Otherwise known as the 'Xoloitzquintli' meaning 'God Dog,' this concisely named breed has existed since antiquity, with records, pottery and uncovered artefacts indicating an ancestry that dates back over 3,000 years. If this is to be believed, the Xolo is one of the oldest breeds on the planet. The discovery of said artefacts, found in the tombs of Mayan, Colima and Aztec Indians, reflect a narrative of the time; a time when the Xolo was highly prized for its loyalty and curative and mystical powers, serving as a prophet and dependable guide into the Underworld. For this reason, it was common practice for the breed to be sacrificed at burials, especially if its owner was the one to have died. Other early functions include bed-warming, providing a food delicacy and as an offering to the gods.
Known as 'Biche' dogs by the Aztecs, a term meaning 'naked,' the Mexican Hairless' most distinctive feature is its lack of hair, with a short tuft on its tail or head. The Xolo breed has three size classifications - Standard, Miniature and Toy. It is easily recognised for its smooth, hardy skin, wrinkled brow, large thin-skinned ears that are high-set on the head, and narrow, low-set tail. The Xolo is common in colour variations of black, brindle, slate grey, fawn, red or bronze, although dark colouring is usually preferred. Applying sunscreen is essential with this breed as, being hairless, damaging sun-rays more readily access the skin.
Despite its somewhat unflattering appearance, the Mexican Hairless has grown in popularity and numbers over recent years and is often seen in competitive obedience, conformation and therapy. This is due to the breed's intelligence, athleticism and affectionate nature, rendering it the ideal breed choice for families or the dedicated sole owner. Notoriously loyal and devoted to its master, the Xolo is highly trainable, seldom running away, exhibiting aggression or barking incessantly. On average, a healthy Standard-size Mexican Hairless will weigh 10-25 kg, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years, although it is not uncommon for the breed to outlive this expectancy.
When shown the appropriate care, the Mexican Hairless is generally healthy, resilient and long-lived, with documented cases of the breed living into its early 20s. No serious genetic or hereditary diseases are associated with the breed, although it is not uncommon for the Xolo to be missing some teeth. Owners of the breed have a tendency to over-compensate for the dog's lack of hair by applying various lotions and creams directly to the skin; although this is recommended in some incidences, if over-done, the Xolo can develop skin complaints and acne.