Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)

The sleek  Xoloitzcuintli is a purebred dog breed which is a very rare breed of dog that is actually considered a national treasure in Mexico.  These are unique dogs, with a unique name.

The Xoloitzcuintli  Pronunciation ~ It’s pronounced “show-low-eetz-kweent-lee.” Or take the easy way out and just call him the “Xolo” pronounced as show-low. He’s also known as the “Mexican Hairless“.

History and Origin

Xoloitzcuintli is a very ancient Latin American breed, dating back to before the time of the Aztec Empire and its existence can be substantiated for as far back as three thousand years.

The very name of the canine developed from the Aztec god Xolotl and their word for ‘dog’- Itzcuintli.

Never entirely forgotten, interest in the breed was eventually revived and it was formally recognized by the FCM (Mexican Kennel Club) in 1956.

The Xolo today is being acknowledged widely for its companionship, loyalty, cleanliness, and flexibility to do it all!

These unique dogs have a hairless body that actually radiates heat more intensely than a coated dog does. Owing to this they were believed to hold healing powers and were called “Doctor Dogs” and were thought to cure asthma, rheumatism, toothaches, and insomnia, as well as draw out pain and sickness.

They make great companions, show, agility, obedience, therapy and service dogs.

The breed is not well known in the United States. As a result, the Xolo has been mistaken for the mythical Chupacabras of Mexico.

The Xoloitzcuintle is the symbol of Club Tijuana, a Mexican professional football club.

 Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog) Pictures

Quick Information & Facts ~ Xoloitzcuintli

Other NamesMexican Hairless Dog,
Xoloitzcuintle, Xoloitzquintle, Xoloescuincle, Xolo, Xolito
ColorBlack, White, gray, Brown, Brindle, Spotted
CoatHairless, Short-haired, Spotted
Breed TypePurebred
Breed GroupNon-sporting, Southern, Sighthound, Pariah, Toy, Utility, Guard, Companion
Hieght15-20 inches (38-51 cm)
Weight15-30 pounds (6.8-14 kg)
Life Span/Life Expentancy14-20 Years
TemperamentAlert, Calm, Cheerful
Loyal, Affectionate, Protective and Guard
SheddingMinimal Shedding
Barking LevelRare
Energy Level
Good with ChildrenYes
Good with Other DogsNeeds Supervision
Litter Size3-7 puppies
Country of OriginMexico
Competitive Registration/Qualification InformationFCI, NKC, CKC, APRI, DRA, NAPR, ACA

Appearance of Xoloitzcuintli 

The almond-shaped eyes, bat-like ears, long muzzle, legs, and neck, is a very old breed of Mexican dogs (not to be confused with the almost similar looking ‘Peruvian Hairless Dog’) popular for its trait of hairlessness, however, they might have hair-tufts on the head and tail or, one out of five in an average litter.

Variations/Sizes of Xoloitzcuintli Dogs

  1. Toy Xoloitzcuintli: With height 9 – 14 inches at the shoulder and with weight around 5 – 15 pounds. This type has been recognized by dog clubs like AKC, CKC, NKC, CKC, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA.
  2. Miniature Xoloitzcuintli: With height 15 – 20 inches at the shoulder and with weight around 15 – 30 pounds. These are recognized by dog clubs like FCI, NKC, CKC, APRI, DRA, NAPR, ACA.
  3. Standard Xoloitzcuintli: With height 20 – 30 inches at the shoulder and with weight around 25 – 40 pounds. They have been recognized by dog clubs like FCI, NKC, CKC, APRI, DRA, NAPR, ACA.

Temperament & Behaviour Traits

The Xoloitzcuintli’s ‘primitive’ temperament (very high intelligence, sensitivity, high energy, inquisitiveness, strong hunting, and social instincts) is apparent because the breed’s temperament was not modified overall by selective breeding in their native history in Mexico.

These South American dogs are very attached to their owners. They will want to be with you always, so your Xolo will never run away from home. Don’t be surprised if your dog is emotionally tuned into you.

If you’re sad, your Xolo will know and want to comfort you. He makes a great watchdog, but not a good guard dog. When strangers come over to visit, your Xolo may be aloof to their presence.

The Xolo holds many excellent characteristics such as loyalty, friendliness, alertness, intelligence, and an overall loving nature.

He needs to be with people and can’t be left alone all day. If you’re away from home for long periods of time, the Xoloitzcuintli is not the dog for you.

This breed is becoming very popular in agility, therapy, and obedience. The typical Xoloitzcuintli temperament is very calm and tranquil, and they don’t bark often which is great for apartment dwellers or people with close neighbors.

Care: Exercise, Grooming & Health Problems

Exercise: The smaller Xolo was bred as a companion and larger Xolo for protection. Both the miniature and the standard variety of Xoloitzcuintli should be taken for daily jogging or walks for fulfilling their primitive walking instincts and prey drive. It is good to let them play around in an open but fenced yard. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems.

Grooming:  The grooming requirements are obviously easy and minimal for a hairless dog, but they do need to have their skin taken care of.

They also need to be occasionally bathed, exfoliated, and moisturized to keep clean and hygienic. Using baby products or products for gentle skin is recommended. However, do not wash or moisturize too often because it can clog the dog’s pores, or strip their skin of the natural oils, which would not be safe.

Both types will also require regular visits to the vet, regular teeth brushing and nail clipping, etc.

Look out for skin dryness, rashes, redness, in which case, consult the vet instantly. These basically indoor dogs would not withstand too much heat or cold and must not be kept outdoors for long hours

Health Problems: This breed can have a few health issues such as food allergies and missing teeth. The Xoloitzcuintli has a long lifespan of 15 to 20 years. However, the main problem for them is their sensitive skin.

They can suffer from acne and bumps on the skin. Most skin problems arise from poor breeding, neglect, or over-bathing and over-lotioning, stripping natural protections and clogging pores

Training of Xoloitzcuintli

Because this is an intelligent breed, expect your Xoloitzcuintli to catch onto lessons easily. This is a dog that needs to be trained throughout his life – they have a quench to learn!

Start training sessions while they are young and keep it consistent. Don’t let your Xolo take over the lessons, so keep them engaged with interesting activities. Rewards and praise go a long way with Xolos, while negativity and yelling will get you nowhere. Make training a family affair so that everyone knows how to properly handle and treat your Xolo.

Housetraining may prove to be a challenge. Crate training will come in handy, as the Xoloitzcuintli likes a clean living space.

Feeding & Diet 

The Xoloitzcuintli should be fed a diet of high-quality food. The breed is partial to fruits and vegetables, so feel free to liberally add these to your dog’s meal. If you are feeding your dog meat, it should be low in fat.

On an average, an adult Xolo should eat 5/8 th to 1 ¾ cups of high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.

Commercial dog food is also acceptable, even though these dogs often have fewer teeth than their canine counterparts.

Xoloitzcuintli Puppies

Xoloitzcuintli puppies are quite active – they love to play and run around. With the toy and miniature versions of this breed, you’ll need to watch them around children due to their small size.

Fun Facts Xoloitzcuintli

  • The Xoloitzcuintli is the National Dog of Mexico.
  • Xoloitzcuintli is the only breed of dog that starts with the letter X?
  • The Xoloitzcuintli love people – in fact, they are often called “Velcro dogs” because they are so attached to their owner.
  • In the USA, the smallest size is called a ‘Toy’ and the medium is called ‘Miniature’, whereas, in Mexico, the former is called a ‘Miniature’ and the latter ‘Intermediate’, which might lead to confusion.

Xoloitzcuintli Video Playing (Mexican Hairless Dog)