Breed History

Xoloitzcuintli side picture

Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo, is also known as the Mexican Hairless Dog. Although they are known as the Mexican Hairless Dog they come in coat and hairless versions like other hairless breeds.

Three different types of sizes which are standard, miniature, and toy Xoloitzcuintli. They are look alike but some are much bigger or smaller than the other. Xolos have been around for a very long time.

They are an ancient breed and show no connection other hairless dogs like the Chinese Crested Dog. At least 3,000 years ago, maybe more, archeologist have found the bones of these dogs on Mexican soil.

Strong connection with the Aztec Gods and they get their name from them. Xolotl is the name of a God and the rest of their name means dog. Putting the two together you get the name Xoloitzcuintli.

The proper pronunciation for Xoloitzcuintli is (show-low-itz-queent-li), but most people will call them by their nickname which is Xolo (show-low). Xoloitzcuintli is important for owners beginning to learn about the breed.

Guardian dogs that would protect them physically and spiritually. Legend has it that the people would believe the Xolo would keep evil spirits away from them and their families.

Hunting dogs that would help the owners hunt smaller animals and mostly likely vermin. Area shows that the people ate deer mostly and rarely ate smaller animals.

Today their homeland is known as South, or South Central, Mexico. Instead of crossbreeding and developing a certain dog with attractive characteristics the Xoloitzcuintli is one of the rare breeds that is not man-made.


In 2011, they receive their official recognition from the American Kennel Club as a full blood breed with a breed standard. Before that it is in documentation that they were given recognition in the late 1800’s. Many factors would contribute to why they were not an official breed of the club much earlier.

Top 140 in registration should be expected given their recent history in the club of less than a decade. Once they get more decades under their belt you can expect this dog to move up in the rankings.

Toy or Non-Sporting depending on the size of the dog. Due to multiple sizes some sizes will be put in different categories others can’t fit into. Like the toy breed can’t fit the standard or miniature sizes.

Here are the major Kennel Clubs and their breed standards for this dog.


  • Standard Xoloitzcuintli Height: 18-24 inches
  • Miniature Xoloitzcuintli Height: 14-18 inches
  • Toy Xoloitzcuintli Height: 10-14 inches
  • Standard Xoloitzcuintli Weight: 35-55 pounds
  • Miniature Xoloitzcuintli Weight: 15-25 pounds
  • Toy Xoloitzcuintli Weight: 10-15 pounds

They can’t be under 10 or over 24 inches.

Litter Size

Average litter size is 5 for the Xoloitzcuintli. Xolo will have different sizes depending on the size as well. For example, for the toy Xoloitzcuintli breed they will have around 3 per little. Miniature will have around the same amount, but the standard can carry much more.

Mothers can carry and deliver their puppies naturally without assistance. There are no known health issues that will arise during birth, unless an emergency occurs.

Hairless and coats will all come out of the same litter regardless of the mother having a coat or being hairless. Prepare for both coats to come out of the litter.


Standard Xoloitzcuintli – is the biggest of the sizes and was the original. Their size is medium and is much bigger than the other two versions. This breed was the type that did the guardian, or protection, job.

Miniature Xoloitzcuintli – they can be considered a small dog and are smaller in height and weight. Still can guard and do some hunting work with smaller animals.

Toy Xoloitzcuintli – more independent than their counterparts and are half the size and weight of the Standard. Smallest of the Xoloitzcuintli family and is a famous Mexican lap dog.


  • Black – white or white and tan
  • Brindle
  • Dark Brown – pink
  • Fawn
  • Liver
  • White – black
  • Red
  • White
  • Markings – black, tan, white, and spotted

Xoloitzcuintli Price

$1,000-$3,000 is the average price of a Xoloitzcuintli. Xoloitzcuintli prices can vary depending on multiple factors such as location, supply, demand, and type of currency. Getting one of these dogs with papers will cost you a lot more than if you bought the dog without papers.

Papers will track the dog’s bloodline from the Mexico Kennel Club until they reach America until now. Keeping a strict criterion on the breed standard will ensure that you buy the dog that has the highest quality.

When you buy a dog without papers you run the risk of buying a dog that could have some crossbreeding in their bloodline. It is important to understand all the breed standard regarding the Xolo to recognize any obvious faults.


Start every grooming session with a long walk before you do anything to calm the dog down and put them in the right state of mind to receive grooming peacefully. Seamless transition into grooming after a long hot exercise session will serve the owner and the dog properly. Try it and see if you like it!

