The dog commonly known as the Mexican hairless actually is called the Xoloitzcuintli. Yeah, it's not hard to figure out why the nickname is more popular. The Xoloitzcuintli and Chinese Crested lack body hair, but there are differences between the breeds beside ease of pronunciation.
Mexican Hairless or Xoloitzcuintli
Xoloitzcuintli is pronounced show-low-eats-queen-tlee, according to the American Kennel Club. Xolos may be toy, miniature or standard in size, with or without hair. Toy Xolos range from 10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder, miniatures from 14 to 18 inches, and standards from 18 to 23 inches high. The hairless Xolo has tough skin, with coarse hair on the end of the tail, legs and top of the head. The dog's head might be wrinkled. Xolos with hair have a smooth, short coat over the entire body. Xolos are dark, ranging from black to bronze, although they may have small amounts of white.
Chinese crested canines come in hairless and powderpuff versions, the latter with a soft, double coat resembling that cosmetic item. The skin of the hairless crested is extremely smooth. Even the hairless type has fine, silky hair on the head (the so-called crest), legs and the long plume of a tail. The American Kennel Club standard allows any colors for the Chinese crested. They are toy dogs, maturing between 11 and 13 inches tall at the shoulder. Hairless and powderpuff Chinese crested puppies often are littermates.
Although both dogs make good companions, the Chinese crested tends to the playful side, while the Xolo is more aloof. Both breeds get along well with cats and other dogs. If you have kids or kids visit a lot, the Chinese crested might be the better choice, as she's more outgoing and always up for games. Both breeds need only moderate exercise, so a walk around the block every day suits their needs. Neither should be left outdoors for any length of time.
If you're allergic to dogs but want a canine companion, either of the hairless types of Xolo or Chinese crested could fill the bill, but neither is truly hypoallergenic as they do have some hair. It also could be dander rather than hair that causes the allergic reaction, so check with your doctor first to find out exactly what sets off your allergies.
While you don't have to groom a hairless dog, the lack of hair means you must protect him from the elements. During hot weather, you must use sunscreen to protect your dog from sunburn, while in cold weather he needs a sweater or coat to keep him warm. These dogs need regular baths. Without them, they are prone to acne and blackheads, just like teenage kids. If your dog suffers from zits, take him to the vet for canine acne treatment.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.