5 Must-See Mexican Dog Breeds – Dogs From Mexico

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There are several countries that have blessed the world with incredible dog breeds. Newfoundland gave us the Labrador Retriever and Germany gave us the German Shepherd.

Mexico, which has already gifted the world with its amazing culture, food, people, and goods, decided to honor us with five amazing dog breeds. Several of these breeds may be new to you, while others you’ve seen in movies, at the dog park, and at your local pet store.

Getting To Know The Breeds

If you’ve ever taken the time to glance over a general list of dog breeds, you may find yourself overwhelmed by just how many there are. Especially nowadays with the rise in new breeds like the Goldendoodle, the Cockapoo, and the Chorgi, there’s no telling where the list will end.

So where do all of those dog breeds come from? Many of the breeds originated in Europe and Asia, while others were developed in Australia and the United States.

Surprisingly, only five breeds originate in Mexico. Some of these breeds you’ve definitely heard of, while others may be completely new to you.

In the following sections, we are going to introduce you to the Chihuahua, Chamuno, Xoloitzcuintli, Calupoh, and the Chinese Crested. Each of these dogs has a unique history, with most of these breeds having originated thousands of years ago.

Chihuahua

Chihuahua close up

We wanted to start our list off with a dog we all know and love. The Chihuahua is arguably the most popular Mexican dog breed and has even had some marketing fame as the mascot for Taco Bell.

They’re a compact, quirky, and loving breed. Despite their small size, they have plenty of attitude and are fearless when it comes to asserting themselves against bigger animals.

They are great for apartment dwellers and are small enough to fit in most tote bags. They’re definitely the kind of dog you can take anywhere with you.

6 Chihuahua Facts

  1. Chihuahuas are known for being what some might call “yappy”. They aren’t easily intimidated and are a lot of spirit and attitude in a tiny package. Whether they’re facing down a cat or a Rottweiler, don’t expect the Chihuahua to keep their thoughts to themselves.
  2. There are many options when it comes to a Chihuahua’s appearance. They can be bred with long hair or short hair, and come in almost any color. They are small and weigh less than 6 pounds, on average.
  3. Even though the Chihuahua is a well-known breed, the origins of the dog are not entirely clear. Images of the breed have been found on artifacts from across the world, so it’s difficult to pinpoint how the breed originally ended up in Mexico.
  4. The Chihuahua, Gidget, was made famous as the Taco Bell dog. Other Chihuahuas have made cameos in movies and shows like “Sex and the City” and “Legally Blonde.” Their popularity among celebrities started in the early 1940s and they have been owned by some of today’s celebrities, such as Demi Moore and Madonna.
  5. These dogs are great for first-time dog owners and are ideal for those living in urban areas. Their small size makes them great roommates options for those in apartment buildings and townhomes.
  6. Despite their affectionate nature, these dogs do require regular training to keep them in line. They respond well to training that involves treats and can even be taught to run an agility course.

Chamuco

Chamuco - Mexican Dog Breed

This dog breed is quite possibly the rarest on our list, partly because their breeding is often performed in secret. Unfortunately, these dogs are often used as fighting dogs because of their ferocious nature and temperament.

They share genetic traits with the American Pit Bull, including the recognizable pit bull appearance. The Chamuco has earned a fearful reputation and is a common character in folklore.

Despite their ferocious reputation and the fighting they are often forced to endure, they are sweet dogs that can thrive when raised in a loving and nurturing environment.

6 Chamuco Facts

  1. With a name that translates to “The Devil” in Spanish, it’s pretty clear that the Chamuco has a fierce reputation. They are a rare, likely due to the secretive nature of their breeding. These dogs are primarily bred for illegal dog fighting, which is probably the reason for their aggressive temperament.
  2. These dogs resemble the American Pit Bull closely in appearance as well as general genetics. They are muscular and have an almost squatty appearance, with a large square head and trunk-like legs.
  3. You won’t commonly find the Chamuco acting as a house pet. The Chamuco has earned a bad reputation because of illegal dogfighting, so you won’t be able to purchase one at a pet store. This is unfortunate since Chamucos can be great nurturing pets with proper training and socializing.
  4. For obvious reasons, these dogs are excellent guard dogs. They’re confident and protective of their families and have an uncanny ability to read the actions of strangers and react accordingly.
  5. Their coat comes in a variety of colors including white, brown, and black, with patches of color on the chest. They were developed by cross-breeding multiple dogs, including Mexican wild strays. Some believe up to seven or more dog breeds may have gone into the breeding of the Chamuco.
  6. It’s unfortunate that the Chamuco has earned such a bad reputation. Of course, the majority of that reputation stems from their role in dogfighting. Despite the reputation, the Chamuco is protective and devoted to their families, including children. In a loving environment, they can be friendly and affectionate. Image Credit

Xoloitzcuintli

Xoloitzcuintli - Mexican Dog Breed

We’re going to spend some time discussing one of the most iconic Mexican dog breeds – the Xoloitzcuintli. Try saying that three times fast! This dog is perfect for those who struggle with allergies and for those looking for an affectionate addition to their family.

This breed is smart, strong, and has roots that date back to the Aztecs. Their hairless skin gives them an easily recognizable appearance. They are strong, smart, and are great family protectors.

