Canine Breed Menu



Breed Organization
Xoloitzcuintle Club USA
Native Country
Other Names
Mexican Hairless Dog, Xoloitzcuintli, Tepeizeuintli, Xolo
Life Expectancy
Approximately 15-18 Years
Litter Size
Average 2-4 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Miscellaneous Class
Breed Appearance
The breed ranges in size from about 10 to 50 lb. Similar in appearance to a Pharaoh Hound, with a sleek body, almond-shaped eyes, large bat-like ears, and a long neck, the Xolo is notable for its dominant trait of hairlessness. The dominant hairless trait originated in this breed as a spontaneous mutation thousands of years ago. The recessive expression of the trait will produce a coated variety, which is genetically inseparable from the hairless, as the homozygous appearance of the hairless mutation is fatal to the unborn pup. Most litters contain both hairless and coated puppies. The coated variety, covered with a short, flat dense coat represents the original form of the dog, prior to the occurrence of the spontaneous hairless mutation. The hairless variety is completely hairless on the body, with many dogs exhibiting a few short hairs on the top of the head, the toes and the tip of the tail. Most hairless dogs are black or bluish-gray in color. The allele responsible for the Xolo's hairlessness also affects the dog's dentition: Hairless Xolos typically have an incomplete set of teeth while the dogs of the coated variety have complete dentition.

The Xolo is moderate in all aspects of its appearance, conveying an impression of strength, agility and elegance. Xolo body proportions are rectangular, slightly longer in total body length than the height measured at the highest point of the withers (top of the shoulders). The breed occurs naturally in two varieties, hairless and coated. Hairless Xolos are the dominant expression of the heterozygous Hh hairless trait. Coated Xolos (hh) are the recessive expression, and breeding hairless to coated or hairless to hairless may produce pups of either or both varieties. Breeding coated to coated will only produce coated pups because they are recessive to the hairless trait and do not carry the dominant H gene.

Both varieties occur in all hair or skin colors, and often marked, splashed or spotted. The most common colors are various shades termed black, blue, and red. The breed occurs in a range of sizes, which breeders have standardized into three designations.

Breed Description
Head: Long. Fairly broad skull. Minimal stop. Long, slender muzzle. Tight-lipped. Nose dark pink or brown, depending on coat color.
Ears: Large (up to 10 cm), thin. Held stiff and slanted in action.
Eyes: Medium-sized, slightly almond-shaped, preferably dark, ranging from yellow to black.
Body: Fairly long. Neck carried high, slightly arched, graceful, without dewlap. Chest deep but fairly narrow. Tuck-up. Straight back. Well-rounded croup.
Tail: Set on low, smooth, fairly long.
Hair: Tuft of short, stiff hair on the skull. Crisp hair on the tip of the tail. Complete absence of hair is not penalized.
Coat: Preferably solid dark bronze, elephant grey, greyish-black, or black. Unpigmented areas with pink or brown patches are acceptable. Hair on the head and tail must be black in dark varieties. In light varieties, it can be any color that blends with the overall appearance.
Size: 30 to 50 cm.
Weight: Varies according to size.

The Mexican Hairless Dog is one of the world's oldest breeds. He might have been brought to Mexico from northeastern Asia by the nomadic ancestors of the Aztecs. The Toltecs, the first inhabitants of Mexico, kept Chihuahuas in their temples. When the Aztecs conquered the land, they introduced the Mexican Hairless Dog. Some believe that these two breeds were crossed to produce the Chinese Crested Dog. The name Xoloitzcuintle comes from the ancient Aztec god Xolotl, who accompanied souls to the afterworld. Despite this godly name, native peoples ate these dogs and kept them for protection and healing purposes. The first descriptions of the Mexican Hairless Dog date to the seventeenth century. The American Kennel Club published a standard in 1933. The breed is rare in Europe.

Adult Xolos are noted for their calm demeanor, but puppies can be extremely energetic, noisy and often chewy until they reach maturity (after 2 years old), when they settle down and become more calm. The Xolo breed has what is considered 'primitive' temperament traits (very high intelligence, high energy, inquisitiveness, strong hunting and social instincts). Today, Xolos can be escape artists, climbing and jumping fences to chase. Thus they possess guard dog ability and will not back down from a fight. At the same time, adult dogs, when they are raised properly, are known to become steady, well-behaved and affectionate companions.

This primitive temperament is apparent because the breed temperament overall has not been modified by selective breeding in their native thousands-years history in Mexico. This has also ensured a sturdy physical nature and vigorous health generally innate in both coated and uncoated Xolos.

Xolo behavioral temperament can be similar to that of other Working breeds, with high intelligence, sensitivity, and social instincts. Well-raised Xolos bond strongly with their dog-wise owners.

Though physically grown at one year, many dog breeds including 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.

The Xolo is a very hardy and healthy breed possessing no known breed-related health problems.

He needs minimal exercise. Because of his delicate skin, he must be bathed regularly and rubbed with a moisturizer. He cannot tolerate cold or bright sun.

Pet, Watchdog.

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