AKC Breed Standard
Accepted June 20, 2004 - Effective January 1, 2009
I. General Appearance: The Xolo is an ancient, natural breed, molded by evolution rather than selective breeding. A Xolo is moderate in all aspects of type and conformation, never extreme or overdone. Today the breed serves as a guard and companion. The Xolo possesses a clean, graceful outline, equally combining elegance and strength. There are two varieties, hairless and coated, identical except for coat and dentition. In the hairless variety, the principal characteristic is the total or almost total absence of hair. The coated variety is covered by a short, flat coat. In conformation, all three sizes are lean, sturdy, well muscled with a spacious ribcage, and moderate bone. The Xolo outline is rectangular, and the distance from the elbow to ground is equal to, or slightly greater than the distance from the withers to the elbow. Typical Xolo temperament is calm, tranquil, aloof and attentive.
II. Size, Proportion, Substance: Height is measured at the highest point of the withers. Toy: Height at withers at least ten, and up to and including 14 inches. Miniature: Height at withers over 14 inches, and up to and including 18 inches. Standard: Height at withers over 18 inches, and up to and including 23 inches. Dogs less than 10 inches, or over 24 inches are disqualified.
The body is slightly longer than height, in a 9/10 ratio measured from the point of the shoulder blade to the end of the rump. Medium, oval shaped bone is desirable. All three sizes exhibit moderately balanced proportions, and appear strong, sturdy, and well covered with smooth, flat muscle, but never coarse, heavy or over-muscled.
III. Head Expression: Thoughtful and intelligent, vivacious, conveying the noble and faithful character of the breed, will show distinctive brow wrinkles when at attention. Eyes are almond shaped, medium size, neither sunken nor protruding. The color varies from yellow to black, the darker being preferred, but lighter color is acceptable. Both eyes must be of the same color. The eye rims may be less pigmented on light colored dogs. Light or spotted eye rims are tolerated but not preferred. Ears Large, elegant and expressive, a thin delicate texture, tapering to a rounded tip. Ears are set high and carried strongly erect when alert. Ears not standing erect by one year of age are a fault. The Xolo should never exhibit ear fringe. Cropping is prohibited. Skull is wedge shaped, when seen from above, wide and strong, gradually tapering to the muzzle. Excessively wide or narrow heads are a fault. Skull and muzzle planes are parallel. Stop is not pronounced. Muzzle: is longer than skull, straight when viewed in profile. The lower jaw is strong and well developed, free from throatiness. Nose is dark on dark colored dogs, lighter on light colored dogs. Lips are thin and tight. Bite: Scissors bite. In the hairless variety, the absence of premolars is acceptable. Complete set of incisors preferred but lack thereof is not to be penalized. In the coated variety, complete dentition is required.
IV. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck is long, elegant, slightly arched, blending smoothly into the shoulders. In dogs less than one year of age, wrinkled skin may be present. In adults, the skin on the neck is smooth and dry, without wrinkles. Topline is level with slight arch over loin. Body is well developed. The brisket should reach to point of elbow. The ribcage is deep and oval, of good length, with sufficient ribspring to produce a rounded shape, but never barrel shaped. The loin is muscular, with a smooth underline showing a slight tuck up. Back is level and firm. Croup is well muscled, slightly rounded, and broad. It should not be flat or steeply angled. Tail is set low, continuing smoothly off the angle of the croup, long and fine, reaching to the hock. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried in a graceful curve, but not over the back. It is held down in a relaxed position when the dog is at rest. A short or curled tail is a serious fault.
V. Forequarters: Shoulders are covered with smooth muscle, long and sloping. Shoulder blades are flat and well laid back. Upper Arm (humerus) is equal or slightly longer than scapula, angled to place the forelegs well under the body. Elbows are firm and tight, allowing for reach but not so loose to as to allow for elbowing out, nor so tight as to create toeing in or out. Legs are long, straight, and parallel, when viewed from all sides, set well under the body to allow a long stride. Pasterns are flexible, strong and straight, turning neither in nor out. Feet are harefeet, webbed, with well-arched toes. Thin soft pads, splayed feet or rounded feet are a serious fault. Toenails are to be dark on dark colored dogs, light on light colored dogs. Dewclaws may be removed.
VI. Hindquarters: The Xolo possesses moderate rear angulation, in balance with the forequarters. The bones of the first and second thigh are approximately equal in length, and the combined angle should place the front edge of the back paw directly under the rearmost point of the pelvis with the hock perpendicular. Legs are straight and well muscled. Stifle is moderately bent. Hocks are short, sturdy and straight, turning neither in nor out. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet are the same as the front feet.
VII. Coat: The principal characteristic of the hairless variety is the absence of hair, however a small amount of short, coarse hair is permitted on the top of the head, the feet, and the last third of the tail to the tip. The absence of hair in those areas is not to be penalized. Hair on any other areas is a serious fault. Hair may be any color. The skin is tough, protective, smooth and close fitting. Moderate head wrinkles are permitted but loose or wrinkled skin on the body is a fault. The coated variety is completely covered with a short, smooth, close fitting coat. Long, soft or wavy hair is a serious fault in either variety.
VIII.Color: A dark, uniform color is preferred, ranging from black, gray black, slate, to red, liver or bronze, although white spots and markings are permitted.
IX. Gait: The movement is a free and effortless at a fast trot, with good reach and drive. Legs will converge towards a centerline of gravity as speed increases.
