Institute of Genetics

Hairlessness in the Chinese Crested, Mexican & Peruvian hairless dog

Hairless dogs such as Chinese crested dogs are very old breeds. Statues from Mexican hairless dogs have been dated to 1700 BC. We discovered that a mutation in the FOXI3 gene causes the hairlessness. This illustrates how the existing variety of different dog breeds can facilitate important discoveries in developmental biology and biomedical research.

In the course of our research we are also looking for genetic factors influencing the amount of residual hair on hairless dogs. There are so-called true hairless dogs with very little or no hair and also hairless dogs with a substantial amount of residual body hair (sometimes termed "semi-coated). If you own a hairless dog and are willing to contribute a sample to our research, please follow the instructions as indicated below.