The “My Little Pony” of the Dog World

A horse is a horse of course of course.
And no one can talk to a horse of course.
That is of course unless the horse is the famous ………Chinese Crested Hairless

We pride ourselves on butchering the best of lyrics to make a tortured point about our purebred dogs, and at the moment, we’re discussing a color most of us associate with horses: Palomino. In an equine, the color consists of a gold coat and white mane and tail. Genetically, it’s created by a single allele of a dilution gene called the “cream gene” working on a “red” (chestnut) base coat.

Palomino, however, is also a color that appears in the standard of a dog breed that, ironically, is sometimes referred to as the “my little pony of the dog world,” and that’s the Chinese Crested Hairless.The genes behind horse colors are completely different from those behind dog color, but in this breed, the Palomino color ranges from a pale, almost cremello color, to a dark chocolate color, or a golden body with silver tail.  Cresteds can change colors during their first year, but Palominos tend to stay light colored even in the sun. We’ve also read that a true Palomino will have a greenish yellow/hazel eye, never a dark eye, but we’d like to hear from a Crested owner to confirm either.
The color seemed very popular in the ‘80s, less so now as other colors in the breed are appreciated equally as much.
We don’t have a photo of a palomino for which we have permission to share, but if you own one, we’d love to see your dog!
Chinese Crested Hairless painting by Michael Vistia. This print is available for purchase here.

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