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Xoloitzcuintli Dog Breed: The Mystery From Pre-Columbian Mexico to Modern-Day America
Home Dog Blog Xoloitzcuintli Dog Breed: Mexico’s Ancient Bald & Hairless Dog

Xoloitzcuintli Dog Breed: Mexico’s Ancient Bald & Hairless Dog

by CareTips Dog
Xoloitzcuintli Dog Breed: The Mystery From Pre-Columbian Mexico to Modern-Day America

The Xoloitzcuintli (show-low-eats-queent-lee), also called the Mexican Hairless Dog, is an ancient primitive breed cherished by the Aztecs. Today they remain devoted companions while requiring special care due to their hairless bodies.

Introduction Xoloitzcuintli Dog Breed

Sometimes called the first dog of the Americas, the Xoloitzcuintli can trace its origins back over 3000 years to the Aztecs in Mexico. They were prized for their healing powers and ability to guide souls in the afterlife. Xolos nearly went extinct but were saved by dedicated breeders.

Xolos come in hairless and coated varieties. Hairless Xolos require extra care to protect their sensitive bare skin from sunburn, scratching, and temperature extremes. They also need moisturizing baths. With their unique look and loyal personality though, they make intriguing companions for the right owners.

Adaptability: ★★

Apartment: ★★★
Novice Owners: ★★
Sensitivity: ★★
Alone Time: ★★★
Cold Weather:
Hot Weather: ★★★★

Friendliness: ★★★

Family: ★★★★
Kids: ★★★
Dogs: ★★★
Strangers: ★★


Drooling: ★★★
Health: ★★
Weight Gain: ★★★
Size: ★★

Trainability: ★★★

Easy Training: ★★★
Intelligence: ★★★
Mouthiness: ★★
Prey Drive:
Barking: ★★
Wanderlust: ★★

Exercise Needs: ★★★

Energy Level: ★★★
Intensity: ★★
Exercise: ★★★
Playfulness: ★★★


Xolos weigh 15-45 pounds and stand 15-23 inches tall depending on size variety. They have an elegant, athletic build with almond shaped eyes and large bat-like ears. Hairless Xolos have tough, smooth bare skin often black, gray, slate, reddish, or bronze. Coated varieties have short fur.


Smart, attentive, and intuitive, the Xolo bonds closely with their family while remaining wary of strangers without proper socialization. They are calm indoors but enjoy brisk walks or jogs. Xolos are protective and alert watchdogs who will sound the alarm at disturbances.

Xolos can be strong-willed and independent. Positive reinforcement training starting young is important. Their sensitive skin and need for climate control also limit their appeal to some owners. But for the right household, they make charming companions.


The Xoloitzcuintli currently ranks #129 out of 197 breeds recognized by the AKC. Their unusual appearance and need for extra care prevent them from becoming more mainstream. But they have a devoted following of owners intrigued by their ancient history and unique qualities.


While attentive and loyal to their family, Xolos tend to be reserved around new people unless socialized early on. They get along well with children and other household pets they are raised with, but supervision is still advised. Xolos are very protective of their home and owners.


12-14 years

Coat Color

Hairless Xoloitzcuintlis have various skin colors including solid black, slate, gray, bronze or reddish tones. The coated variety has a short, flat coat that can be black, gray, bronze, or liver colored.

Original Breed

The hairless Xoloitzcuintli is an ancient purebred dating back over 3,000 years to the Aztecs. They are not derived from any other breeds. The coated variety resulted from recessive genes in the breed.

Caring for a Xoloitzcuintli


The hairless Xolo is wash and wear with weekly moisturizing baths using a coat conditioner or aloe vera to protect their sensitive skin. Coated varieties require weekly brushing. All Xolos need dental care, ear cleaning, nail trims, and sunscreen before going outside.


High quality commercial food formulated for the breed or hairless dogs. 1-2 cups of kibble daily divided into 2-3 meals. Avoid overfeeding.


Xolos need 60 minutes of vigorous exercise most days. They enjoy brisk leashed walks, jogging, or hiking alongside their owner. A securely fenced yard is recommended – they should not be off-leash outdoors.


Xolos are highly intelligent but can be independent thinkers. Positive reinforcement training starting young is important. Crate training assists with teaching good housetraining habits. Early socialization is a must.


The Xoloitzcuintli is intolerant of cold temperatures and does best in warm, sunny climates. They should live indoors with climate control and soft bedding. Outdoor time should be limited on cold or extremely hot days.

Preparing for a Xolo

  • Stock up on moisturizing bath products, sunscreen, conditioner
  • Purchase dog clothing and bedding to maintain comfortable body temperature
  • Invest in dental and skin care products
  • Find an experienced vet familiar with the breed
  • Have a crate, collar & leash ready for training
  • Puppy-proof your home

Health Issues

Allergies, tooth loss, sunburn, dry skin. Reputable breeders screen for health conditions like tooth and joint problems.


Xolos need core vaccines for parvo, distemper, rabies and annual boosters. Vets may recommend additional vaccines like bordetella, leptospirosis or influenza.


Good names for Xoloitzcuintli are Chula, Zola, Popoca, Maya, Milo, Cruz. Choose a two syllable name that is simple to say and remember.

Finding a Xoloitzcuintli

Contact the national breed club for reputable breeder referrals. Expect to pay $800 to $2000+ for a well-bred Xolo puppy. Adoption is also possible through Xolo-specific rescues for a $100 to $200 adoption fee.

When adopting, review medical and behavior history. Get proof of health clearance. Sign an adoption contract.

Buying a Puppy

Purchase from a breeder doing health testing on breeding dogs. Visit facilities in-person. See parent dogs and littermates. Get copies of health clearances. Secure a contract. Pay an average of $1500 for a pet quality Xolo puppy.

In summary, the Xoloitzcuintli is an ancient breed that requires dedicated owners able to meet their special needs. When provided with climate control, training, attention, and activity, they make exceptionally devoted companions.

How to stop Xoloitzcuintli bitting?

Use redirection and reverse timeouts. Provide appropriate chew toys. Praise gentle play. Ignore attention seeking nips.

How to do Socialisation and Raising Friendly for Xoloitzcuintli?

Start early introducing new sights, sounds, people positively. Arrange regular play dates with vaccinated puppies. Attend training classes. Supervise with kids.

How to train your Xoloitzcuintli?

Motivate with praise, food rewards and toys. Remain patient and consistent. Xolos can be strong willed. Crate training is helpful.

How long should we check for Xoloitzcuintli’s health with vet?

Exam shortly after adoption. Follow vet advice on vaccines and checkups. Annual exams recommended. Ask about skin care.

Are Xoloitzcuintli good family pets?

Yes, when socialized properly from a young age. Affectionate and protective of their family. Supervise with very small kids.

Are Xoloitzcuintli dogs good with children?

Yes, when raised with children. Always supervise due to possible chasing or nipping of young kids. Proper handling is important.

Are Xoloitzcuintli dogs good with other animals?

Can do well with other dogs and pets they are raised with. Caution is still advised around small animals due to prey drive.

Is a Xoloitzcuintli a Smart?

Yes, the Xoloitzcuintli tends to be highly intelligent, active, and attentive when properly motivated.

By following our website, you can find the perfect dog breeds for you and provide them with the best possible dog care. Remember that owning a dog is a lifelong commitment that requires time, money, and patience. But it is also a rewarding experience that will bring you joy and companionship. All information in Dog care tips.

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