Xoloitzcuintli

Xoloitzcuintli

General Description


(Show- low-its-queen-tli) (Mexican Hairless, Tepeizeuintli, Xoloitzcuintle, Xolo) The bright-eyed Xoloitzcuintli is recognized in three categories- toy, miniature, and standard- and in two varieties: hairless and coated. The hairless variety can have a small puff of hair on the head and tail but does not always. The coated variety’s fur should be short and sleek. Neither variety should have long or curly hair. They can come in many colors but the most common are bronze, slate, and charcoal. They can also come in brindle, red, or fawn. They  usually have wrinkles on their head and neck. They are a small but sturdy breed. Their ears are large and bat-like and their head should be broad with a narrow muzzle. The nose can be brown, black, or spotted. The eyes are slightly almond shaped and range in color from yellow to brown.

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Character


The Xoloitzcuintli is very loving, affectionate, and loyal to their owners. But they can be cautious around strangers because they tend to be protective of their family. They can get along with other animals and children but they do require socialization at an early age. They are extremely intelligent which makes them well-suited for obedience training, as well as agility. Barking is usually minimal, and they are not as hyper as many small breeds. However, they do tend to get easily bored and would prefer to be around their family instead of left alone.

Size


10 – 23 inches

Weight


9 – 23 pounds

General Health


The Xoloitzcuintli, for the most part, is a very hardy breed with very few genetic diseases.  What health concerns it does have involve its skin including skin infections, skin allergies, and acne.  Additionally these dogs may have missing teeth and food allergies.  The breed lives to be 15 years of age and, on occasion, may reach nearly 20.

History


The breed was seen in Aztec ruins around three thousand years ago. It was sought after in many Mayan and Aztec cultures for its intelligence and loyalty. These cultures also thought the breed was a reincarnation of their god, Xolotl, but was also used for food because eating its meat was believed to cure illnesses. The dogs were also used as bed warmers since they have naturally warm bodies.. The breed is now exclusively used for companionship and is common throughout South America.  The Xoloitzcuintli is rare in North America outside of Mexico.

Maintenance


The main concern with this breed is its frail skin, especially with the hairless varieties.. They need sun protection, including sunscreen, to avoid sunburn and are prone to dry skin and lacerations. One main thing is to not over bathe them because that can cause their fragile skin, especially the skin around their ears, to dry out. At most they should be bathed only once or twice a month. The coated version, only needs a simple brushing at least once a week. They can handle high levels of exercise, but it is not required. Xoloitzcuintli are very laid back and calm but prefer to be a major part of the family, so they are not good outside dogs. In their first year, they need more attention and exercise so it is best to not leave them at home alone for long periods of time. They do handle crate training very well and take to paper training easily which is useful so they stay out of extreme weather conditions. They also need plenty of stimulation since they are highly intelligent. They can become bored easily so it is good to take them to a training or agility class and provide them with many toys.

Ideal Environment


They are good in many environments, but they should probably not live in areas with extreme temperatures. They are good in city homes or in the country, and they get along well with children. The hairless version is hypo allergenic which makes it a good for people who are allergic to dogs. They would be best suited for active families and families who can give them lots of time and love.

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