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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Xoloitzcuintli Toy

Xoloitzcuintli (Toy)

Origin: Mexico

AKC Group: Toy

Height: 10 inches (Male)

Weight: 5 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
10 inches
Male weight: 
5 pounds
There are two coat varieties: hairless and coated. The hairless variety is just that - hairless - although there may be some short, coarse hair on the top of his head, on his feet and the tip of his tail; there should be no hair on any other areas. The skin is tough, protective, smooth and close fitting. The coated variety is covered all over with short, smooth, close-fitting fur.
Black, brindle, bronze, copper and white, dark brown, fawn, gray, liver, palomino, red, white, black and white, tricolor (black, white, and tan), merle, pink and brown, tan, white and black; may be spotted or have black, tan, or white markings.

The Xoloitzcuintli (nicknamed "Xolo") is one of the world's oldest - and rarest-breeds, known as "the first dog of the Americas" because he accompanied the first migrations of peoples across the Bering Strait onto the lands that are now North, South and Central America. Treasured for his purported curative and mystical powers, he is named after the Aztec Indian god Xolotl and the Aztec word for dog, "Itzcuintli." Considered native to Mexico, they are widespread throughout Central and South America, where even today they are considered healers. Not only is their body heat helpful to those suffering from joint or muscle aches, but the Xolo is believed to ward off illnesses as diverse as insomnia, toothaches, and asthma. These mystical animals are also believed to protect homes from evil spirits. They have long served as guardians because of their excellent watchdog abilities, and Xolos continue to be part of their people's world in many capacities - as companion, service dog, guardian, show dog and competitor in a number of dog sports.

The Xolo is cheerful, attentive, intelligent and alert - a great companion and watchdog. He served as a guardian for millennia, so he is suspicious of strangers and can be aloof when he first meets new people. For his family, though, he has nothing but affection and is supremely loyal, usually attaching himself to one "special" person. He has been described as a big dog in a small body, and he is no pushover, occasionally showing a stubborn streak. He needs your direction and fair leadership to understand his role in the family.
At home: 
The Xolo is a versatile little dog who can adapt to any living environment, as long as he's included in family activities and not left alone for long periods. The hairless variety may be suitable for some allergy sufferers, as it tends to produce less dander than other dogs; even the coated variety is fairly low shedding, which may be a boon to some with allergies. He is generally calm and quiet in the home, although he will spring to action if he detects or perceives danger or a distraction. He does not bark frequently, so when he does, he should be heeded. The Xolo can be an escape artist, making a securely fenced yard necessary. He does not tolerate the cold, and it is important that he wear a sweater in even cool weather.
Although he may appear fragile to some, the Xoloitzcuintli is a hardy and sturdy dog who is up for exercise of all kinds. He enjoys playing and games but also thrives on regular walks, romps in the park and participation in dog sports. Wherever you want to go or whatever you want to do, your Xoloitzcuintli will be happy to accompany you.
The Xolo enjoys eating but can be finicky. Feeding several smaller meals a day may be more to his liking, but make sure that the food is high quality and age appropriate.
Naturally in tune with their caregivers, Xolos are easy to train. They would rather be at their owners'side than anywhere, and their attention can easily be turned into simple lessons. His tendency to bond with one person more strongly than others means that everyone in the family should participate in caring for and training him - this will help evenly distribute his affection. His unusual appearance makes him a people magnet when he's out, which is great for getting him socialized - a benefit for this naturally aloof breed.
Xolos need socialization to be comfortable meeting new people, and they will usually remain aloof with strangers. They get along well with children, although as with any smaller dog breed, supervision is always essential. They can get along well with other pets, although some may be dog-aggressive, so socialization and training are important.
The average life span of the Xoloitzcuintli is 15 to 20 years. There are no common health problems.
Fun fact: 

The Xoloitzcuintli is pronounced "Show-low-eetz-queent-lee."

Grooming blurb: 
It may not seem the case, but the hairless Xoloitzcuintli is actually quite easy to groom. His skin is resilient and tough even though it is soft to the touch. In fact, overbathing or applying too much lotion can damage the natural protection it provides and can even introduce problems like acne or other infections of the pores. He should need a bath only about once every month or so, after which he should receive a light application of lotion. Dark-colored Xolos have the hardiest skin, and lighter-colored ones may need extra care, including sunscreen on sunny days. The coated variety requires regular brushing with a hound glove or curry comb.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.