Xoloitzcuintli

  • Overview

    These dogs come in a variety of sizes, from a tiny toy variety that weighs just about 10 pounds to a larger 50 pound size.  They make popular contestants at ugly dog competitions because of their wrinkly skin and the unruly tuft of hair on the tops of their heads, but really, they are gentle caretakers with sensitive instincts.

    This unique breed will do best with owners who appreciate their interesting appearance and quirky personalities. With kind, sensitive training that responds to their natural intelligence and careful attention to their needs, Xolos can thrive as noble, watchful companions.

  • Personality

    The Xolo was one of the first dogs to be kept as a pet in the Americas. This ancient breed had a reputation as a healer and a protector in its native Mexico. Modern versions of the dog still display some of the unique characteristics of a primitive dog. Xolos are lively dogs who should give the appearance of being lean, elegant and strong dogs. They often display noble, thoughtful expressions which can give them an air of seriousness. Xolos are generally tranquil and will not startle unless provoked. These dogs make excellent watch dogs because they have a strong pack mentality that encourages them to look out for their families.

    Xolos like to feel in synch with their owners, so they will prefer to stick by their side and obey commands. They can be aloof around strangers and will not always take interest in meeting new people. As a result, they often bond to one person and take commands best when they are consistent.

  • Coat Care

    Whether hairless or coated, Xolos come in dark, solid colors. They are usually seen in black, grayish, slate, red, liver or bronze. Hairless Xolos have tough, protective skin that is smooth and soft to the touch. Coated Xolos are covered in short, smooth hair fitted close to the body. Xolos often have a characteristic, humorous tuft of hair sticking out from the top of their head, between their ears. Other than the head and tail, the Xolo’s hair is almost unnoticeable. Both varieties sometimes have brow wrinkles because they tend to furrow their brow when concentrating or investigating.

    Coated Xolos need light brushing with a hound glove or rubber brush to keep their skin healthy and remove dead hairs. Hairless Xolos are prone to skin conditions like sunburn, acne and clogged pores. Their skin needs to be moisturized and protected, but they should not be excessively moisturized or bathed in order to prevent stripping their skin of its natural oils, which causes acne and other skin problems.

Brushing

Coated Xolos need light brushing with a hound glove or rubber brush to keep their skin healthy and remove dead hairs. Hairless Xolos are prone to skin conditions like sunburn, acne and clogged pores. Their skin needs to be moisturized and protected, but they should not be excessively moisturized or bathed in order to prevent stripping their skin of its natural oils, which causes acne and other skin problems.

This grooming information is for a Xoloitzcuintli with a short coat.  If your dog is the hairless variety, you do not need to brush it.

Bathing

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but dogs with short coats do produce a distinctive dog odor, so your nose may encourage you to bathe them more frequently - about every 8-12 weeks. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Wipe wrinkled breeds with a soft cloth and make sure they are totally dry after bathing; high-velocity dryers work great to remove excessive loose hair with shedding; coat should be fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair.

Hair Clipping

This grooming information is for a Xoloitzcuintli with a short coat.  If your dog is the hairless variety, you do not need to clip or trim it.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some short-coated dogs, like hounds and mastiffs, have large, sensitive ears that should be checked  weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Pug, take special care to  clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like Pugs and Dogues de Bordeaux, be wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.