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Mexican Breeds Celebrated in Spirit of Cinco de Mayo

(Monday, May 05, 2014)

From one of the most popular breeds to one of the rarest, the American Kennel Club celebrates Mexico’s two native breeds in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Both have played integral parts in Mexico’s history and culture.

Chihuahua 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.

Chihuahuas are very alert and have terrier-like qualities. They are highly intelligent dogs. A member of the Toy group, they’re small in size and can be sensitive to cold temperatures. They have two coat types – smooth coated and longhair. Smooth-coated Chihuahuas require minimal grooming because of their short hair, and longhaired Chihuahuas need occasional brushing. Because they are delicate and small, they may not be the best choice for families with little children.

Xoloitzcuintli - 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.

Xolos are typically calm, tranquil, aloof, and attentive dogs. They come in three sizes (toy, miniature, and standard) and two varieties (hairless and coated). The hairless Xolos have smooth, tough, protective skin and the coated variety is covered by a short, flat coat. They make excellent companions and need moderate exercise and grooming.