- Breed Name: Xoloitzcuintli
- Country of Origin: Mexico
- Time of origin of the breed: 5000-3000 years BC
- Weight: miniature 4-8 kg, medium 6-10 kg, standard 9-14 kg
- Height (height at the withers): miniature 25-35 cm, medium 36-45 cm, standard 46-60 cm
- Life expectancy: 12-13 years
- There are three types of xoloitzcuintli: standard, medium and mini, so the breed is suitable for keeping in an apartment of any size.
- In one litter, babies can be born both completely naked and "dressed" in short, stiff fur.
- Xoloitzcuintli tend to consider only one person the owner, although they treat the rest of the family members with love, including other pets.
- Mexican naked dogs are great guards who sense an uninvited guest long before he appears.
- It is not recommended to start a xolo for families with young children: dogs can behave unpredictably in the company of a child.
- Animals need daily active walks, but in severe frosts it is better to refrain from a long cross-country in the city park.
- When raising and training a Mexican naked dog, it is necessary to be guided only by positive methods and a creative approach to the process.
- Xoloitzcuintli will not be able to get along with those who perceive dogs as unintelligent creatures: these animals suffer from improper treatment of them.
Xoloitzcuintli are among the most mysterious breeds. Its millennial existence is shrouded in legends. Ancient people considered these unusual animals as guides to the other world and treated them with due respect. According to another legend, xoloitzcuintli were considered four-legged healers who could take the disease with them overnight. History also mentions cruel moments: dogs were regularly sacrificed to the Aztec gods, and sometimes their meat was eaten at all. Today, xoloitzcuintli successfully cope with the role of devoted companions and friends. And cuddling with these warm and affectionate creatures is a pleasure!
History of the xoloitzcuintli breed
Mexican naked dogs are unique in every way. They are among the lucky ones who have formed a separate breed due to a widespread genetic mutation – the absence of a coat. In the case of xoloitzcuintli, this deviation has been fixed for generations and has become a distinctive feature. The animals turned out to be more adapted to the climate of Mexico than their counterparts. In addition, ticks, fleas and other parasites were not interested in dogs without fur and rarely bothered them with painful bites.
The extravagant appearance of the animals attracted the attention of the Aztecs. They also came up with the name "xoloitzcuintli". It came from the name of the god of the afterlife – Xolotl (Xolotl), who controlled thunderstorms and accompanied the day luminary. The deity was depicted as a humanoid monster with the head of a dog.
Xoloitzcuintli looked quite frightening in comparison with other animals, so they were mistaken for faithful companions of God and died on the way to Mictlan – the afterlife. According to Aztec mythology, the human soul encountered a number of obstacles that could not be overcome without a four-legged assistant. The central role of the breed is evidenced by archaeological finds – clay figurines and mummies of dogs. The oldest ones date back to the V millennium BC. On some figures, an imitation of wool is visible: they probably embody representatives of other breeds.
The Aztecs not only believed in the divine power of xoloitzcuintli, but also strictly followed the instructions of the priests. When a warrior died, the inhabitants of the settlement carried out a bloody ritual, which provided for the ceremonial killing of the deceased's dog. An arrow of its owner was put into the mouth of the animal. After that, the bodies were buried, and sometimes pre-mummified. Archaeological excavations in Mexico and the modern USA have exposed more than a dozen such "mass graves".
Some findings suggest that xoloitzcuintli was kept for further consumption. Dog meat was considered an exquisite dish, which was prepared only for important religious holidays. The Aztecs believed that this meal not only honors the gods, but also gives ordinary people the gift of a seer. Representatives of the stronger sex ate the meat of naked dogs, because they considered it the main aphrodisiac that strengthens male strength.
Xoloitzcuintli was also endowed with magical abilities to heal ailments. This was largely due to the hot skin of the animals, which reduced unpleasant sensations due to the warming effect. The myth still "lives" in remote Aboriginal villages, where xolo is still "treated" for rheumatism and other diseases.
