X is for Xoloitzcuintli (Xolo)
Mexican Hairless Dog
(Updated from April 2015)
The Xoloitzcuintle (zoh-loh-eets-KWEENT-lee), or Xolo for short, is more commonly known as the Mexican Hairless dog. It is an Aztec name, Xolotl meaning god, and itzcuīntli meaning dog. Isn’t it cute?
- The Mexican Hairless Dog comes in three sizes — toy, miniature and standard — ranging in weight from about 10 to 50 lb (4 to 20 kg). Oddly, all three sizes can be born to a single litter.
- These dogs have sleek bodies, almond-shaped eyes, large bat-like ears, and a long neck. Most litters will have both hairless and coated pups. The hairless dogs have some hair on the top of the head, the toes and the tip of the tail.
- Most hairless dogs are black or bluish-gray in color and are often marked, splashed, or spotted. Hairless Xolos typically have an incomplete set of teeth while the dogs of the coated variety have complete dentition.
- Mexican Hairless dogs are known for their calm demeanor, but puppies can be extremely energetic, noisy and will chew everything until they reach maturity, which is about 2 years old. After that, the puppies will settle down and become calmer.
- This breed is very smart, sensitive, curious, high energy, and strong hunting and social instincts. Xolos are very good at climbing and jumping, so they can be escape artists. They make a good guard dog and will not back down from a fight.
- Adult dogs, when they are raised properly, are known to become steady, well-behaved and affectionate companions, bonding strongly with their owners.
- Mexican Hairless dogs have been in Mexico for over 3,000 years and are the national dog of Mexico. The breed temperament has not been overly modified by selective breeding.
- Though physically grown at one year, Xolos are not ’emotionally mature’ until around two years. Like active breeds such as terriers, Xolos need calm, persistent and loving obedience and socialization training during their growing years.
- Anyone considering adopting this breed should expect to spend time educating themselves in positive dog training techniques, and, ideally, should have prior experience with active and intelligent dog breeds.
- This dog will need a spacious, well-fenced, safe physical environment for the dogs’ high exercise needs. Behavioral problems with this breed are usually the case of the dog not getting adequate physical and mental exercise, especially for the larger and more active dogs.
- The Xoloitzcuintli needs social interaction with humans and other dogs and should not be kept as “an only dog.” This dog does best as part of the family. It does not fare well as an outdoor-only dog and should be considered an indoor dog.
- Mexican Hairless dogs need regular bathing (but not too much to avoid stripping their bodies of natural oils), grooming and skin care.
A QUESTION FOR YOU: Do you have a Mexican Hairless dog? We’d love to hear about it.