Xoloitzcuintle, the sacred dog of the Mexicans

Xoloitzcuintle, a near-extinct hairless dog revived thanks to the devotion of animal lovers.

This dog's name is pronounced show-low-eats-queent-lee. An easier way to spell and say the name of this unusual breed is Xolo (pronounced Show -lo).

In common everyday terminology, the dog is known as the "Mexican hairless." His name says it all. This is a breed that stands out for a genetic mutation denoting a lack of fur like the Sphynx cats.

Consequently, it is a breed that has particular difficulties with health that should be understood by anyone wishing to own one of these rare dogs. First of all, a hairless dog is subject to changes in temperature and must be protected from extreme cold or heat. It will burn easily in the sun and should be kept out of sunlight. It will cool quickly and you should wear an outer layer when you go outside.

The size of the dog is another health consideration, as this breed's variety of small toys have delicate bone structure. Children should be supervised and should not be allowed to play roughly. Also, the dog must guard against jumping from surfaces that are high, as its small leg bones will easily fracture.

The Xolo has a unique history. This dog is believed to represent humanity's first association with the canine world. Representations of the Xolo race have been found in clay sculpture dating back 3000 years. The name "Xoloitzcuintli" comes from a combination of the ancient Aztec word for the Indian god Xolotl and Itzcuintli, which is the Indian word for dog. The Aztec peoples, and the Mexica mythology, believed that this race possessed strong powers against evil spirits, being a sacred guardian dog that guided the dead to the mictlán on the way to the underworld. It was also supposed to have benevolent healing powers for ailments such as arthritis, toothache, and insomnia.

Actually the dog was often used as a bed warmer, the modern world would call it a "heating pad". Furthermore, in ancient times, the Xolo or Aztec dog was often sacrificed to be buried with its master and left on its journey after life, as it was believed that the dog would faithfully protect its master in death as it had done. in the life of evil. spirits of the world. Like the Crested Chinese, there are two varieties of Xolo, hairless and coated.

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The Xolo is not the only hairless companion animal, the sphynx cat is another example of genetic mutations in nature!

There are also three sizes, the toy, the miniature and the standard. The dog comes in almost every color imaginable. The hairless variety generally appears quite mottled and blotchy and often wrinkled. The body type is similar to that of the Italian Greyhound. The breed was actually registered with the American Kennel Club from 1887 to 1959, when the AKC voted to remove the breed from its book registry. At the time there appeared to be a lack of direction in the breed standard and a lack of quality in the breeding program, according to the AKC. The Xolo is not particularly attractive to many people and is often commented on as an ugly dog.

If you go to Mexico City, in the Dolores Olmedo museum you can appreciate some of these specimens which are at the entrance of the museum for the approval and awareness of people about their delicate situation, which have been almost at on the brink of extinction and are being the subject of breeding plans to recover the population.

Finally, the Xolos have also been a continuous theme of the idiosyncrasy of Oaxaca, represented in the famous alebrijes area.

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