The appearance of the conquistadors was a turning point in the history of the breed. The conquerors considered the New World to be property and sought to impose cruel orders on the locals. The culture of the descendants of the Aztecs was the first to fall out of favor. The conquistadors demanded that the aborigines renounce ancient rituals that contradict civilized European religion. Xoloitzcuintli was ranked among the bright symbols of an outdated way of life and thus signed their death sentence. Dogs were exterminated en masse, sometimes for food. By the end of the XVI century, the breed could hardly be called numerous. The animals managed to survive only in some remote mountain villages of Mexico.
Xoloitzcuintli re–entered the world stage at the beginning of the XIX century - unfortunately, again as raw materials. Their skins were used to make leather things. The unenviable situation of naked dogs changed only by 1850. Adherents of art, noticing the unusual appearance of animals, did everything possible to stop their merciless exploitation. Dog breeders-enthusiasts organized mass expeditions to remote mountain villages, which numbered quite a large number of xoloitzcuintli. In 1887, Xolo officially recognized the American Kennel Club (AKC). The first registered animal was a bitch named Mi Tu.
After this event, the breed was forgotten for a long time. Even the victory of xoloitzcuintli at the 1940 exhibition did not save the situation. Since Mexican naked dogs have lost their former popularity, the AKC organization has deleted them from the breed registry. The number of xoloitzcuintli decreased, and their owners visited dog shows less and less often. The fate of the animals was again under threat, but there were fans of this extravagant breed who sought to continue breeding work.
History knows only one name – Norman Pelham Wright. In 1954, he went to search for xoloitzcuintli in remote Mexican settlements, mainly in the south of the state of Guerrero and in the Rio Balsas area. Norman Wright managed to purchase more than a dozen dogs from the Indians. Engaged in animal breeding, the naturalist published the works "The Riddle of Xolo", where he described the wards in detail and formulated a preliminary breed standard. Wright's work bore worthy fruits: in 1956, the "Mexicans" were officially recognized in their historical homeland.
In 1986, the first naked dog appeared in Russia, but the breed did not gain dizzying popularity. Meanwhile, clubs of xoloitzcuintli fans appeared in European countries, the USA and Mexico. Together with the addition of the breed standard, its participants urged dog breeders not to forget about the difficult fate of the Indian "natives" and no longer use them for selfish purposes. Educational activities proved to be successful. Xolo have become a national treasure of Mexico, and their number in the world has exceeded 30 thousand individuals – record figures for a breed that has twice been on the verge of extinction.
In 2011, AKC re-registered xoloitzcuintli. These animals are also notable for their accurate entry into the Guinness Book of Records, where they are recorded by the oldest of the same breed and the owners of the highest body temperature.
Xolo are of three types:
- standard. Height at the withers – 46-60 cm, body weight – from 9 to 14 kg;
- average. Height at the withers – 36-45 cm; body weight – 6-10 kg;
- miniature. Height at the withers – 25-35 cm; body weight – 4-8 kg.
Dog breeders believe that the ancestors of modern xoloitzcuintli belonged to the first type. Animals with such proportions could easily survive in the wild, unlike their smaller counterparts. In addition, individual medium and miniature naked dogs tend to increase their size, which cannot be said about the standard variety of xoloitzcuintli.
The breed has a pronounced sexual type: bitches look more elegant and light in comparison with males.
Head and skull
Xolo is characterized by a high head position. Its size is proportional to the body. Skull type – wolf: being quite elegant and at the same time strong, it tapers to the nose. A small protrusion is visible in the occipital part. The frontal line is parallel to the animal's muzzle.
Has a smooth outline. The underside of the dog's eyes is well filled, but the cheeks remain flat. The stop is weakly expressed. The pigmentation of the nose depends on the main color. In xoloitzcuintli with dark skin, it is almost black. Golden yellow and bronze animals can boast a coffee-colored or flesh-colored nose. The nose lobe of spotted dogs is notable for partial pigmentation. The lips of xoloitzcuintli are dry, do not create the effect of bryliness, fit snugly to the jaws. The presence of wrinkles is acceptable.
