Besides wonderful food, people, and culture, Mexico also has wonderful, unique dog breeds. Some may be less well-known but are still interesting to learn about. This article focuses on five Mexican dog breeds and their characteristics.
The Chihuahua dog is a popular breed that received its name from the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. They are the world’s smallest breed, averaging 2 to 6 pounds in weight and height of 6 to 10 inches as an adult. U.S. citizens were introduced to the Chihuahua in the 1850s, and the dogs became popular among Mexico border states soon after. The Chihuahua Club of America was founded in 1923, and this breed began to gain popularity in the States in the 1960s.
They come in many varieties of colors and markings and can be short or long-haired. They make great family dogs and are very kid-friendly, though they are suspicious of strangers and make excellent watchdogs.
Fun fact: In relation to their body size, the Chihuahua has the largest brain of all other dog breeds.
2. Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless)
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Pronounced show-low-eats-QUEENT-lee, they are also known as the Mexican hairless dog, even though they can be both hairless and coated. The breed comes in three different sizes, and you will hear them called Xolos, which is much easier to remember and pronounce.
Even though the Xolo is an ancient Aztec dog of the gods, they are loving, loyal, and smart. They are also a good family dog and like to be involved with family activities, though they tend to bond with only one person. If you don’t spend enough time with the Xolo, they may become destructive in order to get your attention.
They were a popular breed in the 1930s and 40s but began to lose popularity. Recently, they have made a comeback, and the United Kennel Club recognized them in 1992 and the American Kennel Club brought them back as a member of the Non-Sporting Group in 2011.
Fun Fact: Their skin is thick and resistant to injury and is considered a hide.
3. Chinese Crested Dog
Though their name says Chinese, they didn’t come from China. They apparently evolved from Mexican hairless dogs that were imported from Mexico to China. When you see one of these dogs, you will understand why they have been referred to as “a Dr. Seuss dog.” They have a hairless body with “crested” long hair on their heads and a feathery tail and feet.
There is a variety of this breed that can be born completely covered in hair; it depends on which single dominant gene they receive. When they are hairless, their skin is soft and smooth, and most will have crooked or missing teeth.
If you want a dog who will follow you constantly and prefer to sit on your lap all the time, then the Crested is a great choice. They prefer to stay indoors, which is one reason that they are ideal for older individuals. But they are an alert and charming breed that will provide their owner with plenty of affection.
Fun facts: Unlike other dogs, they have sweat glands so they don’t have to pant to cool themselves down.
4. Mexican Pitbull (Chamuco)
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This breed is a mixture of the American Pitbull and the American Staffordshire terrier (to name a few) that were crossbred in the 1970s in Mexico. Chamuco in Spanish means “devil,” which alludes to their temperament. Unfortunately, they are often bred in secret and used as fighting dogs. However, they can be fiercely loyal and protective of their human family.
Due to their aggression, they need proper socialization from a young age in order to be a good family pet. They have a playful side and make excellent watchdogs. They are a medium-size dog, weighing 40 pounds and being 14 inches tall.
Fun fact: They were developed by crossbreeding more than seven different breeds.
5. Calupoh (Mexican Wolfdog)
The Calupoh is a hybrid wolf-dog that came from the pre-Hispanic years of Mexico. This breed is now considered a cultural Mexican symbol. They are also known as the Mexican Wolfdog. They have the appearance of a wolf with strong legs that help them run at high speeds and double coats that can be black, with white or brown markings.
Originally bred as herding dogs and to protect livestock, they are agile and even-tempered. You don’t see them as pets very often, but some people are trying to make them more appealing as a companion over a working dog. They acclimate well when living with a family because they are loyal and devoted to their owners. The Calupoh is the rarest of the Mexican dog breeds and isn’t well-known in other areas of the world.
These dogs can weigh up to 120 pounds and reach 29 inches tall, which makes them a great guard dog. Aggressiveness isn’t in their nature, but they will alert you of a potential threat. They enjoy being around other dogs and will bond with their human family, though they remain wary of strangers.
Fun fact: In the 1990s, a genetic project began to keep the breed from becoming extinct.
Mexico has five dog breeds that are not only interesting but can make great pets. It’s good to know about different breeds of dogs, especially if you are a dog lover. Some of these breeds don’t get the attention they deserve, and they have much to offer to responsible dog owners. With their unique histories, they each have a story that’s worth listening to.
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