Xoloitzcuintle

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13-31 lbs
9-21"
Mexico
Mexican Hairless, Tepeizeuintli

The Xoloitzcuintle, or Mexican Hairless Dog as it is more commonly known, has roots that lie in times before the Americas were discovered by Christopher Columbus. The dog was used for a variety of purposes including food and sacrifice, companionship and hunting, as a guard dog and for medicinal purposes as well. The dog originates in Central America, particularly Mexico. Artifacts depicting the dog appear in tombs of the Aztec, the Maya, and the Colima Indians. The breed has three variations: standard, miniature, and toy sizes. There are also coated varieties even though the dog’s nickname is the “hairless” dog. This version of the breed is known as the “Xolo.

Purpose
food, sacrifice, companionship, hunting
Date of Origin
ancient, pre-columbian times
Ancestry
spitz, primitive types

Xoloitzcuintle Health

Average Size
Height: 13-22 inches Weight: 19-31 lbs
Height: 9-21 inches Weight: 13-31 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
Minor Concerns
  • Dry Skin
  • Sunburn
  • Teeth Issues
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Drug Allergy or Sensitivity
Occasional Tests
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)

Xoloitzcuintle Breed History

“Xolo” means “god of the underworld.” “itzcuintli” means dog. This is an Aztec word. Of course, the name “Mexican Hairless” comes from the dog’s country of origin and the fact that a majority of Xolos are hairless. The Xolo has a rich history. He has been referred to as the “first dog of the Americas.” It is estimated that the Xolo dates back at least three thousand years. The Aztecs and Mayans viewed the Xolo as both a food source and a sacrificial animal. Because the dog is naturally very warm-bodied, these natives believed the dog had healing properties. Many would use the dog as a heating pad, curling up with him for warmth. He was also used (again, much like a heating pad) to treat toothaches, insomnia, rheumatism, and asthma. The ancients believed that the dog warded off evil spirits, and they were excellent guard dogs. The Xolo’s heyday was the 1930s and 1940s. The breed has been portrayed in works of art by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; however, shortly after, the breed lost popularity and the American Kennel Club even eliminated the Xolo from its stud book due to low numbers. The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1993. In 2011, the American Kennel Club welcomed the Xolo into the Non-Sporting Group.

Xoloitzcuintle Breed Appearance

The Xolo is generally hairless; however, there is a variation with hair. The Xolo comes in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. The hairless is the more popular variety of the Xolo variations. It is very hairless, but may have a tuft of hair on its head and tail. The skin of a Xolo should be soft and smooth. The Xolo may be one of a variety of colors: black or slate gray, gray, bronze, brindle, red, fawn. The skin may be a solid color or spotted. Should your Xolo have a coat, it should be short and sleek like that of a Doberman. The haired variety will shed very little if it is regularly brushed (normally it sheds a good bit). The dog has a broad skull with either a black nose or a nose that matches the skin color. It has large, upright ears that resemble those of a bat. It is possible for a Xolo to change colors as it matures. 

Eye Color Possibilities
Hazel
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
White
Brown
Brindle
Fawn
Black
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Xoloitzcuintle Breed Maintenance

While the Xolo is not considered a hypoallergenic breed, the fact that he has little or no hair, no dander, and no fleas, makes this dog excellent for very neat people or people who do suffer from allergies and asthma. They radiate a warm, soothing, healing heat, which is why the Aztecs and Mayans thought the dogs had healing properties. The Xolo requires little grooming, especially the hairless variety. Bathe and lotion the Xolo twice a month or as needed. Use sunscreen only as needed. The Xolo has the potential to develop acne if he is over-lotioned. He also has the potential to develop dry skin in the winter especially. Special precaution should be used to protect the tender ears from the elements. Trim the nails twice a month, and brush the Xolo’s teeth daily to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Brushes for Xoloitzcuintle
Nail Clipper

Xoloitzcuintle Temperament

The Xolo is a highly intelligent, loyal, energetic and very loving dog. The Xolo bonds to the person or people that it feels is responsible for its care and training; the entire family is encouraged to take some responsibility for the dog so that it will bond to everyone in the family and not just one person. The Xolo is a naturally protective dog; he is often shy around strangers. The Xolo is very easy to housebreak; however, he needs a firm hand in regards to discipline – the Xolo will become the leader of the pack if he does not feel his humans lead properly. Some owners refer to the Xolo as a “Velcro dog;” some owners report that the dog stays with its humans constantly. It is possible that the Xolo can develop Small Dog Syndrome, which is not necessarily the fault of the dog. Humans must remember to be firm and consistent with Xolos so that they will not fall into bad habits. Overall, the Xolo is a loving and treasured family pet.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes

Xoloitzcuintle Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.2 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Xoloitzcuintle Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 10 lbs
Height: 12 inches Weight: 12 lbs
12 Months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 17 lbs
Height: 15 inches Weight: 19 lbs
18 Months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 20 lbs
Height: 15 inches Weight: 22 lbs

Xoloitzcuintle Owner Experiences