The high set of large and long ears of a naked dog gives it a resemblance to a bat. In an excited state, the animal holds them almost at right angles. The ears are soft and delicate to the touch.
xoloitzcuintli's eyes are almond-shaped. The color of the iris varies depending on the basic tone of the color. The most common options are yellow, amber, reddish–brown, coffee or black. On dry and dense eyelids, the edging of gray, brown or black is noticeable. The look is attentive and at the same time wary.
Jaws and teeth
The strong jaws of the animal form a scissor bite. The presence of a complete dental formula is desirable, but not necessary. Completely naked xoloitzcuintli have weaker teeth than dogs covered with short, bristly hair. The last copies are extremely rare.
When looking at xoloitzcuintli, a high-set, elegant neck is noticeable. It smoothly expands to the base, passing into the withers line. The nape is elegant and light. In adult dogs, the skin fits snugly to the throat, in puppies, small folds are noticeable.
The body of the breed representatives is moderately stretched. Its length is 1.1 times the height of the animal at the withers. The relatively narrow chest is lowered to the level of the elbows. The ribs are not flattened. The back line is straight and short. Strong shoulder blades are set obliquely. The loin is slightly convex in comparison with the back, it has a more prominent musculature. The dog's croup is directed downward at an angle of 40 °. The abdomen and groin are moderately matched.
The tip of the thin tail of the xoloitzcuintli can be decorated with a small brush. In the lowered state, it is slightly rounded. In motion, the animal lifts its tail, but does not touch its back. Owners of naked dogs note an interesting feature: when xoloitzcuintli freezes, it tucks its tail between its legs. The same movement may indicate fear (as in most relatives).
The forelimbs look dry, the angles of the articular joints are balanced. The elbows are pressed against the chest, directed strictly backwards. The forearms are straight, while the pasterns are set at a slight angle. The paws are of the hare type, sometimes covered with short coarse hairs. The color of the claws depends on the main color of the xoloitzcuintli. The dewclaws are removed in the first week after the birth of the puppy.
Musculature is more pronounced in comparison with the forelimbs. The muscles are best visible on the animal's thighs. The angles of articular joints are moderately pronounced. The hock joints are directed parallel to the body of the dog. The straight metatarsals are placed vertically. The "hare" paws are formed by arched fingers that end in claws of a dark or light shade. The pads are elastic and rigid. Removal of the fifth fingers in the first seven days after birth is mandatory.
Manner of movement
Xoloitzcuintli moves at an accelerated trot, keeping his head high and his back straight. With greater acceleration, the dog's paws shift to the center of gravity, under the trunk. Strong hind limbs provide the animal with a good push.
The "Mexicans" are characterized by a complete lack of wool. In some dogs, the nape and forehead are decorated with coarse sparse hair, resembling the mane of a foal. The length of the hairs does not exceed 2.5 cm .
The color of xoloitzcuintli is monophonic, mostly solid. Dark colors are desirable: gray, bluish-gray, gray-black and black. There are dogs with a lighter color: golden, bronze, liver or reddish. The presence of points is permissible if they do not occupy more than ¼ of the surface of the animal's body.
The slightest discrepancy with the standard is considered a defect of the breed. Among the main ones, there is a slight deviation from the sexual type, excessively timid or excitable behavior, as well as pigmentation of the eyelids in beige or pink.
