TYPES OF COAT
While the breed defines two coat varieties, Hairless & Powder Puff, those in-the-know ask about a sub-category - the Hairy Hairless.
Let's look at the group:
Powder Puff - recognized at birth w/ a complete coat covering entire torso, including chest & inner thighs. At maturity, the coat is typically long, voluminous w/ two layers, soft to touch. Top coat is sparse, featuring soft guard hairs of a different texture than the medium puffy undercoat. Many PPs are shiney, similar to the healthy hair of a young child. Others, when well groomed, have a matte luminousity - w/ a pearl-like lustre. Lovers of the powder puff enjoy a variety of choices when grooming their dogs - some leave the coat cascade downward (similar to an afghan hound), others shave into a "Lions Cut" (mimicking a Hairless w/ tuffs on head, tail, boots & generous mane) or go exotic, shaving like exhibition schnauzers. With the PP, you are free to express yorself w/ quiet drama or go wild! Hair barrettes, ribbons, clips & various grooming accoutrements make the PP a flashy fluffy. Curly coats are not advised for exhibition, however some clients prefer the additional bounce. Ear fringe may be shaved, if preferred. PP's are non-shedders, and according to owners, easier to train. (I cannot verify this claim ;P). They are categorized as hypo-allergenic.
Hairless - easily identified at birth w/ a slick, hairless body & bits of hair on head or crest. As time evolves, boot & tail hair become evident, however the amount of appointment may be unremarkable, creating the "mohawk look", or at the other end of the spectrum - a gorgeous, luxurious neck crests w/ profuse shoulder skirts, generous boots & tail, but most importantly, a silky head crest. One thing for sure, minimal torso trimming is ever required, however, monthly swipes of an electric razor delivers an impeccable, well groomed profile. Freckles & spots develop in time. The skin is not unlike a humans' - warm & clean to touch. Ear fringe is sometimes eliminated, but not usually w/ a Hairless, as it enhances the beautiful clean torso lines. They are categorized as hypo-allergenic.
Hairy Hairless - on the fence, unable to decide which category they choose to fall into. Babies are born either w/ a complete covering of outer torso (yet limited hair coverage on underside of chest & thighs) OR born as a nicely appointed hairless, developing a much greater amount of hair as they mature. Upon maturity, the Hairy Hairless require more monthly shaving on hiney, torso, upper arms & legs where a single coat of slightly bristly sparce hair grows. The result, however, is a deliciously dramatic dog w/ streaming crests, outrageous shoulder skirts who also looks great w/ barrettes, ribbons & bows. Ear fringe may be shaved - depending on owners preference.
With CC's, amount & extent of hairlessness varies. A genetically hairless dog will carry varying amounts of torso hair, as well as boots, tail & head. Therefore the extent of hairlessness any pup will inherit is unpredictable - it can range from a dorsal strip to a head crest crest short enough to give the pup a fox terriers' appearance. An extremely hairy hairless can resemble a lightly coated PP. Science reports the hairlessness in dogs is a result of an incomplete dominant mutation, lethal when carrying ONLY the hairless gene. Every Hairless CC carries the dominant gene for hairlessness PLUS the gene for a "normal" coat. The powderpuff gene cannot be "bred out". While each breeder tries their best - its basically a crap shoot.
Chinese Cresteds are categorized as hypo-allergenic HOWEVER allergies/people are different w/ various triggers. Personally, I can testify to a life-long struggle w/ skin/restrictive airway concerns. Cresteds own my life - they hog my sofa & crowd my bed - yet I suffer no allergic complications. As a Buyer, it is unreasonable to be in an environment (other than home) & evaluate if the CC causes distress. The best way is to purchase the dog w/ a written understanding between you & the Seller that the dog may be returned within a certain time period should you suffer allergic consequences. Do not be surprised if the Seller asks for a "restocking fee" ($50.00 to $100.00 is fair) - because they are possibly losing sales/advertising costs in order to accommodate your personal problems. Most Sellers are reasonable animal lovers - they want the change to be good for both dog AND Buyer. Have a trial run at HOME by holding the dog on your sofa, w/ your carpeting (or lack of), laying on your sheets in order to evaluate. For example, people have found irritants in the air of our ranch, yet peace at home. Bellissima Farms (both locations) are located in the heart of horse, farmland & wildlife - hay, grass, dust, mold neighbor us on many sides. Should you request a Seller to be gracious to your concerns, be reasonable w/ the Seller's expectations of safety while the pup is in your hands. For example, don't shave a luxurious PP down to the skin & expect the Seller to be thrilled at the marketing assault upon return, running w/ checkbook to reimburse your failed investment. Many Sellers may not give a darn, therefore, should someone professionally extend themselves, be certain to carry yourself w/ as much grace. Common sense & global respect should reign.
CC's do not emit the wet-dog odor. All need facial shaving approimately 1 x per month, depending on growth rate of hair. Clippers can be purchased, under $20.00 at WalMarts or Target - best size are one inch heads.
Diligent breeders keep track of birth coats, guaranteeing authenticity.
Body type is either slender w/ broad chest, narrow, nipped waist - (similar to a whippet or greyhound) or "cobby bodied" (tubular torso, similar to a cob of corn). Leg length varies.
Adhering to "standards", the shoulder should be between 11-13 inches from top to ground - weight equal to appropriate thrift. Over the years, our ranch has rescued beautiful pups of 22 lbs. & 16 inches from shoulder. Unless one is pondering a exhibition future, follow your internal antenna. Standards are created by a group, at a particular time, influenced by fads & opinion of judges. If your opinion was not solicited, perhaps it was not valued, ...so why would you value these faceless "guardians of standards"? Beauty comes in all sizes, follow your heart. Temperament rules supreme, beauty is second.