Bambi the Xoloitzcuintle

(sing to the tune of ‘La Cucaracha’)
Xo-lo-itz-cuin-tle, Xo-lo-itz-cuin-tle,
Ancient dog which has no hair.
Xo-lo-itz-cuint-li, Xo-lo-itz-cuint-le,
From Mexico and south of there.
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We were at our Sacramento clinic in the Freeport area where we were visited by Bambi the Xolo and her attendant human. This dog breed, which looks much like the Chinese Crested breed, is quite rare and dates back 3,500 years in Meso America where it was closely associated with the Aztec Empire. The full name of the breed is Xoloitzcuintle (the Xolo is alternately pronounced ‘Cholo’ or ‘Holo’). Genetic analysis indicates that the Xolo is not at all related to the nearly identical looking Chinese Crested so it is assumed that the Xolo is the result of a spontaneous mutation in the native dogs of the New World. The Xolo can come in a hairless or fully coated variety and both may be represented within the same litter. Curiously they exhibit an anomaly in their dentition called ‘oligodontia’ which in Greek means literally ‘small number of teeth’ and it is the case that the Xolo as fewer teeth than the other dog breeds. These heat tolerant dogs were considered by the Aztecs, Toltecs and Maya to be a sacred connection to the underworld and spiritual protector. The Xoloitzcuintle dogs we have seen in the past have been Miniature sized but the breed includes Toy size up to Standard size which can be as large as 40 pounds.

– Geoffrey Antipa

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