A fun fact about Cinco de Mayo is that this Mexican holiday is rarely acknowledged in Mexico, but is widely celebrated in the United States. Americans have observed the holiday since the 1960s when Mexican-American activists wanted a day set aside to honor their Mexican culture. In recognition of this special day spotlighting the Central American country, we’re shining the light on five fascinating dog breeds that hail from Mexico.
One of the tiniest dog breeds, the Chihuahua is a national symbol of Mexico, with its name originating from a northern state of the same name. While the Chihuahua typically weighs no more than six pounds, this breed has a big personality. Known for being smart and sassy, they are headstrong and have mastered the art of manipulation with their combination of intelligence and cuteness. For this reason, early and proper training is necessary. Chihuahuas are also fast learners and very sporty dogs, making them natural agility competitors.
This difficult-to-pronounce dog breed has a hairless and coated variety and spans three different sizes—toy, miniature, and standard. Pronounced “show-low-eats-queent-lee,” Xoloitzcuintlis are among the world’s oldest breeds, with archeological findings dating back 3,000+ years. In ancient times, this dog breed was thought to have healing powers and could protect homes from evil spirits. These beliefs originated from “Xolos” always being warm to the touch, with a thick hide resistant to injury. They are very calm dogs known for loyalty, protectiveness, gracefulness, and intelligence.
Known as the Mexican Pit Bull, the Chamuco’s muscular build and intense disposition have made it a central character in Mexican folklore and urban legends. Chamucos are known for being brave, confident, and protective, but their aggressive nature requires proper training to be household pets. They can be extremely loving family dogs that serve as great protectors due to their natural guard dog instincts. Sadly, Chamucos are near extinction today due to illegal breeding since these dogs were often bred for the sole purpose of fighting.
Despite their name, Chinese Crested dogs originated from Mexico as a descendant of the Mexican Hairless dog. This playful and cheerful toy breed is a favorite lap dog that enjoys staying close to its owner and providing loving companionship. There are two varieties of Chinese Crested dogs, Powderpuff and Hairless, with Hairless being the dominant trait and, therefore, more popular. Making this dog breed unique is its love of heights, which often draws comparison to cats with their desire to jump to higher ground.
A rare Mexican breed, the Calupoh is better known as the Mexican Wolfdog due to being part wolf. Those lucky enough to own one often use them as sheepdogs, cattle dogs, and guard dogs due to their impressive endurance, agility, and territorial instincts. The elongated legs of the Calupoh help them reach impressive speeds, with an appearance reminiscent of German Shepherds. Their stable temperament makes them easy to train and socialize, making them excellent family dogs.
Cultural holidays always represent a great opportunity to celebrate heritage, including the cherished pets that hail from that culture. Contact your veterinarian if you are considering adopting any of these Mexican breeds and have questions about their temperament or common health issues.