X. Temperament: Typical Xolo temperament is calm, tranquil, aloof and attentive.
Xolos under ten or over24 inches in height, measured at the highest point of the withers. Cropped ears.
WHAT I WOULD LIKE JUDGES TO KNOW. . . .
(from Mrs. Kathy Lawson, Judges’ Education Coordinator for the Xoloitzcuintli Club of America (the AKC-sanctioned Parent Club)
1. The Xoloitzcuintli is a primitive breed – not created nor manipulated by Man until recently. Most especially this is not a breed that was designed for a purpose, neither as a hunting dog, nor as a companion dog. Circumstances allowed natives to capitalize on the dog’s natural abilities – as a watchdog/early warning system, and at a very basic level. . . . .as food.
2. At first glance, a primitive moderate balanced and graceful animal is what should be seen.
3. From the tip of its nose to the end of its tail, the Xolo should be a series of graceful curves – smooth transitions with no sharp corners nor dramatic rises or falls. Nothing should distract the eye from the overall grace of the animal.
4. All three sizes are judged by the SAME STANDARD – whether Toy, Miniature or Standard, the angles, muscling, head and tail should all be the same. It is more difficult to breed a correct Toy head, but nonetheless that is what is required.
Now starting with the head, it should be a wedge from the side and the top – that does NOT mean a triangle. There should be fill from under the eyes to the muzzle – no chiseling, thus creating a solid wedge. When viewed from the side, a slight stop rather than well-defined – again keeping to the solid wedge look. Muzzle is to be LONGER than skull – visibly longer! Ears need to be erect by the time they are a year old – and should be large and expressive. The correct earset is with the tips of the ears at eleven and one o’clock. Large ears are highly desirable, especially correctly held. The large, expressive ears are also exceedingly mobile – an evolutionary advantage in the jungle to enhance hearing. Unlike most other breeds, Xolos can – and often do – have ears at completely different positions, ie. one up, and one back, or one folded to the side, while the other is completely forward. A well-developed underjaw without excessive skin around the mouth is correct. A bad bite, including undershot, overshot or wry, is a fault – even if the dog is missing teeth, the jaws must be aligned correctly. Although the standard says that full dentition is required in the coated, since most coated are the result of hairless to hairless breedings – it’s not uncommon to have missing premolars. If the coated that is missing teeth excels in all other breed-type features. . . . .it is still worthy of consideration, especially since coateds have only recently been allowed (and only in the US) into the show ring.
The head should blend smoothly into the neck with a natural arch, not one created by handling. Well-placed and well-angled shoulders will create a nice length of neck. There should not be an abrupt angle where the neck meets the body, again it should flow smoothly. Correctly placed shoulders properly angled to place the forelegs under the body can be difficult to find, and should be rewarded when possible. There should be fill between the front legs, muscled not fat, and front legs should be strong and straight. The brisket should reach to the point of elbow, from the side – neither barreled nor slabsided – but with sufficient spring and heartroom, a deep and oval ribcage.
The topline on a Xolo can be a bit confusing. . . . . The back portion of the topline (from withers to the last rib) should be straight to the horizontal. The loin, from the last rib to the croup, should have a slight flexible rise. The croup should be at the same level as the withers – neither high in the withers, nor in the croup. Extending from the croup, without any hard angles, is where the tail should be set – continuing that graceful curve following out behind the dog. Rear angulation should be moderate – sufficient bend and length of stifle for the dog to stack with the hocks perpendicular to the ground and feet on the ground, rather than standing “on tippy toes”. Overall build of the dog should be consistent throughout – neither lighter nor heavier in front or in rear. Again moderate is the best description of the Xoloitzcuintli.
The Xoloitzcuintli movement is an effortless, ground-covering trot – with free reach and drive. . . . .in ALL THREE SIZES. The Toy may be smaller – but still has the same ground-covering movement, with reach and drive. The topline while moving should exhibit strength, and the flexible rise of the loin may flatten at a full clip. As the dog increases in speed, the head may lower and the topline corresponding flatten out.
As to skin, coat and color – all colors are acceptable – dark and solid colors are preferred. The other colors should not be penalized. An overall solid matte colored dog is unlikely – since these dogs acquire their coloration from tanning the way people do, there should be gradation of color under the tail, and under the elbows as well as a few other areas. There is only ONE acceptable coat type – short, smooth and close-fitting. A correctly coated Xolo will often appear hairless from a distance. The skin of the Xolo is actually hide – not a patent-leather, shiny finish. One of the main differences between Xolos and Chinese Cresteds is the quality of the skin – it is far more durable and less inclined to scratches and injury in the Xoloitzcuintli.
The temperament of the Xoloitzcuintli, not unlike that of other primitive breeds, is seldom open and friendly. Far more often you will find them to be aloof, and wary of strangers. Aggression is neither normal, nor tolerated – but don’t be dismayed by a disinterested attitude.
In closing, some important things to keep in mind:
STANDARDS ARE JUDGED ONLY ON THE GROUND;
MINIATURES AND TOYS ARE JUDGED ONLY ON THE TABLE.
As a primitive breed, they were either the hunter or the hunted – consequently, movement is crucial. A well-built Xolo should be able to cover ground effortlessly, with balance and grace.
THREE SIZES, TWO COATS;
ONE BREED STANDARD