Dog Breeds


Other names: Mexican Hairless Dog , Xoloitzcuintle , Xolo , Xolo

Xoloitzcuintle is the owner of an extravagant appearance, which was awarded the title of national treasure of Mexico. According to legend, these dogs protect the owner’s house from evil spirits.

Country of originMexico
The sizeStandard / Medium / Mini
Growth46-62 cm / 36-45 cm / 25-35 cm
Weight11-16 kg / 6.8-14 kg / 2.3-6.8 kg
Age14-20 years old
FCI breed groupSpitz and primitive breeds
Xoloitzcuintle Characteristics

Basic moments

  • There are three types of Xoloitzcuintle: standard, medium and mini, so the breed is suitable for keeping in an apartment of any footage.
  • In one litter, both completely naked and “dressed” in short, hard fur babies can be born.
  • Xoloitzcuintle tend to consider only one person as the owner, although they also treat other family members with love, including other pets.
  • Mexican hairless dogs are excellent guards who sense an intruder long before it arrives.
  • It is not recommended to start xolo families with small children: dogs can behave unpredictably in the company of a child.
  • Animals need daily active walks, but in severe frosts it is better to refrain from a long cross in the city park.
  • When raising and training a Mexican hairless dog, you must be guided only by positive methods and a creative approach to the process.
  • Xoloitzcuintle will not be able to get along with those who perceive dogs as unintelligent creatures: these animals suffer if they are mistreated.

The Xoloitzcuintle is one of the most mysterious breeds. Its thousand-year existence is shrouded in legends. Ancient people considered these unusual animals to be guides to the other world and treated them with due respect. According to another legend, the Xoloitzcuintle were considered four-legged healers, capable of taking the disease with them overnight. History also mentions cruel moments: dogs were regularly sacrificed to the Aztec gods, and sometimes their meat was even eaten. Today, Xoloitzcuintle successfully cope with the role of devoted companions and friends. Yes, and hugging these warm and affectionate creatures is a pleasure!

History of the Xoloitzcuintle breed


Mexican hairless dogs are unique in every way. They are considered among the lucky ones who formed a separate breed due to a common genetic mutation – the absence of a coat. In the case of the Xoloitzcuintle, this deviation was fixed for generations and became a hallmark. The animals turned out to be more adapted to the climate of Mexico than their counterparts. In addition, ticks, fleas and other parasites were not interested in hairless dogs and rarely bothered them with painful bites.

The extravagant appearance of animals attracted the attention of the Aztecs. They also came up with the name “xoloitzcuintle”. It came from the name of the god of the underworld – Xolotl (Xolotl), who controlled thunderstorms and accompanied the daylight. The deity was depicted as a humanoid monster with the head of a dog.

Xoloitzcuintle looked quite frightening in comparison with other animals, so they were mistaken for faithful companions of God and who died on the way to Mictlan – the afterlife. According to Aztec mythology, the human soul met with a number of obstacles that could not be overcome without a four-legged helper. The central role of the breed is evidenced by archaeological finds – clay figurines and mummies of dogs. The oldest date back to the 5th millennium BC. e. On some figurines, imitation of the coat is visible: they probably embody representatives of other breeds.

The Aztecs not only believed in the divine power of Xoloitzcuintli, but also strictly followed the instructions of the priests. When a warrior died, the inhabitants of the settlement performed a bloody ritual that involved the ceremonial killing of the dog of the deceased. An arrow of its owner was put into the mouth of the animal. After that, the bodies were buried, and sometimes pre-mummified. Archaeological excavations in Mexico and the modern United States have unearthed more than a dozen of these “mass graves”.

Some finds suggest that the Xoloitzcuintli were kept for later consumption. Dog meat was considered a gourmet dish that was prepared only for important religious holidays. The Aztecs believed that this meal not only honors the gods, but also endows ordinary people with the gift of a seer. Representatives of the stronger sex ate the meat of naked dogs, because they considered it the main aphrodisiac that strengthens male power.

Xoloitzcuintle puppy

Xoloitzcuintle were also endowed with magical powers to heal ailments. This was largely due to the hot skin of animals, which reduced discomfort due to the warming effect. The myth still “lives” in remote Aboriginal villages, where Xolo still “treat” rheumatism and other diseases.

