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13 Mexican Dog Breeds & Other Popular Pups In Mexico

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Last Updated: May 14, 2024 | 13 min read | Leave a Comment

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Mexico is a land full of spices, colors, music, and more. Famous for amazing ancient pyramids, gorgeous beaches, spicy food, and friendly people, the country is full of life and steeped in culture. Mexico is famed for strong drinks, flavorful spicy food, and paradise-like beaches but less known for its dog breeds. Of course, one of the most cherished Mexican dog breeds is the beloved and adorable Chihuahua. But what other breeds come from the land known for its beaches, people, and passion?

The list of native Mexican dog breeds is shorter than one might think. There are a few other breeds that are popular in the country. In Mexico, el perro, the pooch, is a popular pet and a beloved companion. The Xoloitzcuintli is the national dog and the symbol of Mexico City. This ancient breed represents this area’s long love of canines.

Though the list of Mexican dog breeds is small, it has some surprises. Did you know the Chinese Crested is really a Mexican dog breed? Or that Mexico is home to a true wolfdog? “Vamonos,” and get to know the few, yet magnificent, dog breeds from Mexico. To make things easier to find, we are discussing breeds native to Mexico and also some others popular in Mexico. We have these in alphabetical order in both lists to make it easier to find a specific breed.

6 Dog Breeds Native To Mexico

In Mexican art, dogs are often depicted as loyal companions to their human counterparts. In literature, dogs have been used as symbols of loyalty, devotion, bravery, and sacrifice. And in a country of vibrant music, sweet canines have inspired countless songs and ballads, celebrating their loyalty and companionship. There are only a few breeds said to be native to Mexico. Some, like the easily recognizable Chihuahua, are famous, while others are a little more mysterious. Let’s jump in and learn a little more.

Chihuahua

3 little chihuahuas wearing sombrero hats
For Americans, Chihuahuas are almost synonymous with Mexican culture, including Taco Bell commercials.

Chihuahuas are named after the Mexican State of Chihuahua. They are native to this area and are an ancient breed. The Chi, as he is also called, is a descendant of a dog from thousands of years ago named the Techichi. These dogs of the Toltecs were larger-bodied and heavier. When the Aztec empire took over the Toltecs in the 12th century, they bred these dogs to be smaller sized. After the Spanish defeat of the Aztecs in the 16th century, it was believed the tiny breed died out.

In the 19th century, small pups resembling the Techichi were discovered in the state of Chihuahua. These little pups were named after the area and quickly became a big hit in America. They continue to be one of the most popular breeds for many reasons. Their smaller size, unique, adorable appearance, and playful, affectionate personality make the sweet Chi a wonderful pet. These canines may be small, but they have prominent personalities and tend to want to be the boss.

Chihuahuas are tiny, weighing between 6 to 10 pounds. Teacup Chihuahuas will be even smaller. Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed in the world. They only reach 5 to 8 inches tall. Despite their small size, these little pups stay around for a long time, with an expected life span of 14 to 16 years. They can be long or short-haired and come in many colors and patterns. Most will have pointy, well-pronounced ears, large eyes, and very confident personalities. These petite pups are beloved in Mexico and the United States, as well as around the world.

Chinese Crested

Old Chinese crested dog in the summer in the park with long hair in face
Despite the name Chinese Crested, these dogs are also associated with Mexico.

The undeniably unique-looking Chinese Crested may not exactly be the first breed one thinks about from Mexico. However, these tiny tots have Mexican roots. It is believed that Chinese sailors found the little pups on their travels and traded them at ports. They were brought back home, continued to breed, and became quite prevalent. Today they can be found in two varieties: hairless and powder puff. The powder puff variety has long, fluffy fur, while the hairless variety only has a signature hair fluff upon the head.

These pups are fantastic lap dogs and are pretty clingy. They love attention and believe they should always be the center of attention. Cresteds stand out for a very unique appearance. They have a very fine bone structure and are small, only reaching 8 to 12 pounds as adults. The Chinese crested stands out for their substantial, erect ears and large, wide-set eyes. Their eye color usually corresponds to coat color, which can be light or dark. Hairless Cresties also often have fine, smooth tufts of hair called socks on their paws.

Mestizo

Mestizo stray dog walking streets in Mexican town
One of the most popular dogs in Mexico is a mutt rather than a purebred or of a specific bloodline.

