The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show-low-eets-queent-lee) can also be spelled as Xoloitzcuintle but is commonly known as the Xolo. Xolos are often called Mexican Hairless dogs and come in three sizes (Toy, Miniature and Standard) as well as two varieties (coated and hairless). The hairless variety of Xolo is the most common (more than 75% are born without hair) and the most popular. The Xolos most distinguishing characteristic is its large upright bat-like ears. The exact heights of the different size classifications vary between breed clubs, but the following apply to the Canadian Kennel Club. The Toy Xolo stands from 9 to 13 3/4 inches at shoulder height and weighs from 5 to 15 pounds. The Miniature Xolo stands from over 13 3/4 to 18 inches and can weigh from 15 to 25 pounds. The Standard Xolo stands from over 18 to 22 3/4 inches and can weigh from 25 to 40 pounds. The principle characteristic of the hairless variety is the almost total absence of hair while the coated variety has
very short and dense hair that completely covers the dog and lays flat to the body. There are a wide range of colors from: black, grey, red, liver, bronze to golden yellow – including parti-colors. The most sought after are the darker shade solid colors.
Xolos are not currently members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) but have been accepted into the AKC foundation stock registry and can compete in all AKC activities except conformation trials. They are members of the Canadian Kennel Club.
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The Xolo is one of the world’s oldest and rarest breeds with identical looking statues dating back 3,000 years. These clay and ceramic effigies have been found in tombs of the Mayan, Colima and Aztec Indians. The Xolo were valued for their loyalty, companionship and intelligence as well as their curative and mystical powers. Xolos were used as companions, bed warmers, food and even religious sacrificial offerings. Remains of Xolos have been found in burial sites where they were supposed to guide the souls to a happy afterlife. The name “Xoloitzcuintli” is derived from the Aztec god “Xolotl” and the Aztec word for dog “Itzcuintli”. At one time Xolos were prevalent throughout Mexico and large portions of South America. After the Spaniards conquered the Aztecs, the breed population dwindled and was kept alive by secluded Indian tribes in remote parts of Mexico and South America. The breed was eventually re-established by the Countess Lascelle de Premio Real and other Mexican breeders.
It was first registered in Mexico in 1955 and is now the designated official dog of Mexico. The Xolo was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) from 1887 to 1959 as the Mexican Hairless breed but was dropped due to insufficient numbers of dogs being bred and registered. The breed is becoming much more popular, not only in Mexico, but around the world and since 1997 has been recorded in the AKC Foundation Stock Service for rare breeds. The Xolo is now eligible for all AKC activities and competitions with the exception of conformance trials. The Xoloitzcuintli is currently registered by the Canadian Kennel Club in the Non-Sporting Group for the Standard and Miniature and in the Toy Group for the Toy Xolo.
The Xolo is very intelligent, alert, loyal and loving. It is also very lively and athletic and care must be taken not to let the Xolo bond only with one family member. It is quite protective and distrustful of strangers but with lots of early socialization will become good with children and accept strangers. This breed is easy to train but must be taught and handled firmly or it will run the household. The Xolo loves to be with its owner and family and will usually stay close and not wander off. However since it is so intelligent, it will certainly learn how to escape from pens, climb fences etc. to rejoin its family. The Xolo can be trained for obedience and agility competitions and they make great therapy dogs as well as watch dogs. Smaller Xolos make great companion dogs. The Standard and Miniature Xolo probably will do best with experienced owners who will provide ongoing socialization, discipline and lots of attention.
Young Standard Xolos require lots of exercise, discipline, toys and activities to keep them occupied and out of trouble. They really shouldn’t be left alone all day when they are adolescents. After they mature the Xolos calm down and make great companions who just love to be with their families. A mature Xolo will still like to play games and go hiking or jogging but don’t require as much exercise as many other sporting or terrier breeds. Xolos should wear sweaters when exercising in cold climates.
The Xolo’s skin is quite hardy and requires minimal care. Too much bathing will remove the natural oils that protect the skin and applying too much sun screen will clog the pores and cause acne. Dark and solid colored Xolos will not need as much sun screen as the lighter and parti-colored varieties. Hairless Xoloitzcuintlis are non-shedding or hypoallergenic dogs and can be good for people who are allergic to dogs. Coated Xolos are classed as low-shedding dogs as long as they are brushed regularly.
The majority of Xolos are very healthy and can be expected to live for 16 to 20 years. Hairless varieties should be protected from extreme heat and extreme cold. Xolos do not do well as kennel or outside dogs and should be an integral part of the household.
Article type: xdogbreed