are harder to finish in the ring has had the same result as removing heavily patterned Afghans from the gene pool (yes, these dogs are often petted out, as well) because they are harder to finish: TOO MUCH HAIR AND LOSS OF THE DIVERSITY IN COAT THAT WAS PRESENT IN THE ANCESTRAL TYPE. I'm sure that you can look at Cresteds over time and see the same thing as in Afghans (and probably most other coated breeds as well): a shift from a fairly even distribution of hairiness (or lack of it), a smooth curve, if you will, with very hairy and very not hairy dogs on either end of the curve, and a variety in between. Excluding any dog due to coat will remove genetic diversity, but it also has the effect of making it harder to breed for less coat if the breeder so chooses, simply because dogs with less coat are far fewer than hairy dogs. You have to go looking for those genes, you cannot simply assume that you will get a variety of coats in your dogs.

    The AKC standard for the Crested states "Grooming is minimal-consisting of presenting a clean and neat appearance." Is having to shave the dog, which is not 'minimal', to meet the standard an honest practice? Don't 'reputable' breeders pride themselves on 'breeding to the standard,' unlike all those disreputable breeders out there who don't?

  39. The rise of the HHL Crested is pointed to as a warning by Xolo people. That alone says enough:

    But if some people want to pat themselves on the back for how they've 'improved' a hairless breed by making a quality hairless dog the exception rather than the rule, go ahead.

    We can only hope the breeders of the Xolo and Peruvian Hairless, breeds which share the SAME hairless gene (down to even getting H-pattern dogs on rare occasions) will maintain the integrity of their hairless genetics and not also begin to normalize the practice of artificial hair removal as they gain popularity in competition showing.

  40. I must comment on this: "Indeed, the true hairless is usually pretty obvious in the ring because of this – and also because of the primitive dentition that comes with the hairless gene. Certainly, a judge only has to look in the dog's mouth to tell the difference between a dog carrying the hairless gene and a shaved powderpuff (which sadly does happen)."

    There is no link between the degree of hair and amount of theets/dentition in a hairless dog like many seems to belive.

    Yes the genetics that cause hairlessness CAN have an influence on dentition on a hairless, like missing teeth and the quality of the teeth, but there is nothing that supports that a hairy hairless have better dentition than a true hairless.

    Old hearsay says that "the more hair on hairless the better teeth", or vice versa like in this article.
    This is just a myth and there is nothing in the genetick that supports this.

    You can have true hairless dogs with complete dentition, I'm to stupid to be able to add photos in the blogg but this link is to a almost true hailrless dog that have complete dentition with big strong teeth.


    this is a link to the same dog unshaved:


    and you can have extremly hairy hairless with awful or no dentition.

    When I first got the breed in 2000, the dentition in general were bad, and a committee i EU - don't remember the name, treathend to ban the breed due to poor dentition.

    Breeders took this very seriously, and started to try improving it, and we have succeded quite well.

    To see a hairless crested with full dentition is no longer an exception in the breed.

    But even if the hairless have complete dentition, it is very easy to separate the hairy hairless or shaved puffs from a crested with correct amount of bodyhair, you don't even have to be smart to be able too, but judges still makes huge mistaakes in this area over and over again.

    You can also have cresteds with low amount of bodyhair but still have good furnishing.

    This female have minimal amount of bodyhair, but still very good furnishing:

    and when she was younger she had a total of 38 teeth, but smaller and not so strong as the other dog I linked to.

    The breeders that can have two thouhts in mind at the same time can produce cresteds without lots of hair on the body, good furnising and complete/very good dentition, but you have to care.

    The comment on mony spent on clothes is just plane stupid.

    But yes there are problems with to hairy cresteds and breeders/owners that removes it in a way that hurts the dog.

    And I think it is av very good thing to have focus on this issue, to educate judges and breedes, but please do your homework, so you know what you are taking about, and not just spreads old myths.

  41. Thank you for this article of which most I will say "could be true" and some I know to be true. I left my beloved cresteds years ago when the true hairless could not compete against the fuller furnished hairs.

    I now own one of the oldest breeds known to man WHO is hairless by natural selection rather than manmade selection
    The Xoloitzcuintle

  42. Pai, honestly, there is no doubt in my mind that, in a choice between good structure and "correct" hairlessness, someone who loves the dogs and cares about health first of all--as Jemima claims to--will choose good structure, every time.

