The Xoloitzcuintli (also known as the Mexican Hairless Dog, or Xolo) is an ancient breed who is probably descended from natural hairless mutations of native American dogs. He appears in artwork produced by the Aztecs, who considered him sacred, and Christopher Columbus took note of him in his journal in 1492. He was among the first breeds recorded by the American Kennel Club, in 1887, but his numbers dwindled to such an extent (due to a lack of interest in the breed) that he was dropped from the registry in 1959. Recently, however, he’s made a comeback, gaining re-admittance to the AKC in 2009 and showing at Westminster for the first time in 2012.
Despite his long history, he is still not very well-known outside of his native Mexico today. Originally bred to be a companion for both hunting and the home, he is a highly energetic and intelligent dog, with a talent for escape artistry. Well-raised Xolos bond strongly with their owners, but they do require plenty of obedience training from an early age.
The Xolo comes in toy, miniature and standard sizes, ranging in weight from about 10 to 50 lbs. Because he is hairless (apart from some tufts on his head and tail), he needs little actual grooming, but for the same reasons, he needs some help staying warm in cooler climates and should live indoors. His skin, which tends to be black or blue, needs regular bathing and general skin care to stay healthy.
Due to more than 3,000 years’ worth of natural selection, Xolos are a very healthy breed overall, but they are still prone to some hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health — not to mention your family budget. As one may imagine, the conditions and illnesses Xolos are prone to mostly include skin conditions such as sunburn, dermatitis and acne.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Xolo inherits anything more than high energy, you’re covered.