This week Best Bully Sticks continues it’s breed spotlight with a truly unique dog.  The Xoloitzcuintli, called the “show-low” (Xolo) is the proper name for what many call a Mexican Hairless.  Although this dog is one of the six breeds just recognized by the AKC, this dog is one of the world’s oldest and rarest breeds.

History & Background: The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show-low-eats-queen-tlee) is an ancient, natural breed from Mexico.  It is sometimes called the “First Dog of the Americas” and from archaeological evidence accompanied man on his first migrations across the Bering Straits.  The name is derived from the Aztec Indian god Xolotl and the Aztec word for dog, Itzcuintli.  These dogs had a reputation as healers and were put to use in Mexican and Central American villages to treat ailments like arthritis, asthma, toothaches and insomnia.  Xolos were also believed to guard the home from evil spirits and intruders.

Height: 10-14 inches (Toy), 14-18 inches (Miniature), 18-23 inches (Standard)

Weight: 10-50 pounds depending on breed size.

Coat: Obviously, the Xoloitzcuintli being a “Mexican Hairless” correctly characterizes the state of the dogs appearance.  However, some Xolos have a short amount of short course hair on the top of their head, feet and tip of the tail.  The Xolo’s skin is tough, protective, smooth and close fitting.  In a Xolo litter, there are hairless and coated puppies, yet the lack of hair is the more common trait.

Color: This coloring of this breed is most commonly uniformly black or bluish-gray. However, red, liver and bronze colors exist as well.  Splashes or spots of white are common as well.

Appearance: The Xolo has a graceful outline because of this breed’s strength and agility.  The body proportions are rectangular and muscular.  This dog has dark, almond shaped eyes and upright bat-like ears.

Temperament: This breed is very calm, attentive and highly intelligent.  They are very loyal dogs and have a guard dog type temperament. In other words, they won’t back down from a fight, but if trained well are well-behaved and very affectionate.

Health: Xolos originated in tropical climates and are not suited for cold outdoor temperatures.  Because of their hairless nature, this dog can have skin problems if bathed too often.  Light grooming is recommended.  A Xolo should have soft and hardy skin. These dogs anywhere from 15 to 20 years.

Product Suggestions: The Xolo would most likely enjoy any of BBS’s lamb products that range from ears to lungs, to filets and bones.  They’re healthy, all-natural and dogs think they are tasty!  Because this breed is very intelligent, BBS carries toys that will truly demonstrate this dog’s genius.  The Nina Ottosson Dog Toys challenge your dog to find the treat hidden within the toy.  These toys will keep your pooch entertained for hours.

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Would your dog like to be in the spotlight?

If you would like your dog spotlighted or want to recommend a dog breed you love for our next Best Bully Sticks Spotlight on a Breed entry please send us an email with the subject “Spotlight My Dog”. If you are submitting your very own dog don’t forget to send over a photogenic pic and a short 2-3 sentence bio about your canine buddy.