History of the Chinese Crested Dog

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History of the Chinese Crested Dog
History of the Chinese Crested Dog

A general description of the Chinese Corydalis, the version of its appearance and possible ancestors, the popularization, recognition and characteristics of the breed, its appearance in the cinema and at competitions, the current position of the species. The Chinese crested dog, or Chinese crested dog, is one of the most unique breeds in the world. It originated in China and was not seen in the West until the 1800s. These canines have two varieties of coats. Some with long hair, known as "puffs". Other "hairless" specimens are dogs with a hairless body and a special crest of hair at the top of the head and neck, tip of the tail and legs.

Although they are physically different (in terms of coat), both types are regularly born in the same litter, and it is believed that downy individuals cannot be eliminated as they carry the gene that is responsible for hairlessness.

White-eyed Chinese Crested dogs look unusual and regularly fall into the top of the ugliest dogs in the world. They are also known by other names: chinese crested, chinese ship dog, chinese junk dog, turkish hairless dog, chinese hairless dog, chinese hairless, and world’s ugliest dog.

Versions of the origin of the Chinese crested dog

Chinese crested hen running

Little is known about the pedigree of the chinese crested dog, as the breed was created long before organized records of dog breeding appeared. In addition, Chinese breeders have traditionally recorded less information about dog breeding in writing than their European counterparts. At the same time, many of the facts illuminated and popular today regarding the pedigree of this species are in fact completely speculative.

It is known that Chinese Crested dogs were used on ships in China at some time. It is believed that the captains and crews kept these little dogs on board primarily to kill rats, and also to communicate during long sea voyages. Some sources claim that the history of the breed goes back to the 1200s. Over the centuries, after the Mongol conquest, the Chinese capital became extremely resistant to external contacts and influences.

However, this changed as a result of the beginning of European studies. By the late 1800s, America, Japan, and several European countries had established regular trade and political relations with China. Westerners were very intrigued by the appearance of the Chinese crested dog, which was very different from the familiar standard breeds. Since this species is found in China, it became known as the Chinese Crested Dog.

Most experts agree that the breed did not originate in China. There are several reasons for this mistrust. The main version is that these dogs differ significantly from other famous Chinese or Tibetan breeds such as Shar Pei, Pekingese and Tibetan Spaniel. It's not just the hairless trait that makes this species stand out. It also has significant structural differences.

However, with hindsight, it is known that there have been many hairless dog species in the tropics since ancient times. The population of these lands appears to have had contact with Chinese merchant ships. Of the canines native to these areas, almost all are similar to the Chinese Crested dog not only in their structure, but also in their hairlessness. Of course, the strongest reason for the assumption that the Chinese crested dog is not native to China is that the breed was never known on the mainland. Rather, she had to do with merchant ships from these places.The crews of the ships were not only associated with other nations, but were also the first of the few Chinese to do so for the first time.

Ancient China was considered one of the first economic powers in the world to have merchant ships that regularly stopped throughout Southeast Asia - the islands that now make up Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Islamic lands and the coast of Africa. Despite the fact that the actual historical versions lean in favor of the Spanish galleons and European explorers, the largest wooden ships ever built and sailing were Chinese. In recent years, a growing body of evidence suggests that it was most likely the Chinese who discovered Australia and America in the early 1400s before the Europeans.

There is even a belief that the Chinese Crested Dog is a descendant of the hairless canines common in East Africa, known at the time to Europeans as African Hairless Dogs, African Hairless Terriers or Abyssinian Sand Terriers. Before their renaissance as a "Chinese product," English, Dutch, Portuguese explorers and traders described these dogs for several centuries, although few of them were brought to Europe alive.

These species were last seen in the 1800s and are most likely extinct. However, in museums, there are several surviving specimens (stuffed animals). These specimens show canines that are almost identical to the hairless breeds from America. It is known that the Chinese were in regular contact with the coast of East Africa and could well have acquired the ancestors of Chinese crested dogs there. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support this theory.

