November 30, 2009

Is That Natural? (round 2)

After checking out my Sunday Stills photos yesterday I got more than one comment regarding the Chinese Crested puppies and their hairless state.

Prepare yourselves cause you just got me started on one of my favorite topics and I can go on and on about it! In fact I sent someone a long email just last week about it and probably told them a lot more than they really cared about, but I enjoyed rambling on about it, so my apologies to her....but not really.
(Carlie Jean as a baby.)

My dogs are weird, I know. Actually I prefer the terms unique and exotic. I get strange looks all the time, Malcolm too...especially when he takes them out to potty and I don't go and so there go my four dear ones...my macho truck driving husband and three hairless froo froo dogs in pink pajamas, lol...bless his heart. He's such a trooper!
(Ella as 2 months: She was just starting to have her face and neck spots show up.)

And I get asked all the time "What is THAT?" or if they are naturally like that? Do I shave them? etc.

To read my explanation about whether or not its natural go here.

( Paris as a baby...as you can see she had a lot more pink then than she does now.)

When I wrote that I didn't have Ella. Carlie and Paris are both considered hairless, while Ella is a hairy hairless. I would love a powder puff, but three's enough for now...and for a long while.

If after seeing my dogs all the time on this blog and reading my explanation above, you are just enamored with them, then check out this site. This is frequently referred to as "the database" or at least that's what I've heard it called. I gave you a link directly to the photo gallery where you will find about a half million pictures of Chinese Cresteds from all over the world. My girls are in there too....but you probably won't see them as there are so many. Its a great way to familiarize yourself with all the different looks a Chinese Crested can have!

(Carlie Jean at 2 years of age.)

The comments on the Sunday Stills post were regarding the puppies and that it looked like they had hair. Now that you read the link to my earlier post, you know there are fully coated Chinese Crested puppies as well as hairless ones. Most people only know about the hairless ones because that is what the breed is known for. But those puffy babies are just as pretty and come without the teeth and skin issues, though obviously you've got bigger grooming jobs to do.

(Ella on her first morning in her new home....fuzzy head...notice the lack of spots. They tend to change in appearance a lot over the first year and a half. Paris developed lots of spots that eventually all grew together so that she just has minimal pink on her legs and face. And as you know, Ella is very polka dotted on her face and neck.)

Of Rachelle's puppies, 5 are hairless and one is a powder puff. That's simple...but now it can get complicated.

There really are only the two, but within the Crested community we break it down further as you'll have noticed on her description of each pup. Within the hairlessness, we can call them "true hairless" which has practically NO hair, "hairless" which would be like Paris and Carlie Jean, "hairy hairless" which is what Ella is, and "very hairy hairless" which have a lot of hair on their back and sides, and at a quick glance, un-groomed, could be mistaken for a power puff. But if you look closely you notice the naked belly and sides.

(Little sisters are SO annoying!)

When they are puppies, the naked babies look hairier than you'd think, but as they grow the hair spreads out thinner. They don't really lose it, but it is just redistributed, I guess is the best way to explain.

And as I explained in the earlier post, all the dogs carry genes for hairless and powder puff. I won't get into a big long genetics lesson on you, but...in brief....a gene has two halves, one from each parent. When an embryo is formed that has two hairless genes, or is homozygous for hairless, it won't survive to full development. Having homozygous genes for hairlessness is fatal, so all the dogs carry the powder puff genes. That's why it doesn't matter if you breed two hairless or two powder puff, or one of each...you get all sorts of coats, or lack of coats, in the litter, as seen in Rachelle's brood. Those babies came out of an almost true hairless and a very hairy hairless. And yet she's got every variety of coat in the litter.

OK...did I completely bore you? I'm afraid I may have, and if so I'm sorry. I just find it fascinating, and I LOVE being handed the opportunity to share my dogs and teach about the breed, because it is really still such a novelty. They are great little dogs, and I highly recommend them. I've never had a dog that was so much a part of our family, our life, and seriously when I'm not with them, even for half a day, I go into withdrawal. They firmly implant themselves into your lives, fully believe that they ARE your children, and you won't be able to convince them otherwise. And I'm not the first one or only one to say these things! Just ask Rachelle!


small farm girl said...

Thanks, I get it now!

Janice said...

Very interesting dogs I had never heard of them.I love the different colors and spots. Cute.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Your dogs are so adorable. I love the photo of the two of them looking at you with their heads cocked sideways.

I must admit I've never been a fan of short-hair or hairless dogs, though. I love fluff and long hair to run my fingers through, brush, snuggle against and keep my lap warm.
But that being said, I ended up with a short-hair dog when I adopted my Dobbie girl, a chihuahua/daschund mix. Or rather, should I say, she adopted me. :)

And I can't imagine life without her. In just several months, she has integrated herself within my life so deeply. People tell me that Dobbie is lucky that she was rescued and adopted into our home, but I feel as if I am the lucky one, indeed.

Thanks for sharing all the info about the Chinese Crested. You have a real passion for this breed of dogs, for sure.


Beck's Country Living said...

Love the pitchers the little ones are sooooo quite. I know that they are youre babies hope you had a good and safe Thanksgiving. Did you spoil all of the babies I know I would

Anonymous said...

Great post Sarah!!