The appearance of the conquistadors was a turning point in the history of the breed. The conquerors considered the New World their property and sought to impose cruel orders on the locals. The first to fall out of favor was the culture of the descendants of the Aztecs. The conquistadors demanded that the aborigines renounce ancient rituals that were contrary to civilized European religion. Xoloitzcuintle were ranked among the bright symbols of the outdated way of life and thus signed their death warrant. Dogs were massively exterminated, sometimes for food purposes. By the end of the 16th century, the breed could hardly be called numerous. Animals managed to survive only in some remote mountain villages in Mexico.

Ксолоитцкуинтли по кличке Фараон
Xoloitzcuintle named Pharaoh

Xoloitzcuintli re-entered the world stage at the beginning of the 19th century – unfortunately again as a raw material. Their skins were used to make leather goods. The unenviable position of hairless dogs changed only by 1850. Adherents of art, noticing the unusual appearance of animals, did everything possible to stop their merciless exploitation. Enthusiast dog breeders organized mass expeditions to remote mountain villages, which included a rather large number of Xoloitzcuintli. In 1887, the Xolo was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The first registered animal was a bitch named Mi Tu.

After this event, the breed was forgotten for a long time. Even the victory of the Xoloitzcuintli at the 1940 exhibition did not save the situation. Since Mexican hairless dogs have lost their former popularity, the AKC struck them off the breed register. The number of Xoloitzcuintles decreased, and their owners visited dog shows less and less. The fate of the animals was again under threat, but there were lovers of this extravagant breed who sought to continue breeding work.

History knows only one name – Norman Pelham Wright. In 1954, he went in search of the Xoloitzcuintle in remote Mexican settlements, mainly in the south of the state of Guerrero and in the Rio Balsas region. Norman Wright managed to acquire more than a dozen dogs from the Indians. Engaged in animal breeding, the naturalist published the works “The Xolo Mystery”, where he described in detail the wards and formulated a preliminary breed standard. Wright’s work bore worthy results: in 1956, the “Mexicans” were officially recognized in their historical homeland.

In 1986, the first hairless dog appeared in Russia, but the breed did not gain dizzying popularity. In the meantime, Xoloitzcuintli fan clubs were emerging in European countries, the United States and Mexico. Along with the addition of the breed standard, its participants urged dog breeders not to forget about the plight of the Indian “natives” and no longer use them for personal gain. Educational activities were successful. Xolo became the national treasure of Mexico, and their number in the world exceeded 30 thousand individuals – record numbers for a breed that was twice on the verge of extinction.

In 2011, the AKC re-registered the Xoloitzcuintli. These animals are also notable for their well-aimed hit in the Guinness Book of Records, where they are recorded as the oldest breed of the same type and the owners of the highest body temperature.

Video: Xoloitzcuintli

Xoloitzcuintli - Top 10 Facts

Appearance of the Xoloitzcuintle

There are three types of xolo:

  • standard. Height at the withers – 46-60 cm, body weight – from 9 to 14 kg;
  • average. Height at the withers – 36-45 cm; body weight – 6-10 kg;
  • miniature. Height at the withers – 25-35 cm; body weight – 4-8 kg.

Dog breeders believe that the ancestors of modern Xoloitzcuintli belonged to the first type. Animals with such proportions could easily survive in the wild, unlike their smaller counterparts. In addition, individual medium and miniature hairless dogs tend to increase their size, which cannot be said about the standard variety of Xoloitzcuintle.

The breed is distinguished by a pronounced sexual type: females look more graceful and lighter in comparison with males.

Head and skull

The Xolo is characterized by a high head position. Its size is proportional to the body. The type of skull is wolf: being rather elegant and at the same time strong, it tapers towards the nose. A small protrusion is visible in the back of the head. The frontal line is parallel to the muzzle of the animal.


