XoloitzcuintliPublished: Last updated: by Kyle J. Larson
Average size and lifespan
Lifespan: 13 - 18 Years
- Barking Amount
- Grooming Difficulty
- Shedding Amount
- Easy to Train
- Can Be Alone
- Exercise Need
- Cold Tolerance
- Heat Tolerance
One of the oldest and rarest breeds, the Xoloitzcuintli made its way to the Americas when it accompanied humans migrating across the Bering Straits. The name combines two Aztec words: God (Xolotl) and dog (itzcuintli). With such a majestic name comes great responsibility. People believed the dog possessed healing characteristics and today they are still used in remote Mexican and Central American villages to “cure” ailment like insomnia, asthma and toothaches. This dog is also used by people in the region to protect homes from evil spirits.
As a pet, the Xoloitzcuintli is loyal and alert, ready to protect their family and their home. They are easily recognizable for their sleek build, almond eyes, bat-like ears and hairless body.
The Xoloitzcuintli was a companion of the Mayan, Toltec, Colima, Zapotec and Aztec cultures dating the breed to over 3500 years ago. These cultures treated their dogs quite differently than we do today. They used them as home and hunting companions but also sacrificed and ate them.
They believed that the Xoloitzcuintli was provided by the gods as a guide through the world of death. They would often be buried with their owners. Their great history has led to them being the national dog of Mexico.
When Christopher Columbus reached the Caribbean in 1492 he wrote about strange hairless dogs which were eventually transported back to Europe.
Xoloitzcuintli Training & Temperament
Xolos are happy and loving. It’s best to socialize them early and begin training to help them develop into a good family dog. They are an intelligent, primitive breed that likes companionship. They have a tendency to develop a strong bond with one person and become protective of them. Early socialization can help prevent them from having issues with strangers in the future.
Xolos are relaxed around the house but do enjoy their exercise as well. They will need some long walks and playtime to get their energy down before relaxing. If not exercised they can become escape artists, climbing fences to run. At about the age of 2 their energy levels start to mellow out some.
There are two variations of Xolos, one with a short coat and one that is hairless. The coated variation requires occasional brushing and bathing and some hair trimming to keep longer hairs out of their eyes. The hairless version may need sunscreen if long exposure to the sun is expected. They also need regular bathing and moisturizing to prevent skin issues. Though, it’s best not to over bathe them. Their natural skin oils can stain light fabrics, so take caution where they lay.
The breed also has fast growing nails which should be trimmed bi-weekly.
The Xolo is typically a healthy dog that avoids many health issues in other breeds because of human selection. This breed has developed more naturally and has more natural vigor. They don’t do well with the cold as they come from tropical climates.
All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breed stats. However, please let us know if we made an error in the stats, we appreciate your help!
Can Xoloitzcuintlis be apartment dogs?
The Xoloitzcuintli is an excellent apartment dog. They don't need as much space for activity and will be happy in a condo or apartment.
Can Xoloitzcuintlis be left alone?
Xoloitzcuintlis are extremely social and need lots of interaction with their owners. They don't like being left alone and will likely become destructive or anxious if left for long periods.
Are Xoloitzcuintlis good with kids?
Xoloitzcuintlis can do fine with kids. They will require some monitoring and training to make sure they get along and react well to unpredictable behavior.
Are Xoloitzcuintlis friendly with strangers?
Xoloitzcuintlis tend to be very slow to warm up to strangers. They require long periods of exposure before they will trust somone.
Do Xoloitzcuintlis get along with other dogs?
Xoloitzcuintlis aren't usually friendly with other dogs. They tend to not get along unless carefully socialized.
Do Xoloitzcuintlis bark a lot?
As far as dogs go, Xoloitzcuintlis bark an average amount. You can expect them to bark to alert you, get your attention, or when there are strangers or other dogs.
Do Xoloitzcuintlis shed a lot?
The Xoloitzcuintli rarely, or never, sheds. They're excellent for someone who doesn't want to clean up much dog hair.
Do Xoloitzcuintlis need a lot of grooming?
Xoloitzcuintlis don't require very much effort for grooming. You'll just need to provide typical maintenance and baths.
Do Xoloitzcuintlis need a lot of exercise?
The Xoloitzcuintli has a good amount of energy and will need to be exercised with some walks and play to keep them happy.
Are Xoloitzcuintlis easy to train?
Although Xoloitzcuintlis can be a challenge to train, they can be taught with some dedicated work or by hiring some training help.
Can Xoloitzcuintlis handle cold weather?
Xoloitzcuintlis don't like the cold and will likely want some protection if outside for long.
Can Xoloitzcuintlis handle hot weather?
Although Xoloitzcuintlis can tolerate hot conditions, be careful not to expose them for too long.