Other names: Mexican Hairless dog, Xolo
The Mexican Hairless Dog is a loyal, alert, affectionate and calm dog which - you guessed it - has no hair! This is an extremely smart and intelligent breed which is also incredibly loyal to its owner. Because of this, they do tend to be a little ‘needy’ and are often prone to separation anxiety.
Their hairless skin certainly makes them a unique dog. However, their lack of coat doesn’t mean grooming’s out of the picture - this fine-looking pooch will need plenty of skincare and may be prone to acne.
Key facts about the Xoloitzcuintle
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Origins and history
Xolo’s are one of the oldest breeds known to man - they’re thought to have been around for around 3,500 years! These ancient dogs were believed to be a ‘gift from the Aztech Gods’ which helped transport people to the Afterlife - yes, they’re truly mythical creatures! They’d be buried alongside their owners in the belief they’d guide the soul to the underworld. During the 1940s and ’50s, the Xolo’s popularity boomed, leading to high breeding rates - hence why they’re so commonly seen as pets now.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types
Section 6 : Primitive type
Physical characteristics of the Xoloitzcuintle
Female : Between 10 and 24 in
Male : Between 10 and 24 in
Female: 14.1 inch - 17.8 inch
Male: 14.1 inch - 17.8 inch
Female: 9.8 inch - 13.8 inch
Male: 9.8 inch - 13.8 inch
Female : Between 7 and 55 lb
Male : Between 7 and 55 lb
The Mexican Hairless Dog doesn’t have a coat, but their skin is most commonly black or blue-black. However, they can also be seen in red, liver and bronze. They sometimes have tufts of hair on their faces, necks, feet and tails, normally in a similar shade to the skin.
Type of coat
Hairless or very short for the coated variety.
For the coated variety, the coat is flat, smooth and without undercoat.
The Xolo’s eyes range from black to brown, red, amber and yellow. More often than not, they’re fairly dark.
The Mexican Hairless Dog is a tall and long, lean yet muscular dog who definitely stands out from the crowd. They’re ‘athletic’ looking with strong legs. They possess tough, textured skin with small tufts of hair - though some have none at all. Tails are set low when they’re relaxed or resting and high when excited or alert.
In terms of the head, the Xolo has a long, thin muzzle with a nose the same colour as the skin and a small stop. The eyes are large, expressive and almond-shaped while the ears are big and mostly erect. The neck is long and elegant.
Good to know
The Mexican Hairless Dog is the official dog of Mexico - pretty cool, right?
The Mexican Hairless Dog is a very affectionate dog - but only towards those they’ve chosen! This breed tends to have a favourite person and stick to them (quite literally) like glue. If you want this breed to be equally affectionate towards all family members, make sure each and every person spends equal time training, playing with and exercising the dog.
This breed is known to be energetic, fun-loving and playful and for the most part, will be more than happy to play games as a family or take part in sports on the beach or at the park. However, some Xolos are more aloof to others and may not enjoy long periods of playtime.
The Mexican Hairless Dog is known to be particularly relaxed and laid-back around the house. Assuming they’re being kept well, have plenty of company and are getting lots of exercise, this is a super chilled-out breed. However, like most dog breeds, you may find they cause mischief if bored, lonely or stressed.
The Xoloitzcuintli is extremely intelligent, inquisitive and smart - they pick things up easily and seem to be emotionally in tune with their family. However, this breed takes longer to mature than many other dog breeds and won’t be fully mentally developed until around 2 years of age.
He doesn't have any hunting instincts.
Fearful / wary of strangers
The Mexican Hairless Dog is naturally protective of their family, making them wary of unfamiliar faces. Consistent socialisation from a young age can help this significantly, leading to a friendly, warm pooch.
In terms of independence, the Xolo is somewhat in the middle. Their intelligence means they’re more than capable of free-thinking and may cause mischief in the right move. However, most dogs of this breed are so eager to please and devoted to their owner that it’s rarely a problem.
Behaviour of the Xoloitzcuintle
The Mexican Hairless Dog loves its owner and wants to be around them all the time. As such, they don’t cope well with being left alone and will become lonely, and possibly destructive, pretty quickly. They’re best suited to families who can provide constant company between them.
Easy to train / obedience
The Xolo doesn’t fully mature until 2 years of age, meaning training can be slow to start. However, it’s important to be consistent with both socialization and training from a young age to avoid ending up with an aloof, shy or overly-protective dog. Due to their long puppyhood, make sure training sessions are short, sweet and full of fun games and activities. The Xolo can be rather sensitive, so stick to positive reinforcement and avoid shouting or scolding at all costs.
The Xolo’s bark is more like a howl! Unfortunately, this breed can be prone to excessive barking - it’s just a natural instinct. The best way to relieve this is to ensure enough exercise, play and affection are being given to the dog in question. As soon as they feel unsatisfied, it’s likely to become a problem.