Disqualifying vices of xoloitzcuintli are as follows:
- crest on the top of the head (like Chinese crested dog );
- flabby skin forming numerous folds;
- hair on body areas not mentioned by the standard;
- short or fully docked tail;
- elegant and feminine proportions in males;
- excessive absence of melanin (albinism);
- aggressive or cowardly behavior;
- round-shaped bulging eyes;
- hanging or cropped ears;
- light pigmentation of the iris;
- non-descent of the testicles into the scrotum;
- the presence of dewclaws;
- pronounced suspension;
- wide head format;
- undeveloped musculature;
- large size bitches;
- undershot or overshot;
- cat's paws shape;
- lordosis or kyphosis;
Photo of xoloitzcuintli
Character of xoloitzcuintli
Mexican naked dogs are owners of a balanced and friendly disposition with a piquant pinch of temperament. If excessive playfulness is inherent in puppies, adult xoloitzcuintli behave with dignity, as if they proudly serve the Aztec deity to this day. The "Mexicans" make great companions – quiet, attentive and calm. It will not be difficult to make friends with a dog.
Like many relatives, xoloitzcuintli are attached to the people they live with. In order for an animal to grow sociable and loving, all family members should take part in its life – as they say, from young to old. At the same time, the dog will still single out one person, whom he will consider to be the rightful owner.
If this happened to you, feel like an international lottery winner: it's hard to find a more devoted friend! Xoloitzcuintli will not take a step back, so as not to miss a single event in the life of the owner. The dog can be intrusive, but do not offend her by refusing the traditional portion of "hugs". For representatives of the breed, physical contact with the owner is very important – as well as joint leisure. If possible, take your pet with you when going anywhere. This will make your xolo the happiest on the planet!
Representatives of the breed do not like the company of strangers and are extremely wary of them. Perhaps it was not for nothing that the Aztecs used xoloitzcuintli as a talisman against evil forces: these dogs are excellent watchmen. Thanks to the developed hearing and sense of smell, "Mexicans" feel the stranger long before his appearance. The delicacy of the xolo is manifested even in their manner of warning the owner about unwanted guests: the animal will bark softly and begin to actively spin in your legs, as if attracting attention. In case of danger, the dog will rush into the attack without hesitation.
The owners of xoloitzcuintli have different opinions about the ability of pets to get along with children. If you are looking for a friend for your child, it is better to pay attention to golden retriever , corgi , irish setter or risenschnauzer . Xolo is also suitable for families with adult children who know how to handle dogs.
Representatives of the breed easily find a common language both with their relatives and with cats. Fights between bitches or males are quite rare, but can become a necessary measure when defending territory or self-defense. Adult xoloitzcuintli are intolerant towards other people's dogs, so it is not recommended to let the animal off the leash if you are not sure of its ability to behave in a four-legged society.
Mexican naked dogs are known for their athleticism and love of active walks. Every day it is necessary to allocate at least an hour for jogging with a pet in the city park. Bring your favorite xolo toy with you: it will brighten up your leisure time together. In clear weather, allow the animal to bask in the sun, but make sure that this does not provoke the appearance of burns or heat stroke.
Representatives of the breed experience a special delight when doing "dog" sports, so you should pay attention to obstacle running (agility), a relay race with a ball or a frisbee chase. Dancing with an animal – they are also canine freestyle – will also give xolo and his owner a lot of positive emotions.
Xoloitzcuintli, even if miniature, cannot be called "sofa" dogs. They manage to combine royal nobility and indomitable activity. If you prefer to spend your leisure time in front of the TV screen, think about getting another pet.
Education and training
Along with positive character traits, Mexican naked dogs are distinguished by stubbornness and waywardness. It is necessary to accustom a pet to manners from the age of a puppy. Do it logically and gradually, using only positive parenting methods. With gentle and delicate handling, xoloitzcuintli will easily learn what his master likes and what he does not. To stop the prank, a strict look is enough.
When taking a puppy into the house, be ready to make it the center of your little universe. The pet needs constant communication, so you should not leave him alone. If your work schedule is quite tight, take care of having a second pet that will not let Xolo get bored.
Remember: representatives of the breed need a firm hand of the owner. It is not necessary to treat an animal as an equal being: this will make him disobedient and even aggressive.
