(Pronounced “show-low-eat-squeent-lee”)

Archeological findings show Xoloitzcuintle are an ancient breed that has been around for 3500 years. The hairless dog is probably the first domesticated animal in the Americas, they were bred for companionship, hunting and food. Their former masters include the Toltec, the Aztecs, the Mayans, and the Colima Indians. The breed's name is a combination of two Aztec words. The breed was regarded as the earthly representative of the god "Xolotl", and "itzcuintli" which means dog, from which the breeds name obviously originates. Their task was to accompany the souls of the dead to their eternal resting place. Dog artifacts have been found at archaeological sites. Some tombs called shaft tombs have produced evidence of the relationship with the dogs we know today. Pre-Colombian pottery of these dogs has been found many places and can be seen at museums.

There are many myths and legends connected with the hairless dogs:

In Pre Colombian myth, Quetzalcoatl and his twin Xolotl, Venus, the Morning and Evening Stars were the protectors of all life, all-living things, and conqueror of Death. After the great flood, all of Earth was barren and empty, no humans toiled or hunted and their image was buried deep in the underworld Mictlan and guarded by Mictlantecuhtli and Mictlantecihuatl. Quetzalcóatl and Xolotl through great trials carried the Living Bone from which all man is made from Mictlan to Heaven. And from Heaven, by the help of the Gods, Man was resurrected to live again on Earth. To prevent Man from ever getting lost again in the deepest dark of the underworld, Xolotl created a protector in his own image made from a sliver of the Bone of Life. This protector is gifted with human abilities because it is made from the Bone of Life with some heavenly abilities and into the sliver Xolotl blew his knowledge of the Heaven and the Underworld. Xolotl gave his gift to Man with the instruction to guard it with his life and then in exchange it would guide Man through the dangers of Mictlan, the world of Death, and towards the Evening Star in the Heavens. This guide given to Man from Xolotl himself is the naked dog, the XOLOITZCUINTLE.

In the glory days of the Fourth World, before Earth as we know it today, the Gods came down from the Heavens to walk amongst the people. When they got ready to leave again, a small girl cried relentlessly holding the hands of the Twins, Xolotl and his brother, wanting them to take her with them as they left. Taking pity of the girl, Xolotl took a clay flute and blew the life force into it. As it came alive it looked like him, as if it was Xolotls baby brother. He gave the little dog to the girl and told her, “When it is your time to leave Earth, my little brother will safely guide you home to me.” This was the first Itzcuintle and his descendants to this day will guide us home to the Heavens when our time comes.

When you die the great darkness come to swallow your spirit and you have to live in the land of the dead Miquiztli. To avoid spending endless time in the clutches of Death, you have to descend through the Mouth of the Jaguar and cross the big water that is left over from the big flood and has no direction or horizon. Then you must get through each level of dead worlds and pass through the gate of living rock. But to get through that is difficult. After passing through the gate you are free to roam the heavenly realms. The great darkness does not want to swallow spirit from warriors slain in honest battle and woman who has no breath at childbirth, those can go directly to the stars. The naked dog will carry the spirit of the children that die without having lived so they do not go to the shadow below unprotected. The only living thing that walk safely in the shadows is the one that carries the spirit of Xolotl, the twin of Quetzalcoatl that bring the light of day to us every morning. Therefore the best is to have a dog with you when you die and hold on tight to get through the shadows to the light. The best dog is said to be a naked dog with red skin, as the red of the Evening Star is the light reflecting of the Sun, thus the red dog will light your way to be reborn at dawn. Because the evil Cizin kept spirit locked up at the deepest chambers in his kingdom, Itzama gave the blessed people Itzcuintle to move through Cizin's realm as swift as the Sun move through the shadow at night without resting.

It has been told a great dog has found his way from the underworld by getting the living rock to push him to the surface. With a mighty lightning bolt he was born out of the great volcano where he washed off the memories of the shadow that is now a lake called Xolotlán in Nicaragua. This dog and all his ancestors are believed to speak the language of the gods (and the 13th heaven) and forever carry the burned skin he got from the volcano.

Xoloitzcuintle was recognized and bred in the USA until the AKC withdrew recognition of the breed in 1959. The “Mexican Hairless” in Mexico had never been a recognized breed, but in 1956 was declared AKA with the name XOLOITZCUINTLE.

Some other names used for the breed are itzcuintlis, itzcuintles, escuincles, perro azteca (aztec dog), Perro sin pelo Mexicano, Perro pelón Mexicano, Mexikansk Nakenhund, Meksikonkarvatonkoira, Meksikon Karvaton Koira, Mexikaanse Naakthond, Le Xoloïtzcuintle, Chien nu Mexican, Chien Nu du Mexique, Mexikanischer Nackthund, and Mehhiko karvutukoer.

©2006-2007 Xolo Rescue USA, All rights reserved