From the pages of Best In Show Daily’s September Edition of our Digital Magazine

The Xoloitzcuintli is a primitive dog breed, evidence of which has been confirmed from the relics of indigenous peoples of Mexico dating back over 3000 years. It is important to remember where these dogs originated, they were not developed through artificial selection. Every aspect of the breed developed as a response to its surroundings by natural selection; incredibly resulting in a perfectly balanced bodied animal, that is graceful, athletic, intelligent, and loyal, yet still retains the cunningness of the wild canid, of its past. Interestingly even though this breed was not molded by the hand of man to work, fetch, or comfort they excel at all of these things.

We can only guess how the hairless mutation occurred creating a dog that could survive under harsh circumstances while lacking the protective covering of hair. The first of this anomaly obviously survived and thrived to reproduce the hairless trait on a broad scale; therefore, must have provided an adaptive advantage. It is widely accepted that the breed has a resistance to fleas and ticks and a higher tolerance for heat. This made them ideal for the unforgiving primitive Mexican landscape.

The Xoloitzcuintli was utilized to guard villages, hunt with their keepers, travel with tradesman, used as trade, family companions, and as food when needed. The breed history shows that the indigenous peoples who discovered them did not bring these dogs into their village to “perfect” them, they accepted them as they were, so much so that they became an integral part of their religious deities and worshipped creatures. Over time, other breeds were more than likely introduced into the breed, as villagers would not have kept their animals contained. Some evidence of that is seen in todays color combinations in the coated variety.

In today’s world these traits make Xolo’s (as they are referred to) extraordinary good family pets for those who are willing to invest the time and effort. They are still thought of as a primitive breed so training and socialization is a must, while some may be shy with strangers they warm to family and friends quickly. They are incredibly smart and can be manipulative when allowed showing their true wild canid history. This breed adapts to their living environment and can do almost any task given them.

A correct Xoloitzcuintli has a wedged shaped head with a muzzle appearing to be slightly longer than the skull, without a pronounced stop. Some cushioning on the muzzle will allow for a true wedge when seen from the front. The eyes should be almond shaped and set on obliquely. The ears should be large, elegant, and expressive without overpowering the entire face. When the ears are carried fully erect, they make the wrinkling on the forehead; hence giving the dog a intelligent, inquisitive look, that is associated with the breed. The bite should be scissored with correct alignment, even in dogs that are missing teeth, which is allowed in the hairless variety. Xolos have a strong slightly arched neck, smoothly muscled and well-set into laid back shoulders bending into the body without any hint of a 90 degree angle. The back should be level and firm. There should be a slight muscular arch over the loin. The tail should be a continuation of the spine, long enough to reach the hock, and should not curl over the back.

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