The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show-low-eats-queen-tlee), or "Xolo," is an ancient, natural breed from Mexico. It comes in 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 a guard and companion.
One of the world’s oldest and rarest breeds, the Xolo can justly be called the first dog of the Americas. 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. With 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. Xolos were also believed to safeguard the home from evil spirits and intruders.
Typical Xolo temperament is calm, tranquil, aloof and attentive. They make excellent companion dogs with moderate exercise and grooming needs.
- Non-Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 2011.
- Toy (at least 10 through 14 inches tall at the shoulder), Miniature (over 14 through 18 inches tall) or Standard size (over 18 through 23 inches tall).
- Guard; companion.