Xoloitzcuintle Breed History
Owners also slept with this breed for warmth. For a long time people thought the Xolo had a higher body temperature, however it only feels that way due to its hairlessness. This breed was eaten due to the belief that it had curative powers over various physical problems such as arthritis. In addition, the Xoloitzcuintle was a convenient source of protein. The ancient people raised herds of this breed, fattened the young for the market, and sold as food. The Xolo is a rare breed, even in Mexico. In 1956, members of the Federacion Canofila Mexicana began a registration and breeding program for the dogs to counteract its near extinction. As Europeans brought the dogs to the New World, the breed was diluted, however the hairless gene was strong enough to maintain the familiar look the Xolo. Prior to 1974, the Xoloitzcuintle was listed in the non-sporting group, but Mexicans believed that placing it in the working group would uphold its traditional image. More recently, the breed was moved to the spitz and primitive group.
Xoloitzcuintle Breed Appearance
The Xoloitzcuintle varies in size from very small, like a Chihuahua, to as large as a Doberman. It is slightly longer than it is tall, and females may be longer than males. The most notable characteristic is the breed’s complete or near-complete lack of hair. Some members of this breed have tufts of hair or “powderpuff” fur that falls in heavy folds on its neck and body. Both varieties can be reddish gray, black, elephant gray, dark bronze, gray-black, and sometimes coffee with pink spots with soft, smooth skin.
Xoloitzcuintle Breed Maintenance
The hairless Xoloitzcuintle requires skin care, such as sunscreen or other appropriate protection from the elements. The powderpuff variety requires regular brushing to help with shedding. This breed is odorless and an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. The Xolo thrives on human interaction and enjoys family life more than anything else. It does not require much exercise other than walks and playtime.
Xoloitzcuintle Breed Activity Requirements
The Xoloitzcuintle is affectionate, attentive, quiet, and easy to train. Training should be neither too lax or too harsh. Pups may grow fearful and insecure if it is not raised with early socialization and firm, but not severe, handling. The Xolo makes a great watchdog due to its wariness of strangers, and the larger members of the breed will take cues from its master in terms of responding to strangers. The Xoloitzcuintle are natural vegetarians, and many enjoy carrots instead of rawhide toys.