Xoloitzcuintle - Origin, Characteristics and Behavior

Xoloitzcuintle or Mexican hairless dog: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Millennial and magnificent, such is the dog...

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Millennium old and beautiful, such is the Xoloitzcuintle dog, also known as the Mexican hairless dog or xolo. This dog originates from Mexico, a place where it is highly valued and considered a living archaeological gem, since this canine breed was already the favorite dogs of the Aztecs more than 7,000 years ago. Its appearance is unique because it has no hair, which is why it is also known as the Mexican Hairless Dog.

Want to learn more about the Xoloitzcuintle? Well, continue reading this AnimalPlanet dossier and find out everything there is to know about the characteristics, history and character of the Xoloitzcuintle!


  • America
  • Mexico

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group V

Physical Characteristics

  • End
  • Muscular
  • Proportional


  • Average


  • 35-45

Adult Weight

  • 3-10

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • Average


  • Balanced
  • Society
  • Very loyal
  • Smart
  • Affectionate
  • Docile

Ideal for

  • Children
  • Apartment
  • House
  • The guard
  • Allegric people

Recommended climate

  • Hot

Hair type

  • Hairless
  • Short

Origin of the Xoloitzcuintle or Mexican Hairless Dog

As corroborated by various archaeological discoveries, such as terracotta figurines or pictorial representations made by this incredible culture, the Mexican dog Xoloitzcuintle shared the daily life of the ancient Aztecs.

This canine breed was revered by the Aztecs, as they considered it a living representation of their god Xototl, the Aztec god of death, who looked like a man with the head of a dog.Despite being the god of death, Xototl was not evil, since he was in charge of guarding the underworld. The Aztecs believed that the Xoloitzcuintle dogs were created by their god, who made them with a shard of the bone of life to guide the deceased on their journey to the afterlife, that's why when someone died , a Xoloitzcuintle was sacrificed and buried with the deceased. But the benefits of these animals were much more numerous, since contact with them was considered to alleviate pain and it was even thought that eating their meat had many benefits.

After the colonization of America, the Xoloitzcuintle breed came close to extinction, but in the 19th century, thanks to many breeders, this breed could be preserved and it was in the 1950s that the FCI made the decision to take measures that would allow its preservation.

Characteristics of the Xoloitzcuintle

Depending on their size and length, Xoloitzcuintles are classified into three subtypes:

  • The standard variety, which weighs between 11 and 18 kilograms and measures 51 to 76 centimeters.
  • The average, with 7 or 14 kilos and 38-51 cm.
  • Finally, the toy with a weight between 2 and 7 kilos for a size between 23 and 26 cm.

By focusing on the physical characteristics of the xoloitzcuintle dog, we see that his body is compact and muscular, his head is thin, with a straight and hairless muzzle, or with little hair, his eyes are in almond and usually brown and that its nose can have various colors depending on the color of the coat, ranging from black to brown, golden, pink or spotted. His ears are erect and triangular in shape.

Regarding the coat, it can be noted that they normally have no hair, but there are specimens that may have some hair. If so, it will be short and dense, and it will be more abundant in the head and tail.Likewise, it should be noted that there is a variety of xoloitzcuintle with hair all over the body, short, smooth and without undercoat. As far as colors are concerned, the range of shades that can appear is wide, such as brown, black, gray, bronze, blond, reddish or speckled. However, in general, the colors should be plain and rather dark.

Character of the Xoloitzcuintle

Now focusing on the character and temperament of the Xoloitzcuintle, know that it is an ideal dog for families, as it is an obedient, intelligent, loyal and very friendly dog. It is also an excellent guard dog due to its ability to stay alert and vigilant.

If you want to adopt a Xoloitzcuintle, you should know that it is an ideal playmate for the little ones in the house, because it is playful and very patient and is only rarely aggressive. In addition, these moments of play will allow him to release his energy.

In general, xoloitzcuintle dogs are affectionate animals who love that we pay attention to them and devote all our time and love to them. That's why if you're used to spending a lot of time away from home, this breed of dog may not be the best fit for you. In cases where you leave him home alone for too long, your dog may end up becoming destructive and suffering from separation anxiety.

Xolos are incredibly intelligent, attentive and therefore super easy to train.

Caring for a Xoloitzcuintle dog

Due to the lack of hair, Xoloitzcuintles are more prone to injuries, burns, allergies, or skin irritations. Therefore, you will need to pay close attention to factors such as sunlight or allergens that may come into contact with their skin.Even so, his skin has an incredible ability to regenerate itself. Thus, if your animal is going to be exposed to the sun's rays, it will be necessary to apply protective creams to avoid sunburn.

On the other hand, as his skin is uncovered, he will also have to be washed frequently because dirt gets lodged there easily, which causes purulent pimples to appear, which can sometimes lead to more infections or less serious. For the bath, specific products for sensitive skin and a suitable sponge that does not irritate the skin should be used. Once bathed, it is recommended to apply moisturizing products and we recommend that you ask our veterinarian for the best options. And for the care of the hairy xoloitzcuintle, it will be necessary to add two or three weekly brushings to eliminate dead hair.

The lack of hair makes these dogs hypoallergenic and therefore ideal for allergy sufferers. Along with these breed-specific considerations, he should also be dewormed, vaccinated, and ensured that he eats a balanced diet and exercises regularly.

Training and education of the Xoloitzcuintle

As we mentioned before, training Xoloitzcuintles dogs won't be complicated, so by following a few basic guidelines and with a bit of perseverance, you'll get great results in a very short time . As with all dog breeds, it is recommended to start training as early as possible, since it will be easier to instil the basic rules in our animal when it is still small. Despite this, even in adulthood it can be educated without major problems, since it is a breed with a great capacity for adaptation and learning.

Good socialization is necessary for our animal to be balanced and to be able to communicate correctly both with other animals and with children, or humans in general, otherwise it can be distant and suspicious of strangers.

Training should be done with specific measures and you should avoid collars which can damage their delicate skin.For example, collars made of nylon or natural fibers that do not irritate or cause chafing are generally recommended. Similarly, it is recommended to bet instead on training on the basis of positive techniques.

Xoloitzcuintle He alth

Although they are a fairly he althy breed, they can, like other breeds with similar characteristics, present certain conditions with a higher incidence, such as hip dysplasia and others joint problems such as patella luxation.

Something to review in this Xoloitzcuintle dog he alth section is its propensity to suffer from oral issues such as falling teeth or malformations of the teeth and jaw. This is why you have to be attentive to the care of your teeth and you will have to brush them well.

On the other hand, they also seem more prone to liver disorders and the problems they most frequently present are those related to the absence of fur, that is, skin disorders such as dermatitis, allergies or greater thermal sensitivity.

Given all this and performing the relevant veterinary checks and tests, following the vaccination and deworming schedule, as well as taking from its eyes, mouth and ears, you will have a dog with whom you will spend wonderful moments.

Photos of Xoloitzcuintle or Mexican Hairless Dog

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