Type: Sighthound and Pariah
Height: Standard: 22.5 inches. Miniature: 13 - 18 inches. Toy: Under 13 inches.
Weight: Standard: 20 - 31 lbs. Miniature: 13 - 22 lbs. Toy: 9 - 18 lbs.
Life Span: 12 - 15 years. Xolos live quite a long time.
Litter Size: 4 puppies is average.
Country of Origin: Mexico
Activity: Medium - Low. Xolos (Xoloitzcuintli) do very well in apartments with daily walks as well in the country with room to run.
Watch-dog: High. Xoloitzcuintli are very alert and can be very noisy when necessary.
Guard-dog: Standard size is High, taking their cues from their master's uneasiness with a situation or person. The smaller sizes are Medium; less likely to guard/protect.
Description: According to the American Kennel Club website, the breed's name is pronounced "show-low-eats-queen-tlee". The Xoloitzcuintli (Xolo, for short) is a a sensitive breed of above average intelligence and devotion. They are protective, but will meet aggression, rather than instigate it, taking their cues from their master's uneasiness of a situation or person. Xoloitzcuintli are still primitive to some degree and need to be guided by reason and respect, rather than force of will. Though the Xoloitzcuintli is known as a hairless breed, litters often contain pups that are fully coated. Because the coated pups have traditionally been destroyed at birth, there is no standardization in coat color. This perhaps, has led breeders to believe that the coated pups are mixed breed puppies. A short course in genetics will disprove this belief. The coated Xoloitzcuintli has a short, course coat that sheds minimally. The coated Xoloitzcuintli is recognized by the UKC. The breed has a sleek body, almond-shaped eyes, and pointed bat-like ears. They look very similar to the Pharaoh Hound. Xolo come in three different sizes: Standard, Miniature and Toy. The biggest of the varieties are more likely to act as a guard dog than their smaller siblings.
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Other Names: Mexican Hairless Dog, Xolo, Xoloitzcuintle, Xoloitzquintle, Tepeitzcuintli
Colors: Hairless Xoloitzcuintli may be black, charcoal, lighter gray, bronze, liver or red. Solid colors are preferred, but some do have spots without pigment, which need sun block. Coated dogs can be any color, or combination of colors.
Coat: Hairless Xoloitzcuintli may have hair on head, feet, nape and/or tail. Some will be completely hairless. Coated Xoloitzcuintli have short, course hair that sheds minimally. They are also hypo-allergenic.
Temperament: Xoloitzcuintli are a calm, quiet dog, cheerful, attentive and alert. Suspicious towards strangers, Mexican Hairless are a good watchdog, an excellent pet. The Xolo (Xoloitzcuintli) is exceptionally intuitive and affectionate with their family. They are noisy only when they need to be, faithful, and very intelligent. When they are happy they are active, calm and get along with others if socialized. They are loving and intuitive.
With Children: Yes, excellent with children, completely at ease with their sudden movements.
With Pets: Yes, they generally do fine with other pets, but some may be dog aggressive.
Special Skills: Watchdog and family pet. A popular hot water bottle, this breed has a higher than average body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Care and Training: Hairless Xoloitzcuintli tolerate sun quite well, though spots lack pigment and need sun block. Though the hairless Xolo (Xoloitzcuintli) does need greater protection from the elements, they are hardy and can tolerate even extreme cold for brief periods of time. Mexican Hairless dogs do not require much exercise. To play and romp will keep them content, but they will also enjoy a walk on the leash. Early socialization and firm handling, without harsh correction or heavy handedness are imperative. Gentleness is the way to go. Without these, the pups may grow to be fearful of new situations and insecure. This isn't a breed for permissive parents, or heavy-handed tyrants.
Learning Rate: Very high. The Xoloitzcuintli wants to please their master. Obedience - High. Problem Solving - High.
Special Needs: Attention, socialization, sun protection and skin care.
Living Environment: Xoloitzcuintli need to be involved in family life more than any other single thing. They will not thrive if confined to the backyard for long periods of time without human interaction. A Xolo (Xoloitzcuintli), even fully coated should be considered an indoor dog. The best owner for this breed would be an active individual or family living in a suburban or city environment. An apartment is suitable for this breed.
Health Issues: Xoloitzcuintli have no know genetic problems at this point. Some do have drug sensitivities, and caution must be used when using any chemical for the first time. Other health concerns include acne, missing teeth, food allergies and skin infections.
History: The Xoloitzcuintli, also know as the Mexican Hairless, is among the oldest of purebred dogs. It is thought to have existed at least 3500 years ago in pre-hispanic Mexico, as well as claimed to be the first dog of the Americas. The breed was regarded as the earthly representative of the god Xolotl, from which its name is derived. It was thought by the Toltec, Mayan and Aztec cultures that the Xoloitzcuintli was created from the Bone of Life, from which all man was created as well. The god Xolotl gave the Xoloitzcuintli to man as a gift and told them to protect it with their lives. The Xoloitzcuintli was thought to be able to guide man through the dangers of the world of Death, or Mictlan, in order to pass through it to get to the Evening Star of the Heavens. For this reason the breed was thought to have medicinal and spiritual powers. Their most important task may have been to accompany the souls of the dead to their final place of rest. However, they were also regarded as a source of food, protector of the home, family companion and healer of various ailments. Therefore there have been records from 16th century Spanish explorers telling of large banquets of Xoloitzcuintli being served for dinner. People also ate them because they thought they might heal them if they ate the meat. Some places in Mexico are still thought to sell this breed as food, as some people still believe the legend. Unknown to most people, the breed was actually registered by the AKC in 1887, but in April of 1959, the breed had few followers, and no major breeding programs were producing high quality Xolos, thus purebred Xoloitzcuintli interest declined and the AKC voted to drop the breed from the stud books. However, the breed has been on the Foundation Stock Service since 1997.
First Registered by the AKC: 2010
AKC Group: Non Sporting Group
Class: Non-Sporting Group
Registries: AKC, FCI (Group 5), UKC (Sighthounds and Pariah Dogs), KC (UK) (Utility), CKC (Toys)