    It's quite true that dogs shown in the ring 20+ years ago were more consistently true hairless. What you're leaving out is that culling of powderpuffs and hairy hairless also used to be common practice. Because people had grossly over-simplified notions of the genetics involved, producing a powderpuff or hairy hairless was considered an embarrassment, and the embarrassment was eliminated.

    You cite Gingery favorably, which is amusing given your position, because Gingery was a major mover and shaker in including the powderpuff in the breed and in the show ring, and is a major advocate for breeding for good dentition in the hairless--even at the cost of a little extra hair.

    The Chinese Crested has benefited enormously over the last three decades from ring pressure away from extremes rather than toward extremes as in so many breeds. While I'd happily agree that a really hairy hairless should be petted out rather than shown, no one has yet stated any reason, much less a coherent one, why shaving a moderately hairy hairless is any different from shaving a poodle or Lowchen into their characteristic haircuts.

    Waxing and epilators would be cruel--if they were being used. I've never heard of any breeder doing it or recommending it, and this is a breed in which grooming tips and techniques are shared quite freely.

    The pictures offered up of "very sore-looking dogs" appear to be pictures of pink-skinned dogs. This is quite a normal skin color in Cresteds; my own Powderpuff, beside me on the couch while I type, has the same very pink skin under her full double coat.

    BTW, no, you can't use a picture freely just because it's on the internet. Copyright applies to images on the internet just as much as in a book. Linking is one thing; copying and using for your own purposes (and not for criticism and review of the image or the work it appeared in) is something else entirely and is not "fair use."

    And since your blog is a blogger site and hosted in the USA--you might want to do some quick reading up on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. You're using Lyn's pictures and another breeder's video with out permission, and you're not on the solid legal ground you imagine you are.

    BTW, yes, the other breeder has found this and is not pleased, so it's possible you'll hear from her.

  43. Fascinating how the Xolo people managed it, then, since apparently their dogs being true hairless means they must have sacrificed health and structure. I know many Crestie people refuse to admit to learn about how both breeds share a common origin and genetics, but the fact is that any claims that to achieve a natural hairless dog requires sacrificing soundness is proven false by the plain existence of the Xolo, regardless of the historical revisions and excuses used by people who prefer the modern artificial hairless.

    The fact that is has come down to 'show quality structure vs. naturally hairless dogs' is the result of the priorities of breeders over the last 20 years to ignore body hair since it's easier to artificially achieve. Any 'luxuriant' breed trait that is not purposely protected and bred for will be slowly lost by the simple fact that it's natural for any trait to devolve to the generic 'median' type if that trait is not valued and preserved. A single coated, shaved dog is not what is described by the standards the world over, nor was it the ideal set forth by the breed founders; two things which are inarguable facts.

    If the majority modern show breeders consider the breed's original natural state and type as worth sacrificing for personal preference and fashion's sake, that's their choice. It wouldn't be the first time a breed has only been preserved by a minority (or lost all together) while the show ring styles change it radically into something unrecognizable in the name of subjective 'improvement'.

  44. Also, I am amused by the two paradoxical statements that are generally held at the same time by people defending the evolution of the breed into an artificial hairdresser dog -- apparently, it is nearly 'impossible' to breed consistantly natural hairless dogs of quality since their genetics are so 'chaotic and mysterious and impossible to understand' (despite the existance of two other sound breeds with the same hairless gene), yet at the same time, hairiness was apparently 'bred on' because it's claimed that body hair solves every flaw in structure, dentition and health!

    Which is it, an accident of nature (even though the breed was never dominated by hairy hairless individuals until it's rise as a competitive show breed in the late 80s and 1990s) or was it a 'morally superior' breeding direction undertaken by people who knew better than those ignorant, naive breed founders who wrote the standards? Because it can't be both at the same time.

  45. The hairlessness of the Cresteds, Xolos, and Inca Orchid dogs has its origins in the same gene--but simply looking at the hair they do have will indicate to anyone paying attention that the genetics can't be, quite, identical.


    The Chinese Crested is a long-haired dog--the only "hairless" dog that is.

    Furthermore, for all your happy snideness on the subject, purebred dog breeding from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century actually was dominated by people disconnected from pragmatic and empirical knowledge of genetics that stemmed from breeding mostly dogs who still had substantial populations doing their original job, and not yet possessing the science of genetics that became possible in the later 20th century.

    That's why such travesties as the sweet, friendly, loving, and probably doomed Cavalier King Charles breed, based on just four individuals, exist.

