Saturday, February 4, 2012

Someone Get This Dog a Coat: The Show-Low

(WKC photo)

Now that you’ve read the title, you will never be at a loss for syllables when identifying this unique dog. The Xoloitzcuintli (actually pronounced “show-low-eats-queen-tley” - gesundheit) is the national dog of Mexico – and has no hair! In fact, you may have heard of it as the Mexican Hairless, but someone decided that name didn’t have enough gravitas, so Show-Low it became. Maybe the pup’s PR manager had the right idea, because after more than 3000 years of showing evil spirits the door, the Xolo is now showing its stuff at Westminster this year (more than 50 years after being dropped by the AKC for rarity and perceived extinction).

"I love your eyebrows.
We'll call them Frida and Kahlo"
Name the movie.

Xolos remain relatively unchanged from the naturally selected state of its ancient breed native to Central America. In addition to its likeness found on 2-3000 year-old pottery and its carcass served on Aztec banquet tables, the Xolo was widely thought to possess magical powers – not only in the primitive cultures from which their likenesses can be found in but also today as healers of asthma and other ailments.  I suspect it’s the lack of hair that helps to clear up the owner’s breathing problems right quick rather than an actual mystical power. Others are less impressed by their mysterious powers except those to incite violent reaction about its appearance. 
Even the most ardent admirers of the Xolo concede that the dog is plug-ugly. One description of this hairless canine of ancient lineage, a national treasure in its native Mexico, characterizes the Xolo as a hot water bottle with pig eyes, bat ears and a rat tail. That is being polite.  NYT 
While dog hair and mismatched socks are the bane of my existence, I don’t think I’d want a dog without hair. It seems kind of creepy and unnatural – like having both matching and dog-hair-free socks.

Far be it for my feelings on the furless to refute the fitness of the Xolo as a family pet, however. To better understand the finer points of the pooch, the Xolo Club of America has a really good “A.K.C. Standard Visualization” which helps explain where and what the judges look for in this specific breed. It includes this tidbit on its temperament: 
Typical Xolo temperament is calm, tranquil, aloof, and attentive. Expression is thoughtful, intelligent, vivacious, showing the breed’s noble and faithful character.
Sounds like an excellent companion dog! But don’t be fooled. Xolo puppies are loud and obnoxious (paraphrased from Wikipedia article) for the first two years.  I should mention here that it’s been my experience that most puppies are loud and obnoxious for the first two years – except maybe my sister-in-law’s Havanese.  

And while there are three acceptable sizes of Xolos, like the Poodle, toys, miniature, and standard, there is only one group for the breed judging.  Look for one of the ten Xolos registered to win Best of Breed and compete for Best of Group on Monday night in the Non-Sporting group as well.

Nothing compares to a good diagram.
Check this one out, large.

1 comment:

Ezdeins said...

Show-Low sounds nice :) I low my xolo :) thanks for Standard Visualization (: