The Xoloitzcuintli, or Mexican Hairless, is an elegant, active, people-loving breed. They are naturally protective and can be aloof around strangers, making them excellent watchdogs but terrible guard dogs. Xolos are often called “Velcro dogs” because of they are almost always “attached” to one member of the family. Seldom to Xolos run away from home. Xoloitzcuintlis are intelligent and emotionally tuned in to the people around them. They are adaptable dogs who can be just as happy in a large family as they are in a home with only one person.
The Xoloitzcuintli is an extremely active and intelligent breed and they require a lot of physical and mental stimulation in order to stave off boredom. A bored Xolo can get into a lot of mischief. Novice dog owners often make the mistake of not walking their Xolo, especially if the dog spends a great deal of time playing outdoors. Play is a good way to release energy, but the Xoloitzcuintli has a primal need to walk, and most owners who report a Xolo with behavior issues admit to skipping walks.
Xoloitzcuintlis are adaptable to homes and families of any size. They can thrive in a home with a large yard, or in a compact apartment – as long as there is a commitment to daily exercise. Xolos are adaptable and easy going and get the most enjoyment from life when they are outdoors with the people they love the most.
Xoloitzcuintlis are smart dogs, which means they catch on to training activities quickly, but they must be taught early and often. Xolos can quickly take over and control a training session, so training must be conducted with absolute consistency, and training should be made as interesting as possible to keep the dog engaged. Xolos respond the best to reward-based training whether that reward is praise or food, and they will shut down if treated with a heavy hand. All family members should take part in the training of a Xoloitzcuintli, that way the dog knows to respect all members of the household.
Some owners have experienced problems trying to housetrain a Xolo. Their hairless bodies are sensitive to extreme weather conditions, so housetraining in the winter can be a challenge. Crate training usually works the best, as Xolos like to have their own personal space and will be less inclined to mess in that space.
Owners can tend to be overprotective of their Xolo because of their attachment to their favorite people. But too much coddling and treating a Xolo like a baby rather than a dog can lead to behavioral problems, or in the smaller Xolos, little dog syndrome. Xolos are not “yappy” or “snappy” dogs, but they can be bossy and pushy if not trained properly.
People who work long hours may not be suited for a Xoloitzcuintli, who thrives on being around people. Xolos who are left alone all day have been known to try and climb or dig their way out of the house. Long walks and a companion pet can often reduce a Xolo’s separation anxiety.
Xoloitzcuintlis requires structure and consistency in their lives and can become agitated or upset when their schedule changes abruptly. Owners who can keep a regular feeding, playing and walking schedule will get along wonderfully with a Xoloitzcuintli.