Owning a designer dog is a pet trend that began in the late 20th century. Designer dogs are simply the breeding result of two purebred dogs. The miniature schnauzer and Chinese crested cross is an example of a designer dog.
While designer hybrid dogs began as a fad, they are now legitimized by organizations such as the American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Dogs Kennel Club and the International Designer Canine Registry. These groups, much like the American Kennel Club, hold records of litters, require registration to ensure lineage and trace bloodlines.
The mixed hybrid of the Chinese crested and the miniature schnauzer is recognized by these three organizations and is called the crested schnauzer. A registered crested schnauzer is considered a hybrid dog. This means it is not considered a purebred dog, but the lineage of the two parents is known to be pure. The term mutt is now used by these organizations when a dog's lineage is uncertain.
Chinese crested puppies come in two varieties; hairless and powder puffs, and both can arrive in the same litter. Since each Chinese crested dog carries one gene for hairlessness and one gene for hair, the crested schnauzer mix can be born either way. The introduction of the schnauzer's dominant wiry hair almost always ensures a coarser coat. The color will be an off-white, grey, black or mixed.
Both breeds are medium sized dogs so, full grown, these dogs will be between 12 to 14 inches, and weigh 10 to 15 lbs. The heads of the crested schnauzer dogs usually favor the schnauzer with a strong, squared muzzle. While the body may be hairless, the normally svelte physic of the crested is stockier with the schnauzer gene mixture.
The crested schnauzer is a newer hybrid mix and the best way to define the temperament of this breed is to look at the characteristics of the parents. The similarities of these two breeds are many. Both dogs are intelligent, friendly, playful and energetic. With both parents bred to hunt vermin, crested schnauzers should be kept on a leash and watched around small animals. Crested schnauzers are good with children, but the dog's leg bones are easily broken, so care should be taken that young children do not handle them too roughly.
Training should begin early, as schnauzers can be headstrong and stubborn. Both dog breeds love to please their owners and training should be easy. Chinese cresteds are fast and full of energy, so many crested schnauzer owners find agility training to be fun and a good exercise program for their dogs. These dogs also make good house or apartment pets, provided they are given daily exercise.
Heath and Grooming
Crested Schnauzers are at risk of liver disease, kidney stones, diabetes, skin disorders, and cysts. Hereditary eye problems are common. Historically, health problems related to Chinese cresteds include poor dental hygiene and if your crested schnauzer is hairless, they must have sun screen applied if they are going to be in the sun for any period of time.
Grooming crested schnauzers depends on which traits are prevalent in your dog. Hairless dogs need lotion to keep their skin from becoming dry and cracked. Make sure the lotion doesn't contain lanolin, as many cresteds are allergic. If your crested schnauzer has a full coat, regular bathing is not necessary. A bath every couple of months will be sufficient. The hairless type should be bathed more often, and skin conditioner lotion applied regularly.