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FCI-Standard N° 234 / 12.01.2009/ GB

Hairless Variety
Coated Variety
(Xoloitzcuintle Variedad sin Pelo - Variedad con Pelo)

TRANSLATION:      Federación Canófila Mexicana, A.C.
                              Revised by: J. Mulholland and R. Triquet



UTILIZATION :                               
Standard Size: Watchdog.
Intermediate Size: Watchdog.
Miniature Size: Companion Dog.

Group 5 Spitz and Primitive Types.
Section 6   Primitive Type.
Without working trial.

PREAMBLE : The gene that produces the absence of hair is dominant. Nevertheless, some puppies are born with a coat.  The hairless to hairless breeding will produce the least number of coated puppies therefore this has been preferred. It has been proven that this breeding maintains and improves the quality of the breed.
Crossing hairless to hairless dogs fosters the appearance of a fatal gene affecting 25% of homozygous puppies and should be given careful attention. Considering the rarity of the breed, and the difficulty that some breeders in distant locations have in finding breeding stock, and for the purpose of providing genetic diversity, well constructed coated Xoloitzcuintles may be used for breeding but never for exhibition in beauty contests. Breeding between coated Xoloitzcuintles is not permitted. Xoloitzcuintle coated breeding stock must be the offspring of registered parents with at least one generation of hairless to hairless breeding.

The meat of the Xolo was considered a delicacy in pre-hispanic Mexico, eaten by the indigenous Mexicans in special ceremonies as a ritual to their beliefs, and therefore became scarce, reaching a point of near extinction. The Federación Canofila Mexicana (Mexican Kennel Club) rescued this native breed and has used the Xoloitzcuintle on its logo since 1940.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY:  Their origin dates far back in history.  The indigenous people fed on its highly desired meat in special ceremonies.  The Xoloitzcuintle was regarded as a representative of the god “Xolotl”, from which its name obviously originates. Its task was to guide the souls of the dead to their eternal destination.  The hairless variety of the breed is also known by the name “perro pelón mexicano” (Mexican Hairless Dog). The coated variety was known by the natives as “izcuintle”.


Hairless variety :  It is a very attractive dog; the most important characteristic is the complete or almost complete lack of any hair, with a smooth and soft skin. It has a well-proportioned body, chest is ample, ribs well sprung, limbs and tail are long.

Coated variety :  A very attractive, completely coated dog with the same harmonious proportions as the hairless variety. The coat can be of any color, length and texture. Its body is well-proportioned, chest is ample, ribs well sprung, limbs and tail are long.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :  The body, measured from the point of shoulder to the point of buttock and from the highest point of the withers to the ground, is slightly longer than tall:  approximately 10:9.  Females may be slightly longer than males due to their reproductive function. The skull and the muzzle are approximately of equal length.

TEMPERAMENT/BEHAVIOUR : The Xoloitzcuintle is a silent and calm dog, cheerful, alert and intelligent, suspicious toward strangers, a good watchdog and an excellent companion. It is never aggressive.


Skull :  Lupoid type, broad and strong, wedge-shaped.  Seen from above it is wide and elegant; tapering toward the muzzle with an occipital protuberance that is not well-defined. The skull and muzzle planes are almost parallel.
Stop : Slight, but well defined.

Nose : The nose should be dark in dark-coloured dogs. It can be brown or pink in bronze-coloured dogs, pink or brown in blond specimens and spotted in spotted dogs.
Muzzle : Seen from the side, the muzzle is straight and the upper and lower jaws are very strong.
Lips : Tight and close fitting.
Jaws/Teeth :
Hairless Xoloitzcuintle :  Strong jaws. The incisors should close perfectly in a scissor bite with the superior incisors overlapping; the interior surface of the superior incisors touching the external surface of the lower incisors, squaring the jaw. A level bite, edge to edge, is also permitted.  The absence of a few incisors, canines, molars, pre-molars or rotated teeth should not be penalized, as many dogs do not have deep roots. Genetically, the absence of hair is closely linked to the absence of teeth.
Coated Xoloitzcuintle : Full dentition with scissor or level bite is required.
Tongue : The Xolo’s tongue is generally pink but may have black markings, spots or stripes, which is a common characteristic of the breed. The tongue is always inside the mouth.

Cheeks : Slightly developed.
Eyes : Medium size, almond-shaped, with an alert and very intelligent expression.  The colour varies according to the skin colour in black, brown, hazel, amber or yellow tones. Darker colours are preferred and both eyes should match.  The eyelids should be well-pigmented black, brown or grey in dark-coloured dogs.
Light-coloured or pink eyelids are permitted in light-coloured dogs although this is not the most desirable colour.
Ears :
Hairless variety :  The ears are long, large, expressive, very elegant and of fine texture; they are reminiscent of “bat” ears. They should be held erect when alert.  In the alert position their axis should be 50 – 80 degrees from horizontal.
Coated Variety :  The ears are long, large and elegant. They may be held erect or they may be down.  Any position is acceptable.  Both ears should be in the same position, when alert.

Upper line : Carried high. Upper line slightly arched.
Length : Proportionately long.
Shape : Slim, flexible, well-muscled and very elegant.
Neck Skin : The skin on the neck is firm, elastic and close-fitting, without dewlap. Puppies show folds which disappear with age.

