Chinese cresteds are among the most unusual-looking small dogs: and that is saying something, given the immense variety that exists within the canine world! They come in two distinct sub-sets; the hairless and the ‘powder-puff’. Any litter can contain specimens of both types, so both are classified as Chinese crested, regardless of whether they have a coat or not. The powder-puff has a long coat all over, with longer tufts in the areas that the hairless variety have their only patches of hair, namely, on the head and neck (similar to a horses mane, almost), on the feet and ankles and on the tail.
Sadly, many people do not even know that there is a coated version of the Chinese crested and some breeders ‘bucket’, or kill off shortly after birth, any powder-puff puppies, claiming that they are less popular and therefore less valuable. This practise may very well soon be shown to be a mistake: each dog carries one hairless and one coated gene (hence the ability for dogs of either type to be born in a litter), but should any animal have two hairless genes, this always proves fatal… Killing off the coated offspring could dramatically reduce the breeding pool from which healthy dogs of both types can be reared, leading to inbreeding with all its associated genetic issues.