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Breed Xoloitzcuintli Or Mexican Dog, Everything You Need To Know

Also called the Xoloitzcuintle, the Mexican naked dog is a pet with very ancient origins, so much so that it was revered by the Aztec people.

Breed Xoloitzcuintli or Mexican dog, everything you need to know.

The Mexican dog or Xoloitzcuintli breed, also known as the Mexican Naked Dog or Xolo, is ancient and peculiar. It originates from Mexico, which is highly prized and considered a living archaeological jewel, as this dog breed accompanied the Aztecs more than 7000 years ago.

Its appearance is unique, as it is hairless. Want to know more about the Xoloitzcuintli? What are its physical characteristics, behaviour, and other incredible curiosities? Don’t miss our AnimalPedia file on the Mexican nude dog.

Dog breed xoloitzcuintli history

The Xoloitzcuintli is an ancient breed that traces its roots back to Aztec times, making it at least 3,500 years old. According to the Xoloitzcuintli Club of America, the breed’s name combines the name of the death god Xolotl and the Aztec word Itzcuintli, meaning dog.

The Aztecs revered this dog breed, as they considered it a living representation of their god Xototl, the Aztec god of death, who had a human body and a dog’s head. Despite being the god of death, Xototl is not evil, as he guards the underworld.

The Aztecs believed that Xoloitzcuintle dogs were created by their god from the splinter of the bone of life to guide the dead on their journey to the afterlife, which is why when someone died, these animals were sacrificed and buried with the deceased.

They also believed that it relieved contact pain and that consuming their meat had various ritual and nutritional benefits.

After the colonisation of America, the Xoloitzcuintli suffered a sharp decline in numbers, risking extinction. In the 19th century, thanks to various breeders who tried to preserve the breed, the FCI decided in the 1950s to look for the purest specimens, to crossbreed them and prevent them from disappearing.

The Xolo is the national dog of Mexico and is now recognised by the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, the Mexican Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique International (FCI).

Little by little, Xolo is slowly finding its way into pop culture. In the 2017 Disney animated film ‘Coco’, an adorable Xoloitzcuintli named Dante appears and steals the show.

Appearance and Attributes of the Dog breed Xoloitzcuintli

Xoloitzcuintli are classified into three subtypes according to height and size:

TOYMEDIUMSTANDARD
Height: 23 to 26 cm
Weight: 2 to 7 kg
Longevity: 12 to 15 years
Colour: grey, dark brown or gold
Fur: hairless
Coat: short and dense
Height: 38 to 51 cm
Weight: 7 to 14 kg
Longevity: 12 to 15 years
Colour: grey, dark brown or gold
Fur: hairless
Coat: short and dense
Height: 51 to 76 cm
Weight: 11 to 18 kg
Longevity: 12 to 15 years
Colour: grey, dark brown or gold
Fur: hairless
Coat: short and dense

In all subtypes, the body is compact and muscular, the muzzle is pointed, and the head is covered with a few hairs; the eyes are almond-shaped and usually brown, and the nose can have different colours depending on the colour of the hair, from black to brown, pink or spotted. The ears are erect and triangular.

They are generally hairless, but the coat colour may be grey, dark brown or gold. The hair will be short, dense, and more abundant on the head and tail.

Price and maintenance

The price of Xoloitzcuintli from renowned breeders varies between (£800 and £4,000). This price can be influenced by factors such as age, pedigree, registration, location and reputation of the breeder.

It is said that there are less than 30,000 of this breed worldwide. Thus, the rarity of the Xolo gives it a higher price tag than other dog breeds. However, even with such a small population, there are variations within this breed.

Coated Xolos have a short coat that is easy to maintain, requiring occasional brushing. Adult dogs require minimal grooming, while younger dogs may suffer from teenage acne when their skin needs special care.

In addition to regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. Nails should be trimmed regularly, as nails that are too long can cause discomfort for the dog. Hairless dogs need sun protection with prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

Pros and cons of the dog breed Xoloitzcuintli

Top 5 characteristics:

The five most problematic characteristics:

  • Sizes from small to medium
  • It has an exotic, elegant appearance, like that of a small deer
  • It is primarily hairless, needs no brushing, and doesn’t shed
  • Is high-spirited, intelligent, and sensitive
  • It is usually peaceful with other animals
  • A somewhat high-strung, emotional, dependent personality that demands much attention
  • Tendencies to climb or dig to escape from confinement
  • Barking
  • Housebreaking difficulties
  • The attentive care of hairless skin, which is sensitive to the sun, cold, rain, sleet, chemicals, and hard sleeping surfaces, needs many baths.

