The Xoloitzcuintli breed certainly qualifies as the dog with the most difficult name to pronounce. By the way, it is pronounced "sho-low-eats-queen-tlee", which really doesn't help things. Regardless, let's take a look at the characteristics associated with this breed from Central America.
The Xoloitzcuintli, otherwise known as the Mexican Hairless Dog or Xolo, has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.
The Xoloitzcuintli is an ancient breed from Mexico, believed to be more than 3,000 years old. The Xoloitzcuintli is named for Xolotl, the Aztec Indian god of death and lightening. Many ancient civilizations in Mexico believed the dogs had magical powers and considered them to be sacred. In some parts of Mexico and Central America, villagers still believe the Xoloitzcuintli has the ability to heal sickness and disease.
Where did these odd pups come from? Evidence suggests the Xoloitzcuintli traveled with humans across the Bering Strait from what is now Russia during the first migration, making them the original dog of the Americas. For the most part, the Xoloitzcuintli has developed naturally over time without much breeding manipulation by humans.
The Xoloitzcuintli is categorized as Standard, Miniature or Toy based on size. The Standard Xoloitzcuintli weighs 25 to 40 pounds and measures 18 to 23 inches while the Miniature Xoloitzcuintli weighs 15 to 30 pounds and measures 14 to 18 inches and the Toy Xoloitzcuintli weighs 5 to 15 pounds and measures 10 to 14 inches.
The Xoloitzcuintli can actually be hairless or coated. The hairless Xoloitzcuintli is covered by a smooth, protective skin and just needs to be bathed once a month and lightly moisturized. The coated Xoloitzcuintli has a short, smooth coat and sheds moderately. The coated Xoloitzcuintli should be brushed once a week and bathed once a month.
The Xoloitzcuintli is intelligent and active. It can be wary of strangers, but early socialization and training as a puppy can take care of this tendency.
The Xoloitzcuintli is a faithful family companion. Although they tend to grow closest to one person, the breed will show love for all family members in your house. These pups very much enjoy interacting with and receiving attention from their family members. In fact, they are prone to developing separation anxiety if ignored or left alone for too long.
The Xoloitzcuintli is a somewhat rambunctious puppy but matures into a calm, quiet adult that is happy to just hang around the house. They are uniquely tuned in to the mood of the household and grow to dislike noise, chaos and tension. For this reason, Xoloitzcuintlis are not well suited to a home with small children or a family with a lot of discord.
The Xoloitzcuintli is highly intelligent and also quite independent. The Xoloitzcuintli wants to be the dominant member of the household and needs a confident leader and firm boundaries. They respond best to consistency, praise and treats. As part of their training, the Xoloitzcuintli also needs early socialization with people and other dogs. The Xoloitzcuintli can be timid and nervous around people and possessive of toys, food and anything else they think is “theirs.”
These pups are generally healthy, but can have issues with skin infections and allergies. A visual inspection should alert you to any issues.
As a puppy, the Xoloitzcuintli is generally active and energetic, but calms down as an adult. The Xoloitzcuintli should have a daily walk as well as regular time outside in a secure yard to run around and play. They especially like games and make good jogging partners, although Standard Xoloitzcuintlis have more stamina than Miniature or Toy Xoloitzcuintlis.
Does the Xoloitzcuintli breed make a good family addition? Yes. It also is the type of dog that will get a lot of attention and comments from others given the unique appearance.