Crest-Care, Inc a 501c3 Corporation
We are a group of individuals living across the United States and Canada, whose goals are to preserve and protect Chinese Cresteds in need. We provide vetting, transportation, and foster homes for each dog in need, until he or she can be carefully matched to an approved home. We provide education about the breed to private individuals interested in adopting, and to shelters as well, in an effort to help ensure the integrity of the breed as a whole. We are involved in Crest-Care, Inc. for no other reason than our concern for Chinese Cresteds in need. We realize our limitations in that we cannot save them all, but working together, we help those we can. We work within the framework of local and civil laws, in order to protect both dogs and all parties concerned.
History Of The Chinese Crested Breed
Much of the history of this fascinating breed, the Chinese Crested, cannot be stated as factual as much of it has become obscure over the centuries. As is the case with many of our very old breeds, the early development of the Chinese Crested is undocumented therefore permitting spread of many tales and theories. The origin of the Chinese Crested has been one of speculation over the years. Some historians have theorized that the Chinese Crested is the result of the cross breeding of the Mexican Hairless and the Chihuahua causing the root of origin being Mexico, others have theorized that the Chinese Crested had evolved from African Hairless Dogs which were reduced in size by the Chinese. While either theory may be possible, there is pictorial confirmation during the 16th century as early as 1550 that Chinese traders obtained the Chinese Crested either from the ports of Mexico or Africa and in turn sold or bartered them at ports throughout the world. In the 1800’s the Chinese Crested appeared in Central and South America as well as various ports in Asia. The Chinese Crested were of great value to the Chinese Sailors, during the time of the plague, the dogs were stowed away on board ships to hunt vermin which were greatly infested with fleas carrying the disease. The Chinese Crested also served as a hot water bottle for those suffering from stomach pains and needing warmth, the final conclusion for this breed with the sailors, would be being served as a meal for the sailors, thus the breed was also known as the Edible Dog, the Chinese Ship Dog, the Chinese Hairless, and the Royal Chinese Hairless.
The Chinese Crested had started to appear in paintings by the mid-19th Century. Photos began to appear of the breed in the 1850’s and 1860’s at this same time there were some dogs exhibited at zoological shows in England. At this time, there was no known established breeding program.
In the 1800’s dog shows became an organized sport throughout the world with an occasional Chinese Crested being entered in competition. Three Chinese Crested’s were shown in 1878 at the Gilmore Garden (predecessor to Madison Square Garden) 7th show. A picture of both the Powderpuff and Hairless appeared in Harpers Weekly, at this time a well-known journalist of the time, Ida Garrett became interested in the Chinese Crested thus turning into a love of the breed spanning over the next 60 years. In 1885, a Chinese Crested was shown at Madison Square Garden from April 28th through May 1st under the auspices of the Westminster Kennel Club’s 9th Annual Bench Show.
Ida Garrett bred, exhibited and wrote extensively about the Chinese Crested Breed with precedence being the Hairless variety. In the 1920’s Mrs. Garrett had befriended Debra Woods who in the mid 1960’s founded the American Hairless Dog Club, this club eventually served as a Registry for all Hairless breeds. There had been ladies of the entertainment industry that were responsible for rekindling an interest in the breed. Gypsy Rose Lee had acquired her first Chinese Crested from her sister, June Havoc, in the early 1950’s. June Havoc had obtained the dog from an animal shelter in Connecticut and it soon became Gypsy Rose Lee’s first Chinese Crested. It is believed that the Chinese Crested was abandoned when the owner had died while in port. Through the diligent efforts of Ida Garrett, Debra Wood, Gypsy Rose Lee, June Havoc and Florence Gorsky they began promoting the Chinese Crested.
The Chinese Crested was in the Miscellaneous Class of the American Kennel Club in 1955 when the first breed list was printed in the American Kennel Club Dog Show Rules. The revised list in 1965 dropped the Chinese Crested due to lack of an acceptable registry, no National Specialty Club or reliable standard. At the time there were 200 Chinese Cresteds registered.
Ardent friends and supporters of the breed formed the American Chinese Crested Club in 1979. A reliable Standard was developed as well as a dependable Registry. Through intense work and commitment to the breed by the membership of the American Chinese Crested Club, the Chinese Crested were once again in September of 1985 able to compete in the Miscellaneous Class at American Kennel Club shows. From 1979 to February of 1991, the Chinese Crested was shown as separate varieties, both needing to adhere to the same Standard with the only difference being the hairlessness of one variety and the coat of the other variety. While both varieties may appear to be different breeds, upon familiarity of both varieties it becomes easy to see that they are the same breed with the differences being the lack of hair on the Hairless and complete hair covering the Powderpuff. The Chinese Crested became eligible for full American Kennel Club registration on February 1, 1991, 2 months later on April 1, 1991 the Chinese Crested was given full recognition by the American Kennel Club to be shown at American Kennel Club shows in the Toy Group. On this momentous day, 2 Chinese Cresteds had won Best In Show, the first was Ch. Darshire Sun Nee Dal of Luvan and the second was Ch. Razzmatazzmanian Stripper, both hairless females.
While the Chinese Crested is an old breed, it is still yet a young breed. Still a young breed, with the establishment of the breed, with just the past 25 years of meticulous breeding programs and promotion of the breed. The evolution of the Chinese Crested has been a fascinating one; it has grown from being an almost extinct breed, to being in 2001, ranked 62 with 1790 Chinese Crested registered, out of 150 American Kennel Club Register able Breeds.