The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show
-low-eats-queen-tlee), or "Xolo," is an ancient, natural breed from Mexico. Having three sizes – toy, miniature and standard, and two varieties – hairless and coated. In the hairless variety, the skin is tough, protective, smooth and close fitting. The coated variety is covered by a short, flat coat. In both varieties, a dark, uniform color is preferred, ranging from black, gray black, slate, to red, liver or bronze, although white spots and markings are permitted. Today, this breed serves as an alert dog and companion.
The Xolo is one of the world’s oldest breeds and it can justly be called the first dog of the Americas. This breed has been molded by evolution rather than man. Archaeological evidence indicates that Xolos accompanied man on his first migrations across the Bering Straits. Their name is derived from the name of the Aztec Indian god Xolotl and Itzcuintli, the Aztec word for dog. Having a reputation as a healer, the breed and its warm skin is often put to use in remote Mexican and Central American villages to ward off and cure ailments like rheumatism, asthma, toothache and insomnia etc. Xolos were also believed to safeguard the home from evil spirits and intruders.
Typical Xolo temperament is calm, tranquil, aloof and attentive (and I would add intuitive). In my experience they have a superior level of intellect and as such they require a higher level of training, socialization and desensitization with strangers. Some may have a more primitive and aloof (shy) nature. Early and frequent handling as puppies is very helpful in this process. They are highly devoted and loyal as well as quick learners. They are excellent alert dogs. The breed is part of the Non-Sporting Group and was recognized by AKC in 2011.
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