Has smooth lines. Under the dog’s eyes is well filled, but the cheeks remain flat. Stop is weakly expressed. Pigmentation of the nose lobe depends on the main color. In Xoloitzcuintli with dark skin, it is almost black. Golden-yellow and bronze animals boast coffee or flesh-colored noses. The nose of spotted dogs is notable for partial pigmentation. The lips of the Xoloitzcuintle are dry, do not create a frizzy effect, and fit snugly to the jaws. Wrinkles are allowed.


The high set of large and long ears of a hairless dog gives it a resemblance to a bat. In an excited state, the animal holds them almost at a right angle. The ears are soft and tender to the touch.


The eyes of the Xoloitzcuintle are almond-shaped. The color of the iris varies depending on the basic tone of the color. The most common options are yellow, amber, reddish brown, coffee or black. On dry and dense eyelids, a gray, brown or black edging is noticeable. The look is attentive and at the same time wary.

Jaws and teeth

The strong jaws of the animal form a scissor bite. Having a complete dental formula is desirable but not required. The completely hairless Xoloitzcuintle has weaker teeth than dogs covered with short, stubble-like hair. The last examples are extremely rare.


When looking at the Xoloitzcuintle, a high-set, graceful neck is noticeable. It gradually expands to the base, passing into the line of withers. The scruff is elegant and light. In adult dogs, the skin fits snugly to the throat, while in puppies small folds are noticeable.

Muzzle of a xoloitzcuintle


The body of the representatives of the breed is moderately stretched. Its length is 1.1 times the height of the animal at the withers. The relatively narrow chest is lowered to the level of the elbows. The ribs are not flattened. The line of the back is straight and short. Strong shoulder blades set obliquely. The loin is slightly convex in comparison with the back, and is distinguished by more prominent muscles. The croup of the dog is directed downwards at an angle of 40°. Belly and groin moderately tucked up.


The tip of the thin tail of the Xoloitzcuintle may be adorned with a small tassel. When folded down, it is slightly rounded. When moving, the animal raises its tail, but does not touch its back. Owners of hairless dogs note an interesting feature: when the Xoloitzcuintle freezes, it tucks its tail between its legs. The same movement may also indicate fear (as with most relatives).


The forelimbs look dry, the angles of the articular joints are balanced. The elbows are pressed to the chest, directed strictly back. The forearms are straight, while the pasterns are set at a slight angle. Paws of a hare type, sometimes covered with short coarse hairs. The color of the claws depends on the main color of the Xoloitzcuintle. The dewclaws are removed in the first week after the puppy is born.

Hind limbs

The muscles are more pronounced in comparison with the forelimbs. Best of all, the muscles are visible on the hips of the animal. The angles of the articular joints are expressed moderately. The hocks are directed parallel to the body of the dog. Straight metatarsus set vertically. “Hare” paws are formed by arched fingers that end in claws of a dark or light shade. The pads are soft and firm. Removal of fifth fingers in the first seven days after birth is mandatory.

Movement style

The Xoloitzcuintle moves at an accelerated trot with its head high and its back straight. With greater acceleration, the dog’s paws are shifted to the center of gravity, under the body. Strong hind limbs provide the animal with a good push.


For the “Mexicans” is characterized by a complete absence of wool. In some dogs, the scruff and forehead are decorated with coarse, sparse hair, reminiscent of a foal’s mane. The length of the hairs does not exceed 2.5 cm.


The color of the Xoloitzcuintle is monochromatic, mostly solid. Dark colors are desirable: gray, bluish-gray, gray-black and black. There are dogs with a lighter color: golden, bronze, liver or reddish. The presence of points is permissible if they do not occupy more than ¼ of the surface of the animal’s body.

Possible vices

Ксолоитцкуинтли на выставке
Xoloitzcuintle on exhebition

The slightest discrepancy to the standard is considered a breed defect. Among the main ones, there is a slight deviation from the sexual type, excessively timid or excitable behavior, as well as pigmentation of the eyelids in beige or pink.

