|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
We could define the Xoloitzcuintli as the Mexican flag; it certainly is a beautiful dog: quiet, cheerful, alert and smart.
The Xoloitzcuintli is also known as Hairless Mexican Dog or by its nickname “Xolo”, outside of Mexico it is not very popular dog. Today we are going to tell you all about this brave guardian and excellent companion dog, which is never aggressive.
The Xoloitzcuintli is a dog that you will rarely cross on the street, but we can assure you that it is a great friend, although it is a little shy with strangers at first, it does not jump right away into the arms of someone unfamiliar, it can take some time to show its affection. We can also say that this is a delicate dog, but not fragile! It knows how to show its courage if it is necessary.
With its family it is very affectionate and kind, and it shows it all the time. The Xoloitzcuintli is sweet with children, sociable with other dogs, cats and even parrots of the house. We can say this is a great companion, very discreet and quiet, but also alert.
Let’s talk about the origins of the Xoloitzcuintli and the different opinions of the experts.
Some people deny the presence of this dog breed before the arrival of Hernán Cortés to Mexico in 1519. Other people assure it was introduced by conquerors during the raids to the Aztec, Mayan and Incan Empires.
We can say this theory does not take into account the fact that numerous clay statuettes that portrayed hairless dogs have been found in ancient burial tombs before the Spanish colonization. Therefore, it is quite clear that these dogs inhabited Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors.
Other experts say that the that this Mexican dogs descended from the Chinese Crested Dogs, and that they arrived to the American Continent through the merchant ships that came from the Far East to the Mexican western coast to sell spices. Unless it was the other way around; we could say the Xoloitzcuintles were the ancestors of the Chinese Crested Dogs, immigrating to the Chinese Empire through Guinea, Egypt and Philippines.
Also, hairless dogs might have crossed the Bering Strait in company of humans, many centuries ago from Asia to America, or the opposite according to each hypothesis. But the cold temperatures these dogs might have to endure, makes this theory uncertain; although some specimens have been found in inhospitable areas such as Patagonia or in the Antarctic coasts of Tierra del Fuego, a province of Argentina.
In any case, we can assure the Xoloitzcuintli could not have endured constant and cold temperatures under 0° C. The last theory talks about the Assyrians and the Egyptians, which could have imported the hairless dogs from Africa; we cannot deny the presence of these dogs in this continent.
Xoloitzcuintli: Common Uses Through History
Pre-Colombian civilizations, particularly the Aztecs had settled in Mexico during the 14th century, and the hairless dogs had an important religious role. They were the representation of the God Xolotl, often portrayed with a human body and a dog’s face.
It was believed that the Chihuahuas and Xoloitzcuintles led the souls of the dead to the afterlife. Another common belief was that the specimens with pigmented skin could cross rivers in order to purify the souls of the fishes.
These beliefs explained the presence of Chihuahuas’ statuettes in some ancient burial tombs. These dogs were also used as sacrifice to ease the wrath of the Gods or to ask them for help.
In the daily life, the Xoloitzcuintli was the guardian of the house and the belongings of its owner. It was the perfect guardian dog that also was the playmate of children. However, there were other unpleasant uses ancient people had for the Xolo in Mexico: Gastronomy.
Yes, unfortunately, this dog was a luxury type of food, its meat was soft and delicious; it was considered more tasty than suckling pig; the Xoloitzcuintli came near extinction for this reason. In fact, the natives raised and consumed it with moderation; but everything changed since the arrival of the Spanish people, and the Xoloitzcuintli almost disappeared completely. After the downfall of the Aztec Empire, the upper class of the native civilization was decimated and this left the Xolo without any qualified breeders.
The use of its skin in trials with toxic gases was the final blow that endangered this dog breed. Luckily, several breeders passionately kept this dog breed alive and with its entire characteristics.
