Xoloitzcuintli - Breed and Grooming Tips

One of the world's oldest and rarest breeds, the Xoloitzcuintli can justly be called the first dog of the Americas. Archaeological evidence indicates that Xolos accompanied man on his first migrations across the Bering Straits. Their name is derived from the name of the Aztec Indian god Xolotl and Itzcuintli, the Aztec word for dog. With a reputation as a healer, the breed and its warm skin is often put to use in remote Mexican and Central American villages to ward off and cure ailments like rheumatism, asthma, toothache and insomnia. Xolos were also believed to safeguard the home from evil spirits and intruders.

Right breed for you?

They make excellent companion dogs. Xolo need a consistent training regiment and clearly defined boundaries. A training class for puppies is strongly recommended. Young dogs require a substantial amount of exercise and structured playtime. Bored Xolos may entertain themselves in ways you don’t find acceptable. An ideal Xolo owner is someone looking for a dog who will be a complete companion - guardian, friend and playmate. Xolos are fine as only dogs, but also sharing a home with children or other pets.

Source: American Kennel Club www.akc.org


A Xolo is a wash and wear dog, but a thorough bath is of utmost importance paying particular attention to their skin.  First and foremost, do a gentle preliminary bath to lift dirt, debris, oil, and environmental factors to bring the skin back to a neutral state.  Always choose the mildest shampoo to get the job done. Depending on your Xolo’s lifestyle, a maintenance bath can be done as frequently as weekly to every 4 weeks.  This breed needs more attention paid to their skin as the Hairless Variety has a tendancy to get blackheads and acne.  Resist the urge to squeeze blackheads and pimples.  This can cause infections and permanently discolor the skin. A Dead Sea Mineral Mud Bath can be used weekly if blackheads and acne are an issue.  Apply the mud bath and allow it to sit for 3 min, rinse, then wash as usual.  The mud bath will exfoliate the skin and sloth off the dead skin cells.  This mineral rich mud accelerates natural exfoliation and restore’s the skin’s natural pH balance.

Recommended Products

Hypoallergenic Shampoo:   A natural, tearless solution for pets with super sensitive skin that is chocked full of Aloe, Coconut, and Vitamins A, D, and E.

Dead Sea Mineral Mud Bath: A mineral rich mud that accelerates natural exfoliation of the skin that conditions, rehydrates, and rebuilds the skin and coat.

Aloe Oatbath Shampoo: A gentle, therapeutic shampoo to restore the skin’s natural balance while it cleans and soothes the skin and coat.

Aloe Hydrating Spray: Provides intense hydration to promote healthy, vibrant skin and coat.

General Health Care

Prep work is the foundation of all grooming.  Prep work includes ear cleaning, nail trimming, trimming the pads, anal glands, and proper dental hygiene.  Mastering these skills sets the professional pet stylist apart from the rest.  Prep work should be done before every bathing and grooming appointment.  All dogs need to have their ears checked and cleaned on a regular basis.  Some need to have the hair plucked from the ear canal.  This allows the ear to have proper air circulation.  It is not necessary to remove all of the hair in the ear, as some serves as a barrier to foreign debris.  It is imperative that you are properly trained to pull ear hair before attempting this endeavor.  Proper nail care is also very important.  Long, unsightly nails are uncomfortable for the dog, as well as anyone they might jump on.  Long nails also compromise the shape of the foot.  Trimming the pads of the foot helps give the dog good traction on different surfaces, and can minimize the amount of dirt the dog tracks into the house.  It also affords the opportunity to treat and condition the paws from cracks and abrasions.  Anal glands should also be checked and expressed if they are full.  Some caring pet owners prefer to have the anal glands done by their veterinarian. Good dental hygiene is essential for a healthy pet too.

Recommended Products:

Ear Care: This ear cleaner has a blend of natural oils to remove dirt, debris, and wax.

Ear Powder: A must for removing hair from the ear canal. It will reduce slippage, while reducing odor, and contributing to drying out the ear canal.

Aloe Vera Jelly: This soothing blend relieves insect bites, mild rashes, razor, and sun burn.

Hot Spot Foam: This foam relieves itching and burning while promoting healing.

Nutritional Care

In order to maintain healthy skin and coat as well as overall health, it is important to provide good nutrition to your dog through a well–balanced diet, vitamins, and healthy treats.

Recommended Products:

Icelandic Salmon Oil: Enhances the skin and coat while simultaneously supporting the immune system and joint health.

Frequently Asked Questions

1/ What products do I need if I just purchased a Xolo puppy?

Hypoallergenic Shampoo

Aloe Hydrating Spray

Ear Care Aloe Wipes

Optisoothe Eye Wash

Puppy Aloe Wipes

2/ Do they require a lot of grooming?

They can be a wash and wear dog. Keeping the skin clean is the key to keeping your Xolo in top condition.

3/ What is a common problem in Xolo’s?

Unlike other breeds, Xolo’s do not have genetic health issues specific to the breed.

4/ Are Xolo’s good for people suffering from allergies?

Xolo’s are one of the newest breeds being considered for pet related allergy sufferers.

5/ Are Xolo’s good with children?

Xolo’s can be great with children because they are gentle but sturdy enough to handle the pets and hugs.  As with any breed, small children should never be left unattended with any dog.

6/ What if I have a show dog?

Whether you have a show dog or a companion dog, the same basic care is given regarding nutrition, socialization, and hygiene.  The difference is the maintenance, conditioning, and training for the show ring.  It is always helpful if your breeder is willing to mentor you to lead you in the right direction upon entering the wonderful world of showing dogs.  A great place to start is with the national breed club like the Xoloitzcuintli Club of America, Xoloitzcuintliclubofamerica.org.

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