Know what you have
There is nothing to touch visiting an experienced Crested person and learning first hand.... if you can take all the information in? To be able to see the difference between skins, coats, true hairless with sparse furnishings to the powderpuff in all their glory. It is so very difficult when you are new....
There are absolutely gorgeous TRUE hailress around... BUT they are few and far between. Even if they are well made (as in to "breed standard") they may not have any glamorous furnishings which is truly the icing on the cake. Add to that, in order to do well in the show ring, you need a dog that has real attitude - that is one who loves to show itself off. Are you getting the picture?
OK lets see what we can do....
If you are buying a puppy of 9 weeks old, for instance.... you are always taking a risk. You have to trust the expertise and integrity of the person selling to you. How truly hairless is this puppy? Apart from the hairlessness, the colours can change for a start. Follow this link to see how a dark brown puppy turned into a white multi Champion.. http://www.chinesecrested.no/en/registry/82001/Chmiel+Argoel+Next+Germanika.html
Also, the permanent teeth may not come thru' 100% as you or the breeder might expect. Hairlessness doesn't change but it can be difficult for the less experienced to decide between a puppy being a hairy hairless or a powderpuff. If in doubt, the hair should be left ON until you can be sure. The second teeth are a good indication but, to be 100% certain, an easy genetic blood test can give you absolute proof one way or another.
If you are wanting a true show prospect, don't worry about waiting to buy a nine or ten month puppy. At least you can SEE what you are getting. If you are desperate to have one at nine or ten weeks then you have to accept that there are NO guarantees.
Here are some pics of my dogs.....
Below is Lilley She is only a slightly hairy hairless http://www.chinesecrested.no/en/registry/75452/Konishiki+Tiger+Lilley+to+Scherzando.htmll She has some hair on her face - making her look like a little terrier. Sparse hair over some of her body. The picture on the left was taken nearly a year after her last "show" appearance, on the right. She is easy to keep clipped but was left deliberately with whiskers so I could have pictures for these pages.
Next is Kitty http://www.chinesecrested.no/en/registry/89510/Scherzando+As+You+Like+It.html She is very hairless, mainly only grows hair on her face between clips. A little down on her back... and that's it. She grows hair quite quickly on her face, but is easy to clip and she loves all the grooming attention.
And, finally, below is Tarn a very hairy hairless, takes a while to prepare but, again, she loves all the attention involved http://www.chinesecrested.no/en/registry/90910/Scherzando+Titania.html
Tarn is easy to clip with 50s blades on a Moser Max 45 handset. Then I use a finer shave to give the skin that smooth feel. As she has a grey skin under her grey hair she does look hairier than she actually is. I have shown her teeth; definite hairless. She would need weekly clips in a pet home if a "show" look was required at all times. I am more than happy for her to be hairy between shows... especially in the winter.
I find the Max 45 easy to use on faces, having always used a large handset around horses' faces etc. Less experienced people would probably feel happier with a much smaller, perhaps even cable free, handset. Shop around!
Look after their skin
Every skin and every coat can be different. There is no right or wrong product but you must take the greatest care. Here are my basic recommendations.
Hairless. Keep the skin clean by regularly washing with an ultra mild shampoo. Maybe just "Simple Soap" or a babywash? Even unscented babywipes can suffice on a diaiy basis. Watch the skin like a hawk for any adverse reactions - just as you would a newborn baby. Dogs cannot tell you that something is itching or hurting... you have to observe for yourself. I used a Ponds Sensitive Cream on my own skin some years ago... within minutes of the application my whole face was burning and with an amazing level of pain. I immediately washed it off but the pain continued for three days. Do NOT assume that your dog will be OK just beause the label says "for sensitive skins" or similar.
Taping ears Puppies may need a little help with keeping their ears erect when they're small. I use nice thick chiropody felt. which is sticky on one side. Cut a small strip and simply stick in the middle / inside of the ear as pictured below...
Beds - Easier to throw in the wash than the whole bean bag... I change the covers on my dogs' bean bags / doughnut beds daily. Just use an old pillow case. Remember to take care with your choice of washing powder. Watch for any sign of irritation.
Coats - Use the sleeves from old fleeces to make dog coats. Cut the sleeve away from the body of the fleece, leaving a neat hem from where the join had been. The cuff will fit neatly around the dog's neck. Make two slits just behind the cuff - these are now the holes for the dogs' front legs. That's it!
Fleas - I add a few grains of ground garlic to my dogs' food every day - great for deterring fleas / ticks etc in these silly times of global warming. I prefer the more natural treatments wherever possible.
Food additives - Salmon Oil is brilliant to keep hairless dogs' skins in tip top condition. I use cod liver oil or even vegetable oil for my other dogs.
Skin treatments - My favourite is Coconut Oil. If the dog licks some off, all the better. Great on inside and out.
More gems to come........ watch this page :-)