    Eliminating all "too-hairy" individuals, by the definitions of people who elevated hairlessness over all other considerations, and explicitly accepted crappy dentition in the hairless dogs, was not good for the breed. Accepting the variety of amounts of hair--not breeding specifically for more hair, just not eliminating a healthy, well-made individual based solely on amount of hair--has led to an improvement in overall health and life expectancy.

    You won't have hairy individuals being presented if hair is regarded as such an embarrassment that the dog has to be eliminated. And ceasing to eliminate those individuals will cause an automatic increase in the number of relatively hairy individuals seen--not because more are being born, but simply because they are not being culled at birth.

    It's amazing to me to see Jemima Harrison and her fans, supposedly motivated by outrage at pedigree dog breeding because of the breeding for extremes of a particular appearance without regard for the health of the dogs, have such a conniption fit over a breed that isn't breeding for extremes and isn't focusing on a single aesthetically high-value physical trait to the disregard of the health of the dogs.

    Is health supposed to be paramount, or is a strict adherence to a written statement of appearance paramount? You can't have it both ways, Pai.

  46. So change the standard, and stop claiming that the breed idea is a 'hairless dog' when it's been changed by modern priorities into a 'unique shaving pattern'. It's the continued deception that rankles people (and the claim, yet to be proven by anything anywhere except people defending the change in the breed, that more body hair on dogs with the FOXI3 gene improves health, something proved false by the Xolo/PIO).

    Cresteds were crossed to get the lonhaired gene, that has no affect on the hairless gene since it overwrites short and long coated genes in the exact same way. Identical. HHL (H-pattern) Xolos and PIOs are even born, though they are not bred from, so they remain rare the way the HHL was rare before the fad for furnishings took over.

    Burning the coat off of dogs with chemicals, and breeding extremely hairy dogs that require that treatment to be 'show presentable' is the welfare issue here. As is the practice of breeding hairy to hairy for generations until a real hairless becomes an anomaly because the trait is not bred for, since so many lines produce majority coated pups (which can get their shaving regimen started at as early as 3 weeks old, since otherwise they'd be indistinguishable from the Puff pups until their teeth came in). And I have talked to people who admit right out, they almost never see dogs with significant hairless patches on their bodies in their litters -- and they see nothing wrong with that, since it's Nair, not Nature, than rules the show ring.

    Interesting, how even though the coated hairless is supposed to have improved teeth (regardless of the fact that HHls with crap teeth exist, as well as THL with perfect bites), that when one of these 'extreme hairy' pups is born, or someone cannot tell if a dog is hairless or puff (two distinct varieties?), people suggest they 'look at the dentition'.

    Show breeders breed what wins, and that's the HHL. People prefer how the HHL looks, and that's what gets perpetuated, even as breeders are forced to redefine the english language to claim 'hairless' means just 'single coated' so they can keep pretending they are breeding to the standard, and that body hair amounts are not something that matters in breeding decisions.

    And I'm not so naive to actually believe that people who have built their entire lives around promoting, winning shows with, and perpetuating coated hairless dogs would ever have their opinions changed by anything said by the minority of people who still believe actual hairlessness is an important trait in a hairless breed. As I have learned the hard way in learning about the show world, the reality of a dog loses when a glamorous show ring illusion/exaggeration can be perfected instead.

  47. Sources on the hairless gene:

    Illustration of the behavior of the FOXI3 mutation

    See how the gene operates, by basically deleting a section of the 'Puff/Coated' genome. This is universal to every breed with the FOXI3 gene -- the type of hair is irrelevant; it gets deleted the same way and in the same amount, whether the dog is a HHL or THL. Residual hair on a hairless is the result of something else besides the basic hairless gene, obviously, and is currently being studied by the University of Bern.

    R. Robinson's research into the inheritance of the hairless gene

    This paper was published in 1985, right before the period when body hair stopped being selected against, and started being ignored/selected for by increasing numbers of show breeders. Notice the description of the residual hair considered 'typical' in the breed, and the ratio of hairless to coated pups in litters. Also look at that 'unsound' dog used to illustrate the article!

    The amount of cognitive dissonance and denial that is required to rewrite Crested history as anything other than a rapid slide into a fashion for exaggerated furnishings is really something else. People are free to breed whatever type of dog they like, but at least lets be honest and not try to puff up personal taste for heavy furnishings as something more morally substantive than it really is.

  48. To those who say that depilitory cremes don't harm the dog...those cremes are generally meant for human use-not canine- and I would be very interested to see a study that says that they aren't harmful to the dog.

