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Fun Xoloitzcuintli Facts For Kids

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Xoloitzcuintli is an old dog breed native to Mexico and Central America. It is also called the Xolo, Xoloitzcuintle, Xoloitzquintle, or the Mexican hairless dog. Its distinctive feature is its hairless body, similar to a Pharaoh Hound. The dog has been living in Mexico since pre-Columbian times and was considered sacred by the Aztecs.

The Aztecs named the dog Xoloitzcuintli for Xolotl, the dog-headed god of fire, lightning, and death, and Itzcuintli, the Aztec word for dog, meaning the dog of the god Xolotl. They believed that god Xolotl created the Xoloitzcuintli dog to protect the living and guide the dead to the underworld, Mictlán. The dog also kept away evil spirits and healed the ill. The Aztecs sacrificed and buried the Xolo along with its dead owner to guide his soul. They also ate Xolo meat which they valued highly and usually served in feasts beneath the meat of a turkey.

The Xolo is a pure breed that has evolved naturally without human intervention. This makes the dog healthy and rugged. They come in three sizes- miniature, toy, standard. And in two varieties- coated and hairless. The toy and miniature size of the breed make for a good companion dog, and the standard size makes up for a good watchdog. The Xoloitzcuintli dog breed, initially called the Mexican hairless dog, was recognized by American Kennel Club in 2011 and is classified in the non-sporting group. They are calm, intelligent, social, and alert dogs that love to be in a pack and bond with their family.

You will find in this article information regarding Xoloitzcuintli mix, Xoloitzcuintli puppies, Xoloitzcuintli pronunciation, Xoloitzcuintli price, Xoloitzcuintli training, interesting Xoloitzcuintli facts, and so on.

You may also check out the fact files on Alaskan Klee Kai and Brazilian terrier from Kidadl.
 

Fun Xoloitzcuintli Facts For Kids


What do they prey on?

Dog food, small animals, birds

What do they eat?

Omnivore

Average litter size?

3-7

How much do they weigh?

10-55 lb (4.5-25 kg)

How long are they?

9-10 in (22.9-25.4 cm)

How tall are they?

10-23 in (25.4-58.4 cm)


What do they look like?

Black, gray-black, slate, brown, tan, red liver, bronze

Skin Type

Hairless or short smooth coat

What were their main threats?

Extreme Weather

What is their conservation status?

Not listed

Where you'll find them?

Urban And Suburban Households

Locations

North America And Mexico

Kingdom

Animalia

Genus

Canis

Class

Mammal

Family

Canidae

Xoloitzcuintli Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Xoloitzcuintli?

Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo, is a dog breed belonging to the Canidae family. The hairless variety has a close-fitting skin that's tough and smooth, and the coated variety has a short flat coat. Both the varieties are dark-colored and may have white patches.

What class of animal does a Xoloitzcuintli belong to?

Xoloitzcuintli being a dog breed belongs to the class Mammalia. Mammalia is a class of animals that give birth to live young instead of laying eggs and feeds their young with milk. Dogs evolved from ancient extinct wolves some 15000 years ago, and the Xolo is considered to have descended from the first dogs that lived in the American continent. As per archaeological evidence, it is also speculated that the dogs’ ancestors accompanied people migrating from Asia to America through the Bering Strait. At 3500 years old, it is one of the oldest dog breeds known to man.

How many Xoloitzcuintlis are there in the world?

There are about 30,000 Xolos living across the world. The United States has about 1000 Xoloitzcuintlis.

Where does a Xoloitzcuintli live?

The Xoloitzcuintli lives in Mexico and Central America. Xolos live mostly as pets in the region and in homes across the world. Toy Xoloitzcuintli being small, is better suited for apartments, and the medium and standard-sized dogs are suited for homes with a well-fenced area for walking and running.

What is a Xoloitzcuintli's habitat?

