Chinese Crested Foundations; a Manufactured Breed

 Ollie, My Powderpuff Chinese Crested age 3.5

It has been thoroughly debunked that the CC is Chinese in origin. In fact, the FOXI3 gene that is the foundation of  the Crested breed, is the gene with the hairless mutation. This mutation was definitively proved to have originated in Mexico almost 4,000 years ago. No instance of  any hairless breed has ever been documented outside of the New World, until after the Conquest. Since the conquest, hairless dogs have been seen in a variety of Old World places. but we all know that dog breed origins are the stuff of Tall Tales to say the least.

The progenitors of all Chinese Cresteds were a collection of hairless dogs from Mexico and Peru originally. In turn of the 20th century photos, hairless dogs with more hair than usual on the feet, head, and tail were already being called “Chinese Cresteds”. Though there was no such breed at the time, it marked a period where the New World hairless were beginning to be crossed with longed haired dogs, rather than the original NW hairless, whose hairy counterparts had short, even slick, hair.

Once in the hands of Deborah Woods, the FOXI3 was bred to still-to-be determined long hair breeds. She must have been a genius to do the job so well, she was able to achieve a gorgeous version of the FOXI3 with what became known as “Furnishings” and a breed that breeds true as often as it does.

This breed is the tour de force of contrived breeding. Deborah Wood should surely get a prize for the fanciest breeding in the history of dog breeds. The FOXI3 gene adds a complexity not known in any other breed I can think of because Theoretically, any Crestie can throw a perfectly furnished Crestie, one covered in a single coat, one with blotches of hairlessness, known kindly as the “H” pattern and a pup with skimpy Xolo type hair, in the same litter, that is. Those are the off- types that appear in Crestie litters. And go to pet homes.

Dr Tosso Leeb says he is “analyzing the genetics of the “residual hair” in hairless dogs”. It is a complex issue and they “don’t know yet how many additional genes and alleles will be involved”. The research mainly involves Chinese Crested dogs as they show the greatest variability in residual hair. 

Perhaps it was Deborah’s genetic fiddling with the furnishings to make them lush and fancy, that introduced the variability, but it will be interesting to see if the problems of the variable hair patterns can be corrected without losing even more genes from the CC pool. I wonder if the high variability cuts back on which dogs are used to breed. But then the chosen dogs show the same variability, anyway. There are no public records of the rejects and how many there actually are in a given litter and of what type. I do hope The CC breeders interested in the genetics of variability of coats will submit samples of all their dogs with the wrong hair pattern variations. I believe the testing is done for the science if you don’t need a certificate. You do have to pay to get a certificate.

I have 2 Powder puff Cresties, and even my Ruthie may get her Hh from a CC. My Ollie is loyal, faithful and has a few good, helpful tricks. He can tell the time and nudges me when it is time to take a pill. He started with a timer that would buzz, but he does it even if the timer is off.

2 Comments

Pai

They're a very smart breed, it's one of the reasons I like them so much. I think the diversity in their origins is one of the reasons why they're so healthy overall, compared to some other closed-registry breeds.

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Pearl Maven

Thanks for reading! I agree with you. Smarts and temperament.

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