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Sighthound & Pariah Dog Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The Xoloitzcuintli is a very ancient Latin American breed, dating back to before the time of the Aztec Empire and its existence can be substantiated for as far back as three thousand years. They were held in high esteem by the native Toltec and Mayan civilizations. The Aztecs, however, extended their appreciation of the breed to one of a culinary nature. With the defeat of the Aztecs and their culture by the Spanish, the breed diminished drastically, essentially becoming rare. It is thought the breed was saved from extinction by its adoption by remote, mountain-dwelling Indians. Never entirely forgotten, interest in the breed was eventually revived and it was formally recognized by the FCM (Mexican Kennel Club) in 1956.

The Xoloitzcuintli was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1993.

General Appearance

The Xoloitzcuintli has a clean and graceful outline. Medium bone is ideal; however, bone type should be in proportion to the overall size of the dog. The larger the dog, the more bone that is acceptable; keeping in mind that the breed exhibits an overall view of elegance and of strength. In proportion, the body is longer than it is tall in a ratio of 10:9. Females may be slightly longer than males. There are two varieties: hairless and coated. The hairless variety exhibits a total, or almost total, absence of hair. The coated variety has a complete coat with no thin or bare patches except on the belly and the inside of the rear legs. For UKC conformation events, the hairless and coated varieties are shown together. The breed is, however, divided by size varieties - Toy, Miniature and Standard - for exhibition.


They are naturally calm, happy, and alert, with a thoughtful, intelligent and vivacious expression; all showing the noble and faithful character of the breed. Suspicious towards strangers, the breed makes a good watchdog but is never aggressive. They are unusually silent.


Viewed from above, the head is wedge shaped; broad and strong between the ears, tapering towards the muzzle. The toplines of the skull and muzzle are nearly parallel. The stop is slight, but well defined.


Broadest between the ears, the skull tapers in width towards the eyes. The occipital bone is not prominent. The cheeks are slightly developed.


The muzzle is approximately the same length as the skull. It has a straight nasal bone and strong, well-developed upper and lower jaws. The lips are tight and close fitting.


The bite is scissors or level. A full complement of teeth is required in the coated variety. In the hairless variety, misaligned or missing teeth are not to be penalized. The tongue may have black markings, spots or stripes. The tongue should not show when the mouth is closed.

Disqualifications: Undershot or overshot jaws.


The medium size, almond shaped eyes have an alert, intelligent expression. Eye color ranges from yellow to a very dark brown, depending on the color of the skin. Darker eyes are preferred. Both eyes are to be of the same color.

The eyelid pigment will be dark on dark dogs, and self colored or light on self-colored or light dogs.

Disqualifications: Blue eyes or flecks of blue in the eyes.


The nose is dark in dark dogs, brown or pink in bronze and blond dogs, and spotted as the rest of the body only in spotted dogs.


In the hairless dogs, the ears are long, large, elegant and of fine texture. They are held erect when the dog is alert. In the coated dogs, the ears are the same as in the hairless variety except that they may be erect or dropped, but erect is preferred. Both ears must be in the same position when the dog is alert.

Disqualifications: Cropped ears. Dropped ears in the hairless variety.


The long neck is slim, flexible, arched, and carried high. The skin is firm, elastic and close fitting, without dewlap. Puppies show folds which disappear with age.


There is good angulation of the shoulder blade and upper arm, to allow for a long, free and elegant stride. The musculature is flat and clean.


The forelegs are straight and perpendicular, with the elbows held close to the chest.


The chest is long, deep and fairly wide, descending to the elbows. The point of the sternum should not protrude. The ribs are slightly sprung. The topline is perfectly straight and level. The loin is strong and muscular. The croup slopes at an angle of approximately 40 degrees off the horizontal. The abdomen is well muscled and there is a moderate tuck up.


The hindquarters are strong and well muscled. The angulation of the pelvis, stifle and hock should be adequate to produce free and strong movement of the hind legs.


Seen from behind, the legs are perfectly straight and parallel, and not too close together.

Serious Fault: Cowhocks.


Hare feet, webbed, with strong, well-arched toes. Pads are smooth and strong. Nails are black on dark dogs and lighter on blond or bronze dogs. Short, coarse hairs on the feet of the hairless variety is acceptable. Dewclaws may be removed from both the front and the rear.


The tail is set on as an extension of the croup. It is fine and long, reaching nearly to the hock. At rest, it should hang with a slight hook at the end. It may be carried gaily, but not touching the back. The hairless variety may have a moderate amount of coarse hair on the tail. A fully covered tail is required in the coated variety.

Disqualification: Docked tail.

Coat and Skin

In mature specimens, the skin is clean, without any wrinkles or dewlap. In young dogs, however, wrinkled skin is still present. Hair may be of any color. There are two coat varieties, hairless and coated.

The characteristics of each are:


The principal characteristic of this variety is the general absence of hair, but the presence of a wisp of short, not very dense, hair on the forehead, nape, tail and feet is common. This hair is not soft nor of great length. A very short crest of hair on the top of the skull is acceptable.

Disqualification: Hair on any other areas than the head, ears, neck, tail, and feet.


This variety has hair all over the body, but can be expected to have very little on the belly and the insides of the thighs. A short, flat coat is preferred.


Any color combination is allowed.

Disqualification: Albinism.

Height and Weight

Height ranges, measured at the withers:


from 10 inches up to, and including, 14 inches;


over 14 inches up to, and including, 18 inches;


over 18 inches up to, and including, 23 inches.


At a fast trot, movement is free, effortless and springy, with head and tail carried high. As speed increases the dog will tend to single track, but the legs never do incline so far that the feet travel in a single line.

Eliminating Faults

(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.)
Dogs under 10 inches or over 24½ inches in height.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Extreme viciousness or shyness.
Undershot or overshot jaws.
Blue eyes or flecks of blue in the eyes.
Cropped ears.
Dropped ears in the hairless variety.
Docked tail.

Please Note

In UKC Conformation Shows, this breed is shown by variety in this order: Toy, Miniature, Standard.

UKC Breed Standards: Xoloitzcuintli

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Official UKC Breed Standard

Revised July 1, 2009

©Copyright 1993, United Kennel Club