Mexican Hairless Dog

Mexican Hairless Dog (Xoloitzcuintli)

Group: Toy Group & Non Sporting Group

Origin: Mexico

– Toy: 11-12 inches at the shoulders.
– Miniature: 12-15 inches at the shoulders.
– Standard: 16-22.5 inches at the shoulders.

– Toy: 9 to 18 pounds.
– Miniature: 13-22 pounds.
– Standard: 20-31 pounds.

Mexican Hairless Dog

Image by Anders Mejlvang from Pixabay

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Breed Profile

The Mexican Hairless is known as the “Xoloitzcuintli” (pronounced: show-low-eets-queent-lee) after the God Xoloti and is one of the world’s oldest and rarest breeds. The breed’s history is not well known. Some believe them to be African dogs developed in South America. Others believe that the breed originated in China. Clay likeness of the Mexican Hairless have been uncovered in ancient Mexican archaeological sites dating back more than 5,700 years. The first Mexican Hairless was shown in the United States in 1883 and was recognized fully two decades before the Chihuahua. However, in 1959, the AKC withdrew recognition to the breed due to the low number of registered dogs in the U.S. The AKC now lists the Xoloitzcuintli as part of the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) Program. As early as the 1840s, Hairless Dogs were common in Mexico. The breed was formally recognized by the FCM (Mexican Kennel Club) in 1956 and by the United Kennel Club on 1 January 1993. The breed has now been designated as the official dog of Mexico.

There are two varieties and three types of Xoloitzcuintli: the hairless and the coated in either Toy, Miniature, or Standard. The hairless has a total or almost total absence of hair but may have a tuft of short, coarse hair on the head and nape as well as on the feet and tail. His skin is smooth, firm and sensitive to the touch. The coated variety has a short, flat coat with no bare patches. Colours of the coated variety can range from black to grey, red, liver, or bronze to golden yellow.

He has a clean and graceful look, combining the elegance of a sighthound with the strength and proportions of a terrier. His expression is thoughtful and intelligent with distinctive wrinkles being seen when at attention. His eyes are almond shaped and can vary from yellow to black.

The Mexican Hairless Dog, or Xolo as he is commonly known, is one of the best known of the rare breed hairless dogs. All three varieties are excellent family companions. They are relatively calm but also make good watchdogs in that they will announce the approach of strangers. They are intelligent, cheerful, attentive, alert and loyal.

The breed was developed strictly as a companion dog — a bed warmer. The Mexican Hairless, like other hairless dogs, has a higher than expected body temperature.


Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of a Mexican Hairless puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

Due to their hairless bodies, the Mexican Hairless must be protected from excessive sunlight, heat and cold. They are generally hypoallergenic, odourless and flealess, again due to their lack of hair.

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Breed Listing

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

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