In addition, Abyssinia is an outdated name for Ethiopia, a country with little or no contact with China. If such species were from an Abyssinian area, it is less likely that they are the ancestors of the Chinese crested dog. But, in these times, Europeans often did not accurately name "something" or "someone" brought from Africa. Almost nothing is known about the origins of the African hairless dog, and it is equally possible that the Chinese brought the breed to the African continent and not vice versa.

In addition, the behavioral characteristics of the species are most likely not described, which would be very useful in determining the relationship. The final reason to doubt the African origin of the Chinese Crested Dog is that it is highly resistant to diseases such as the distemper. And, this disease would be fatal for other species from Africa if they were imported to the West, for example, for the Basenji.

Possible ancestors of the Chinese crested dog

Chinese crested hen on a leash

Reconsidering the possibility that the Chinese have discovered America, recent genetic testing has led researchers to conclude that the Chinese Crested Dog and the Xoloitzcuintle may be related. It is unclear whether this relationship is the result of actual kinship or through the development of the same genetic mutation that causes hairlessness.

The Peruvian Inca Orchid, another ancient hairless breed from America, is also believed to be related to the Xoloitzcuintle. Unlike the African Hairless Dog, the records of these two species date back centuries, to the earliest days of the Spanish conquest. In addition, archaeological evidence suggests that both rocks may be over 3,000 years old.

There is another highly controversial theory that the Chinese reached American shores in the 1420s, although they did not maintain further contact after the initial visit. It is possible that the Chinese sailors, after visiting Peru or Mexico, took on board their ships these unique hairless dogs. However, it has yet to be proven that this nation actually visited America at the time.In addition, the wool varieties of both the Peruvian Inca Orchid and the Xoloitzcuintle are very different from the Chinese Crested Downy Dog.

At various points in history, data on hairless dogs from Thailand and Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka, also come through. Since both countries have a much closer relationship with China, it is more likely that the Chinese Crested Dog originated in one of these regions. However, little is known about these hairless species other than that they are now likely extinct. Therefore, it is impossible to say exactly what kind of relationship, if any, these species may have with the chinese crested dog.

Popularization and history of recognition of the Chinese crested dog

Chinese crested hen with medals and cups

Wherever Chinese sailors acquired such dogs for the first time, they presented them on American and European territory. The first pair, the chinese crested dog, to appear in Europe arrived in England in the mid-1800s for a zoological exhibition. Works of art from the same period show such dogs, indicating that the variety was well known in that area even before it was established.

In 1880, a New Yorker named Ida Garrett became interested in the breed and began keeping and displaying it. In 1885, the Chinese Crested Dog was first exhibited at the Westminster Kennel Club, causing a huge explosion of emotions. The species survived a short period of scarcity during the rest of the century, and almost completely disappeared due to the outbreak of the First World War.

Ida Garrett never stopped working with the breed, and in the 1920s she met Debra Woods, who shared her passion for the Chinese Crested dog. The woman spoke in detail about her program of raising representatives of the species in the 1930s. Her Crest Haven kennel was fully operational by the late 1950s. In 1959, a fancier founded the American hairless dog club to act as a registration service for the breed. Debra will maintain the breed book until her death in 1969.

Jo Ann Orlik from New Jersey took over her work. Unfortunately, in 1965, the American Kennel Club (AKC) completed the registration of Chinese Crested dogs due to lack of sufficient numbers, national interests and a parenting club for the breed. Prior to this period, the chinese crested dog was placed in the "miscellaneous" class. When these canines were rejected by the AKC, only 200 were recorded. For a number of years, it looked as though the species might disappear entirely, despite the dedicated work of Ida Garrett and Debra Woods.

Around the same time that Debra Woods was running her kennel, stripper and entertainer Gypsy Rosa Lee discovered the Chinese Crested Dog. Her sister took a Chinese crested dog from an animal shelter in Connecticut and later gave it to Lee. Rosa became interested in the breed and eventually became its breeder. She included this extraordinary animal in her performances. She should be thanked more than anyone else for promoting the variety throughout the country and the world.