Dog breed Xoloitzcuintli. Character and sociability

Breed Xoloitzcuintli or Mexican dog, everything you need to know.
Portrait of Xoloitzcuintle puppy

The Xoloitzcuintli is an ideal family dog with an obedient, intelligent, loyal and amiable character. It is also a superb watchdog, vigilant, alert and courageous.

We must know that he is an ideal playmate for the little ones (8-10 years old) in the house, as he is playful and very patient without ever being aggressive. Playtime will allow him to vent his energy, and we will ensure that he remains calm and balanced.

In general, Xoloitzcuintles are affectionate animals who love to receive our attention, time and affection, so if we spend many hours away from home, this breed may not be the most suitable for us. In such cases, our Xolo could cause damage to the furniture and feel sad because of the sense of loneliness and develop separation anxiety.

The Xoloitzcuintli breed is brilliant.

Xolos are brilliant and attentive, so their primary education will be simple and pleasant, and in a short time, we will see the fruits of our efforts.

Because Xoloitzcuintlis have cohabited with humans for centuries, they make excellent family pets. Xolos form a powerful bond with their owners, affectionate towards their family and aloof towards strangers. That said, socialisation and exposure to other people and pets early in their lives can help Xolos warm up to new people and experiences more efficiently.

While their loyal and affectionate nature makes them ideal for families, Xolos are sensitive dogs. They will not willingly accept aggressive physical touch, so they are unsuitable for life with small children (newborns- old) who might pull on their ears and tails.

Xolos can adapt well to families with other pets if you have a cat or another breed of dog; research in advance to determine if they can adapt to having Xolos in the mix. When bred and cared for responsibly, Xolos are amiable dogs. Regular visits to a dog park and daily walks outside the home can help a Xolo get used to the presence of other animals.

Care and Health of the dog breed Xoloitzcuintli.

Because they are hairless, Xoloitzcuintli are more susceptible to wounds, burns, allergies or scratches on the skin. We must pay special attention to factors such as direct sunlight or allergens in contact with their skin.

Although their skin can regenerate from wounds or burns, if our pet is about to be exposed to sunlight, it will be necessary to apply protective creams to avoid sunburn.

The dirt quickly gets into the pores of the Xoloitzcuintli skin, causing pimples, which can lead to more or less severe infections. Therefore, it should be washed often, and specific products for sensitive skin and a suitable sponge that does not irritate the skin should be used.

Once it has been bathed, it is advisable to apply moisturising products, and we can ask the vet for the most recommendable options, such as pet oils or creams. Adding two or three weekly brushes to remove dead hair will be necessary to care for hairy specimens.

The absence of hair makes them ideal dogs for those allergic to dog hair, as they are a hypoallergenic breed. In addition to these breed-specific considerations, preventive measures suitable for any dog breed should be taken, such as internal and external worming, vaccinations, a balanced diet, exercise, oral hygiene and regular eye and ear checks.

Training of dog breed Xoloitzcuintli

Breed Xoloitzcuintli or Mexican dog, everything you need to know.
It is advisable to start training as early as possible.

As anticipated, the education of Xoloitzcuintli will not be complicated; following a few basic guidelines and perseverance, you will achieve excellent results in a reasonably short period.

It is advisable to start training as early as possible, as getting our animal to learn the basic rules when it is still a puppy will be easier. However, even as an adult, it can be trained without significant problems, as it is a breed with a high capacity for adaptation and learning.

Good socialisation will be necessary so that our animal grows balanced and can relate appropriately to other animals, children, and humans; otherwise, it may be grumpy and distrustful of strangers.

The Health of the Dog Breed Xoloitzcuintli

Breed Xoloitzcuintli or Mexican dog, everything you need to know.
Xoloitzcuintli Playing

Although they are a breed that generally enjoys good Health, they may suffer from hip dysplasia, so regular visits to the vet will be necessary to diagnose it as soon as possible and prevent it from getting worse and complications from appearing. They may also suffer from other joint problems, such as luxation of the kneecap.

The Xoloitzcuintli is prone to suffer from oral problems such as loss or absence of teeth or malformations of both teeth and jaw. This is why we must carefully brush their teeth with the right products.

On the other hand, they also seem more prone to suffer from liver disorders. Still, the problems they present most frequently are those associated with the absence of hair, i.e. skin disorders such as dermatitis, allergies or increased thermal sensitivity due to the lack of the layer of hair that protects them from these factors.

Let’s consider all this and carry out the relevant veterinary checks and analyses, follow the vaccination and deworming programme and keep the eyes, mouth and ears clean. Then, we will have a healthy and robust animal to enjoy beautiful times.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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