Friday, July 31, 2009

He's Supposed to Look Like That?

The ugliest dog in Britain is ... drum roll.... a Chinese Crested.

In short he's the same breed as just about every other "ugliest dog" winner in the world.

From The Daily Mail (which identifies the dog as a Mexican Hairless):

Dawn Fields, head kennel maid at the Hillside Kennels in Waltham Abbey, Essex, said: "When I first saw him I thought, 'Oh my God, what is that? What an ugly b****r'. I thought he had a flea allergy because it makes some dogs lose their fur. But then I found out he's suppose to look like that."

Despite being worth hundreds of pounds, [the dog named] ET has languished at the kennels for months and staff think his quirky looks - a fluffy white head and tail and a bald pink body with black spots - are putting people off.

Mrs Fields said: 'Normally it only takes a few weeks to find a dog a new home but no one wants ET. I think it's purely because of his looks - he's an ugly little fellow.
'We've put him in different kennels to see if that helps. We put him in the first one people see as they come in, but they hurry on past him. Then we put him in the last kennel, but nothing seems to help.

Anyone in the U.K. interesting in giving the dog a new home can contact Hillside Kennels on 01992 892881.


Pai said...

He IS a Mexican Hairless. Many Xolos have hair in the same pattern as Cresteds, only short and more sparse. Chinese Cresteds developed from toy Xolos that had long hair + the hairless pattern. Some Mexican Hairless also have a mohawk or thicker hair on their feet, tail, and head, though it's considered incorrect for the breed.

Both breeds are closely related, they share the same hairless genetics, and were even interbred in the early 40s and 50s before the two types were separated.

PBurns said...

The standard for a Xolo or Mexican Hairless is "Complete or almost complete lack of hair." This dog very clearly has hair on head, tail and feet like a Chinese Crested if you look at the other picture at the link. Also, a Xolo should have a "slightly defined occipital crest" on the top of its head, according to the standard. The dog in the picture does not seem to have a crest - it actually is the opposite of a crest from what I can see.

But, as you note, the dogs are very closely related, and I suppose it hardly matters to this dog's future what it is called. Both breeds are New World dogs, and the the Mexican Hairless (Xolo) was first popularized by stripper Gypsy Rose Lee ("even my dog has no clothese on"). The Chinese Crested was created in the U.S. from Xolo stock that was bred to a slightly different standard from the normal Xolo.


Pai said...

Many Xolos DO have hair on the head, feet, and a tasseled tail. People unfamiliar with the South American hairless breeds might not be aware of how much body hair variety can occur in them.

Because the SA Hairless gene has 'variable expressivity', you don't always get the 100% body hairlessness that is the Standard's ideal in ANY of those breeds (PIO, Crested, or Xolo). Just like people, some are fuzzier than others while still technically being 'hairless'. Usually any extra body hair a dog might have is removed for the show ring.

The 'hairless pattern' is the same regardless if the dog is nearly completely bald, or more thickly furnished like a Crested. A close examination of any of those breeds would show that fact clearly -- there is almost always more fuzz or coat down the back, legs, head, and tail than on the rest of the body. And because the gene is dominant, even crossing them with coated dogs would pass on that pattern.

Just because an individual Xolo is on the hairier side of the spectrum does not make it a Chinese Crested. The very fact that the dog is short-haired shows clearly that it is not anything other than a Xolo (or Xolo mix), because only Cresteds have the 'long hair + hairless' gene combination.

The original pila dogs from South America that all those breeds descend from came in many sizes and shapes, and was hairless with both long hair and short hair. Selective breeding and crossing has simply separated those varieties of type into their own families.