Both Hairless and Powderpuff Chinese Crested require grooming; skin and coat care. Regular care of coat, skin, nails, ears and teeth will prevent many health issues. Wonderful products are available to assit you but the most important thing is regular consistant care of your Crested.
Powderpuff Nun and her hairless grand daughter Sirona
The three golden rules of brushing are:
1) always dampen the coat before you brush it 2) always use a good pin brush and 3) brush often.
Dampen down the coat as you are brushing it. You can purchase grooming spray, but water in a spray bottle works well. Knots can be teased out with the aid of a comb and de-tangling grooming spray
Having a Bath
Good idea to wear a waterproof apron. Once again puppies here are introduced to this process early; most really enjoy their bath. The hairless need a weekly bath with a good shampoo and soap; perhaps a skin cleanser for any pimples or black heads that may be present. Bathing the powderpuff is a bigger job. Providing you are grooming / brushing your puffer each night so that knots and matts do not take hold, a bath every two weeks should be enough. You will develop your own method of bathing your puffer and find the products that suit your dog. I like to start with a clarifying shampoo, followed by a regular shampoo and a conditioner. Many wonderful products are now availalbe so bath time can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. The most important thing to do is - make bathtime regular!
Binny straight from the bath and then dryed
Protection from the Sun
Please take care with your Crested's skin. Protection for the skin of the Hairless and the ears of the Puffer is vital. Provide this protection by the application of sun screens such as those suitable for babies or products such as Aniwell - Filta-Clear which is available from you Vet.
Shaving the Hairless
Just as some puffers have more or less coat than other, hairless puppies are born with differing amounts of body hair. Some have none - or just a small tuft; easily removed. Others will have hair which grows on the ridge down their backs and some will have body hair on their rumps and shoulders. As a general rule: the more body hair the heavier the furnishings on the feet, head and tail. To remove this hair I use a lady's shaving blade and a good shaving cream followed by a light astringent wash. Always work against the grain of the hair. If you carefully follow this shaving method you will not cut or hurt the dog in any way.
Drying the hairless is not too difficult, however the drying a puffer can be time consuming. I have a regular hair dryer set on a stand which leaves my hands free. In this way I am able to hold the dog and brush the coat at the same time. Start the brushing/drying in one area and work your way slowly through the coat. Depending on the thickness of the coat, this process will take about an hour.
The face of the Chinese Crested, hairless or powderpuff is most often shaved. Puppies here are introduced to this process at a very early age; about 3 weeks. That does not mean to say all Crested's like to have their faces shaved. Some can be difficult all their lives. I use a small battery razor to do this job.
Tear staining does not have to be a problem, there are many products that can assist - it is often just a matter of finding the one that suits you and your dog. Your vet can help you with this.
Isis before treatment and after one month - what a difference
Ears need regular care. Take care to dry well after a bath or swimming. Any extra hair growing in the ear should removed. The ears of the hairless must be erect for the show ring, if they are tending to drop it is a good idea to shave them as the weight of the hair may be draging them down. In the New Zealand show ring the ears of the puffer can be erect or drop. The ears of the pup are often taped to ensure the stand tall. Drop ears are not shaved, however it is common practice to shave the ears of puffers if they are erect.
Binny had her ear's taped at 5 months
Crested nails are long and fast growing - regular trimming is a must. The pad on the foot of the puffer often benefits from a light shave with a battery razor. Any excess hair length around the foot can be lightly trimmed.
The hairless will have missing teeth and forward pointing canine's, the puffer should have a normal mouth. I find that both hairless and puffers enjoy having their teeth brushed. Your vet can supply a little finger brush and chicken tasting toothpaste - yummy
We are what we eat, but what to feed is often a issue of debate; raw or dry. Take your cue from the dog....are the eyes bright, the skin clear, is the coat in good condition. Be aware of your dog. What ever you decide to feed your Crested make sure it is the best quality you can afford. Crested's like their food. They will (and need to) consume more than other dogs of a similar size.