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  • Temperament: Loyal, Alert, Calm
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 139 of 194
  • Height: 10-14 inches (toy), 14-18 inches (miniature), 18-23 inches (standard)
  • Weight: 10-15 pounds (toy), 15-30 pounds (miniature), 30-55 pounds (standard)
  • Life Expectancy: 13-18 years
  • Group: Non-Sporting Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Xoloitzcuintli standing sideways facing left
Xoloitzcuintli standing sideways facing left outdoors on a dirt path with green grass and trees in the background
Xoloitzcuintli head facing left looking up
Xoloitzcuintli sitting facing forward
Xoloitzcuintli head facing forward outdoors
Xoloitzcuintli hairless coat detail
Xoloitzcuintli

Find a Puppy: Xoloitzcuintli

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Xolo is an ancient, natural breed, molded by evolution rather than selective breeding. A Xolo is moderate in all aspects of type and conformation, never extreme or overdone. Today the breed serves as a guard and companion. The Xolo possesses a clean, graceful outline, equally combining elegance and strength. There are two varieties, hairless and coated, identical except for coat and dentition. In the hairless variety, the principal characteristic is the total or almost total absence of hair. The coated variety is covered by a short, flat coat. In conformation, all three sizes are lean, sturdy, well muscled with a spacious rib-cage, and moderate bone. The Xolo outline is rectangular, and the distance from the elbow to ground is equal to, or slightly greater than, the distance from the withers to the elbow. Typical Xolo temperament is calm, tranquil, aloof and attentive.

HEAD

Expression – Thoughtful and intelligent, vivacious, conveying the noble and faithful character of the breed, will show distinctive brow wrinkles when at attention. Eyes are almond shaped, medium size, neither sunken nor protruding. The color varies from yellow to black, the darker being preferred, but lighter color is acceptable. Both eyes must be of the same color. The eye rims may be less pigmented on light colored dogs. Light or spotted eye rims are tolerated but not preferred.

BODY

Neck is long, elegant, slightly arched, blending smoothly into the shoulders. In dogs less than one year of age, wrinkled skin may be present. In adults, the skin on the neck is smooth and dry, without wrinkles. Topline is level with slight arch over loin. Body is well developed. The brisket should reach to point of elbow. The ribcage is deep and oval, of good length, with sufficient ribspring to produce a rounded shape, but never barrel shaped. The loin is muscular, with a smooth underline showing a slight tuck up. Back is level and firm. Croup is well muscled, slightly rounded, and broad. It should not be flat or steeply angled. Tail is set low, continuing smoothly off the angle of the croup, long and fine, reaching to the hock. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried in a graceful curve, but not over the back. It is held down in a relaxed position when the dog is at rest. A short or curled tail is a serious fault.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders are covered with smooth muscle, long and sloping. Shoulder blades are flat and well laid back. Upper Arm (humerus) is equal or slightly longer than scapula, angled to place the forelegs well under the body. Elbows are firm and tight, allowing for reach but not so loose to as to allow for elbowing out, nor so tight as to create toeing in or out. Legs are long, straight, and parallel, when viewed from all sides, set well under the body to allow a long stride. Pasterns are flexible, strong and straight, turning neither in nor out. Feet are harefeet, webbed, with well-arched toes. Thin soft pads, splayed feet or rounded feet are a serious fault. Toenails are to be dark on dark colored dogs, light on light colored dogs. Dewclaws may be removed.

COAT

The principal characteristic of the hairless variety is the absence of hair, however a small amount of short, coarse hair is permitted on the top of the head, the feet, and the last third of the tail to the tip. The absence of hair in those areas is not to be penalized. Hair on any other areas is a serious fault. Hair may be any color. The skin is tough, protective, smooth and close fitting. Moderate head wrinkles are permitted but loose or wrinkled skin on the body is a fault. The coated variety is completely covered with a short, smooth, close fitting coat. Long, soft or wavy hair is a serious fault in either variety.

