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Chinese Crested: Chic, Hairless and Original Toy Dogs

Origin
The Chinese Crested dog, a breed of paradoxes, is a creature of ancient lineage and geographical mystery. Despite its name, the breed’s origins are not definitively Chinese. Some believe it hails from Africa, while others argue for a Mexican genesis. What is certain is that these dogs were maritime voyagers, companions to sailors who relied on their rat-catching prowess to maintain hygiene and health aboard ships. The Chinese Crested’s journey from African or Mexican hairless dogs to the dainty toy breed we know today is a testament to human influence, breeding them down to size and refining their features for the laps of luxury.

Temperament
The Chinese Crested is a study in contrasts: alert yet sensitive, playful yet poised. Owners describe them as ‘Velcro dogs’ for their tendency to stick close to their human counterparts, craving affection and interaction. They are known for their sweet-tempered nature, making them excellent therapy dogs, and their playful spirit never tires of engaging with children or other animals. However, their sensitivity requires a gentle approach; harsh words can leave lasting impressions on these tender-hearted companions.

Appearance
The Chinese Crested comes in two varieties: the Hairless, with its smooth skin adorned with tufts of hair on the head, tail, and ankles, and the Powderpuff, sporting a full coat of soft, silky fur. Standing 11 to 13 inches tall and weighing a mere 10–13 pounds, they are fine-boned and elegant, with almond-shaped eyes and expressive, erect ears. Their skin and coat can present in a myriad of colors, reflecting the breed’s diverse genetic tapestry.

Health and Care
A Chinese Crested’s lifespan ranges from 13 to 18 years, with proper care being paramount to their longevity. The Hairless variety requires sunscreen to prevent burns and moisturizer to keep their skin supple, while the Powderpuff needs regular grooming to maintain its silky coat. Dental care is crucial, especially for the Hairless, who may have dental peculiarities. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are the cornerstones of their well-being.

Fun Facts
The Chinese Crested breed is not without its quirks. They have been companions to the famous, from sailors to burlesque performers, and have even warmed the beds of the infirm in ancient times. Their unique dental structure, the Hairless variety’s susceptibility to sunburn, and their graceful, prancing movement add to the breed’s charm and mystique.

In conclusion, the Chinese Crested is a breed that embodies elegance and eccentricity. Their storied past, endearing temperament, striking appearance, and the care they require make them a fascinating subject for any dog enthusiast or potential owner. Whether you’re drawn to the sleek lines of the Hairless or the fluffy allure of the Powderpuff, the Chinese Crested is sure to captivate and enchant.

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