Origin of the Xoloitzcuintle

The Mexican hairless dog Xoloitzcuintle originally comes from Central America or Mexico. He is not an invention of modern times, but lost his fur thousands of years ago through evolutionary adaptation and became the eccentric hairless dog we know today.

Archaeological finds show that the Xolo existed long before the Spanish conquest. An ancient statue of a Xolo’s is estimated by scientists to be around 1700 years BC. This shows that the Xolo is the oldest dog breed from the Americas as well as one of the oldest breeds in the world.

How exactly this dog breed came about is not known to this day. However, it can be assumed that the origin is more than 4000 years ago, since it can be found in many different art objects. Based on the many art objects, it can be assumed that this dog was deified and valuable in Aztec times.

The name Xolo comes from the god Xoloti, who owned such a dog. The god Xoloti was an Aztec god of death.


Since this dog breed goes back thousands of years, there are some legends and stories about the importance of the Xolo dog breed at that time.
On the one hand, the Aztecs of that time believed that these dogs could accompany spirits to the afterlife and were treated with great respect.

However, it happened that dogs were also sacrificed after the death of their owner so that the dog could accompany the owner to eternal life. The dogs were also eaten for rituals or healing, because the Xolo’s were said to have healing powers.

They were seen as healers of diseases such as rheumatism. This was probably due to the body heat of the dogs. In negotiations, they were therefore often exchanged for goods or given away. To be given a Xolo in those days was a very respectable gift.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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