Powder Puffs are the True Chinese Crested Breed!

Falca: a complete hairy hairless CC. Single coated very feathery

I said this in an earlier post, but it is worth repeating in a headline. To say the Powder Puff(PP) is an offshoot of the Chinese Crested  (CC) is simply not true beyond the 25% expected PP (hh) puppies in a Hh x Hh litter.. The Powder Puff CC version breeds 100% true to itself. The Powder Puff CC version is stable. It is the platform unto which the Hh gene can be cobbled, with varying degrees of success. Success is counted as the pups with no body hair and fancy long hair on the head, feet and tail. The ones that are too hairy are discriminated against by the breed standard. The ones with too wispy hair are likewise penalized. The CC hairless breeder can count on having pet quality pups based on the pattern of baldness alone. I have heard that some breeders shave to get the amount of hairiness down to looking like the Breed standard. In addition, the complaint goes, the judges like the fuller hair of the hairy hairless and reward them in the ring.

What seems to be going on is that the coated variety might be going its own way and possibly even diverging in judging conformation from the hairless type. Of course the Powder Puff ranks receive direct infusions from the seekers of the Hh gene in almost every litter.  The PP variety has a long double coat. This kind of coat takes care and grooming. Otherwise, the PPCC is a companion dog. A bit sensitive, highly tuned into to people, playful, quick to learn tricks, The PP should get a lot more recognition than it has.

I hold that breeding the Chinese Crested, the hairless variety is the tail wagging the dog. Breeders have formulas and secrets to their their breeding, but they mostly do not document or register, the off types. Yet the anecdotal evidence still maintains all kinds of degrees of hairless can still be found in any given litter 50 years after Debora Wood mixed it up to perfection. In general, The true hairless Cresteds mostly breed to others with the correct hair pattern, but they don’t breed true 100% of the time. Breeders are all too happy to register and show the correct type, but it is almost a secret, when it is an off type. Not really a secret, but there is no way for  breeders to collect and pool data.

I keep wondering…… what percent of the hairless members of the CC breed has the correct type of hairlessness? What percent of the Hh pups do not have correct pattern hairlessness?

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9 thoughts on “Powder Puffs are the True Chinese Crested Breed!

  1. The most incorrect individuals are descended from UK lines. Given how hard it was to start the breed up there, I would not be shocked if it turns out those lines were crossing to other breeds to try and reduce inbreeding depression/etc as a result of the very small number of dogs they had there.Most powderpuffs used to be culled at birth, at least until the 1970s when they were incorporated into the breed standard, similar to how the coated variety of Xolo was considered a 'mongrel' and dealt with in the same way (until relatively recently).

  2. "H-pattern hairies seem to appear in Peruvians as well (not sure about Xolos)."Would you mind pointing me to examples? What does the hairy version of PIO look like? Do they include them in the standard?" The difference is, incorrect body hair was never tolerated in Xolo/PIO so those 'variants' are not seen in those breeds very often at all," Is it “never tolerated”? Or is it rarely seen? You are implying that the H pattern can be “bred out” of a line. Were there any “H” patterns before the Crestie PP was designed and bred?"unlike in Cresteds where the hairier types have been repeatedly bred on and increased in numbers."This seems to assume that phenotypes are genotypes? And the wrong amount of hair can be bred out of the line? I am not arguing, I am just trying to tease out more ideas."The most incorrect individuals are descended from UK lines. Given how hard it was to start the breed up there, I would not be shocked if it turns out those lines were crossing to other breeds to try and reduce inbreeding depression/etc as a result of the very small number of dogs they had there."This comment also implies a lot more than was said. Since all of that had to be on the sly. "Most powderpuffs used to be culled at birth, at least until the 1970s when they were incorporated into the breed standard, similar to how the coated variety of Xolo was considered a 'mongrel' and dealt with in the same way (until relatively recently)."Thanks for the above comment. Talk about the tail wagging the dog! As you know, I have come to the exact opposite conclusion. The xolo is a type of mongrel- actually “landrace” dog upon which the hairless gene appeared. The hairless gene is not a breed and can’t become a breed. It is a fancy variation on the hairy xolos. The hairless gene must have a breed in which it can reside.Any feedback on my thinking?

  3. All I know, since it was literally before my time, was that in the late 1970s in the UK was when the 'modern style' thickly furnished Crested started to appear. US lines were predominantly True Hairless. But when the UK-style dogs started getting imported in numbers in the late 80s early 90s, they dominated the show scene and basically took over. That is all from anecdotes from the ladies on the ML, who were there. I believe Dottie Thompson was at the first big US show where UK-imported dogs were shown, and recalled what a buzz they made since they were SO different in style. They have said it is harder to breed excessive body hair out of those lines, Lynn said the one time she used a UK-descended HHL in her otherwise US-THL line, she got single-coateds popping up randomly in the lineage for a few generations afterward, whereas before she had never saw that much hair in her breedings.One of the members of the ML also breeds Peruvians, and she let me post pictures of their growth on one of the forums I'm on. You can see the various hair patterning on the pups clearly and as they mature. The H-pattern has always existed, imo, only it was very sparse and considered a fault so not encouraged (the 1985 study by Robinson even mentions that). H-pattern dogs tend to have thicker hair on the extremities, as well; there are 'thick' patterns and 'sparse' ones, and it seems you can control the thickness of the body hair via selection. I think a mild H-pattern has always been in the breeds with this gene, but Cresteds are the only ones for whom body hair became 'irrelevant' and so bred out of control.

  4. I forgot to reply to your comment on the Xolo: Biologically yes, that is the truth (that the coated is the original type). However, the 'Xoloitzcuintle' ('Strange Dog') by it's very name refers to the hairless type, as that was the feature that gave it significance in the cultures that bred them. So that's how the situation (culturally) is reversed in that the hairless is considered the 'proper' Xolo with the Coated as a secondary.

  5. Yes. I am with you, but it was not a breed. It could appear in any type of dog if bred to the Hh. The ancient Mexicans had small dogs into which they introduced the gene. That's why xolos now occur in a standard range of sizes. This is simply another way to look at it. One that will likely not be heard from AKC style breeders.

  6. You are an insult to the Chinese Crested Breed! How dare you say our breed is really the powder puffs when we hairless CC breeders only breed hairless to hairless! It is a waste of time for the powder puffs to be bred on their own. We already have enough of them in our hairless litters. When they win in the ring, they are destroying the true nature of our breed. A post like yours just spreads ignorance about our wonderful breed!

  7. She's saying that genetically, the coated version of all the hairless breeds came first. Which is true, because the normal state for -any- dog is to be coated. The hairless mutation deletes part of the Powderpuff genome, which is what created the first Hairless. That is simply Hairless Dog Genetics 101. That human beings then elevated the hairless as the preferred type is a separate thing entirely from that basic biological fact.I do agree that breeding Puff to Puff is a dangerous thing — but I also think breeding Hairy Hairless for 30 years to the point where natural hairless dogs are becoming rarer and rarer has done more damage to Cresteds than breeding to Puffs ever could.

  8. That Hairless gene, the Hh, is a floater gene. It is not a breed as the powder puff manifestation is. The Hh is introduced into a dog or a breed that already exists or was cobbled together to to plant the gene into, as in the CC breed.I have so much more to say about this, I think I will make this train of thought into a post.

  9. A comment! I think you should use the word "fascinating" more often…I like the Hairless Dog Genetics, 101, now do I have to register as "Dotcom the Dog Mama" yes that's who I am, even though I am starting at 101…I guess I have to be by-lined as "Anonymous" however…

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