• Information About Xoloitzcuintli ( A Mexican Hairless Dog)

    Xoloitzcuintli, also known as Mexican hairless dog or simply "Xolo" are known for their alert, loyal and sporty nature. This ancient breed is believed to be in existence for 3000 years & is available in three sizes. Some of them might not be even as hairless after all.


    Mexican hairless dog

    Table of Content


    History of Mexican hairless dog:

    People believe Xoloitzcuintli to be a natural breed, unlike other dogs who were the result of crossing or mixing between two breeds. This dog was molded by natural selection & does not include any human manipulation. According to evidence shown by an archaeological department, their ancestors used to accompany migratory people across the Bering landmass which is now submerged from Asia to the new world. The modern dog we currently know as "Xoloitzcuintli" derive their name from the Aztec deity Xolotl, who is the god of lightning and death, and “itzcuintli" which is an Aztec word for a dog.

    This dog is said to have healing powers that can cure diseases like insomnia, asthma & rheumatism and were used to scare away evil spirits and intruders. They also served as guides for the dead as they transited from this world to the next. Unfortunately, they had to sacrifice their life to accompany the dead & most unfortunate of them all people considered them to be good eats. 

    Nonetheless, they thrived in 1887, going through a phase of popularity. American Kennel Club was the first to recognize this breed & refer to them as Mexican hairless. A Mexican dog named "Mee Too" was the first Xolo dog registered with the AKC. After this initial flurry of interest, very little was heard about this breed, except for a brief period in the year 1940 where a dog named "Chinito Jr" became the first and the only Xolo to win an AKC championship.

    This strong breed would have disappeared altogether if its fans would not have saved them from the brink of extinction. People of Mexico titled them as the dog of the year in 2010 and currently consider them to be their national treasure. Currently, about 30,000 of them are known to be in existence worldwide. This breed was brought back into the fold in the year 2011 by the American Kennel Club & is currently residing at the intersection of popularity & rarity. 

    Description:

    This loving, vigilant, and alert watchdog comes in three sizes that are toy ( 10-14 inches), Miniature ( 14-18 inches), standard (18 to 23 inches) tall & two varieties that are hairless & coated. This breed can weigh anywhere between 10 to 50 pounds. The hairless type has skin that is smooth, tough & close-fitted & the coated variety is covered by a flat, short coat. Both the varieties are available in dark colors like red, liver, bronze, black, grey-black & slate. They have intelligent, thoughtful faces & a forehead which will wrinkle when they are deeply in thought. Their body is surprisingly graceful, elegant, strong & rugged. They are better suited for warmer climates as they are hairless and will need a coat to go outside, particularly during cold weather.

    Temperament:

    These dogs are even-tempered, intelligent, playful, affectionate with a high prey drive & tend to chase smaller animals like squirrels and rabbits. They are known to be protective & will bark at intruders. Some of them are also known to tremble easily due to nervousness or lack of warmth. They might not do well with children who want to play rough & tumble due to their small size, especially the miniature variety. 

    Health:

    Typically a healthy breed with a lifespan of 13-18 years with no serious genetic diseases. In rare cases, Xoloitzcuintli can also develop eye problems, hip dysplasia & luxating patella. It's hard to determine the incidence of health problems as very few of them have been tested & registered with the orthopedic foundation of America.


    Sometimes they are also known to develop skin allergies & problems like blackheads & plugged hair follicles if the skin gets wet or too dirty. They are also prone to chronic allergies resulting in itching & scratching, causing the tearing of the skin, which can lead to bacterial infections. Also, note that Xolos are prone to major dental diseases. Their genes responsible for their hairlessness can also cause missing or bad teeth. 

    Xoloitzcuintli dog price in India:

    Unfortunately, they are not cheap. You might have to pay anywhere between 42000 to 2,10,000 INR depending on the breeder. Their average cost is around 1,05,000, but you can adopt one at a much lower price by spending around 21,000 to cover the expenses of caring before the adoption.

    Expenses:

    You might need to pay more than the price you paid to bring them home, including food, medical care, training & grooming needs.

    Grooming:

    The grooming needs will depend on the variety you get, with hair or without. Coated one will need occasional brushings & baths when they start smelling to get rid of dirt, oil, and debris. In general, you can bathe them every week or once in 4 weeks. Remember that the hairless variety will need more attention as they are prone to blackheads and acne.

    Are they an ideal choice for you?

    This breed is affectionate with its family members but tends to be aloof of strangers. They are highly active and bond closely with a single member, snuggling with them to stay warm. They can jump over a 6-foot fence with extreme ease, so make sure that your yard is escape-proof. This breed is not recommended for first-timers as they can easily manipulate inexperienced dog owners. Also, keep in mind that they don't like to be left alone, so take them with you whenever you can.

    Training & intelligence:

    Same as other dogs, they will need a trainer who can be consistent and follow positive reinforcement. They are adept learners with the capability of grasping cues with ease & learning new tricks. Maintaining consistency is the key, as this breed can be headstrong at times. 

    Conclusion:

    Mexican & Central American culture has given us many glorious things, and this breed is no exception. They have simple needs and a few demands, which has helped them to earn their status as cultural icons.

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