Xoloitzcuintle (Mexican Hairless Dog) general features, temperament, health

Xoloitzcuintle dog breed face

FCI # 234, Origin: Mexico, Group 5.6 Primitive type.

Height:??Miniature 9-14 in, Intermediate 15-20 in, Standard ??20-30 in

Weight:??Miniature 5-15 pounds, Intermediate 15-30 pounds, Standard 25-40 pounds

Grooming: Low, Shedding: Low, Coat: Hairless or short, tight to the body.

Color: Any color.

Ease of training: High, Energy level: High, Span of life:??average??of 15 years (and up to 20).

Breed: Hairless dogs were known in ancient times in various locations with the tropical climate: South America, Africa and Asia. Perhaps they were not known only in Australia (although it would be fun to find a hairless dog with a bag like a kangaroo). It is not known if all the varieties had the same ancestor or the formation of those breeds occurred independently. Nevertheless, Mexico, Turkey, Paraguay, China, Peru, Caribbean, Ethiopia, Argentina, Philippines, Egypt and some other countries had their own hairless dogs. And recently there appeared another version of the hairless dog's origin - some people suggest that these dogs have been given as a gift to humans by the creatures from other galaxies. This version is of course very beautiful, but it can hardly be true. Most likely, there was a random mutation, which was favorable and successfully entrenched.

As the name implies, the Mexican Hairless Dog (Xoloitzcuintle) was born in Mexico. In the ancient graves on the territory of this country there are found the mummies of dogs, and clay figurines depicting Xoloitzcuintle. These finds date back to 5000-3000 BC. The fact that these figurines represent exactly the hairless dogs, is proved by the presence of two types of figures: one had some strokes??drown, depicting wool, while others were absolutely smooth, so they were depicting the hairless dogs.

Xoloitzcuintle were valued very much by the Aztec Indians. Hairless dogs were playing an important role in religion and religious rites. Generally the word "xoloitzcuintle" belongs to the Aztecs, the tribes always had a large number of Xolo, in every family there were several dozens of these dogs.

What means the fancy word "xoloitzcuintle" which gave the name to the breed? Xolotl - is Aztec's god of sun, Lord of the duality (life and death) and "itzkuintli" can be translated in different ways: firstly, "a dog", and secondly, "a slave" or "servant". Thus, Xoloitzcuintle is a dog or a servant (depends on what you will prefer) of a god Xolotl.

God Xolotl himself was portrayed as a dog with a disproportionately ugly hands and feet. According to Aztec's religion there is a paradise where the souls of dead warriors will come after a long journey through the Land of the Spirits (Miktlan). In this difficult path to the afterlife, the deceased was supposed to be accompanied by the dog, she was helping him to overcome various obstacles, and this dog was exactly the Xoloitzcuintle. Believing in that, the Aztec Indians were killing at the funeral the dog of the deceased and burying her next to the owner. Burial of the remains of people and dogs are often found in Mexican territory. In these graves are also found and clay figurines of Xolo.

Xoloitzcuintle were not only used in the religious ceremonies, they also served another, equally important, goals for the Aztec Indians. These dogs guarded the owner's homes from both - the mystical evil spirits, and the very real intruders. But for the honored and welcomed guests the landlord has always offered two or three dogs "for bed". Hairless dogs were valued as an excellent doctors. Until now, it is believed that sleeping with Xoloitzcuintle improves health and cures from many diseases. And this is indeed the case. Warm and soft skin of a dog relieves the pain of rheumatism, normalizes the blood pressure, and just brings comfort. It is believed that Xolo reduces toothache, headache, relieves asthma, a diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, joints, helps with insomnia and depression.

Xoloitzcuintle dog breeds

Also it is good to mention one more mission of a Mexican Hairless Dog. As it is known, in the New World, before the arrival of Europeans, there were no large animals that could be consumed as food. Therefore the Indians ate their hairless dogs. Xolo have an enviable appetite and is gaining weight easily. Xoloitzcuintle's meat was considered as a delicacy and was usually prepared only for very important occasions. After the arrival of Europeans, the locals start to have familiar to us domestic animals: goats, cows, and others. But the custom of using dogs for food has not disappeared, although the Europeans have tried to ban it. And a few more decades there was existing a so-called "Canine market", where dogs were sold for different purposes (for food, for sacrifices, etc.) - several hundred dogs each week. And even some Europeans got addicted to the tasty canine meat.

