The sleek purebred dog Xoloitzcuintli (pronunciation: zoh-loh-eets-KWEENT-lee), with almond-shaped eyes, bat-like ears, long muzzle, legs and neck, is a very old breed of Mexican dogs (not to be confused with the almost similar looking ‘Peruvian Hairless Dog’) popular for its trait of hairlessness, however, they might have hair-tufts on the head and tail or, one out of five in an average litter. They were bred for both protection and companionship.
|Also Known As||Mexican Hairless Dog|
|Nicknames||Xoloitzcuintle, Xoloitzquintle, Xoloescuincle, Xolo, Xolito|
|Coat||Hairless or short-haired|
|Color||Black, white, gray, brown, brindle, spotted|
|Group (of Breed)||Non-sporting, Southern, Sighthound, Pariah, Toy, Utility, Guard, Companion|
|Lifespan||15 to 20 years|
|Weight/Size||10 to 50 pounds|
|Height||6 to 11 inches|
|Temperament||Alert, intelligent, protective, friendly, affectionate|
|Country of Origin||Mexico|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Competitive Registration||FCI, NKC, CKC, APRI, DRA, NAPR, ACA|
Archeological evidences show that, the Xoloitzcuintlis existed for over 3000 years, since the time of the Aztec civilizations, and their meat was even served as food. However, they were mostly used as guard dogs (the standard variety) and as companion dog (the miniature). Evidences also show that this breed had been with their masters during their first immigration across the Bering Straits. The very name of the canine developed from the Aztec god Xolotl and their word for ‘dog’- Itzcuintli. They were also called doctor dogs, because the heat of their hairless body would sooth body pains like arthritis etc.
Other than the hairless Xoloitzcuintli, there is also a coated variety (with short hair covering the whole body even like that of the Doberman dogs) and a spotted variety (with several spots or markings).
These South American dogs are indifferent towards strangers, not mingling much, even though they love all members of its family, picking up one as its favorite. These excellent watchdogs wouldn’t bark much, but they need proper training to be tolerant to other people and pets, not becoming too much territorial, since these playful dogs would pick up training easily with only a stern glance being enough to rectify their misbehavior. This hardy dog, with a calm but curious disposition, tends to be clean, adaptable and naturally protective, hence, are good for apartment life.
The primitive breed has a very strong survival and preying instinct for which they would try to get aggressive to other breeds or pets if not given socialization training early and thoroughly, which is, however, an easy task, since they would pick up training skillfully for their intelligence. Train them not to develop any pack leader syndrome or other behavioral problems from their puppy days.
Other than meat meals, the xoloitzcuintli loves veggie foods too, however the quantity depends on how big or small a Xolo is. On an average, an adult Xolo should eat 5/8 th to 1 ¾ cups of high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.