    There are very many things meant for humans that are toxic for dogs. The idea of dogs being subjected to waxing and depilitory cremes is bad enough without the creme actually harming the dog too. Even things that aren't seriously harmful from one or two uses can have serious effects long term.

  49. Once again your absolute disdain of the purebred dog scene and your obsession with grasping at anything to further your cause is apparent.
    To all those Breeders and Exhibitors who spend a lifetime treasuring their chosen breeds and striving to ensure the health and welfare of the dogs is number one, keep going, you have supporters who will not be fooled by the propaganda machine that this woman fuels.

  50. I have just got a hairless crested who has fine, sparse hair over her back and legs. I haven't chosen to shave her but if I did I would do so with a electric shaver designed for the purpose. I can't see how this would harm my dog and I would do so purely to make her look more attractive. Why does this differ from brushing a dogs coat? My other full coat dog breeds all hate being brushed and combed or clipped but it has to be done to prevent matting. Do something about the terrible problems in Cavaliers or to stop German Shepherds' crippled gait and stop looking for problems where there are none!

  51. I'd like to hear some more on this subject from the author... I would like to know how she proposes that Nora is prepared. So, please feel free to enlighten us. Nora, according to your own assumptions, is a HHL, correct..? Lets see how 'concerned' you are about the breeds welfare. Let me guess, you won't comment further?

  52. Is this normal practice?

  53. Oh Kate Your day has been ruined as user of video has removed it Good on them as all this blog is interested in is condemning in way it can
    Shame you did not spend as much time as you do on here choosing a breed without problems and also from an ethical breeder. Maybe then you would not be soooo bitter Fools and money are easily parted

  54. Nice try, Anon. But I believe Kate's dog was brought from a top show-breeder who at one point, if not now, was on the breed club health committee.

    As for the video.. interesting how those that denude their Cresties get all shy when they're highlighted.

    For those who missed it, the video showed a wriggling Crestie pup being shaved not just with an electric razor, but also then straight afterwards wet-shaved with a disposable razor to get the dog really smooth. It then helpfully showed people how to tape the pup's ears. The end result looked rather like this:


  55. It's OK

    they forgot to remove this video on their website. Luckily this crestie isn't struggling as much.

  56. I am disgusted with this article and the narrow minded half educated person that has written it. Firstly in all my years as a breeder I have never seen a powder puff in the ring posing as a hairless, and the obvious give away would be double coated furnishings, not the dentition the defentition of dentition in the hairless, states and i quote OFTEN THE HAIRLESS HAVE PRIMATIVE DENTITION.....NOT ALWAYS!!!!!!! (basically certain moths are deemed acceptable by the breed standard and not hairless must lack teeth)

    Also as you said there are not three types of cresteds they are hairless or powder puffs, end of!! I do not agree with doing anything to a dog that hurts it in anyway unless medical reasons cause for obviously, But I also not really see that removing sparse body hair with a razor is cruel,no more so than clipping a face or stripping a terrier or backcombing an english sheep dog, or shaving poms into poodles! These are happy healthy dogs, that have personalities not found in many other breeds, I would concentrate your naming and shaming efforts on dogs bred with health problems that hamper a good quality of life instead of a breed that you quite obvioulsy for your own biased personal reasons just do not like.

    Breeders working inside kennel club guidelines work bloody hard to ensure their dogs get the best of the best and dont think twice about shelling out for the cost of a jumper should the breed dictate.

    obvioulsy as withall breeds some are not as good as others and some maybe not cared for as well, but as i said AS WITH ALL BREEDS and ALL SPECIES kept worldwide. Finding the odd video or picture is not proof that the breed as whole are doing anything wrong.

    As bluntly aspossible GET A LIFE,and stop irritating everyone elses!

    Oh and by the way I would love tobe a fly on the wall to see Tom of vanitonas reaction if you even insinuated for a moment that his dogs are badly bred or badly treated, both Nora and Bruno are excellent specimins of the breed and there show winning history is more proof of perfection than your arrogant digging to find imperfection.


    1. Brilliantly said- standard poodle and a Chinese creasted powder puff :)

  57. Shaving dogs for the show ring is cruelty?

    My husband shaves his face daily as I do my underarms and legs. I certainly don't feel pain or suffering in doing so nor does my powder puff crested when I use trimmers to shave up her face. I guess humans all grow out their pits and legs or sport full beards?

    My border collie and aussie don't love it when when I use the trimmers or scissors to remove hair out the bottoms of their paws but that bit of *gasp* grooming lets them enjoy hikes and walks without stopping every 3 minutes to pull snow balls from their feet.

