Xoloitzcuintle Info & Xoloitzcuintle Breeders
The treasure of Mexico (National dog of Mexico) is known as the Xoloitzcuintli, other names it may be known world wide as include: Xoloitxcuintli, Xoloitzquintle, Mexican Hairless and Tepeitzcuintli. The Xoloitzcuintle is an ancient breed, archeologists have found evidence of the breeds existence in the ruins of Pre-Columbian societies of Mexico, Central and South America. The Aztec people believed that when they died the Xolo guided them to "Mictlan”, their land of the dead. Many were buried with a Xolo, which was sacrificed for that purpose. When Cortez conquered the Aztecs the remaining people fled to the jungles, taking their Xolos with them. Many of the Aztecs died out, but the dogs survived.
The Xolo is a rare breed, numbering approximately 20,000 in the world. Prior to 1956, when members of the Federacion Canofila Mexicana (F.C.M.) began a registration and breeding program, Xolos were considered nearly extinct. Expeditions to remote villages saved the Xolo from extinction, where the dogs had been treasured for many centuries.
The Xolo is well known for its intelligence, extreme loyalty, and devotion to their human family. They are generally reserved and shy with strangers, and very protective of their household. They are great watch dogs, but not guard dogs. Because they can be territorial it's vital that they are socialised in all situations and with a lot of people when young. The breed needs a lot of time in training and social activities from the puppy stage right throughout life. Dogs that are not socialized correctly, or in the hands of inexperienced people can become aggressive.
The ideal owner for a Xoloitzcuintle
Ideal owners are people who have the time for a primitive breed. Like any dog breed it is important to research the breed thoroughly before you start looking for an experienced and responsible Xolo breeder and a Xolo dog. A reputable breeder will always take a Xolo back from a home should circumstances change or difficulties arise where people cannot manage.
Training & socialisation
The breed is easy to train and Xolos are generally very quick to learn. It's important to establish the pack place early in life by including the whole family in the discipline and training routines. Otherwise, Xolos can be dominant and their primitive instincts can lead to the household being run by the Xolo. This can be controlled by regular and consistent training and exercise.
Young Xolo’s require a fair amount of training and exercise, lots of toys and things to keep them occupied and out of trouble. With the correct training, as Xolos mature they settle to become calm, laid back, and very easy going. They will stay at home alone, but of course would much rather go with their owner everywhere. The Xolo does not tolerate unstable homes, nor harsh corrections in training. They excel in a calm environment.
How much space and exercise do Xolos need
Xolos are a highly active breed and require exercise EVERY day. They are excellent agility and obedience dogs. Whether a small, intermediate or standard, Xolos need daily walks and a regular, disciplined routine. It should be noted that dogs that do not get daily exercise are more likely to become disruptive and display behavioural problems. Xolos are not considered a sighthound and are usually peaceful with other animals. Like any animal however, they will need training and careful introduction to other pets.
Xolos and Grooming
Grooming needs vary from dog to dog but overall a good diet is essential to maintain healthy skin. During cooler months the Xolo requires a coat and at times ear protection. In the summer months Xolos must be protected from the sun with shade and sun coats. Weekly bathing and a skin scrub is recommended, while also applying moisture back into the skin. When Xolos develop skin problems it is usually attributable to genetics or improper care. Finding the right lotion for each dog needs to be worked out by trial and error, generally a gentle lotion and no soaps.
Please consider another breed if you cannot:
- Provide companionship and not leave the Xolo unattended for more than a few hours. Bored Xolos may become anxious, which they express by destructive chewing and are known to be excellent escape artists.
- Provide daily walks, the Xolo is an energy driven dog and thrives on exercise and socialisation, this is very important to avoid any timidness in the Xolo, socialisation and new experiences help keep the Xolo alert and aware.
- Involve the Xolo in your activities and life, the Xolo loves to please and excel in many areas including agility, obedience and as therapy dogs.
Other things to be aware of include that the Xolo:
- Can be timid or suspicious when not socialised enough;
- Have a mind of their own and think independently;
- Are emotionally sensitive and do not respond well to rough handling, stressful situations, loud voices, and abrupt changes in schedule, the Xolo MUST have a stable household;
- Requires ongoing vigilant care of the hairless skin, which is sensitive to sun, cold, rain, chemicals, and hard sleeping surfaces;
- Has the tendency to climb or dig to escape confinement;
- Is generally a poor kennel dog (outside dog) and revel in being part of the pack.
Be prepared for constant questions about the breed, every Xolo owner is a breed educator. A Xolo is not for someone who wants an unusual or exotic pet, or for inexperienced owners.
How much does a Xoloitzcuintle cost?
For a well bred, healthy dog from a responsible breeder you can expect to pay approximately AUD $3000 for a pet and up to AUD $5000 for a show Xoloitzcuintle dog in Australia. In the United States you would be looking at US $1,900.00 to US $4,500.00 for a quality Xolo.
General facts about the Xoloitzcuintle
The Xolo comes in three sizes - miniature, intermediate and standard. Miniature is 25 to 35 cm, Intermediate is 36 to 45 cm and standard is 46 to 62 cm. They also have two coat types - coated and hairless. Life expectancy for the Xolo is generally about 12 to 15 years.
The Xoloitzcuintle in Australia
Wazzat Xoloitzcuintle imported the first Xoloitzcuintle dogs to Australia in 2009 and had the breed recognised for showing from 2010, they also had the first Xolo litter in 2014, many years research and planning has been dedicated to the breed to ensure the correct Xolos are imported and bred with a view to the best being able to be shown. Thanks to Wazzat Xoloitzcuintle for photos and information about this unique breed. Photos of the three three sizes in the XOLO breed courtesy of Wazzat and Lynda Lanser.
Potential health issues in the Xoloitzcuintle
There are no known health issues in the breed as testing has only recently started. Overall, there are no serious health or genetic problems. Responsible and experienced breeders will always check for lines with good temperaments.
Hairless xolos require ongoing and vigilant care of the hairless skin, which is sensitive to sun, cold, rain, chemicals, and hard sleeping surfaces.
We welcome comments and contributions to information about this breed.