Choosing a Mexican Hairless

Choosing a Mexican Hairless

If you have dog allergies, the Mexican hairless may be the dog for you. They produce significantly less dander than most other dogs, and have no hair. But finding one may be a challenge, as there are only 4000 in the entire world.

History and Origin

The Mexican hairless, also known as the Xoloitzcuintli (Xolo), the Pelon, and the Tepeizeuintli, probably descended from the Chinese Crested, with no human help. The Mexican hairless dog is a very old breed; origins date back to pre-conquistador Mexico. Although exact beginnings are unknown, they most likely date back to the early 1500s.

The Xolo (pronounced Sho – Lo) was named for Xolotl, an Aztec god who lead the deceased to the underworld. While non-Aztec people used the Xolo as a food source, the Aztec people held the Xolo in high regard. They prized their Xolos, using them primarily as pets; they were also used as bed companions for warmth. Many Ancient Aztecs were buried with their Xolos.

In the 19th century, Mexican hairless dogs were reputed to have healing powers. They gained popularity as people professed that the Mexican hairless cured them of a variety of ailments, from asthma to diabetes.

The Mexican hairless is not currently an AKC recognized breed.


The Mexican hairless resembles a sight hound in body structure. These dogs are thin, but very well muscled. The majority of them are completely hairless, although a few are born with hair. The skin is soft and smooth, not unlike human skin. The skin colors can be orange, slate, black, liver or charcoal. The dogs born with hair resemble a mixed breed terrier.

Xolos come in 3 sizes, the toy, miniature, and standard, with the miniature being the most common. They have a pointed muzzle, reminiscent of a bottle; the tail is set low, and kept tucked in. The eyes are black and shaped like almonds. The delicate ears are large and stand upright; most have to be bandaged at a young age to train them to stand correctly.

These dogs are warm to the touch, leading many to believe their body temperature is higher than other dogs. In fact, the body temperature is exactly the same as any other dog.


The Xolo is available in three different sizes. The standard stands between 20 and 31 inches tall at the shoulder, and ranges from 16 to 22.5 pounds. The miniature stands between 13 and 22 inches tall, and weighs between 12 and 15 pounds. The toy stands between 9 and 18 inches tall, and weighs 11 to 12 pounds.


These calm, clever dogs make ideal companions. Xolos are very outgoing, and like to show off their athletic ability by playing games.

Xolos are also very expressive dogs. They enjoy showing affection to their families. Always on alert, Xolos are quick to warn the family if a stranger is around. However, they are easily won over by a friendly pat on the head.

Xolos are exceptionally obedient. There is nothing more rewarding to a Xolo than gaining the affection of his family. They are quick to learn, but are sensitive to harsh reprimand. They respond well to positive reinforcement, and lots of treats.

Home and Family Relations

Mexican hairless dogs seem to adore children. They are quiet and patient, but also love to frolic around the yard with their family members.

These dogs are extraordinarily easy going with other pets. They are affectionate with other animals, and truly seem to enjoy their company.

Xolos should always be primarily indoor dogs. Although resilient and tough, the hairless feature puts them at risk from the elements.


Xolos are naturally obedient dogs. They are vastly intelligent and eager to please, making them easily trainable. Good socialization is essential, or you may end up with a bashful dog.

Special Concerns

The skin of the Mexican hairless needs special attention to ensure health and softness. The skin is particularly susceptible to sunburn, gashes and dryness. Sunscreen should always be used for prolonged sun exposure, especially on the lighter colored dogs. They must be protected from cold as well; these dogs usually require a sweater or coat in colder climates.

Health Concerns

The Mexican hairless is a rare breed and not much is known about genetic problems or common health concerns. A few Mexican hairless dogs have developed mange and ear problems.

The life expectancy is between 12 and 15 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.

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