The Xoloitzcuintli is native to Mexico. This dog breed is best suited for life in warm tropical climates and not suitable for places that are either extremely hot or cold. They are rarely seen in the wild and have adapted to life as pets in houses of any size. They have a high energy level and like to run around outdoors. But being hairless, they can get sunburnt or affected by cold weather. So, it is necessary to keep them indoors depending on the weather and timing of the day.

Who do Xoloitzcuintlis live with?

Mexican Xoloitzcuintli dog is a highly social dog and gets well with humans. Though they bond with all humans in the family, they tend to bond strongly with one individual who cares for them daily. Being even-tempered and affectionate, the dog gets along well with kids. It is still advisable to be watchful when in the presence of very small children. They form a pack and are highly playful with other animals in the household, be it a cat or another dog. They are territorial and are wary of strangers and other new animals entering into their territory.

How long does a Xoloitzcuintli live?

When taken care of well, the life expectancy of the Xoloitzcuintli dog breed is 14-20 years. The skin of both the hairless Xolo and the coated dog, being sensitive, can be easily affected by acne during adolescence, skin irritation, sunburn, and cold. Proper cleaning of the skin, applying sunscreen, clothing during winters, occasional brushing of the coat, and providing a soft bed for the dog to rest or sleep on may eliminate these issues. Regular visits to the vet may also help to identify and treat other health disorders like ear infections, eye disorders, hip dysplasia, and skin problems.

How do they reproduce?

Once a year, when the reproductive cycle sets, the Xolo female attracts and becomes receptive to the males. After a gestation period of 60-64 days, the female gives birth to a litter of between three and seven puppies.

What is their conservation status?

Xoloitzcuintli dogs were prevalent throughout Mexico and Central America and had earlier lived in the jungles of Mexico. Though they were considered sacred by the Aztecs, they were killed occasionally for meat or sacrificed. The conquistadors that arrived also developed a liking for Xolo meat and hunted them excessively for food. They were also hunted for their association with the Aztec god Xolotl, which the conquistadors considered to be against Christianity. This reduced the dog population drastically, and by the year 1950, the dog became an endangered species. Efforts were taken to revive the breed, and though the population recovered, it is still a rare dog breed to find. It is 'Not listed' under IUCN.

Xoloitzcuintli Fun Facts

What do Xoloitzcuintlis look like?

Xoloitzcuintli Dog

The Xoloitzcuintli, or the Mexican Hairless Xoloitzcuintli, as the name suggests, is a very odd-looking hairless dog breed. It may also sport hair on top of the head and tail. They are dark-colored, with wrinkled skin near the brows, almond-shaped eyes, bat-like erect ears high atop their head, and a rat-like tail. Xolos are lean, rugged, and muscular, with a well-spaced rib cage and a muzzle longer than their skull.

The length of the body is slightly more than the height, and the female has a slightly longer body than the male. Even for the coated variety, the hair is short and flat. This makes the dog look a bit ugly. But when looked closely, you can notice its smooth skin, an elegant body outline, and a strong, well-built dog. The Mexican dog Xoloitzcuintli is described as the 'strange hairless dogs' in the journals of Columbus and other European travelers.

How cute are they?

A dog without hair or with a tight-fitting coat of flat short hair may not look very cute. But the Xolos are affectionate, friendly, and energetic. They are inquisitive, thoughtful and their almond-shaped eyes and erect ears all set them apart and make them cute in their own respect.

How do they communicate?

The Xoloitzcuintli, like other dogs, communicates vocally using barks, growls, howls, whines, and whimpers. They communicate visually through postures, head positions, sniffing, licking, facial expressions, and tail movements. They also communicate through scents and pheromones. Compared to other dogs, Xolos are highly vocal when communicating with humans and if they sense a threat.

How big is a Xoloitzcuintli?

