The Xoloitzcuintle (/ʃoʊloʊ.iːtsˈkwiːntli/ SHOH-loh-eets-KWEENT-lee) is a hairless breed of dog, found in toy, miniature and standard sizes. It is also known as Mexican hairless dog in English speaking countries.
In Nahuatl, from which its English name originates, its name is xōlōitzcuintli [ʃoːloːit͡sˈkʷint͡ɬi] (singular) and xōlōitzcuintlin [ʃoːloːit͡sˈkʷint͡ɬin] (plural). The name xōlōitzcuintli comes from the god Xolotl and itzcuīntli [it͡skʷiːnt͡ɬi], meaning dog in Nahuatl.
Recently a genetic study was conducted in order to determine the origin of the Xoloitzcuintli breed. The study did not find a close genetic relationship between Xoloitzcuintli and Chinese crested dog. However, the study showed that this breed did not result from a separate domestication of dogs in the New World. Xoloitzcuintli appear to have been a result of admixture of several Old World dog breeds.
Adult Xolos are noted for their calm demeanor, but puppies can be extremely energetic, noisy and often chewy until they reach maturity (after 2 years old), when they settle down and become more calm. The Xolo breed has what is considered 'primitive' temperament traits (very high intelligence, high energy, inquisitiveness, strong hunting and social instincts). Today, Xolos can be escape artists, climbing and jumping fences to chase. Thus they possess guard dog ability and will not back down from a fight. At the same time, adult dogs, when they are raised properly, are known to become steady, well-behaved and affectionate companions.
This primitive temperament is apparent because the breed temperament overall has not been modified by selective breeding in their native thousands-years history in Mexico. This has also ensured a sturdy physical nature and vigorous health generally innate in both coated and uncoated Xolos.