From one of the most popular breeds to one of the rarest, the AKC celebrates Mexico’s two native breeds in honor of Cinco de Mayo. While neither will be shaking their maracas in celebration of their country’s heritage, both have played integral parts in Mexico’s history, having been known as healers.
Chihuahua- Coming in at number 18 on AKC’s list of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, the Chihuahua has long been a part of pop culture having appeared in the Taco Bell commercials and the Legally Blonde movies. In its native Mexico, however, the Chihuahua has been used in religious ceremonies and as pets to the upper class. Some believe that Chihuahuas have healing abilities and are able to help those suffering from asthma.
Xoloitzcuintli- Ranked at number 137, the Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo, is one of the world’s oldest and rarest breeds. Evidence shows that Xolos actually accompanied man on his first migration across the Bering Straits. They have a reputation as a healer in their native Mexico and the breed and its warm skin are often used in remote Mexican villages to ward off and cure ailments such as rheumatism, asthma, toothaches, and insomnia. Mexicans also believed that Xolos protected the home from evil spirits and intruders.