HINDQUARTERS

The Xolo possesses moderate rear angulation, in balance with the forequarters. The bones of the first and second thigh are approximately equal in length, and the combined angle should place the front edge of the back paw directly under the rearmost point of the pelvis with the hock perpendicular. Legs are straight and well muscled. Stifle is moderately bent. Hocks are short, sturdy and straight, turning neither in nor out. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet are the same as the front feet.

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xoloitzcuintil illustration

About the Xoloitzcuintli

​The Xoloitzcuintli (show-low-eats-queen-tlee) comes in three sizes (toy, miniature, and standard), and two varieties (hairless and coated). The hairless has tough, smooth, close-fitting skin. The coated variety is covered by a short, flat coat.

Both varieties come in dark colors, ranging from black, gray-black, slate, to red, liver, or bronze. The face is thoughtful and intelligent, and a Xolo’s forehead will wrinkle when he’s deep in thought. The Xolo’s graceful, elegant body is surprisingly strong and rugged.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Xoloitzcuintli

Find a Puppy: Xoloitzcuintli

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Xoloitzcuintli Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Xoloitzcuintli should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

Coated Xolos have an easy-care short coat, requiring only occasional brushing. Adult dogs require minimal grooming, while younger dogs may suffer from adolescent acne when the skin may need special care. Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. The nails should be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can cause the dog discomfort. Hairless dogs need sunscreen with prolonged exposure to direct sun.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Infrequent

EXERCISE

Xolos like long walks and upbeat play, but they are famously tranquil around the house. Young dogs need a substantial amount of exercise and structured playtime, however, to keep them health, happy, and out of trouble.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

Xolos need a consistent training regimen and clearly defined boundaries. Early socialization and puppy training classes are vital and help to ensure that the dog grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion. Xolos take their watchdog job seriously but are judicious barkers who only speak when they have something to say. With their loved ones they’re cheerful, affectionate pets. If you have allergies but long to own a dog, the hairless Xolo should be on your short list of breeds to consider.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Alert/Responsive

HEALTH

Xolos are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders will screen their stock for health concerns such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and eye disorders. As with all breeds, the Xolo’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation (Standard)
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation (Miniature, Standard, and Toy)
  • Cardiac Exam (Miniature, Standard, and Toy)
  • Patella Evaluation (Miniature and Toy)

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

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History

Xolos are national treasures in Mexico, with a history that goes back at least 3,000 years. Mentions of these “strange hairless dogs” appear in the journals of Columbus and other European explorers. Ancient Aztecs named the breed for their dog-headed god Xolotl. Xolos were considered sacred by the Aztecs and often were sacrificed and buried alongside their owners to serve as protective guides to the next world. In modern times, Xolos are dedicated watchdogs and companions.

Did You Know?

The Xoloitzcuintli is AKC's 170th breed.
The name is pronounced show-low-etz-queent-lee.
Chinito Jr., bred and owned by Valetska Radtke of New York City became the breed's first and only AKC champion (from 1887-1959) on October 19, 1940.
Other names for the breed include Mexican Hairless and Tepezcuintli.
Known to exist in Mexico for over 3,000 years, the Xolo can justly claim the distinction as first dog of the Americas.
The Xolo has three sizes - toy, miniature and standard, and two varieties, hairless and coated.
The word Xoloitzcuintli is derived from the name of the Aztec god Xolotl and the Aztec word for dog, Itzcuintli
Xolos appear in paintings by famous Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
The breed is viewed as a national treasure in Mexico.
There is a professional football club in Baja, CA known as the Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Xolo is an ancient, natural breed, molded by evolution rather than selective breeding. A Xolo is moderate in all aspects of type and conformation, never extreme or overdone. Today the breed serves as a guard and companion. The Xolo possesses a clean, graceful outline, equally combining elegance and strength. There are two varieties, hairless and coated, identical except for coat and dentition. In the hairless variety, the principal characteristic is the total or almost total absence of hair. The coated variety is covered by a short, flat coat. In conformation, all three sizes are lean, sturdy, well muscled with a spacious rib-cage, and moderate bone. The Xolo outline is rectangular, and the distance from the elbow to ground is equal to, or slightly greater than, the distance from the withers to the elbow. Typical Xolo temperament is calm, tranquil, aloof and attentive.