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Xolos have a smooth coat or no coat so this information is for the smooth coat Xoloitzcuintli. Brush the coat at least once every two weeks. Shedding is incredibly low and not a major concern. Low maintenance coat to say the least.

Combing is not something that you need to do because they either have no hair or a short smooth coat.

Bathe the dog after a long exercise session and they will sit quietly, while not moving, and get a nice cold bath with the hose. Bath once a month or every six weeks.

Ears will get an infection at alarming rates with this breed. Keeping the ears clean by wiping them once per week will help prevent most of the infections.

Trimming the nails can happen when the owner is exercising the dog every day, which we recommend. If you don’t exercise daily, which we don’t recommend, use nail clippers.

Professional help is not a recommendation.

Xoloitzcuintli Life Span

12-15 years is the average lifespan for a Xolo. That’s a long time to own a dog and future owners should be aware of the time commitment. They are a great dog to adopt due to their long lifespan.

Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia – hips should get an examination by the age of 24 months unless you notice them limping or favoring a leg then take them right away. An x-ray will determine the condition of the hips.

Eye Exam – cherry eye, cataracts, and glaucoma will all be eye conditions that can affect the Xolo. Smaller dogs usually have problems with their eyes. Getting help from a licensed professional will help with discovery and early treatment of any condition.

Patella Luxation – partial or complete dislocation of the kneecap will make your dog limp or favor their leg. Proper examination of the kneecap should occur at some point in the dog’s youth.

Cardiac – heart problems have long been an issue and professional help with the examination of the heart can lead to early detection of issue.

Ear Infections – known for getting constant reoccurring eye problems keep the ears free and clean of dirt build up. Whenever the Xoloitzcuintli is scratching the ears showing irritation take them to the vet right away.

Breed Group

Proud member of the Non-Sporting Group these are a group of dogs that don’t have much in common. Other groups are known for hunting, herding, working in general, or being a toy size. These dogs don’t have anything in common and the non-sporting group is really a miscellaneous group of dogs.

Here are some of the dogs in the Non-Sporting Group

Exercise Needs

Xoloitzcuintli’s needs daily exercise at the standard, miniature, and toy size. Daily exercise will help the dog relax, stay calm, and avoid bad behaviors around the house.

Due to the independent style they are known for getting them to exercise a few hours per day will help build a bond and solidify yourself as the person in charge.

Bad behavior will start to appear when you choose not to exercise. Digging, barking too much, biting, nipping and other issues will start to develop without the proper outlet.

Once you begin to meet the exercise needs of a Xolo you will notice they spend most of their time resting, eating, and drinking water recovering for the next day of sessions.

Here is a basic guideline we would recommend you start with

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 minutes (run, walk or treadmill)

Better the dog behaves the less you can exercise but never resort to not giving them any exercise because the bad behavior will start increasing.

Younger dogs need a lot of runs in the morning with some walks in the afternoon. Bursting with energy and misbehaving will be the start of any normal relationship. Introducing rules along with exercising will decrease the energy levels and help them listen better in all areas.

Adult dogs will have discipline and know the rules around the house. Their exercise regimen will consist of more walks but also some running until they calm down more. Around 3 to 5 years of age the energy levels decrease dramatically.

Senior dogs needs the least amount of exercise and at this point daily exercise will not need to happen. None of the bad behavior will come back and you are giving them exercise to get them out of the house.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Start an exercise program that you can keep and stick to it for as long as possible. Broken into two sessions will help as well. Making the dog follow you and listen to which side to walk on, at what speed, on the side or behind or if we are running will help develop who is in charge in a friendly manner. Under your lead the dog will exercise somewhere between 365- 730 hours a year. Getting the dog calm in one day isn’t realistic but when looking at the long view you can see that 300-700 hours of exercise will change the energy levels over the course of a year.

Commands training is somewhere you will spend the least amount of time on. Once the dog knows the commands you will get the dog to continue following them during different times throughout the day. When the dog is coming out the cage, before you put the leash on, coming out of any door, before bathroom breaks, before eating and before drinking you want them to sit or lay.

Socializing should only happen after you have a clear exercise program in place and not after. Normal behavior will exist from the beginning when you introduce them to friends, family, or other dogs after a long exercise session. Same for the vet trips and other events.

Corrections are normal and will happen verbally, on or off leash. Timing of the correction is more important than how hard. Making the dog sit or lay after is even more important than the timing. Mastering these two pieces are first and the intensity of the correction is always last one the list.

Additional Resources

2 thoughts on “Ultimate Xoloitzcuintli Dog Breed Information”

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