The Xoloitzcuintle or Xolo dog, is one of the hairless dog breeds , which was originally born thousands of years ago in Mexico and is part of the culture of this country. This dog is an acclaimed and respected figure by Mexicans and in this article you will learn all the curiosities about this peculiar breed.
Origin of the Xoloitzcuintle dog
Possibly just by looking at it, the Xolitxcuintle dog seems like a very strange breed and in fact it is, because it is not found anywhere else, but in the Mexican region. So you may wonder why this canine breed is so important in this country?
The answer is found around more than three thousand years ago, where this race already existed and was part of the Aztec culture. It is said that these were sacred dogs, which were considered by the Aztecs as physical representations of the God Xotolt.
For the Aztecs, these dogs served as a kind of guide to the underworld for their masters. Therefore, when a person died, the Xoloitzcuintle was sacrificed and buried together with its owner to take it to the afterlife.
Characteristics of the Mexican dog Xoloitzcuintle
The Xoloitzcuintle or hairless Xolo dog, has very particular characteristics. These dogs tend to have a firm character, without being aggressive. With their owners or masters they are very loving, loyal and protective.
With respect to its physical characteristics, this breed has wrinkled skin of mostly dark coloration, some with certain spots that according to Aztec beliefs are marks of other trips to the afterlife.
There are also variations in grey, blonde and reddish color. Their skin is smooth and in some specific parts of their body such as the muzzle and neck they have a wrinkled texture.
Most of the xoloitcuintle are hairless dogs, however there are variations with hair all over their body or in some parts, such as the tail and legs. His build is muscular and his posture is generally very firm and alert.
The Xolo’s ears have a triangle shape and are always erect, its snout is thin, although in males it is always wider.
Being a special breed, it requires special care. The Xoloitzcuintle has a very peculiar and outstanding characteristic, which is the lack of fur. This makes it a more delicate dog compared to common canines.For this reason, one of the most important care for this type of dog is skin care. In this sense, it is important to keep it clean and avoid the accumulation of dirt for a long time since the lack of hair causes impurities to accumulate in the pores and pimples are generated that end up becoming infections.
To do this, they should bathe approximately every 20 days on average and avoid excessive humidity, that is, not bathe them so often, as this can also cause irritation and future infections.
Care must also be taken that the products used do not affect the integrity of your skin and that when bathing them, we scrub with a soft sponge and not with a brush to avoid injuries to the skin surface.
In addition to this, as they do not have hair to protect them, they are more sensitive to sunlight, which is why it is highly recommended to use sun blockers and moisturizing creams, taking care that it does not accumulate in the folds of your skin.
All products used for grooming or protection should be supervised by your veterinarian, as this breed is more prone to allergies.
Another peculiar characteristic is that they tend to lose their teeth very quickly, so it is recommended to feed them with foods rich in Calcium and vitamins that strengthen their bone system.
For this very reason, it is clear that tooth care should not be neglected. The veterinary doctor should be consulted about the appropriate products to wash your teeth and keep them clean and free of infections, in addition to strengthening the surface of the teeth.It is also important to take care that the texture of the food is not so hard, to avoid the acceleration of tooth loss. Furthermore, general care of a canine, such as vaccinations and deworming are necessary.
Xolo dog education
Training a Xoloitcuintle dog will not require a lot of work, as these dogs are calm in character. They also have great intelligence that allows them to easily grasp and obey orders.
It is recommended that reward and stimulation techniques be used with this type of animal and it is obviously recommended to avoid at all costs using techniques that cause any type of physical damage.
Due to the delicacy of their skin, it is important to take into account that when hiking on a leash, the collar or bib that is used must be made of a material that does not mistreat your skin, since having no hair is more susceptible to suffer friction, irritation or injury.
As mentioned at the beginning, this breed has no problem socializing, thanks to its calm and affectionate character with those of its environment. Despite not being aggressive, they are always alert to defend their owners from strangers.
However, if these dogs get used from a young age to go for a walk and be in contact, both with other animals and with other people, they become very sociable and friendly dogs.
Xoloitzcuntles tolerate play with young children and if you don’t take them out very often they can become restless dogs by accumulating a lot of energy.
Character of the Xoloitzcuintle
The personality of the Xoloitzcluintes is really adorable. Being dogs faithful to their masters, they are loving, protective and always attentive to what their loved ones do.
They are companion dogs so they can change their character if you leave them alone for a long time, showing sad, mischievous and aggressive if you lock them up or leave them for long periods.
They like to have the attention of their masters and feel the warmth of the family, they love to play and enjoy walks in the open air, as well as walks in the park.
As you can see throughout this article we have mentioned the delicacy of this canine breed originally from Mexico and the special care that must be maintained to preserve its health and longevity.