HEAD

Expression – Thoughtful and intelligent, vivacious, conveying the noble and faithful character of the breed, will show distinctive brow wrinkles when at attention. Eyes are almond shaped, medium size, neither sunken nor protruding. The color varies from yellow to black, the darker being preferred, but lighter color is acceptable. Both eyes must be of the same color. The eye rims may be less pigmented on light colored dogs. Light or spotted eye rims are tolerated but not preferred.

BODY

Neck is long, elegant, slightly arched, blending smoothly into the shoulders. In dogs less than one year of age, wrinkled skin may be present. In adults, the skin on the neck is smooth and dry, without wrinkles. Topline is level with slight arch over loin. Body is well developed. The brisket should reach to point of elbow. The ribcage is deep and oval, of good length, with sufficient ribspring to produce a rounded shape, but never barrel shaped. The loin is muscular, with a smooth underline showing a slight tuck up. Back is level and firm. Croup is well muscled, slightly rounded, and broad. It should not be flat or steeply angled. Tail is set low, continuing smoothly off the angle of the croup, long and fine, reaching to the hock. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried in a graceful curve, but not over the back. It is held down in a relaxed position when the dog is at rest. A short or curled tail is a serious fault.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders are covered with smooth muscle, long and sloping. Shoulder blades are flat and well laid back. Upper Arm (humerus) is equal or slightly longer than scapula, angled to place the forelegs well under the body. Elbows are firm and tight, allowing for reach but not so loose to as to allow for elbowing out, nor so tight as to create toeing in or out. Legs are long, straight, and parallel, when viewed from all sides, set well under the body to allow a long stride. Pasterns are flexible, strong and straight, turning neither in nor out. Feet are harefeet, webbed, with well-arched toes. Thin soft pads, splayed feet or rounded feet are a serious fault. Toenails are to be dark on dark colored dogs, light on light colored dogs. Dewclaws may be removed.

COAT

The principal characteristic of the hairless variety is the absence of hair, however a small amount of short, coarse hair is permitted on the top of the head, the feet, and the last third of the tail to the tip. The absence of hair in those areas is not to be penalized. Hair on any other areas is a serious fault. Hair may be any color. The skin is tough, protective, smooth and close fitting. Moderate head wrinkles are permitted but loose or wrinkled skin on the body is a fault. The coated variety is completely covered with a short, smooth, close fitting coat. Long, soft or wavy hair is a serious fault in either variety.

HINDQUARTERS

The Xolo possesses moderate rear angulation, in balance with the forequarters. The bones of the first and second thigh are approximately equal in length, and the combined angle should place the front edge of the back paw directly under the rearmost point of the pelvis with the hock perpendicular. Legs are straight and well muscled. Stifle is moderately bent. Hocks are short, sturdy and straight, turning neither in nor out. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet are the same as the front feet.

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xoloitzcuintil illustration

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
BLACK Check Mark For Standard Color 007
BRINDLE Check Mark For Standard Color 057
BRONZE Check Mark For Standard Color 060
DARK BROWN Check Mark For Standard Color 078
FAWN Check Mark For Standard Color 082
GRAY Check Mark For Standard Color 100
LIVER Check Mark For Standard Color 123
PALOMINO Check Mark For Standard Color 282
RED Check Mark For Standard Color 140
WHITE Check Mark For Standard Color 199
BLACK 007
BLACK & WHITE 019
BLACK WHITE & TAN 034
MERLE 131
PINK & BROWN 518
TAN 195
WHITE & BLACK 202

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
BLACK MARKINGS Check Mark For Standard Mark 002
SPOTTED Check Mark For Standard Mark 021
TAN MARKINGS Check Mark For Standard Mark 012
WHITE MARKINGS Check Mark For Standard Mark 014