History of the Chinese Crested

 

Unlike what the name would indicate, the Chinese Crested Dog is believed to have originated from the African hairless dog breed. It was then discovered by Chinese sailors and merchants traveling to African ports and used on their ships as ratters. When the breed was brought back to China they were bred smaller and with a greater emphasis on temperament, then redistributed in trading ventures as the "Chinese Hairless" or "Chinese Crested".

Another theory is that the Chinese Crested Dog actually developed with the Aztecs by breeding the Mexican Hairless with the Chihuahua. It is believed that the Aztecs actually used these dogs as companion dogs but also as bed warmers in the cold months. These dogs may have also been used for human consumption at special events in the Aztec calendar. Regardless of the exact lineage the Chinese Crested Dog is certainly a unique and different type of dog that has attracted a specific type of dog lover throughout its history.

In the 1800's the breed became known in Europe and North America, specifically the United States. It did not become a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club until 1991 but is steadily increasing in popularity among rare dog breed fanciers.

The Chinese Crested Dog was briefly shown in the AKC’s (American Kennel Club) “Miscellaneous” Class and was put on display in Westminster in 1885 and later at the 1926 Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia. After a multiple decade break, the breed returned to the competitive arena in the Miscellaneous Classes in 1986. The AKC recognized the Chinese Crested Dog in 1991. Stage personality Gypsy Rose Lee acquired a Chinese Crested Dog in the 1950s and began to breed the dogs; she is now considered one of the most influential proponents of the breed.

The Crested acquired an active and enthusiastic following in the United States in the early 1900's. Breeders kept an extensive stud book and registry beginning in the 1930's. Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous stage personality, acquired a Crested in the 1950's and became an ardent breeder helping considerably to publicizing the breed, The Chinese Crested was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1991.

 

History of the Lowchen

 

The Löwchen is thought to be a predominately German breed though its exact origins are unrecorded, and the French and Russians claim to have had a hand in the breed’s development. It can be said with relative certainty that the Löwchen evolved from the ancient Bichon family of dogs, which hails from the Mediterranean, and 16th century German art – including tapestries, paintings, prints and drawings – makes a compelling case that the breed has been known at least since that time.

The most famous Löwchen was Bijou, who lived in Weilburg Castle in Germany during the late 18th century. The story goes tells that Bijou, disappointed that his master had left for the hunt without him, attempted to follow his master by jumping from a 60 foot high window into the Lahn River. Depending on who you believe, the jump either ended with Bijou being rewarded with a seat in his master’s saddle or with his untimely death. Regardless, Bijou became legendary, and his likeness still hangs in the castle today.

The Löwchen’s numbers began to dwindle during the 19th century, and by the end of World War II the breed was nearly extinct. A Löwchen fancier named Madame Bennert is credited with saving the breed though extensive breeding efforts beginning in 1945. Within a few years, the dog’s numbers began to slowly but steadily grow, and during the late 1960s and early 1970s the breed was introduced to Great Britain and the United States. The Löwchen was admitted to the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous Class in 1996 and received full AKC recognition as a member of the Non-Sporting Group in 1999. It remains one of the rarest breeds in the world today.

 
 
 

 

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This site was last updated 08/12/10