Are These Mexican Dog Breeds Really Mystical Guardians of The Beyond?

As the amber leaves of October cascade down, whispering tales of the mystical and the unknown, we find ourselves drawn into stories that tingle our spines and tickle our curiosities. This Halloween, let’s traverse through the enchanting realms of Mexican folklore, where two native dog breeds, the petite Chihuahua and the ancient Xoloitzcuintli, weave a tapestry of tales that bridge the earthly and the spectral.

Mexican Dog Breeds

The Chihuahua: A Petite Guardian with a Grand Spiritual Legacy

The Chihuahua, a breed synonymous with the Mexican state bearing its name, is not merely a charming companion but a creature believed to traverse between our world and the spiritual beyond. The breed, with roots potentially tracing back to the ancient Toltecs and later embraced by the Aztecs, was often more than a pet; it was a spiritual entity.

Mexican Dog Breeds - Chihuahua

Historical accounts suggest that the Chihuahua, possibly descended from the Techichi, was believed to guide departed souls on their journey to the afterlife, safeguarding them through the mystical realms beyond death. The Aztecs held a potent belief that the spirit of a Chihuahua, once sacrificed, would guide the soul of a deceased noble through the afterlife, acting as a protector and guide through the spiritual world.

In contemporary times, stories still flutter about, suggesting that these petite canines possess the ability to perceive the unseen. In Japan, a Chihuahua named “Conan” captured hearts as he mimicked prayer rituals at a Buddhist temple, becoming a symbol of spiritual comfort and connection for many.

The Xoloitzcuintli: A Hairless Whisperer of Ancient Secrets

The Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo, is a breed that whispers tales of ancient times and spiritual voyages. With over 3,000 years of history in Mexico and strong ties to Aztec, Maya, and Colima civilizations, the Xolo is a living relic of ancient beliefs and practices.

Mexican Dog Breeds - The Xoloitzcuintli

The Aztecs revered the hairless Xoloitzcuintli dog as not just a companion but a sacred guardian, believing that these noble dogs safeguarded souls on their journey to Mictlán, the underworld. The Xolos were often sacrificed and buried alongside their owners, symbolizing their role as protectors against malevolent spirits and guides to eternal peace.

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In modern-day Mexico City, during the vibrant and soulful Día de Muertos parade, Xolos are often adorned with marigold flowers and celebrated as spiritual entities, leading processions and symbolizing the enduring connection between the living and the departed.

In popular culture, the Xolo has been celebrated as a spiritual guide, such as in the animated film “Coco,” where a Xolo named Dante guides the protagonist, Miguel, through the Land of the Dead, reflecting the breed’s historical and spiritual significance.

Paws As You Reflect On This Ancient Mexican Lore

Mexican Dog Breeds

In the cozy glow of the jack-o’-lantern’s light, perhaps we can find a moment to glance at our four-legged companions and wonder about the unseen worlds they might perceive. Whether it’s the soft, watchful eyes of a Chihuahua or the gentle, protective presence of a Xolo, these breeds offer a warm, comforting presence amidst the playful spookiness of the season.


What breed of canine comes from Mexico?

Notable dog breeds originating from Mexico include the Chihuahua, Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog), and the Mexican Pitbull.

What type of animal is a Mexican hairless?

The Mexican hairless dog is known as the Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo for short. It’s a breed of dog that is well-known for its lack of fur, and it comes in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard.

What is the national dog of Mexico?

The Xoloitzcuintli is recognized as the national dog of Mexico, celebrated for its ancient lineage and cultural significance in Mexican history.

What made jaguars so revered in Mesoamerican cultures?

Jaguars were revered in Mesoamerican cultures due to their symbolic associations with strength, power, and the mysteries of the night. They were often linked with deities and were believed to have the ability to move between the worlds of the living and the dead.

What are the most popular breeds of dog to own in Mexico?

Some of the most popular dog breeds in Mexico include the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Chihuahua, Boxer, and the Poodle.

Did Frida Kahlo have a dog, if so what kind?

Yes, Frida Kahlo had several dogs. She was particularly fond of Xoloitzcuintlis and kept a few of them in her home, which also became a frequent motif in her paintings.

What is a Techichi?

The Techichi was an ancient, small, and compact dog breed that was kept by the Toltecs and later the Aztecs. It is believed to be an ancestor or relative of the modern Chihuahua, and it was associated with various religious and cultural practices, including guiding the dead to the afterlife. The transition from Techichi to Chihuahua is thought to have involved the introduction of small hairless dogs from Asia, which were brought to the Americas by Spanish traders. The interbreeding of these dogs with the Techichi gave rise to the modern Chihuahua, which retains some physical characteristics reminiscent of its ancient predecessor, albeit with notable differences in size and appearance.

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