The very first words of the Chinese Crested Standard are “A toy dog, fine-boned, elegant and graceful” and that should be your first impression. Starting at the head, the large ears (either clean-shaven or covered in silky hair) are set so that the base is level with the outside corner of the eye. Small ears, or ears set too high on the head, are not correct. The head should be a clean wedge—both from the top and from the side. All too often we see a deep stop and short muzzle—an adorable look, but not in keeping with the Chinese Crested Standard. Sometimes that appearance is coupled with a round eye again not correct; we want wide set almond shaped, preferably dark eyes, although lighter eyes in keeping with the dog’s color are acceptable. A common misperception is the requirement for a scissors bite—our standard allows for both scissors AND level. Missing teeth are normal with the Hairless variety, although we ask that you penalize them in the Powderpuff-this is not a DQ, only a fault, we ask you treat it as any other fault. Primarily, the jaw should be correctly aligned even if there are few or no teeth. Any color nose is acceptable with full pigment-dark pigment with a dark dog and lighter pigment on a lighter dog.
The Crest on the head should be silky and taper to the base of the neck, neither an abrupt “chop” nor a shawl continuing onto the body of the dog and making even a correctly rectangular body seem square.
The Chinese Crested is/should be a rectangular dog being longer from withers to set on of tail than from withers to the ground. This can be a difficult measurement to ascertain, but an easy way is to look for “the rectangle under the dog”. That is, the space under the dog’s body should be visibly rectangular. If it is a square, most likely the dog is too short bodied. This leads to movement faults—we want an easy mover, and the extra body length allows for that freedom. A level topline, both standing and moving, is a highly desirable characteristic. There should be a moderate tuck up—not exaggerated. The croup is slightly sloping, with the tail carried out or slightly over the back in motion. The tail should drop at rest, with a slight curve upward. The Chinese Crested has true “hare feet”—with long toes, and often capable of actually holding something. Be aware that those toes may give you the impression of nails not being correctly trimmed.
Hairlessness is a hallmark of the breed, with a soft and smooth skin. The appropriate places for hair are the head (Crest), the feet (Socks), and the tail (Plume). All the hair should be soft and silky- and length neither adds nor detracts from type. The expression of hairlessness is variable -and difficult to predict in breeding. Grooming is acceptable, so that when you have the dog in your ring, the hairless areas should be correctly presented. Please don’t advance a dog with grooming injuries -burns, scrapes, etc. My phrase is “you wouldn’t put up a badly groomed Poodle, please don’t put up a badly groomed Crested”. The Socks should taper and end at the top of the pastern in front and the hocks behind. Again, lots of hair is neither a fault nor a virtue—correct silky hair is the most important part. On the tail, the Plume only extends two-thirds of the way towards the body. The Powderpuff is completely covered in that same soft silky hair his Hairless brethren have-but in addition there is a somewhat shorter undercoat. This should be a “wash and wear” dog, so heavy, kinky or curly coats are incorrect. You may be amazed at how lightweight that coat is—silky and fine, rather than weighty and dense.