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EVALUATING THE XOLOITZCUINTLI ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB APPROVED STANDARD FOR THE BREED By Kay Lawson T he Xoloitzcuintli is a study in balanced mod- eration. It’s very impor- tant to remember where these dogs come from. Th ey were not molded
pronounced stop. Some cushioning on the muzzle allows for a true wedge when seen from the front. Eyes should be almond shaped and obliquely set – reflecting again the primitive dog. Th e ears should be large, elegant and expressive – Xolo ears often move independent of each other, since as both predator and prey in the wild they need to maintain constant awareness of their surroundings. In young dogs the ears may not be fully up, however by one year our standard requires that they can be held erect. When the ears are carried fully erect, they make the wrinkling on the forehead pronounced which adds to the intelligent inquisitive look typical of the Xoloitz- cuintli. Excessively wide or narrow heads are a fault. Th e bite should be scissors, with correct alignment even in dogs missing teeth. Lack of underjaw detracts from the strong primitive functionality necessary in this breed. A bulky head with excessive muscling is not correct – these dogs are primitive and do not hearken back to the Molossian dogs of the ancients. Th e nose and eyes should be colored to match the dog, dark preferred. Loose skin around the muzzle, dewlap or anything suggesting, it is not correct. Th e correct Xolo exhibits a strong, slightly arched neck, smoothly muscled and well-set into laid back shoulders blending into the body without any hint of a 90 degree angle. Th e back should be level and firm; the topline should be level with a slight arch – only over the loin. Th e length of body – since the Xolo is to be longer than tall – should be primarily in the ribcage, never in the loin. Th e correct proportion of length to height is 10 to 9 – visually rectangular, but not overwhelm- ingly so. Viewed from the front, they should exhibit a sturdy frame with enough fill in front to prevent any hint of “cathe- dral” chest. Th e bones should be oval for strength. Th e shoulders should be long, sloping and covered with smooth muscle. Th ey should lay flat to the body and be
by the hand of Man to work, or fetch or comfort – although they excel at all of those. Created by Nature’s force, they still retain the cunning and intelligence of what most certainly was the wild canid of the area. All three sizes are noteworthy hunters, anticipatory thinkers, and give heart and soul to whatever desire drives them. In today’s world, that is what makes them devoted guardians, unrivaled per- formers, and extraordinarily good fam- ily pets for those who invest the time and e ff ort it takes to breed true type and raise quality puppies. Th e indigenous people who discovered them living in the jungles did not take these dogs and change them. Th ey accepted the dogs as they were and considered them part of the deities they worshipped. Instead of taking one special trait and breeding dogs to capitalize on that (as with many other breeds), the Indi- ans allowed the breed to become “every dog” – hunter, retriever, herder, laborer, guardian and companion. From the tip of their nose to the end of their tail, the Xolo should be a moderate balanced dog the way Nature intended it to be. Xolos must be able to move e ff ortlessly, not overmus- cled and heavy nor overlight and weedy. Th ey must have stamina and determina- tion. Th eir essence should still reflect the primitive dogs that they are. Th eir bodies should flow from one soft curve to another, without any hard angles or edges, without undue rise or fall. Front angles should be balanced and equal to rear angles. Th e width of the dog in the front should be the same as the width of the dog in the back. Th e head on a Xolo should match the size of the dog’s body. It should be a wedge shape; the muzzle should appear to be slightly longer than the skull without a
Correct Standard Head profile
Adolescent female Standard
Beautiful Toy/shows colorvariation and correct conformation
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well-laid back. Th e legs should be long and straight from the side, and set well under the body. Pasterns are flexible and strong, continuing in a straight line to the foot. A modified hare foot with well-arched toes is the ideal – splay feet or round feet are a fault. Dewclaws may be removed but in keeping with the primitive and natural heritage of this breed may also be retained (in the front only). When viewed from the side, the long sloping shoulder should be equal in length to the upper arm in the ideal dog. Th e ribcage should extend to the point of the elbow. Th e ribcage should be oval for heart and lung room, and consti- tute the great proportion of the dog’s over- all length. A slight muscular tuck-up is desired – it should never resemble that seen in a sighthound. Th e rear quarters should balance with the forequarters – both angles should match. Th e croup should be well- muscled and slightly rounded, with the tail as a continuation of the spine and follow- ing the rounded part of the coup – e ff ec- tively set on below the topline. A moder- ately bent stifle accompanies a moderate length of second thigh – they should be nearly equal in length. Th e hocks are short, sturdy, strong and straight – when prop- erly stacked or the dog standing naturally, there should be a straight vertical line from the rearmost point of the buttocks to the toe of the rear foot. Th e dog should always stand with his hock perpendicular to the ground – a correctly stacked Xolo will not stand with his hock extended, whether to level the topline or give an impression of greater body length. Th e tail should be long enough reach to the hock. It can be carried down at rest, and carried at a grace- ful curve (between 2 and 4 o’clock) when in motion. Th e tail should never be carried completely over the back and a short and/ or curled tail is a serious fault. Th e outer covering of a hairless Xoloitz- cuintli is NOT skin – it is a true hide, as seen in all hairless wild animals. It was a product of the evolutionary changes in the breed and is meant to protect the dog. It is tough and resilient; it actually produces an oil that repels insects and is a natural sunblock. Puppies and young dogs may have wrinkled body skin – adults should not exhibit that wrinkling. Adolescent acne is often seen in
younger dogs and should not extend into adulthood. Hairless Xolos may have some body hair – usually seen on the head, feet and tail. It is coarse, short and should be in keeping with the color of the dog. A dark uniform color is preferred, white spots and markings are permitted. Th e red Xolo was historically revered by the Mayans and oth- er indigenous people, who considered this dog the soul guide to the afterlife. In that tone, another special trait not often seen is the dark dog with light colored toenails. Th at was thought to be something the soul could see more easily. Th e Xoloitzcuintli has enough melanin in their skin to acquire a suntan when the weather permits. Conse- quently, there is no such thing as a totally solid matte colored dog. Th ey will exhibit the same shadings as people – ie, under the the front legs, on the belly, and anywhere not readily available to get sun. Th ere is only one acceptable correct type of coat in the coated Xoloitzcuintli – short, dense, smooth and close-fitting. In the wintertime, the coat may be somewhat thicker – but it still remains close-fitting and tightly covering the dog. It is typical to see an iridescent shine in these coats. As to length, density and texture – run- ning spread fingers backward through the coat will allow you to evaluate length and density. A long coat or a dense undercoat is not desirable. Some of the colors seen in the modern Xoloitzcuintli are prob- ably the result of cross-breeding over the three thousand year history of the breed. We have no disqualification for color, but remember that dark is preferred. If a Xoloitzcuintli appears to be of another breed – whether by conformation or color, it is lacking in correct true Xolo type. Th e Xoloitzcuintli currently comes in three sizes: Toy – 10 up to and including 14" in height, Miniature over 14" and up to and including 18" in height; and Standards over 18" and up to and including 23" in height. Dogs under 10" or over 24" are disqualified. Because of the use of other breeds to create from this natural dog of moderate size both a Toy and a Standard variety, bone weight is also a consideration. Toys will be finer boned, Standards may carry a bit heavier bone – however all three sizes should be a strong and sturdy athletic dog.
Correctly coated 0ini and Toy/shows si]e and coat as well as correct conformation
9ery nice Toy head/correct structure
*ood shot of a Toy movinJ/shows correct reach and drive “There is only one acceptable correct type of coat in the coated Xoloitzcuintli – SHORT, DENSE, SMOOTH AND CLOSE-FITTING .” t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + "/6"3:
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