Tendency to run away
The Xolo is eager to please their owner, and so, with a strong recall, running away shouldn’t be a problem. However, if small animals, wildlife or livestock are around, you never know when nature may kick in and the Xolo may disappear before your eyes - keep them on a lead in these situations.
The Mexican Hairless Dog is unlikely to be destructive but may act out if they’ve been left alone for too long. Then, they’re prone to excessive chewing (they’ll chew just about anything) and barking.
Greedy / Gluttony
This breed isn’t particularly greedy and they are prone to weight gain - so make sure you’re not going overboard with unhealthy treats or snacks!
Fiercly loyal to their owners, the Xolo makes a fantastic watchdog. They’ll quickly bark (and their bark is particularly loud) if anything seems odd or any unfamiliar face enters their territory when their owner isn’t around. They’re rarely aggressive, so you can be sure they won’t cause harm but will alert you to any intruders.
If you’ve never had a dog before, we wouldn’t recommend a Mexican Hairless Dog. Because they’re slow to mature, training can be more difficult in comparison to other breeds. On top of this, if they’re not trained and socialised in the right way, they may become extremely aloof and unsettled around strangers, even if they’re not a threat. They need an experienced hand to help them grow into the calm, loving dogs they should be.
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Xoloitzcuintle in a flat
Despite their medium size, the Xolo can cope well in a flat providing they’re regularly exercised and have toys and games to keep them busy. Be careful, though - if you slack on walks, they may chew and bark.
Need for exercise / Sporty
This breed is fairly high-maintenance in terms of exercise - especially when they’re young! They’ve got bundles of energy and need somewhere to burn it - you’ll want that to be through walking and play rather than via destructive behaviour.
They don’t need as much exercise as a terrier or working breed, but you won’t get away with giving them just one short walk per day. Aim for at least an hour of exercise plus some play time every day.
Travelling / easy to transport
The Xolo is a fairly calm breed and should have no troubles being transported in the car - just remember to stop for a break and let them stretch their legs on long journeys.
Xoloitzcuintle and cats
If you want to own a Xolo and a cat, it’s important to socialise them around felines from a young age. Ideally, you’ll house them with a kitty when they’re a young puppy. Otherwise, they’ll be prone to chasing cats.
Xoloitzcuintle and dogs
While this breed isn’t always the friendliest around other dogs, they’re certainly not aggressive and just prefer to keep some distance. Again, early socialization will ensure they’re confident and calm around other animals.
Xoloitzcuintle and children
The Mexican Hairless Dog is sweet-natured around kids and often forms close, loving bonds with the kids in their family. As always, it’s important to supervise dogs around young children.
Xoloitzcuintle and the elderly
If an elderly person can guarantee their dog will get regular walks, a Mexican Hairless Dog could make a good match with them. They form very strong bonds with their owners, so they’re a great source of company.
This breed is on the pricey side - expect to pay at least £900 for a well-bred dog.
Monthly costs for a Mexican Hairless dog: £20-£30.
The Mexican Hairless dog is hairless (duh!) so grooming is low maintenance in a sense - but that doesn’t mean you’re totally free!
Due to their lack of hair, this breed has rather fragile skin which does require some care - especially if the weather is particularly warm or cold. You’ll need to stock up on coats for cold weather and doggy SPF for the summer months.
It’s also important to apply a hypoallergenic moisturizing cream to the Xolo’s skin every few days - and especially after bathing - to keep skin soft and in good condition. However, be careful not to overdo the baths or moisturiser as this could lead to a nasty form of dog acne or a skin infection. Bathe them just once a month.
This dog doesn't shed.
Nutrition of the Xoloitzcuintle
This breed will need high-quality, complete and balanced dog food which is suitable for their age. Surprisingly, the Mexican Hairless Dog is well-known for its love for fruits and vegetables, so you can add plenty of dog-friendly fruit and veg to their daily diet.
The Mexican Hairless Dog is often missing teeth. In these circumstances, it may be best to opt for soft food.
Health of the Xoloitzcuintle
On average, this breed lives for 12 - 16 years, though they’ve been known to live up to 20.
Strong / robust
The Xolo is known as a lean yet strong and robust breed.
The Xolo doesn’t cope at all well with heat. They’re particularly prone to sunburn and must be covered in SPF in the summer months. Make sure they don’t spend too long outside in the sun, have access to shade and consume plenty of water.
This breed is hairless - so it comes as no surprise that they can’t tolerate the cold! If you plan on heading out on a chilly day, you’ll need to wrap up your pooch in a thick jumper or coat.
Tendency to put on weight
Unfortunately, the Mexican Hairless Dog is rather prone to weight gain. Make sure to measure food portions out daily to avoid overfeeding and keep exercise consistent.
- Missing teeth
- Skin infections