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Hairless xoloitzcuintli dog myths and xoloitzcuintli puppies training

A rare breed of dogs, the xoloitzcuintli dog belongs to Mexico and is completely hairless.

Due to their complicated name, they are often referred to as the Xolo or Mexican hairless dog.

Since the dog is a bit unusual and rare, there are many myths surrounding it, one being that the dog has a higher than normal body temperature. Another popular myth is that the dog is therapeutic and merely touching it can cure illnesses. It is also believed that the dog can sweat through its skin. However, these are simply myths and do not have much truth to them.

The dog has a sleek body and almond shaped eyes. It has large ears which are bat-like. The neck is long which makes it look a lot like the Pharaoh hound. What makes this dog unique is the hairlessness which is the result of a genetic mutation dating back to thousands of years ago. However, this gene is recessive and you may see a coated variety of the Xoloitzcuintli.

A litter of puppies usually contains both coated and hairless puppies. The coated variety has a flat and dense coat, which is how the dog originally looked before the genetic mutation occurred. Some dogs that are completely hairless may have tufts of hair on their heads or tails. The hairless variety is usually black or blue in color. However, it is estimated that one out of every four puppies is born with a coat. The hairless xolos also have incomplete dentures, which is another side effect of the genetic mutation.

The dog is most commonly found in the Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. They are a very old breed and have been in existence for more than 3,500 years. Their hairlessness was perhaps induced due to the tropical weather in the areas that they are found in. They have also made several appearances in the documentation of ancient Toltec, Aztec, and Colima cultures of Mexico because of which they are often considered mysterious and sacred.

The Aztecs believed that the dogs were vital for the passage of the master's body from this world to the other. The dogs were considered a guardian that carried the soul to the underworld safely. Though these dogs were considered sacred, their meat was also consumed in large quantities.

With the arrival of Colombus, the dog was transported to Europe because of its rare quality of hairlessness.

The Xolos are usually calm when they are adults. However, while puppies they are very noisy and extremely unruly. They require extensive socialization because they have extremely primitive traits and instincts. They have strong guarding instincts but are also predatory and may escape while trying to chase smaller animals. They never back out of a fight and therefore obedience training is a must for them.

  Submitted on October 14, 2009  

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