6 Xoloitzcuintli Facts

  1.  The Xoloitzcuintli goes by several names, including “Xolo” and the more commonly known name, the Mexican Hairless Dog.
  2. It may surprise most to know that the Xolo can be born with fur. The fur of a Xolo is short and unlike most dogs, does not always cover the entire body. The most popular Xolo is the hairless, of course, and it is the most recognizable.
  3. The Xolo has been around for thousands of years and has developed over time into a hardy breed with few health problems. The cause for their robust health has a lot to do with the lack of human intervention in their breeding. The Xolo is proof that Mother Nature knows what she’s doing.
  4. Because Xolos are either hairless or almost entirely hairless, they are hypoallergenic and great for allergy sufferers. Their breed consists of three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. If you’re in need of a dog with little hair because of allergies, then the Xolo is an excellent choice, and you’re sure to find the size that fits your lifestyle best.
  5. The Xoloitzcuintli name comes from the Aztecs, who believed the Xolo was sacred. The name is derived from the Aztec god of lightning and death. This ancient breed has been found in the ancient tombs of the Mayans, Aztecs, and other historic civilizations. Their breed is believed to be at least 3,500 years old.
  6. These pups love their families and are very affectionate. They are active and require regular exercise and mental stimulation. They’re also great protectors. It was once believed that Xolo’s warded off evil spirits, so that’s a plus!

Calupoh

Black Calupoh - Mexican Dog Breed

The Calupoh is a historic Mexican dog breed whose breeding dates back centuries. The Calupoh is a wolf-dog hybrid that was developed early in the pre-Hispanic years of Mexico, and it wasn’t until the 1990s that the first Calupoh was documented.

The genetic project working to maintain this breed has been ongoing since the 1990s, and it is considered a cultural Mexican symbol. See below for several interesting facts about the Calupoh.

6 Calupoh Facts

  1. The Calupoh is a very rare Mexican dog Breed. They are also one of the most interesting! The Calupoh is a gray wolf-hybrid and its origins date back to pre-Hispanic Mexico up to the 15th century. An intensive genetic project began in the 1990s in order to keep the breed alive within Mexican culture.
  2. The Calupoh has the general appearance of a wolf. They have long strong legs to help them reach high speeds and a strong well-developed skull and neck. The average male Calupoh stands around 30 inches tall. They have double-layered coats, and the most common fur colors are black, with white or brown spots on the chest or paws.
  3. These dogs have been bred to serve several roles. Calupoh’s have worked as herding dogs, livestock protectors, and as general companions.
  4. The Calupoh, despite its wolf-breeding, is surprisingly well-tempered. They are loyal and devoted to their owners and play well with other dogs within the family. However, they can be wary of strangers and it’s highly recommended that they receive plenty of socializing while young.
  5. Breeding these dogs is not a simple task. One of the most common genetic faults from improper breeding is pink colored lips and eyelids.
  6. The history of the Calupoh and its cultural impact is one of the most unique qualities of this dog. Based on research, it appears that the breeding was intentional, even during the early centuries. Remains of the Calupoh have been found in temples, including the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramid of the Moon. Their remains were also worn by the elite, indicated that these dogs held some level of spiritual importance. Image Credit

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested prancing

I’m going to go ahead and stop you because I know what you’re thinking. Yes, the Chinese Crested is on this list of Mexican dog breeds on purpose.

It is believed that the Chinese Crested was originally derived from the Xoloitzcuintli, one of Mexico’s most ancient dog breeds. The Chinese Crested has a surprising look and has won awards because of its appearance alone.

Since the Chinese Crested is derived from a Mexican dog breed, and has really rooted itself in China, I guess you could call this breed multicultural.

6 Chinese Crested Facts

  1. The current theory is that the first Chinese Crested dogs were likely imported to China from Mexico, where continued breeding led to the Chinese Crested that we know today. You’ll notice that the Chinese Crested shares some of the same qualities of the Xolo, including an almost entirely hairless body.
  2. The Chinese Crested spent much of its time in the 14th century on Chinese ships. They may not be much to look at now, but they had a very important job back then. They helped prevent the spread of the Bubonic Plague by hunting rats aboard ships.
  3. These dogs love to stick to their owners like glue. They’re not a fan of the outdoors and prefer to sit in the lap of their owner for most of the day. This makes them ideal for older dog owners who tend to stay indoors.
  4. The Chinese Crested is also an award winner! A Chinese Crested named Sam won the title of the World’s Ugliest Dog for three years in a row. Talk about something to brag about, right?
  5. Unlike other dogs, the Chinese Crested actually has sweat glands, so they don’t need to constantly pant to cool off.
  6. There are two varieties of the Chinese Crested: the Powderpuff and the Hairless. Powderpuffs are the rarer of the two types and have silky coats. The hairless, the most popular and well-known, has almost no hair except for a few sparse tufts of hair.

Summary

We’re glad we have been able to help you make friends with some new breeds! Mexican dog breeds are interesting with their unique ancient backgrounds, appearances, and varying personalities.

Some of them, like the Chihuahua, are known world-wide and have immense popularity among dog owners. However, breeds like the Chamuno have a less positive reputation, despite the reputation stemming from illegal breeding and events outside the control of the dog.

It’s important that these breeds are well-understood and given the proper love they deserve. Sadly, stray dogs are rampant in Mexico and are often mistreated due to a lack of animal control and laws preventing animal abuse.

Dogs like the Chamuno, for example, have proven to be good well-natured dogs when raised in a loving environment. Their notoriety as aggressive fighting dogs have caused them to become rare and nearly extinct as a breed.

These breeds have a lot to offer dog owners. They’re smart, affectionate, and loyal. They’ve got plenty of charisma and many have been around for centuries.

These ancient breeds were viewed as sacred spiritual guides and had a special place in ancient cultures. Who knew that the dog sitting in your lap may very well have been thought to ward off spirits or cure illnesses?

Despite only producing a small number of dog breeds unique to Mexico, for those who own and love these dogs, they’ve been given much more.

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