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Aztec dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club

The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show-low-etz-queent-lee) is one of the world’s rarest breeds and is still considered a “healer” in remote Mexican and Central American Villages today.

puppy-training-xoloitzcuintli-threeThe breed comes in three sizes: toy, miniature and standard; and two varieties: hairless and coated, which makes the Xolo ideal for those looking for a dog with more variety.

They serve as an excellent companion for families due to their attentive and calm nature and require moderate exercise and grooming.

One of the world’s oldest and rarest breeds dating back over 3,000 years, the Xolo can justly be called the first dog of the Americas.

Archaeological evidence indicates that Xolos accompanied ancestors of the Aztec Indians when they arrived in Mexico from Asia on their first migrations across the Bering Straits.

Their name is derived from the name of the Aztec Indian god Xolotl and Itzcuintli, the Aztec word for dog. They were highly prized for their loyalty, intelligence, curative and mystical powers. The Xolo of today remains virtually unchanged.

The Aztecs enjoyed the hairless dogs as pets, but also found them useful as bed warmers, food, and sacrificial offerings.

The toasty warm body heat of the toy hairless dogs made them in demand as ancient hot-water bottles, relieving stomach pains and rheumatic joints, or simply for warming beds during cold nights.

The Xoloitzcuintle, Standard and Miniature were recognized by the AKC until 1959, when a lack of registrations and show entries caused it to be dropped.

Also welcomed into the AKC family were the Entlebucher Mountain Dog and the Six-Toed Norwegian Lundehund.

Source: Hispanically Speaking News [January 26, 2011]


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