The Xoloitzcuintli also known as the Mexican hairless, is one of the world’s best-known rare dog breeds. The breed comes in three basic sizes: the original Standard Mexican Hairless weighing up to 35 pounds and the Miniature Mexican Hairless that weighs in at nine pounds were the first two sizes. However, there now includes a Toy Mexican Hairless version as well. This tiny dog can weigh as little as five pounds. The only other hairless dog is the Peruvian Hairless. This dog is much bigger dog than the Standard Mexican Hairless.
Xoloitzcuintli will either be hairless or coated; the hairless variety is the most popular. Nevertheless, even the hairless will still have tuffs of hair on the head and tail. Tuffs of hair found on any other part of the body is considered substandard.
Hairless Xoloitzcuintli have a thick skin to protect them against the elements; yet at the same time this skin must be soft and smooth. Puppies are born with folds of wrinkled skin which smoothes out as they grow.
The coated Xoloitzcuintli is completely covered in short course hair. Neither the coated nor hairless variety should have any curly or wiry hair. Both the Xoloitzcuintli coated and hairless have a graceful appearance, somewhat rectangular but smooth body with no pronounced demarcations. Their body length is slightly longer than their height. Their long necks compliment their slender bodies. Their dark almond shaped eyes blend well with their body shading. A prominent feature of this breed of dog is the bat like ears facilitating the vigilance needed to alert the dog of oncoming danger. Unfortunately, these dogs do not always have a complete set of teeth.
Coated Xoloitzcuintli come in a range of colors from solid blacks, red, bronze, slate, and brown to spotted, brindles, and more. Their coat is very sleek and short. Xoloitzcuintli usually change colors as they grow older.
The hairless does not have hair on the body except for the tuffs of hair found on the head and tail.
The rich history of the Xoloitzcuintli or Mexican hairless can be traced as far back as 3000 years ago where Mayan art and pottery artifacts were found depicting pictures of this very rare and ancient dog. Though their history is somewhat steeped in mystery, it is believed that the ancestors of the South American Aztecs traveled from Asia with these hairless dogs in tow. The Hairless were considered loyal and powerful but their claim to fame was their alleged mystical powers.
These ancient peoples had many uses for these dogs. They were not only considered family pets, in many situations they were the family food supply as well. At other times, the dogs were used for sacrifices to the gods.
Despite the depletion of their breed, these dogs had such a hardiness to survive natural selection and the tremendous odds set against them that their very distinctive characteristics helped them to survive the test of time.
The dogs had a redeeming quality about them that proved invaluable; their bodies radiated so much heat that the ancients brought them to bed to warm them up in the middle of the night. They were also used for medicinal purposes serving as a heating pad to apply against aching bones and indiscriminate pain.
Though these dogs are native to Mexico, they became popular throughout South America. Xoloitzcuintli borrows its name from a much older dog, the Xoloti. As time moved forward the dogs gained popularity as family pets and by the 19th Century they were known for companionship, therefore making them an excellent candidate for family pet. Their popularity gained in leaps and bounds throughout the United States.
Mexican hairless are rambunctious dogs demanding a good amount of exercise. They are loyal dogs that bond with their masters immediately, however they can be squeamish in front of strangers. Early socialization is recommended to get them use to guests in your home. Xolo make excellent watchdogs and will bark to alert you of strangers approaching the house. For this reason they make great pets for the elderly and the hard of hearing. They are loyal dogs that do not venture very far from their owners. It is quite possible to walk the dog without a lease and feel secure it will not run away. A Mexican hairless can have issues with dominance but once the pecking order in the family has been established early on in the puppy’s life, they make wonderful house pets to be enjoyed by the entire family.
The Mexican Hairless is a very healthy breed with very little health issues to speak of. Their robust constitution can be attributed to the breeders who have taken care to produce pedigrees with a fine temperament, and healthy skin. Since the skin of the hairless is exposed to all climates their skin becomes the main concern for breeders and buyers alike. It is important to choose your pet from a reputable breeder who can vouch for the bloodline and insure that no interbreeding has taken place.
Once your pet comes home it is just as important that you continue good maintenance but making sure your pet visits the vet for routine checkups, inoculations, heartworms and flea medications as needed.
Essentially grooming these dogs is easy.
Hairless - Mexican Hairless use their tongue to lick and clean their skin; mimicking cat grooming.
Remember to bathe your pet monthly. After bathing lubricate with lotion but do not overdo it; over cleansing can rob the skin of its natural oils and too much lubricating can clog the pores. In between bath times, you can rinse down your hairless to remove surface dirt.
When outdoors your dog should be wearing a sunscreen suitable for a human baby and a sweater in frigid weather.
Coated - Light colored coated Xoloitzcuintli will also require a sunscreen when outdoors. Coated Xolo will need a monthly bath and a good brushing once a week to maintain a healthy coat and avoid excessive shedding.
The Xoloitzcuintli is a breed of dog requiring a good amount of exercise. As young puppies they are just bursting with energy and will tend to get themselves into mischief if not able to work out that energy in a positive manner. Make sure your pet goes out to romp around. Take him on daily walks but make sure that his skin is protected against the sun’s burning rays or winter’s frigid weather. While inside the home, supply your animal with toys to expend his energy and enough space to romp around in.
Xoloitzcuintli are easily trainable bright dogs that tend to bond with the person or people who feed, care, and play with them. Therefore where training is concerned it is important to get your puppy used to all family members so that your pet will listen and be readily trainable for any family member taking on the task at hand. Otherwise you risk having a pet that will obey one single household member, in other words a one master dog.
House training can be done in three different ways, the young pup can be taught to go outside immediately though many owners worry about their hairless bodies and therefore choose paper training in the house before venturing outside. Another popular method is crate training. The crate will serve a duel purpose; house training and sleeping quarters for your young pup.
Whatever form of training you are using, make sure that you are the dominant one. Mexican Hairless will compete for the dominant role if given the chance.
Positive training or reinforcement is the most efficient way to train your puppy. Reward him with praises and or treats every time he successfully completes a command or exhibits a positive behavior. Xoloitzcuintli do not respond well to negative training or punishment. However, should negative behavior be pointed out to your puppy you must catch him in the act and point out the mistake immediately.
To train your dog to interact with people and other dogs, expose him to strangers and other dogs from an early age. He will become comfortable in the presence of strangers and he will learn to mimic the behavior of other dogs. Teach him tricks to perform in front of company and have strangers pet him and praise him.