The disqualifying vices of the Xoloitzcuintle are:

  • tuft on the top of the head (like a Chinese crested dog );
  • flabby skin, forming numerous folds;
  • hair on areas of the body not mentioned in the standard;
  • short or fully docked tail;
  • graceful and feminine proportions in males;
  • excessive lack of melanin (albinism);
  • aggressive or cowardly behavior;
  • bulging round eyes;
  • hanging or cropped ears;
  • light pigmentation of the iris;
  • undescended testicles into the scrotum;
  • the presence of dewclaws;
  • pronounced dewlap;
  • wide head format;
  • underdeveloped muscles;
  • large sizes of bitches;
  • undershot or overshot;
  • cat paw shape;
  • lordosis or kyphosis;
  • clubfoot.

Photo xoloitzcuintli

Xoloitzcuintle character

Mexican hairless dogs are the owners of a balanced and friendly disposition with a piquant pinch of temperament. If puppies are inherent in excessive playfulness, adult Xoloitzcuintle behave with dignity, as if to this day they proudly serve the Aztec deity. The “Mexicans” make excellent companions – quiet, attentive and calm. Making friends with a dog is not difficult.

Любопытные друзья
curious friends

Like many relatives, Xoloitzcuintle are attached to the people with whom they live. In order for an animal to grow up sociable and loving, all family members must take part in its life – as they say, from young to old. At the same time, the dog will still single out one person, whom he will consider to be the rightful owner.

If this happened to you, feel like an international lottery winner: a more devoted friend is hard to find! Xoloitzcuintli will not step back so as not to miss a single event in the life of the owner. The dog can be obsessive, but don’t offend him by refusing the traditional portion of “cuddling”. Representatives of the breed are very important bodily contact with the owner – as, indeed, joint leisure. If possible, take your pet with you when you go anywhere. This will make your Xolo the happiest on the planet!

Representatives of the breed do not like the company of strangers and are extremely wary of them. Perhaps not just because the Aztecs used Xoloitzcuintle as a talisman against evil forces: these dogs are excellent watchmen. Thanks to the developed hearing and sense of smell, the “Mexicans” feel the stranger long before he appears. The delicacy of the xolo is manifested even in their manner of warning the owner about unwanted guests: the animal will bark softly and begin to actively spin at your feet, as if attracting attention. In case of danger, the dog will rush to the attack without hesitation.

Owners of Xoloitzcuintle speak differently about the ability of their pets to get along with children. If you are looking for a friend for your child, it is better to pay attention to the golden retriever , corgi , Irish setter or giant schnauzer . Xolos are suitable for families with older children who know how to handle dogs.

На ручках у хозяина
On the hands of the owner

Representatives of the breed easily find a common language both with their relatives and with cats. Fights between bitches or males are quite rare, but can become a necessary measure when defending territory or self-defense. Adult Xoloitzcuintle show intolerance towards strange dogs, so it is not recommended to let the animal off the leash if you are not sure of its ability to behave in a four-legged society.

Mexican hairless dogs are known for their athleticism and love for active walks. Every day you need to set aside at least an hour for a run with your pet in the city park. Take your favorite xolo toy with you: it will brighten up your joint leisure time. In clear weather, allow the animal to bask in the sun, but make sure that this does not provoke burns or heat stroke.

Representatives of the breed are especially enthusiastic when doing “dog” sports, so you should pay attention to the obstacle course (agility), the ball relay race or the frisbee chase. Dancing with an animal – they are also cynological freestyle – will also give the xolo and its owner a lot of positive emotions.

Xoloitzcuintle, albeit miniature, cannot be called “sofa” dogs. They manage to combine royal nobility and indomitable activity. If you prefer to spend your leisure time in front of the TV screen, consider getting another pet.

Education and training

Along with positive character traits, Mexican hairless dogs are distinguished by stubbornness and willfulness. It is necessary to accustom a pet to manners already from puppyhood. Do it logically and gradually, using only positive parenting methods. With gentle and delicate handling, the Xoloitzcuintle will easily learn what its owner likes and what does not. A strict look is enough to stop pranks.

When you bring a puppy home, be prepared to make it the center of your little universe. The pet needs constant communication, so you should not leave him alone. If your work schedule is quite busy, take care of having a second pet that will not let the Xolo get bored.

Remember: representatives of the breed need a firm hand of the owner. You should not treat the animal as an equal creature: this will make him naughty and even aggressive.

