October 15, 2008

Is That Natural?

I can't begin to tell you how often I get asked that.
People see my dogs and say one of two things. Either "What is THAT?" or "Is that natural?" Both questions lead to the next which is, "Do you shave them?"
Sometimes its irritating, especially when its said with a sound of disgust. But more often than not its said in genuine curiosity and interest, and I like answering and chatting then, because I like sharing and teaching a little about my wonderful dog and their breed.

To answer the above questions...yes, its natural, and yes I DO shave them.

The fact is that Chineses Cresteds (here after refered to as CC's) come in three coat types. First there is what is refered to as a Powder Puff, which has a full coat of hair, does not shed, and needs full standard grooming services. Evonna, seen below is a PowderPuff. You'll remember her from our rescue mission in Rapid City in July. Evonna now lives with her new mom in Billings.
Then you can get what is referred to as a "hairy hairless." These little ones have hair in varying degrees of thickness on nearly their entire body, though I beleive their chest and belly should be mostly bare. When groomed properly, they should look naked, but with very full "furnishings" which is the proper term for the hair on the head, tail, and legs. Tristan, the other rescue, is a hairy hairless. He still lives with Rachelle and is doing wonderfully. Here is Tristan before grooming and after.
The final coat type is the hairless. My girls are hairless. This does not mean that they require no grooming. I do in fact shave them, and it needs done every week, though we often skip weeks because they dislike it and I dislike making them endure it. They are naturally naked on their bodies, with the exception of some random hairs and light fuzz in random places, and the hair on their heads, feet, and tails, which can be in varrying degrees of thickness. Carlie's is thicker than Paris's. Though their is not a lot of "hair care" needed with the hairless variety, there are other grooming needs. For instance, Paris suffers from terribly dry skin, and in fact is sitting next to me now looking all dandruffy and white cause she needs some lotion badly, but she hates it so I put it off. Carlie Jean doesn't suffer from dry skin, but has bad acne. She no longer get actual "zits" (well on occasion) but she has a perpetual issue with blackheads, particularly on her legs and neck. Its a constant, loosing, battle.
As for their shaving needs, like I said it needs done once a week or so. Carlie has a fuzzy face. Here is her face shaved.

And here she is with about three weeks of growth because Malcolm decided its cute and doesn't want me to shave her. I have to admit it is kind of cute. I guess we're going to see how fuzzy she'll get.

She also has a very fuzzy patch on her rump, about the size of half a dime, but I'll spare you that picture.

And the neat part, at least to me, the dogs carry the genes for all three coat types and all three coat types in the same litter. Even if you breed two hairless you could end up with all powderpuff pups, or a mix.

Just one of many reasons I love this breed. In fact, I'm considering getting a sister for the girls. I think I need a black haired little girl to add to my blond and white collection.

1 comment:

Meagan said...

I do have to admit... their kinda cute! lol. I know they are your "family," especially living in such close quarters... you might wait for a 3rd until you don't live in a truck though, lol.