The mexican hairless or xoloitzcuintli dog breed
Move over pure-bred and designer dogs and make room for the rare breed Xoloitzcuintli or Xoloitzcuintle. The Mexican Hairless breed or Xoloitzcuintli was showcased at the 2007 World Dog Show in Mexico City. Although accepted in the American Kennel Clubs (AKC) Foundation Stock Service for rare breeds, the Xoloitzcuintli or Xolo is actually gaining in popularity around the world and is also designated as the official dog of Mexico. A standard-sized male Xoloitzcuintli, called Tizoc, finished 3rd best in show on Sunday May 27th at the 2007 World Dog Show in Mexico City which was won by a Miniature Poodle from Japan. The Xolo achieved this while competing against more than 300 breeds and 5,000 dogs at the World Dog Show. The Xolo is gaining in popularity and is eligible for most of the AKC’s activities and competitions with the exception of conformation trials.
The exotic looking Xolo’s most distinguishing characteristics are its large bat-like ears and of course its hairless body. The Xolo’s athletic looking body somewhat resembles a Manchester Terrier without fur. Actually only about 75% of the breed is hairless as you will usually find one Xolo puppy in a litter of 4 or 5 with a short dense coat. Apart from its exotic appearance, intelligence and loyal nature, the other major reason for its popularity is the fact that it is classed as a hypoallergenic dog breed. The hairless variety is a non-shedding dog and a well groomed coated variety is a low-shedding dog. Both of these Xolo varieties are likely to make good pets for people who suffer from allergies to dogs. The Xolo actually comes in three sizes. The toy variety makes a good companion dog and usually is about 9 to 14 inches tall at shoulder height and is a little larger than a Chihuahua. The miniature variety usually stands from 14 to 18 inches tall and is about the size of a Beagle. The standard variety ranges from 18 to 23 inches at shoulder height and is about the size of a Labrador Retriever.
The Xolo is one of the world’s oldest and rarest breeds. Statues and effigies dating back more than 3,000 years have been found in Mayan tombs. Xolos were valued for their loyalty, companionship and intelligence as well as their curative and mystical powers. The remains of Xolos have been found in Aztec burial sites where they were supposed to guide the souls to a happy afterlife. At one time, Xolos were prevalent throughout Mexico, Central and South America. The number of Xolos dwindled over time and the breed was almost extinct by the 1940’s but was kept alive by secluded Indian tribes in remote parts of Mexico and South America. Fortunately Mexican breeders worked hard to re-establish the breed by searching for the dogs in remote villages and outposts. Their diligent work paid off and a breeding program was established and the breed was registered in Mexico in 1955. The breed has also been registered by the Canadian Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club and is now designated as the official dog of Mexico.
Potential show quality Xolos are commanding prices in excess of $2,500 and, after the recent results of the 2007 World Dog Show, are likely to become even more popular. Prospective buyers should recognize that standard-sized Xolos need a lot of exercise, discipline and attention when they are young. Mature Xolos require much less exercise. This is not a dog that you can keep in a kennel in your backyard. Xolos should become an integral part of your household and require lots of socialization and firm handling or they will end up running your household. The Xolo is an extremely intelligent dog and can be trained to excel at obedience and agility competitions as well being good therapy and watch dogs. Toy Xolos make good companion dogs. The skin of the Xolo is quite hardy and requires minimal care. Too much bathing will remove natural oils and too much sunscreen will clog pores and cause acne. However the hairless variety should be protected from extreme heat and extreme cold. The Xolo is an exceptionally healthy breed and can be expected to live from 16 to 20 years of age.