Mexican hairless dogs need early socialization. If possible, create a suitable environment for the baby in which he can interact with other people and animals, perceive new sights and sounds, and gain experience. Cynologists recommend inviting guests as often as possible and walking with a pet in busy parks so that the Xolo can develop and further improve social skills.

Training Xoloitzcuintle is not difficult with a creative approach to business. The dog needs to be interested so that it agrees to learn new commands. If necessary, supplement the training process with private lessons with a professional. Do not stop training in the winter season, referring to the lack of hair in the animal and the risk of catching a cold. Mexican hairless dogs tolerate cold well with consistent hardening.

During training, you can not resort to physical punishment of the pet: the xolo will get scared and refuse to execute the command at all. If the result is positive, be sure to reward the dog with treats or petting. Noticing that you are pleased, the animal will make every effort to please the owner again with its obedience.

Care and maintenance

The Xoloitzcuintle is a breed that requires minimal grooming. The reason for this is the almost complete absence of hair. The dog does not require regular brushing. For individuals with sparse and coarse hair, it is enough to remove dead hairs once every one to two weeks. To do this, use a brush or massage mitt.

Прогулка с ксолоитцкуинтли
Walking with the Xoloitzcuintle

Like their “clothed” relatives, Xolos need regular bathing. Use lotions with a mild formula: more “aggressive” hygiene products often cause skin allergies. Bathe your pet no more than once every two weeks. Frequent water procedures are fraught with a violation of the natural protection of the skin and clogged pores. If necessary, it is enough to rinse the dog with warm water or remove surface dirt with alkali-free wet wipes. After bathing, take care of the absence of drafts so that the animal does not catch a cold.

Xoloitzcuintle owners often face an unpleasant problem: pimples and black dots (acne) form on the body of dogs. This is normal for puppies up to eight months old. It is easy to get rid of defects with the help of scrubs with fine abrasive and lotions. At the age of one year, a rash is considered the main sign of allergies, beriberi, or an unsuitable diet.

Representatives of the breed often suffer from sunburn. Even before a short walk, smear your pet’s body with a protective cream, which must be wiped off with a washcloth upon returning home. It is recommended to moisturize the skin of the Xoloitzcuintle with olive or almond oil. Many dog ​​owners add a complex of vitamins A and E to the liquid for a more effective result.

Do not forget to inspect your pet’s ears weekly, especially after a walk in windy weather. It is necessary to remove excess sulfur with a cotton pad dipped in water. For a drying effect, you can use a weak solution of boric acid or a special product from pet stores.

Xolo eyes also need regular rinsing. For this procedure, strong black tea or a decoction of chamomile is suitable. The eyes should be free of haze and redness. Regular and abundant “souring” is a reason to contact a veterinarian who will help identify a possible disease at an early stage.

К зиме готовы
Ready for winter

Oral care is just as important. Brush your Mexican hairless dog’s teeth about twice a week with pet toothpaste. It is necessary to use a brush or nozzle on the finger, a bandage folded in several layers will do. From childhood, accustom the puppy to this procedure so that the animal does not experience discomfort in the future. Treat Xoloitzcuintle with hard treats as a preventive measure. They will help to avoid the formation of tartar and the active reproduction of bacteria.

Representatives of the breed grow claws very quickly, and dogs do not have time to grind them down during walks. Use a nail cutter once or twice a month so that the Xolo does not experience discomfort when moving. The sooner the pet gets used to this procedure, the easier and calmer it will be in the future.

Nutrition should be given special attention: Xoloitzcuintle are prone to allergies. You can feed your pet with natural food or premium food. Toothless dogs or animals with few teeth need quality canned food or ordinary food, ground to a mushy state. With a slight absence of teeth (no more than five or six), the use of solid food is not only recommended, but also mandatory.

The Xoloitzcuintle’s diet should consist of 70% high protein foods. If you are feeding your dog natural food, look for foods such as turkey, lamb, rabbit meat, lean, pitted sea fish. The remaining 30% is sour-milk products, cereals, seasonal fruits and vegetables. After eating, it is necessary to allow the Xolo to rest: excessive mobility is fraught with torsion of the stomach.

