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Margaritas, Maracas and Mexican Dogs! AKC Honors Mexican Breeds in Spirit of Cinco de Mayo

(Monday, April 29, 2013)

From one of the most popular breeds to one of the rarest, the American Kennel Club (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.

“Both of these breeds highlight the wonderful culture of Mexico,” said AKC Meet the Breeds® Spokesperson Gina DiNardo. “We’re excited to be able to give the dog-loving public a chance to meet, play with, and learn more about these breeds at AKC Meet the Breeds this September at New York City’s Jacob Javits Center.”

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.

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- 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.

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.

Visit www.akc.org for more information on the Chihuahua and Xoloitzcuintli or meet them in person at AKC Meet the Breeds at the Javits Center in New York City on September 28th and 29th or at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship December 14th and 15th in Orlando, Florida.

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