Both its physical traits and its genetic characteristics make this dog prone to certain diseases, the most obvious being those that affect the skin, such as dermatitis, allergies, irritations or infections.
In addition to this, there is a genetic factor that causes Xolos to suffer from degenerative diseases in their skeletal system, which generates problems such as patellar dislocations, premature hip displacement, rheumatic problems and early loss of teeth.
It has also been shown that many of these dogs develop metabolic diseases that directly affect the liver.
Hatcheries and price of the Xoloitzcuintle
From six months of age both males and females of this breed already begin to develop reproductive capacities. In the case of females, once they begin to ovulate and their first period arrives, they are ready to start having young.
In males this process of adulthood can develop up to twelve months or two years in the largest variations of the breed.
From this age until almost their last years of life they can have young, although it is recommended that at these ages they no longer mate, as they can cause damage to the reproductive organs of females.
In the case of the latter, they usually go into heat twice a year, that is, every six months, where their entire body is naturally prepared to form offspring inside.
Once fertilized, the females take between a month and a half and two months to give birth, in which case the number of young varies by an average of 6 cubs.
The price of this breed, being so exclusive, can be quite high, varying in some places between 2000 and 3000 dollars.
10 Curiosities about the Xoloitzcuintle
Before concluding, we want to leave you some of the greatest curiosities of this wonderful and strange breed of loyal, faithful and excellent companions. Here we present the 10 most curious facts about the Xoloitzcuintle.
Figures of Mexican art during history
Thanks to its millennial origin and its mystical and spiritual meanings, after the Mexican revolution, this dog acquired great significance within the culture of this country, evident in different artistic works.
Figures such as Frida Kahlo, Rufino size and Raúl Antiguiano, took the Xoloitzcuntle dog as part of their representative works in Mexican art.
They were on the verge of extinction
At the time of colonization, the Xoloitcuntles dogs were on the verge of disappearing, since in many of the Spanish colonies they were not given the care that the Aztecs had given them since ancient times.
The Europeans, when they colonized, wanted to eliminate the cults that the inhabitants of these populations practiced based on their beliefs with this animal, and they also began to use them as food due to the nutritional properties of their skin.
However, this strong race survived, taking refuge in the regions of Oaxaca and Guerrero, where it lived for more than 100 years.
It is considered a sacred pet
The Aztec culture said that these dogs were the incarnation of guide spirits of the underworld, created by the god Xolto, which according to the Aztec culture was the nocturnal face of Venus and was represented by a man with the head of a dog.
According to legend, this God created the Xolos dogs from a splinter of the bone of life. For this reason, according to them, they had a connection to the underworld and were considered sacred to their owners.
Lose their teeth quickly
Their genetics make them lose their teeth quickly, so when they reach old age they may no longer have teeth. The less hair you have, the faster your teeth fall out.
For this reason, it is extremely important to take care of the texture of the food that is given and oral hygiene.
It was used for medicinal purposes
The mystical beliefs of the Aztecs ensured that this dog could heal its masters, thanks to its different powers. However, this can be scientifically understood if we look at some of its general characteristics.
The lack of hair that covers it from the cold causes this canine to develop a mechanism in its body that causes it to produce heat by itself, so some people placed them on injured or painful areas and the heat of these dogs relieved them.
They always have a high temperature
This breed of dogs has a fairly high temperature, since their genetic composition increases their body heat to compensate for the lack of shelter due to the absence of hair.
This body thermoregulation mechanism is known as homothermia and is developed by these dogs to avoid hypothermia in cold weather.
They have a homeland date
On August 12, the day of the Xoloitzcuintle is officially celebrated, since 2014. However, October 7, the day of the dead in Mexico, is a special date to remember the meaning of this dog in Mexican culture.
They have existed for thousands of years
Its origin dates back more than 3,000 years, this is known thanks to different archaeological finds found in Mexico. In addition, remains of bones of these canines have been found next to tombs and temples of pre-Columbian cultures.
For the Aztecs, the Xolos could ward off evil spirits
The Aztecs considered that Xoloitzcuntles dogs had the power to ward off their owners, evil spirits of death. As these were also, according to this culture, good spirits of death, they accompanied their owners through the Apanohuacalhuia River.
This river was the one that led to the Mictlán or underworld and the dog (when sacrificed) had to discover if its owner was worthy of entering the afterlife and in this case fighting evil spirits.
It was officially recognized in 1956
Despite having a great history, given that at some point it was in danger of extinction, the FCI (International Cynological Federation) had to carry out exhaustive studies to discover if purebred Xolos still existed. After long investigations and hard work to recover the breed, on May 1, 1956, the Xoloitzcuintle is recognized by this institution as a breed that is still preserved alive and out of danger of extinction.