It would seem that the life of Mexican Hairless Dogs with the arrival of Europeans had to become easier, because they brought with them their cattle and now there was no need to kill Xolo for food. But the conquerors decided to turn the Indians to Christianity. All traditional beliefs were strictly banned. And, of course, Xoloitzcuintle as an integral part of ritual ceremonies, were disgraced. Europeans were unable to evaluate the merits of Hairless Dogs, Xolo seemed to them ugly, useless animals. This resulted in almost complete disappearance of the native dogs, four centuries no one was breeding them on purpose, some individuals were preserved only in??remote??Indian tribes. Only in 1954 a group of admirers of Xolo, headed by Norman Pelham Wright, attempted to save the breed. For that purpose they went into the center of Mexico, to Indian villages. This venture was successful, a dozen of different dogs was bargained from the Indians, with that dogs began the modern history of Xoloitzcuintle. Later there was developed the breed standard, and May 1, 1956 the Mexican Hairless Dog was officially recognized in his homeland. By 1960, the Mexican Canine Federation registered 40 Xolo, and in 1965 there was already registered 70 dogs. Now in Mexico, there are several thousands of Mexican Hairless Dogs.

General Features: The Mexican Hairless Dog comes in two varieties: hairless and coated. Both varieties are identical in their anatomical structure and differ only in the presence or absence of the coat. At the same litter can be born both: hairless and coated puppies. Mexican Hairless is an attractive dog with harmonious proportions, a strong constitution, developed chest, long legs and tail. The skin of a hairless Xolo is firm, elastic, and serves as an excellent protection. In the coated variety is preferred the short coat, not to disturb the perception of a silhouette of a dog.

Mexican Hairlesss Dogs come in three sizes: Miniature (25-35cm at the withers), Intermediate (35-45cm) and Standard (45-60cm). But despite the size, the dogs must remain a characteristic of the breed and the balance of the constitution. So the Miniature Xolo should look strong and sturdy, and the large Standard Xolo should never be rude or "overloaded".

Xoloitzcuintle dog breed photo

Temperament: Xolo are very sociable, they get along well with all family members and pets, although they may show some aggression to the other people's dogs and they are reserved with strangers. Many Xolo fanciers say that this is a dog of one owner, and she suffers from separation from him. Mexican Hairless Dog understands perfectly the mood of a person: if you are in pain, she will quietly sit close to you and try to cheer you up, and if you have a great mood and you tend to play, then the dog will enthusiastically jump around. And anyway, it should be noted that Xolo all the time is trying to be close to the owner: you go out - the dog will go with you, you're sitting beside the computer, watching TV or reading a book - she climbs on the lap or rests at the feet, you go to bed - she lies nearby in a way that she would see you, and if you allow, the dog will be happy to sleep with you under the blanket. Xolo very well distinguish between "their" stuff. If the dog ??????is forbidden to take anything lying above the floor, he wouldn't, but if the owner will ??put her toy on the nightstand or coffee table, and then forget to throw it back on the floor, then Xolo will gently correct it, pulling his toy down. The same proprietary attitude manifests itself with the sleeping place. The dog always controls the process of cleaning of his house. If suddenly the owner want to rearrange the house to another place, Xolo like a bullet flies into it and lays on the floor, trying with all his weight to pin down the house to the floor.

Another feature of the Xolo is that he is always staring at you very attentively. There is a feeling that the dog knows something that humans can not understand.

Mexican Hairless Dogs are very intelligent, they are extremely clever, they can be easily trained, they never show stubbornness. If you start to educate the puppy from the first day of his emergence in your home, as a result you will get an intelligent and educated dog. Xoloitzcuintle are rarely spoiling the owner's belongings and it will not be difficult to explain to this dog that chewing furniture or shoes is forbidden. Mexican Hairless Dogs are very clean, it is easy to teach them to go to the toilet on the tray, but it is better to take the dog outside even in winter.

Many believe that the Mexican Hairless dogs and winter are not compatible things, but it is not exactly right. Adult dogs can walk without clothes even at -30 degrees. For the puppy's first winter you can get him a light suit and regularly take him to the street, gradually increasing the time of walks. Generally, these dogs differ in excellent health, they are resistant to infectious diseases. Apparently this is because the breed was developed in the sometimes very adverse conditions, and learned to adapt well to this (see the history of the breed). People were not taking an active part in the forming of the breed, and probably only the strong individuals survived, and the weak died - as it always happens with natural selection.

These little dogs with a delightful bright amber eyes, give you and your family a lot of love, light and joy of communicating. They are like small bright sunbeams, and their temperament and cheerful attitude can make anyone happy.

Health problems: Generally the Mexican Hairless Dogs are very healthy and hardy dogs.

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