The Mexican Hairless is one of the most ancient and rare breeds and its history of development is unclear. It is believed by some that hairless dogs originated in Africa and travelled by various means to China; others contend that the progenitors of the Mexican Hairless were indigenous Chinese dogs. There is agreement that they were introduced into Mexico from Asia by the ancestors of the Aztecs, with archaeological evidence from Mexican sites dating back more than 5000 years revealing images and models of dogs of this type. Such evidence indicates that the role of these dogs was guard, pet, source of food, and sacrificial offering. They were also credited with healing powers, both by the ancients and by 19th century Europeans, possibly because certain conditions responded favourably to the warmth generated by the dog’s naked body. The Mexican Hairless is also known as the ‘Xolo’ or ‘Xoloitzcuintli’ (pronounced: show-low-eets-queent-lee) after the Aztec god Xolotl. Prior to its recognition by the FCI in 1956 the breed was on the brink of extinction and numbers are still quite small.
The Mexican Hairless, no matter whether of the Standard, Miniature, or Toy variety, makes an excellent family companion. He is good-natured, affectionate and loyal to his owners. Together with his glorious ears and expressive, almond-shaped eyes, his outstanding physical feature is of course his lack of coat. Although a robust and resilient dog his skin can be quite delicate and frequent bathing and the application of moisturizer is essential to keep it supple and to prevent dry irritation. The skin is also susceptible to sunburn and to tearing from other dogs, cats, undergrowth, wire, etc. and he is unable to tolerate cold conditions. On the positive side, no hair means no fleas, minimal dander and no odour. For his physical comfort and mental well-being the Mexican Hairless must be an indoor dog as he requires protection from the elements and the company of his family in order to thrive. His overall aspect is one of calm nobility but with those he knows he is a playful, cheerful companion. With strangers he is reserved and is a good watchdog barking only when necessary to alert to visitors or perceived danger. The Mexican is generally very good and patient with children and seems to genuinely enjoy the company of other animals. Adaptable to various styles of living, from apartment to estate, this charming dog of dramatic appearance and great personality is a good all-round family pet.
This breed is active and agile but does not require an inordinate amount of exercise. Daily walks and the opportunity to run and romp in a secure area will keep the muscular body fit and the mind stimulated. Games of ‘fetch’ and frisbee will be entered into enthusiastically as will agility sports. Whether on long walks or playing in the garden the Mexican Hairless will be happy as long as he is with his owner.
Nothing delights this dog more than to please his owners, he is therefore quite easy to train. His intelligence makes him a fast learner and once he understands what is required he will obey commands quickly and gracefully. Harsh physical and/or verbal reprimands should never be used as he is extremely sensitive and such methods will serve only to undermine his confidence and the trust, affection, and respect for his owner. Positive reinforcement training using treats and praise to mark work well done will achieve both performance and the strengthening of the bonds between dog and handler. Socialization which will familiarize the dog with various people, places, situations, and other animals should begin early and should be a continuous process. This exposure will ensure that he grows to be an assured, well-mannered, socially acceptable adult.
- Dental problems
- eye problems
- susceptible to hyper- and hypothermia
Some photographs of the Mexican Hairless...