The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced Show-Low-Itz-Quint-Lee), is also known as the Xolo (Show-Low) or the Mexican Hairless Dog. The Xolo is an ancient breed that is considered a national treasure in Mexico and is the only dog whose name begins with an “X.” The word Xoloitzcuintli is derived from the name of the Aztec god, Xolotl, and the Aztec word for dog, Itzcuintli. These dogs descend from hairless dogs prized by the Aztecs and, over 400 years later, these dogs were still found in Mexican jungles. The Aztecs believed this breed had mystical healing abilities. Their hairless body radiates heat more than other breeds and ancient people used to use them as heating pads for aches and pains. Frida Kahlo and Diego Riviera put the Xolo back in the spot light and can be seen in many of their works of art.
The Xolo has three sizes, toy, miniature, and standard, as well as two coat varieties, hairless and coated. They are known to be an alert, calm, and loyal breed that is trainable; however, since they are such a good watch dog they can be wary of strangers. They make an excellent companion with moderate exercise and grooming needs. The hairless excretes an oil that protects them from the sun and from insects. The Xolo requires occasional baths and body lotion to help moisturize the hairless variety. They are more prone to developing skin problems, especially acne so appropriate skin care is important. The hairless variety prefers a warmer environment and actually requires sunscreen while it’s outside so it does not burn!
Some believe that this hairless dog can be better tolerated by people who suffer from allergies and asthma. Although their saliva, sparse hair on their heads and feet, and skin all produce the same irritant that bother some people with allergies. If you have allergies to animals, it is important to do your research to determine if this is the right breed for you.
A hairless dog with bat ears and a stubbly Mohawk might be too exotic for some, but for those who believe bald is beautiful the Xolos rule. This breed takes their watchdog role seriously and do bark when they have something to say. The Xolo makes a loyal family dog and a very affectionate pet. We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic enjoy working with all kinds of dog breeds as each of them is unique in their own way.
By Ashley Dawes, DVM
Choosing a dog that is a good fit for your family can be a very exciting time, but knowing which breed is the perfect fit for you and your children can sometimes be daunting. The most important characteristics to consider are the dog’s age, size, temperament, energy level, and how much he or she may need to be groomed. Here is our list of top 10 dog breeds for families.
- The Mixed Breed
The mixed breed dog is typically found at shelters or with foster families, which allows the whole family to visit them and get to know them really well before adopting. Mixed breed dogs tend to have fewer health problems than pure breed dogs. There is a mixed breed perfect for every family!
- Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds, especially for families. They are known to be playful, loyal, patient, and reliable. They are an outgoing breed that plays well with other people, children, or other pets.
- . Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is very loyal, intelligent, and patient, which is great for families with kids. They do require more exercise, but they love to play which makes exercising them fairly easy. They do require some grooming, which entails fairly regular brushing of their thick, longer coat.
- Standard Poodle
The Standard Poodle is a very proud breed that is smart, caring, and loyal. They do require regular grooming, but they shed very little. They need a moderate amount of exercise to stay happy and healthy.
- Irish Setter
The Irish Setter is known for their beautiful red coat. They are playful, energetic, and love being around people. This breed is considered high energy and needs a lot of exercise, but is a great fit for energetic kids.
Beagles are scent hounds that require regular exercise. They are curious, friendly, loving, and easy going. Since this breed is known to follow their nose, having a fenced in backyard for them to play in would be ideal. Their short coat does not require a lot of grooming.
The pug is a wrinkly-nosed breed that is loving, charming, and mischievous. They are eager to please and have a moderate amount of energy. Their short coat requires little grooming. During the warmer months they will need to have access to air conditioning as they can over-heat more easily. They are great for kids as they are clowns at heart.
The Newfoundland is known as “Nature’s Babysitter” and is great with children. They are very sweet, patient, and devoted dogs that are great swimmers. The Newfoundland has a moderate energy level and their thick coat requires regular brushing and grooming.
- French Bulldog
The French Bulldog, also known as the Frenchie, is playful, smart, easygoing, and adaptable. They are indoor dogs that will require air conditioning in warmer weather. Their coat requires minimal grooming and they are not a very active breed.
- Basset Hound
The Basset Hound is charming, easygoing, laid-back, and even a bit lazy. Their coat requires minimal grooming. They are a very patient breed that is great with families.
We hope this list helps you find the perfect breed for your family! Are there others that might also be a good fit? Sure – and we are here to help answer your questions before you bring home a new dog. We want pet ownership to be a great experience for you and your family for years to come. Call us at 260-637-7676!
By Ashley Dawes, DVM