    My crested has learned to stand nicely to have her face and paws shaved for similar reasons. Her face stays cleaner and yes, it just looks nice.

    I echo the sentiments of all those before me who have said critcizing this remarkably healthy, long lived breed over HAIR CUTS or the fact that some dogs have more body hair than others is ridiculous.

    In my research and experience with this breed I have never heard of waxing or hurting the dogs with hair removal or grooming. It is certainly not common practice. Making the dogs sore or their skin irritated before showing would be a completely counter productive.

    Cresteds live DOUBLE the lives of most giant breeds, are well suited to both performance sport (agility, obedience, tracking, freestyle, nosework, to name a few) and family life. This breed generally enjoys polite children and make excellent companions. They are better cut out for living in the modern world than most.

    I think you've really barked up the wrong tree with this one.

  58. I don't see anything wrong with that hairless dogs balls. My hairless looked the same before he was neutered, and was never shaved down there, because no hair would grow.

  59. The picture was taken by a vet who was horrified at how sore the dog's testicles looked. As it's perfectly obvious, this dog is not a true hairless.

  60. its so funny that people here from show ring actually saying its ok to shave ,wax and use hair removing cream on a dog .and calling other people ignorant.
    people who think their dog is happy shaving and extreme grooming are those who humanize the dog and create massive problem in behaviour .but funny enough they dont care jemmia might say anything they not going to listen

  61. En mi mas humilde opinión, no entiendo que a un peludo sin pelo de orejas caídas, lo depilen para exposición, dado que no está contemplado en el standar de la raza del crestado sin pelo, Hairless, porque sus orejas deben ser erguidas sin ninguna contemplación. Por consecuencia no entiendo el motivo del rapado...Y por otro lado viendo la depilación y la cara de dolor de ese pobre perro que está rosado de la irritación, y esa cara denota que no está para nada feliz, cuando son perritos alegres , y con una mueca de picardía y viveza que al ver esa mueca de sufrimiento rompe el corazón!...YO LE PREGUNTARÍA A MAS UNO QUE AQUÍ INCREPA ÉSTE ART. CÓMO SE SENTIRÍAN CON LOS TESTÍCULOS AL ROJO TAL COMO TIENE ESE POBRE ANIMALITO????

  62. I saw on this video, that people use epilator on this breed I got terrified and searched that if it is done by every breeder to show their dogs than found this site and got more terrified to learn that they even wax :'(

  63. Maybe you should go to a few shows, because I think you'll find that this information is incorrect.....

  64. Oh dear, thanks for giving us some insight into some of the problems, I've always thought they were very odd looking dogs!

  65. I shave my hairy hairless's back and snout. This is not some horrible process for her, though she could do without my shaving her snout -- same as she could do without being made to sit next to me when I'm eating on my lap on my couch (instead of licking the edge my plate). As for the back shaving, when I do it in the bathtub -- shaving the hairy line down from her shoulderblades to her tail with a razor -- she seems to enjoy it. I shampoo her, put this wonderful doggie conditioner on first, and then just shave her in gentle strokes. The really nice thing about it is that people think she is truly beautiful when she's shaved and she gets tons of attention, which she loves. Of all these people here sneering about crimes against doggies, how many of you take your dog to a groomer and how many of you think that's fun for them? To be away from you? To have some stranger putting them in water and shaving and trimming them? I shave my wee doggie and home and probably do similar things to her muzzle (with a Wahl Peanut tiny shaver - and when she was smaller, with one of those ladies' eyebrow shavers) that a groomer does to your bigger dog. But she's home with me, and I coo to her while I'm grooming her and hold her and love her and kiss her.

    I have the claim to the most kissed dog in California, I'm sure. And we got her from breeders who made us fill out a 10-page document and have several hour-long conversations with them, plus allow them to talk to our vet and friends of ours to make sure we were good and responsible people. Of course, it didn't hurt that they saw a photo of my boyfriend babysitting my late Yorkie by letting her sleep in his sweater, marsupial style, with a big movie clamp holding the sweater up to his chest to make a little hammock for her.

    Don't assume that grooming to the breed's standard, which is why I do my best to do (as just a pet owner and not a person showing a dog), is some sort of abuse. All dogs should be as "abused" as my little loved doggie is. PS I write books and a column for a living, and my dog spends much of the day, every single day, in a little Kate Fox furry cup bed in my lap.