AKC Dog Breeds: Xoloitzcuintli

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Miscellaneous Class
Height: Toy: 9-14; Miniature: 15-20; Standard: 20-30  inches   Weight: Toy: 5-15, Miniature: 15-30, Standard: 25-40 pounds  Color: Black, Slate, Gray, Brindle, Fawn, Red, Bronze; Spotted Or Solid

The Xolo is native to Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Archaeological evidence shows that the breed existed in the New World for more than 3,500 years. Most likely, early forerunners of the Xolo originated as spontaneous hairless mutations of indigenous New World dogs. Hairlessness may have offered a survival advantage in tropical regions. Their value in ancient native cultures is evidenced by their frequent appearance in the art and artifacts produced by the Colima, Aztec and Toltec civilizations in Mexico. Xolos were considered sacred dogs by the Aztecs because they believed the dogs were needed by their masters’ souls to help them safely through the underworld. According to Aztec mythology, the god Xolotl made the Xoloitzcuintle from a sliver of the Bone of Life from which all man was made. Xolotl gave this gift to Man with the instruction to guard it with his life and in exchange it would guide Man through the dangers of Mictlan, the world of Death, toward the Evening Star in the Heavens. The Aztecs also raised the breed for their meat. 16th Century Spanish accounts tell of large numbers of dogs being served at banquets.

General Appearance

The Xolo comes in three sizes, Toy, Miniature, Standard, and two varieties: The coated and the hairless. The Hairless being the more sought after and popular variety. It is very hairless with or with out a short tuffed of hair on the head and tail. The hairless Xolo should never be hairy, or possess long hair, wire hair or wavy hair. It's skin should be soft and smooth, yet hardy to the elements. The Xolo comes in a variety of colors, from black to slate, gray, bronze, brindle, red, fawn, solid or spotted. The coated variety should have a full coat of hair, short, sleek, clean, like that of a Doberman, and with regular brushing shed very little. The coated Xolo should also not possess long hair, wire, or wavy hair. It has a loyal following to those who love the breed but prefer a coat of hair on their dog. In an average litter of five. Four will be hairless and one will be coated. This is a very robust and hardy breed, with a broad skull and black or skin colored nose. Almond shaped eyes are dark or in keeping with the color of the dog. It's most noticeable character is it's large upright bat like ears, it is very keen and can hear and alert you to danger or stranger. Xolo do change colors as they mature.


Adult Xolos are noted for their calm demeanor but puppies can be quite noisy and unruly. The breed has definite primitive temperament traits and requires extensive socialization and training from eight weeks to a year of age. Xolo temperament can be compared to a typical Working breed, with strong guardian instincts. Their primitive heritage also encourages predatory behavior. Xolos can be escape artists, climbing and jumping fences to chase small animals. They are known to possess exceptional guard dog ability and will not back down from a fight. Therefore, basic obedience training and continued socialization is needed until adulthood. It is a myth that Xolo's are vegetarian's, however they do love veggies. This breed is easy to house train, and learns very quick. You must be the leader and teach the Xolo, or it will lead, and run the house for you.

With no shedding, no dander, and no fleas, the hairless variety is very popular with the clean, neat person, those with allergies and asthma, and with people who suffer from pain, arthritis type ailments. Being hairless, they radiate a warm, soothing, healing heat. This is only because they are hairless and not hotter. Over use of lotions and sun screen can clog pores and damage skin, causing acne and such. So only bath and lotion or sun screen as needed. Let the Xolo's natural protection do it's job. Xoloitzcuintli's are not suited for cold climates, and requires a sweater in cooler temperatures. The health of the skin is extremely important.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The Xolo is a very hardy and healthy breed possessing no known breed related health concern. The Xoloitzcuintli is prone to such health issues as early tooth loss, allergies to food, skin infection, and drug sensitivity.

Activity Level
Young Xolo's require allot of exercise, discipline and attention, lots of toys and things to do to keep them happy and out of trouble. Xoloitzcuintli's are well suited for apartment living. They are relatively inactive and enjoy going for securely leashed walks, sunbathing in a securely fenced yard, and spending time with their family. It is important that during any outdoor activity this breed is appropriately covered for the climate.


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