This is a testament to the quality of the work done by Debra Woods and Gypsy Rose Lee. Almost all members of the species worldwide can be traced back to one or both of the lines of these breeders. In 1979, amateurs founded the Chinese crested club of America (CCCA). Through the club, people wanted to promote and protect the breed. Their main goal was to increase the population of representatives throughout the country and again win the right to register them with the AKC. Members of the organization received the records kept by Jo Ann Orlik. The CCCA worked tirelessly to regain its position in the AKC and in 1991 the variety was added to the "toy group". The United Kennel Club (UKC) followed the AKC leader in 1995.

Features of the Chinese Crested Dog

The appearance of the Chinese crested

The Chinese crested dog, as well as the Xoloitzcuintle and Peruvian Inca Orchid, have long been used in genetic research because of their unique gene trait, hairlessness. These canines are especially useful in such investigations, since most of the inherited traits are difficult to identify immediately. In an extremely simplified form, each trait is due to a pair of genes, one from each parent. The researchers concluded that the form of hairlessness found in these three breeds is the dominant trait, and therefore only one hairless gene is needed to create hairless dogs.

To have hair, a dog must have two copies of the powderpuff gene. However, having two repetitions of the naked gene is fatal before birth. Individuals with such heredity often die during the stage of intrauterine development. This means that hairless Chinese crested dogs are heterozygous for hairless dogs - they have one hairless gene and one hairless one.

Due to inheritance rules, when two hairless Chinese crested dogs cross, one in four puppies will be homozygous for a hairless one and will die perinatally, two will be heterozygous for a hairless one, and one with a powderpuff gene. That is, in a litter there will always be about one downy version for every two hairless ones.

The appearance of the Chinese Crested dog in films and competitions

Two chinese crested

While many Chinese crested dog enthusiasts will tell you how beautiful their pets are, most observers find it the ugliest of all the other hairless species. This species has become a regular winner in ugly canine contests and almost certainly holds the record for the most titles. Perhaps the most famous champion at such events is the dog named "Sam". He was crowned the "Ugliest Dog in the World" title three times in a row, from 2003 to 2005. Unfortunately, the pet passed away before he could defend his title for the fourth time.

The unique appearance and extraordinary appearance, often perceived as "ugliness", have made Chinese crested dogs a regular performer of roles in Hollywood films in recent years. This breed has appeared in films such as Cats and Dogs, Cats vs. Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore, One Hundred and Two Dalmatians, Hotel for Dogs, Marmaduke, New York Moments and How to lose a boyfriend in ten days”, as well as the TV show“Ugly Betty”.

Today, members of the species, especially the hairless variety, have become popular in the creation of designer dogs. The Chinese Crested is most commonly crossed with Chihuahuas, resulting in the name Chi-Chi.

The current situation of the Chinese crested dog

Photo of the Chinese Corydalis

Despite the backlash that many people experience when they first see a Chinese crested dog, the breed is gaining a loyal following wherever it goes. Although most consider her appearance to be ugly, these dogs have a unique charm that attracts fans of the variety. As a result, the popularity of the Chinese Crested dog has steadily increased since the 1970s, especially among those breeders who want to have a unique pet. In recent years, such dogs have even become quite fashionable.

In 2010, the Chinese Crested Dog was ranked 57th out of 167 of the complete breed list in terms of AKC registration. This situation contributes to an increase in the livestock of the variety. But less than 50 years ago it was eliminated from the AKC registration lists due to its rarity and small number. Such pets, to the great surprise of the audience, appear from time to time in agility and obedience competitions. However, the vast majority of Chinese crested dogs in the United States of America are companion animals. This position would almost certainly be preferred by such dogs to another occupation.

More about the Chinese Crested in the video below:

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