Mexican naked dogs need early socialization. If possible, create a suitable atmosphere for the baby in which he can interact with other people and animals, perceive new images and sounds, gain experience. Dog handlers recommend inviting guests as often as possible and walking with a pet in busy parks so that xolo can develop and further improve social skills.
Training xoloitzcuintli is not difficult with a creative approach to business. The dog needs to be interested so that she agrees to learn new commands. If necessary, supplement the training process with private lessons with a professional. Do not stop training in the winter season, referring to the lack of fur in the animal and the risk of catching a cold. Mexican naked dogs tolerate cold well with consistent hardening.
During training, you can not resort to physical punishments of the pet: xolo will get scared and refuse to execute the command at all. If the result is positive, be sure to encourage the dog with a treat or a caress. Noticing that you are satisfied, the animal will make every effort to please the owner again with its obedience.
Care and maintenance
Xoloitzcuintli refers to breeds that need minimal care. The reason for this is the almost complete absence of wool. The dog does not require regular combing. It is enough for individuals with sparse and stiff hair to remove dead hairs once every one to two weeks. To do this, use a brush or a massage glove.
Like "dressed" relatives, xolo need regular bathing. Use lotions with a mild formula: more "aggressive" hygiene products often cause skin allergies. Bathe your pet no more than once every two weeks. Frequent water procedures are fraught with violation of the natural protection of the skin and clogged pores. If necessary, it is enough to rinse the dog with warm water or remove surface dirt with wet wipes without alkali content. After bathing, take care of the absence of drafts so that the animal does not catch a cold.
Owners of xoloitzcuintli often face an unpleasant problem: pimples and black dots (acne) form on the body of dogs. This is a normal phenomenon for puppies up to eight months old. It is easy to get rid of defects with the help of scrubs with a fine abrasive and lotions. At the age of one year, a rash is considered the main sign of allergies, vitamin deficiency or an unsuitable diet.
Representatives of the breed often suffer from sunburn. Even before a short walk, smear the pet's torso with a protective cream, which must be wiped off with a washcloth upon returning home. It is recommended to moisturize the skin of xoloitzcuintli with olive or almond oil. Many dog breeders add a complex of vitamins A and E to the liquid for a more effective result.
Do not forget to inspect your pet's ears weekly, especially after a walk in windy weather. It is necessary to remove excess sulfur with a cotton pad soaked in water. For a drying effect, you can use a weak solution of boric acid or a special remedy from pet stores.p
Xolo's eyes also need regular rinsing. Strong black tea or chamomile decoction is suitable for this procedure. The eyes should be free of opacities and redness. Regular and abundant "sourdough" is an occasion to contact a veterinarian, who will help identify a possible disease at an early stage.
Oral care is no less important. Brush the teeth of a Mexican naked dog about twice a week with animal paste. It is necessary to use a brush or a nozzle on the finger, and a bandage folded in several layers will do. From childhood, teach the puppy to this procedure so that in the future the animal does not feel discomfort. As a preventive measure, treat xoloitzcuintli with solid treats. They will help to avoid the formation of tartar and the active reproduction of bacteria.
The claws of the breed grow very quickly, and the dogs do not have time to grind them during walks. Use a claw cutter once or twice a month so that the xolo does not experience discomfort when moving. The sooner the pet gets used to this procedure, the easier and calmer it will be in the future.
Special attention should be paid to nutrition: xoloitzcuintli are susceptible to allergies. You can feed your pet with natural food or premium feed. Toothless dogs or animals with a small number of teeth need high-quality canned food or ordinary food, ground to a mushy state. With a slight absence of teeth (no more than five or six), the use of solid food is not only recommended, but also mandatory.
The diet of xoloitzcuintli should consist of 70% of foods with a high protein content. If you feed your dog with natural food, pay attention to products such as turkey, lamb meat, rabbit meat, lean sea fish without bones. The remaining 30% fall on fermented dairy products, cereals, seasonal fruits and vegetables. After eating, it is necessary to allow xolo to rest: excessive mobility is fraught with a stomach twist.