BODY : Strongly built.
Back : Top line perfectly straight and level.
Loin : Strong and muscular.
Chest : Seen in profile it is long and deep, descending to the elbows.  The ribs are slightly sprung but never flat.  Seen from the front the upper chest is of good breadth.  The point of the sternum should not protrude.
Belly : Graceful line.  Abdomen muscled and moderately tucked up.


TAIL : Long, thin and may have some tufts of hair, tapering from the base to the tip in the hairless Xoloitzcuintle, and completely covered with hair in the coated Xoloitzcuintle.  In movement, it is carried up in a curve, never touching the back.  When resting, it should hang with a slight hook at the end.  Sometimes it is placed between the legs due to cold temperatures, or, this can be considered a sign of shyness.  The tail should nearly reach the hock.  The tail set should be an extension of the croup when the dog is at rest.


Forelegs :  Seen from the front, they are straight and perpendicular to the ground.
Shoulders :  Flat and muscled with good scapula-humeral angulation which allows a long, free and elegant stride.
Elbows : Strong. They fit close to the chest, never turned outwards.

HINDQUARTERS : The profile of the croup should be slightly convex with an inclination of approximately 40 degrees to the horizontal.   The hindquarters should be strong and well-muscled, with a moderate bend of stifle.
Hind legs : Seen from behind they are perfectly straight and parallel. The angle of the pelvis to the upper thigh joint, stifle and hock, are adequately open to permit both free and strong movement of the legs. 
Cow hocks are to be strongly penalized.  Seen from behind, the hind legs are never close.
Feet : The feet are of medium length (hare’s foot) with toes arched and close together, may have short coarse hairs in the Hairless Xoloitzcuintle, and be covered with hair in the Coated Xoloitzcuintle.  Nails are black in dark-coloured dogs, and lighter in bronze or blond dogs. The nails should be trimmed. The foot pads are strong and very resistant to any terrain.  The inter-digital membranes are well-developed.  Dewclaws should be removed on all four limbs except in countries where it is illegal to remove them.
MOVEMENT :  In accordance with its angulations, the dog should move freely with a long, elegant, springy step; trot is quick and flowing, head and tail carried high.

Hairless variety : Due to the total absence of hair, the skin of this breed is of great importance. It is smooth, sensitive to touch and feels warmer because of direct heat emission due to the lack of hair; however  its body temperature is the same as in other dogs with hair. The difference with haired breeds, which disperse body heat through natural ventilation, is that the skin requires more care from exposure to the sun and elements due to its lack of natural protection.  Accidental scars are not penalized. The dog tends to sweat through its feet (foot pads and inter-digital membranes), which is why other than in extreme heat it seldom pants.  It should be free of obvious skin problems.
Coated Variety :  The skin of the coated Xoloitzcuintle is smooth and should be completely covered with hair.



Hairless variety :  The characteristic of this breed is the total lack of hair on the body (hairless or nude dog) although there are some short, coarse thick hairs of any color on the forehead and back of the neck that should never be longer than 2.5 centimeters and should never form a long, soft topknot.  It is common to find rough hair on the feet and on the end of the tail, however its absence should not be penalized.

Coated Variety : This variety of the Xoloitzcuintle has hair all over its body.  It can be expected to have very little hair on its belly and inside the rear legs.




Skin : Hairless varietySolid, uniform, dark colours are preferred.  The range includes black, blackish grey, slate grey, dark grey, reddish, liver, bronze, and blond.   There may also be spots of any colour, including white or tri-coloured markings.
Coat :  Coated VarietyIt can have any colour or combination of colours in different tones. The hair may be of any length or texture, covering the entire body.
SIZE : There are three sizes for dogs as well as bitches.
Standard Variety:        From 46 to 60 centimeters, tolerance of +2 cm in top quality dogs.
Intermediate Variety:  From 36 to 45 centimeters.
Miniature Variety:       From 25 to 35 centimeters.

FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing criteria should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

  • Very broad head
  • Slack, loose or wrinkled skin in adult dogs.
  • Loose, slack or wrinkled skin on the neck in adult dogs.
  • Excessive dewlap.
  • Light coloured, round or protruding eyes.
  • Sunken (lordosis) or arched (xifosis) back.
  • Sunken croup
  • Cow hocks  [literally “joined hocks”]
  • Tail tightly curled over the back
  • Short tail
  • Flat feet




  • Atypical dogs.
  • Long narrow body with short legs.
  • Protruding tongue


  • Aggressiveness or excessive shyness
  • Blue eyes or flecks of blue in the eyes
  • Any Hairless or Coated Xoloitzcuintle with prognathism or enognathism.
  • Dogs with a poor bite, denoted by poor positioning of the jaws.
  • Cropped or droopy ears, in the Hairless Xoloitzcuintle
  • Docked tail.
  • Hair on any part of the hairless Xoloitzcuintle body other than the head, ears, neck, feet and tail
  • Albinism, blindness or deafness.
  • Dogs taller than 62 centimeters or shorter than 25 centimeters.

Any dog showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified

N.B.:  Males should have two testicles of normal appearance fully descended into the scrotum.


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