Please note: Mexican hairless dogs tend to overeat. Be sure to control the volume of each serving. The amount of food consumed should directly depend on the age, size and degree of activity of the animal.

It is necessary to exclude from the diet of Xoloitzcuintle:

  • raw and / or fatty meat (in particular, pork and lamb);
  • milk (relevant for animals older than four months);
  • salty, spicy, sour and pickled foods;
  • foods high in carbohydrates;
  • river fish in any form;
  • raw yeast dough;
  • drinks with caffeine;
  • berries with seeds;
  • legumes;
  • tubular bones;
  • food “from the table”;
  • smoked meats;
  • sweets;
  • mushrooms.

Do not forget to fill your pet’s bowl with water every day – bottled or infused for at least six hours.

Mexican hairless dogs are not suitable for chain keeping. The ideal option is a cozy apartment with a dedicated bed away from possible drafts. It is necessary to walk the pet every day, starting from four months. Dog handlers recommend purchasing warm clothing for inclement weather. In severe frosts, it is better to refrain from walking.

Health and disease of the Xoloitzcuintle

Since the breed developed independently, its representatives are distinguished by stronger immunity than artificially bred relatives. Common “canine” diseases began to appear more and more often after the intervention of breeders. Among the frequent are:

Ксолоитцкуинтли на приеме у ветеринара
Xoloitzcuintle at the vet
  • the appearance of plaque on the skin with an unhealthy color and smell;
  • cartilage weakness (the effect of “hanging ears”);
  • burns from direct sunlight;
  • allergic rashes;
  • tooth loss;
  • dermatitis.

Otherwise, Xoloitzcuintle are healthy and cheerful dogs. They easily take root in any climatic zone, but at low temperatures they need additional “outfit”.

How to choose a puppy

Mexican hairless dogs are a rare breed, so the number of kennels that specialize in breeding them is limited. It’s still worth spending time looking for a breeder. It will help you choose Xoloitzcuintle for different purposes: participation in exhibitions, breeding, or for warm (in every sense) communication.

Pay attention to how the breeder answers your questions, whether he is ready to confirm his reputation and show the necessary documents, whether he is interested in the future fate of the wards. At the same time, pay attention to the conditions of keeping dogs. Animals must be well-groomed, enclosures must be cleaned, bowls must always be filled. The absence of drafts is mandatory, otherwise you risk getting a cold puppy.

After that, start getting to know your potential friend’s parents. It is necessary to observe the behavior of the female and male, assess their character and state of health. It would be useful to ask the breeder to present documentation that confirms the absence of genetic diseases.

Sometimes Xolos of several varieties are born in one litter: standard, medium and miniature. Because of this feature, it is quite difficult to choose a puppy for further participation in exhibitions, since it will not be possible to predict its size. This is only possible for those who breed the breed and watch the dogs for a long time. If you are interested in show class Xoloitzcuintle, ask the breeder to point out potential candidates.

The appearance of babies can be repulsive: plumpness, numerous folds on the body, short and awkward legs, a blunt muzzle … However, when choosing a puppy, you should not focus solely on this: Xolo grow into graceful dogs with smooth skin and light, elongated legs. Look for a friend by character – and you will not lose!

Pay attention to playful and curious babies who are not afraid to approach a stranger. In this case, it is best to choose a puppy that is moderately active: does not bully its relatives, but does not cowardly huddle in the corner. Xoloitzcuintle inherit temperament from their parents, so a couple of minutes of communication with a bitch or male will help you understand how easily you get along with a puppy. Gender does not play a role, because all dogs show amazing devotion towards the owner.

Xoloitzcuintle puppies

How much does a xoloitzcuintle cost

The price of Xoloitzcuintle starts from 150$. For this amount you will be able to purchase a purebred puppy with partial compliance with the standard (pet class). Mexican hairless dogs with an elite pedigree will cost much more – 2500$ rubles. These animals will be able to win at the exhibition or be used in breeding work.

Not everyone agrees to acquire a pet with a very unusual appearance. However, if you’re enamored with the idea of ​​becoming a dog’s best friend with a reputation for repelling evil spirits, the Xoloitzcuintle is your option!

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