Please note: Mexican naked dogs tend to overeat. Be sure to control the volume of each serving. The amount of food consumed should directly depend on the age, size and degree of activity of the animal.
It is necessary to exclude from the diet of xoloitzcuintli:
- raw and/or fatty meat (in particular, pork and lamb);
- milk (relevant for animals older than four months);
- salty, spicy, sour and pickled food;
- foods high in carbohydrates;
- river fish in any form;
- raw yeast dough;
- caffeinated drinks;
- berries with pits;
- tubular bones;
- food "from the table";
- smoked meat;
Do not forget to fill your pet's bowl daily with bottled or infused water for at least six hours.
Mexican naked dogs are not suitable for keeping in an aviary on a chain. The ideal option is a cozy apartment with a dedicated sleeping place away from possible drafts. It is necessary to walk the pet daily, starting from four months. Dog handlers recommend buying warm clothes for adverse weather. In severe frosts, it is better to refrain from walking.
xoloitzcuintli health and Diseases
Since the breed developed independently, its representatives are distinguished by stronger immunity than relatives bred artificially. Common "canine" diseases began to manifest themselves more and more often after the intervention of breeders. Among the frequent ones are:
- appearance of plaque on the skin with an unhealthy color and smell;
- cartilage weakness ("drooping ears" effect);
- burns from direct sunlight;
- allergic rashes;
- tooth loss;
Otherwise, xoloitzcuintli are healthy and cheerful dogs. They easily take root in any climatic zone, but at low temperatures they need additional "uniforms".
How to choose a puppy
Mexican naked dogs are a rare breed, so the number of kennels that specialize in breeding them is limited. It's still worth spending time searching for a breeder. He will help you choose xoloitzcuintli for different purposes: participation in exhibitions, breeding or for warm (in every sense) communication.
Pay attention to how the breeder answers your questions, whether he is ready to confirm his reputation and show the necessary documents, whether he is interested in the future of the wards. At the same time, pay attention to the conditions of keeping dogs. Animals should be well groomed, enclosures cleaned, bowls always filled. The absence of drafts is mandatory, otherwise you risk getting a cold puppy.
After that, start getting to know the parents of your potential friend. It is necessary to observe the behavior of the bitch and the male, to assess their character and state of health. It would be useful to ask the breeder to show documentation that confirms the absence of genetic diseases.
Sometimes xolo of several varieties are born in one litter: standard, medium and miniature. Because of this feature, it is quite difficult to choose a puppy for further participation in exhibitions, since it will not be possible to predict its size. This is only possible for those who are engaged in breeding the breed and watching the dogs for a long time. If you are interested in xoloitzcuintli show class, ask the breeder to point out potential candidates.
The appearance of babies can be repulsive: puffiness, numerous folds on the body, short and clumsy paws, blunt muzzle ... However, when choosing a puppy, you should not focus solely on this: xolo grow into graceful dogs with smooth skin and light elongated legs. Look for a friend by character – and you will not lose!
Pay attention to playful and curious kids who are not afraid to approach a stranger. At the same time, it is best to choose a puppy that shows moderate activity: it does not bully its relatives, but also does not cowardly huddle in the corner. Xoloitzcuintli inherit the temperament from their parents, so a couple of minutes of communication with a bitch or a male will help you understand how easily you will get along with a puppy. Gender does not matter, because all dogs show amazing loyalty to their owner.
How much does xoloitzcuintli cost
The price of xoloitzcuintli starts from $100. For this amount, you will be able to purchase a thoroughbred puppy with partial compliance with the standard (pet class). Mexican naked dogs with elite pedigree will cost much more – $1500. These animals will be able to win at the exhibition or be used in breeding work.
Not everyone will agree to get a pet with a very unusual appearance. However, if you are fascinated by the idea of becoming the best friend of a dog with a reputation as a repeller of evil forces, xoloitzcuintli is your option!