Mexican Hairless Dog
|Mexican Hairless Dog
Group of three Mexican Hairless Dogs
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 5 Section 6 #234
||Sighthounds and Pariah Dogs
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Mexican Hairless Dog is a rare, (almost) hairless
dog which can be
quite variable in size. It's also known as Xoloitzcuintli or Xoloitzcuintle (the
initial x is pronounced as an sh), Tepeizeuintli or Mexican
Hairless. Owners of this dog call them "xolos" for short. The breed was native
Mesoamerica, and may date back 3500 years.
The breed ranges in size from about 10 pounds (4 kg) to 50 pounds (20 kg),
with an average body temperature of 40 °C. Similar in appearance to a Pharaoh
Dog, with a sleek body, almond-shaped eyes, large bat-like ears, and a long
antelope neck, the Xolo is notable for its dominant trait of hairlessness. Many
members of this breed are also missing several teeth. There is also a "coated"
Xolo with a very short coat of hair, and individual dogs may exhibit varying
degrees of head and body coats.
The breed was native to Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and may date back 3500
years or earlier. Some cultures are believed to have kept them as pets, and
believed the animals to be sacred.
Xolos were considered sacred dogs by the Aztecs because they believed the
dogs were needed by their masters’ souls to help them safely through the
underworld. According to Aztec mythology, the god
Xolotl made the
Xoloitzcuintle from a sliver of the Bone of Life from which all man was made.
Xolotl gave this gift to Man with the instruction to guard it with his life and
in exchange it would guide Man through the dangers of Mictlan, the world of
Death, towards the Evening Star in the Heavens.
Even today some people may believe this breed to have healing, telepathic, or
(gray) alien qualities. Other cultures ate the meat of the Xoloitzcuintli for
ritual or medicinal purposes, and the meat may still be found for sale in some
parts of rural Mexico.
Xolos are not currently recognized by the
American Kennel Club (AKC), making them a rare breed in the United States
and other parts of the world. The breed is recognized by the FCI (Federacion
Canofila Mexicana) which began a registration and breeding program for the Xolo
on May 1,
1956. Prior to that
time the Xolos were considered nearly extinct. New breed stock is still found in
remote pockets of rural Mexico.
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