Nowadays, the standard of the Mexican Hairless Dog has three varieties:
- Standard: 18-23 inches height (46-60 cm)
- Medium: 14-17inches height (36-45 cm)
- Miniature: 9-13 inches height (25-35 cm)
Xoloitzcuintli: Temperament and Qualities
The Xoloitzcuintli is a pretty rare dog; but it has kept its features since the beginning without suffering from the harmful side effects of fashion. Its natural guardian instincts increase during the night time.
Puppies become independent very quickly and keep an adorable look during puppyhood. They take only a month to understand how to keep themselves clean in regards to their physiological needs if they have an accessible and proper space.
Another amazing characteristic of this dog breed is the effortless way the mothers give birth to the puppies. The mother does not show any signs of anxiety, high levels of temperature, anguish or pain, it keeps itself composed and relaxed (even more than its owners!) when the puppies arrive.
Its medium size and light weight allows the Xoloitzcuintle to be used in different tasks. Its natural sophistication makes walking a real pleasure, where it gets diverse comments, such as: “What an awful dog!” or “Aww, it is beautiful!”
In fact, the Mexican Hairless Dog never stops surprising people. Its skin can be hydrated with almond oil or sunscreen; it does not need any other special cares. One last advantage of owning this dog breed is that you would not have any issues with grooming, ticks or other parasites, they are completely unfamiliar to it. The Xoloitzcuintli is certainly a quality hairless dog!
Xoloitzcuintli: Related Dog Breeds
The FCI officially recognizes three types of hairless dogs, they are:
- Xoloitzcuintli or Mexican Hairless Dog;
- Chinese Crested Dog (both varieties);
- Peruvian Inca Orchid (in its three sizes).
Unofficially, there are some other varieties of hairless dogs, such as: Hairless Chihuahua (a beloved American dog breed) and the American Hairless Terrier, which is not recognized by the FCI, but it is approved by the American Kennel Club. This last “dog breed” does not have a lot of specimens in the World, and it is a cross between the Xolo and the Whippet. It has pointed straight ears, a small tail, slim legs and a sharped muzzle. Its body is completely hairless and can be of any color.
The Chinese Crested Dog, is more popular and well-known, there are two varieties:
- Hairy Chinese Crested Dog (Powderpuff)
- Hairless Chinese Crested Dog (Hairless)
These two varieties can be born from the same mother. It is a small dog that can weigh between 8-13 lb (4-6 kg). The history of this dog is impressive; Chinese people bred this dog since immemorial times (even during the Han Dynasty).
Xoloitzcuintli: Breed Standard
Hairy Type and Hairless Type
There is a dominant gene that generates the lack of hair. However some puppies can be born with hair. The crossing between two hairless dogs will produce a fewer number of hairy puppies.
- Hairless Type: because of the complete lack of hair, the skin gains value: it is soft, sensitive to touch and warm; it radiates heat because of the absence of fur; its body temperature is the same as every dog. The dog sweats through the paws (pads and interdigital webbing), therefore it hardly pants, it only does it when it is too hot.
- Hairy Type: it is a very beautiful dog, this variety of the Xoloitzcuintle has very soft and velvety hair, and it is entirely covered with fur.
Both the Hairless and Hairy Type must have uniform, dark and solid color, they can be: Black, Gray-Black, Gray, Red, Gold or Blonde; it can also have spots of every color, including white.
Xoloitzcuintli: Breeders, Price, and Puppies for Sale
Because it is not a popular dog breed, it is very hard to establish a price, and also it can be very expensive, you can probably find your Xoloitzcuintli puppy in countries such as: the US, Canada and UK; but also Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, India and South Africa. The cost can be around 2000 dollars, 1600 English pounds.
Some common flaws of this dog breed can be: large head, light colored eyes, short tail, flaccid skin, hair in places that are not allowed by the standard, albinism or long-haired bangs.
Now that we have mentioned the most important aspects, you can go to your new four-legged friend, who is certainly waiting for you.
You may be interested in reading another article related to other dog breeds such as:
- Miniature Pinscher
- West Highland White Terrier
- Australian Terrier
- Peruvian Inca Orchid
- Norfolk Terrier
- Scottish Terrier
- Papillon and Phalène
- Shetland Sheepdog