Any dog trainer looking to get involved in dog shows should go armed with the following information; a lot of judgment comes down to the individual judge's personal preferences, this being the case, a loss or a second place award is not necessarily to be taken personally, nor does it always mean that the trainer and dog didn't work hard enough or anything of this sort. As it is said, there is no accounting for taste. A handler can do everything right and still see their dog lose to another simply because of a judge's opinion. In any competitive environment, contestants need to remember that it is about doing one's best and it's never wise to get caught up on wins and losses. So remember that the following is not necessarily a trophy-guaranteeing checklist, but rather, a brief rundown of what judges tend to prefer.
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In terms of size, the standard is around eleven to thirteen inches; however, smaller dogs are generally not penalized. Symmetrical proportions are, of course, preferred, for the sake of appearance, mobility and athleticism. The bones are preferred strong but not heavy, slender but not fragile, this sounds an unattainable ideal, but should be easily accomplished with a calcium rich diet and enough exercise to keep the dog's build proportionate to their skeletal frame.
Having such a bold facial appearance, the Chinese Crested are preferred to have eyes both alert and intense, so make sure the dog is well fed and rested before a show to avoid a kind of drowsy look. Judges also prefer eyes that match the shade of the coat, of course there is only so much that can be done about this, depending on whether or not one is willing to give the dog a dye job. The ears should be uncropped, large and proudly standing erect, at attention. The nose is also preferred to be the same shade as the coat. Interestingly, while the Powderpuff variety will be penalized for missing teeth, the Hairless variety, being almost invariably prone to incomplete dentition, is lent a degree of understanding in this requirement and judges will not penalize them for missing teeth.
Coat requirements for both the Powderpuff and Hairless are fairly simple. There is no preference for color, the coat is merely expected to be clean and brushed, the smoother and silkier the better. Hair placement on the Hairless is less important than quality of hair and smoothness of skin. Excessively heavy or curly hair is usually penalized. Grooming is expected to be minimal, so there's no need to go all out with ribbons or styling, just make sure the dog has a neat, clean appearance.
Finally, the Chinese Crested is preferably lively, agile, gay, alert and smooth in his or her movement. For further research, a trainer should attend a few shows beforehand to get an idea of the atmosphere and philosophy of these contests and, if possible, find an experienced Chinese Crested trainer in the area and contact them for advice and perhaps mentoring in the art of the dog show.
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