Xolo comes in three sizes, toy, miniature, and standard. The height at shoulders for a toy dog is 10-14 in (25.4-35.6 cm), for the miniature dog is 14-18 in (35.6-45.7 cm) and for the standard is 18-23 in (45.7-58.4 cm). The standard variety of the Xolo is nearly as big as a German Shepherd.

How fast can a Xoloitzcuintli run?

The Xoloitzcuintli can run at 15-20 mph (24.1-32.2 kph).

How much does a Xoloitzcuintli weigh?

The weight of the toy Xolo dog is about 10-15 lb (4.5-6.8 kg), that of the miniature is 15-30lb (6.8-13.6 kg). The weight of the standard is 30-55 lb (13.6-25 kg).

What are the male and female names of their species?

The male of the species is called a dog, and the female a bitch.

What would you call a baby Xoloitzcuintli?

A baby Xoloitzcuintli is called a pup or puppy.

What do they eat?

Xolo eats small animals, birds, fruits, and vegetables.

Are they slobbery?

The Xoloitzcuintli is one of the least slobbery of dog breeds.

Would they make a good pet?

The Mexican Hairless makes for a good pet. The dog is well-natured, playful, adaptable, tranquil around the house, healthy, and requires less grooming. It is energetic and friendly with kids and other pets in the house.

Did you know...

The stray dog, Dante that accompanies Miguel on his journey through the land of the dead in the Disney-Pixar animation feature Coco is a Xoloitzcuintli. It also features the logo of Club Tijuana, a Mexican professional football club based in Tijuana. Xolos have also been depicted in paintings of Frida Kahlo and murals by Diego Rivera.

How to pronounce Xoloitzcuintli

The Xoloitzcuintli is pronounced as 'Show-low-eats-queen-tli'. The other name for the dog, Xolo, is pronounced as 'Show-lo'.

Having your own Xoloitzcuintli

The Xoloitzcuintli is a wonderful dog to have as a pet. Xoloitzcuintli’s price is around $1500-$3000 for a puppy from a reputable breeder. You can also adopt a Xoloitzcuintli puppy from approved shelters. Xolos' hairless skin is warm to the touch and can make a cozy partner to cuddle with. They are alert and wary of strangers and can make for protective watchdogs.

Xoloitzcuintli's temperament is tranquil, calm but equally stubborn and needs proper training. Being highly intelligent, sensitive, and social, they need to be trained through early socialization and positive reinforcement. The Xolo is a dog that loves a structured life, and the training should be consistent with well-defined boundaries. The training should also include treats with conscious checks on the weight of the dog. So, they are not suggested for first-time dog owners. They are quiet, friendly, and are adaptable, making them the best choices for apartments, houses with kids, and elderly couples.

They need a good amount of exercise and constant human interaction. So, they are not suitable for people leaving their dog home alone for a long time. The exercise needs of this dog vary with the size of the dog. A half an hour short walk may be enough for the toy dog. For the bigger size varieties of the breed, a half-day of running, walking and playing may be the best. The exercise needs also vary with the age and the health condition of the dog.

The dog being a primitive breed, is prone to chase smaller animals, other dogs, and cats which is not a display of aggressiveness. Xolos are rarely aggressive and are known for their loyalty. They are great climbers and jumpers and have a tendency to wander. This makes them highly likely to run away and get lost if not on a leash. If you are planning to get your own Xolo, make sure the dog is on a leash always, or your house has a high fence.

Though the grooming needs of the hairless dogs are less, the coated Xoloitzcuintli may need occasional brushing. The Xolo does not shed its coat much. Other things include trimming of nails and brushing of teeth. Some dogs of this breed also have missing teeth, which may require softened food. The dog is also prone to weight gain and shall be fed measured quantities of food depending on its size and age. Care must be taken about its sensitive skin, and a regular check-up with a vet is necessary to address common health problems. Also, please remember to get your dog from a reputable breeder who will test the puppies for health concerns and follows responsible breeding practices.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these miniature pinscher facts and Leonberger facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Xoloitzcuintli coloring pages.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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