The Xoloitzcuintli is a 3000-year-old ancient dog breed. The dog has a broad skull, long muzzle, almond shaped eyes and bat-like erect ears. They are sometimes confused with similar looking ‘Peruvian Hairless Dog’. Most of the people find this dog unattractive or just plain for its weird hairless appearance. Known by the name of Mexican hairless dog or Xolo too, these dogs are intelligent, athletic, loyal and have a great bonding with its family members.
There is always a big confusion on how to pronounce Xoloitzcuintli properly. The name Xoloitzcuintli comes from an Aztec god called Xoloti. Its accurate pronunciation is ‘show-low-eats-QUEENT-lee’.
|Also Known As||Mexican Hairless Dog,|
|Nicknames||Xolo, Xolito , Xoloitzcuintle, Xoloitzquintle, Xoloescuincle.|
|Coat||Hairless or short-haired|
|Color||Black, brown, brindle, white, gray, spotted|
|Group (of Breed)||Southern, Toy, Utility, Non-sporting, Sighthound, Pariah, Guard, Companion|
|Lifespan||15 to 20 years|
|Weight/Size||10 to 50 pounds|
|Height||6 to 11 inches|
|Temperament||Intelligent, protective, alert, friendly, affectionate|
|Country of Origin||Mexico|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Competitive Registration||FCI, NKC, NAPR, ACA, CKC, APRI, DRA.|
The history of the Xoloitzcuintli dates back to 3000 years, and these dogs are considered as national treasures in Mexico. It is believed that they might have existed right from the time of Aztec civilization. Legends have that the Xolo dogs were considered sacred by the Aztecs. They used to sacrifice the Xolo dogs and bury them next to their owners in order to play a protective guide for their masters to the next world.
The meat of these dogs was considered a great delicacy at that time and was served in marriages and funerals. There was a notion that the dog's meat had healing powers and was used for treating ailments like a toothache, insomnia, asthma, and rheumatism. These dogs were good companion dogs and excellent watchdogs too. The Xolo dog became very popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Famous artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera frequently portrayed the Xoloitzcuintli in their artwork.
The breed saw a considerable drop in their numbers in-between which led to the elimination of Xolo dogs from stud books of AKC. This dog made a comeback in the American Kennel Club records in 2011 as a member of the Non-Sporting Group. In 1993, The United Kennel Club recognized this breed.
Types and Variations
You will get a Xoloitzcuintli in hairless and coated variety too. The dogs with coats shall have short hair covering like the Doberman. The other variety which you will get is a spotted one (with several spots or markings).
They have a height of 20 to 30 inches at the shoulder with weight around 25 to 40 pounds. Dog clubs like CKC, APRI, DRA, FCI, NKC, DRA, NAPR, and ACA recognize this type.
These dogs have a height of about 9 to 14 inches at the shoulder with a weight of 5 to 15 pounds. The kennels clubs that recognize this breed are ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA, AKC, CKC, NKC, CKC, and APRI.
This variation attains 15 to 20 inches of height at the shoulder and weighs around 15 to 30 pounds. DRA, NAPR, ACA, FCI, NKC, CKC, and APRI are the dog clubs that recognize this breed.
Temperament and Behavior
These Mexican hairless dogs are intelligent, loyal and happy go lucky type of breed. They bond well with all the family members and the children. These are one master dog and gets more attached to one particular member of the family. These are affectionate dogs and will like to snuggle with you on the couch. They are little reserved and cautious towards the strangers and may not like to mingle with them. These dogs have territorial and protective nature which make them an excellent watchdog.
The Xolo dogs are a bit sensitive in nature and well suited for homes with older children who can treat the dog respectfully. Socialization of the dog from an early age will help in reducing it anxiousness towards strangers. The dog loves physical activities that are mentally challenging. This dog mainly excels in agility. It is a quick learner and training this dog is quite easy. They do well with other pets and cats.
This breed requires a moderate amount of exercise on daily basis. Take the dogs out for jogging and long walks, be it from any variation right from miniature to a standard one. Give the dog ample playtime to prevent boredom in them. It is an ideal dog for those owners who are looking for a playmate, a friend, and a guardian dog. Allow the dogs to play in an open fenced yard. It will help to keep your hairless dog physically and mentally healthy.
This hairless body of the dog might make it easy to groom, the skin of it is extremely sensitive. Take proper care of the dog’s skin by using sunscreen if you are taking it out in the sun for a prolonged period. Do not use it in excess or it will harm their skin. You need to check for rashes, skin dryness and redness in the dog. On noticing these issues, show it to the vet immediately. These dogs are mainly indoor dogs and cannot tolerate extreme heat or cold weather condition. Do not bathe the dogs regularly. Clean them up with a soaked cloth if required. The hairy variety might need brushing on a regular basis. Clip the nails monthly and brush their teeth on a weekly basis.
It is a healthy breed and rarely develop any major health issue. Their sensitive skin may tend to have few dermatological issues. The dogs with dark skin report less number of skin problems. Other common canine problems that might trouble them are hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and eye disorders.
The Xolo dogs require a consistent training regime with well-defined boundaries. Early socialization of these dogs is necessary to keep in check their strong prey drive and suspicious nature towards strangers. Their intelligence helps the dogs to pick up the training quite easily. These dogs are judicious barkers and won’t bark unnecessarily on anyone. A visit to the neighboring dog park will help it to interact with other dogs and people.
They do well in housetraining and obedience lessons. Use positive reinforcement methods for better results. To keep the dog's focus on the training, make the sessions short, fun and interesting. Reward and praise the dog each time it responds to your training correctly.
Along with meat, your Xoloitzcuintli dogs will love to have vegetables in its diet too. You have to determine the quantity on the basis of how big or small your Xolo dog is. Feed your full-grown adult Xolo dogs 5/8 th to 1 ¾ cups of high-quality dry dog food, divided into two meals per day.
The Xoloitzcuintli is believed to be protector dogs which keeps the home safe from evil spirits and intruders.
The Xolo is the National Dog of Mexico.
In the paintings of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's, the Xoloitzcuintli was a common subject.
In 2012 Westminster Dog Show, The Xolo was featured for the first time.
A photograph of the ‘Xolo Dog’ won the 1st place in the "Animal Kingdom" Life Framer competition.
The Xolo dog was featured in Disney/Pixar film Coco by the name of Dante.
The average price of the Xoloitzcuintli puppy is roughly around $600 - $800 USD. Be sure to buy or adopt a healthy Xolo puppy from reputed breeders only.