The mixed breed, or Mestizo, is extremely loved. The most sought-after kind are small to medium-sized dogs. The country is full of stray, feral, and street dogs, so many find their way into homes as rescue animals. They come in all sizes, colors, and appearances. Often these dogs are a blend of many different breeds, coming together to create unique yet adorable and agreeable companions.

Mexican Pitbull

A pit bull looking happy and proud wearing a Mexican hat and costume
The Mexican Pitbull or Miniature Pitbull has also been called the “secret Mexican dog” breed.

The Chamuco, as they are also named, is an exceedingly rare dog. These smaller pups result from breeding between the now-extinct Mexican Bulldog, American Pitbull Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Pitbull Blue, and in some cases, the Boxer. The breed came about in the 1970s and was named Chamuco, which translates to the devil. The name was meant to represent the dog’s bold appearance and intense, strong personality. Currently, this dog is not recognized by any clubs or organizations.

This pup is also referred to as a secret Mexican breed because it has long been secretly bred for dog fighting. In some places, it is only found as a fighting dog, not a pet. Despite being bred as a fighter, this breed is quite sweet and devoted to his human family. Though the breed loves children, they’re easily excitable and quite wary of other canines, so if you can find one of these pups, they are best kept as the only pet.

Chamucos are small to medium size and reach between 25 and 40 pounds. They have short, smooth coats and often come in white, black, and brown. Ears are high set, with folded tips, and eyes are oval to round in shape. They have a muscular, stocky build with a broad chest, strong front legs, and short tapered tails. These guys look remarkably similar to dogs known as Pitbulls or Bullies.

Mexican Wolfdog

two calupoh dogs sitting outside
Photo Credit: calupoh.com

The Mexican Wolfdog, also called the Calupoh, is the product of breeding between a Mexican Gray wolf and a domestic canine. This is a true hybrid animal. It has yet to be discovered when they first appeared. References to a wolf hybrid have been found in ancient temples, and the breed may hold more significant and spiritual meaning to the culture. Breeders began working officially on the breed in the 1990s, and the Calupoh was recognized as a domesticated canine breed in 1999 by the Federación Canófila Mexicana.

Mexican Wolfdogs are large animals, reaching 80 to 100 pounds or more. They are social animals known for good behavior and being loyal to their human families. This pup is an excellent watchdog and very wary of strangers. These noble pups are hard-working and highly regarded despite being rare.

The Wolfdog stands out for its unique appearance, as does any true wolf hybrid. They are large, with darker colored coats, usually black. Their coats can be full and medium to long. The eyes are typically yellow and very intense. The Calupoh is thought to bring prosperity and good luck.

Xoloitzcuintli

Woman holds her dog xoloitzcuintli on leash who is growling
The Xolo was revered by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans and believed to be a healer and underworld guide.

Also called the Xolo, this breed has ancient roots. Ancient legend says the dog was created by Xoloti, an ancient dog-headed God representing lightning, fire, and death. He created the animal to protect and guard the living and guide the souls of the dead into and through the underworld. Dogs were often buried with their owners, and statues were often placed in tombs and burial sites to help guide the dead on their journey. Along with being symbolic, these dogs were also working dogs and were heavily involved as the civilization in the area grew.

The Xolo is often referred to as the Mexican Hairless dog. There are actually two types, hairless and coated. Each variety comes in three sizes, toy, miniature, and standard. Depending on size, Xolos can weigh between 10 and 55 pounds. They have a lifespan of 13 to 18 years. He is a devoted, calm, very affectionate pup. Xolos can form incredibly close bonds with their special humans.

The Xolo has an incredibly unique appearance. He has a wedge-shaped head, showing deep wrinkles when concentrating. He has large, erect ears and intense eyes. The hairless pooch often lacks incisors or premolars. The coated type usually has a complete set of teeth. The hairless variety is more popular and has smooth, tough skin that may be covered in short, coarse hair on the feet, tail, and head. These are low-shedding, which makes them a top pick in allergenic households.

7 Dog Breeds Popular In Mexico

The breeds of dogs native to Mexico are magnificent and endearing, and some, like the Chihuahua, are quite popular. However, some other popular pups are not native to the country but are highly revered and favored in Mexican culture.

English Bulldog

English bulldog sleeping on dog bed
Once used for bull and dog fighting, the English bulldog is a sweet, slobbery, gentle companion.

Unsurprisingly, the English Bulldog is a popular pet in Mexico. Another flat-faced, wrinkly breed, these pups are easily recognizable all over the world. Though Bulldogs have been present in many different places, it is believed that the English Bulldog first appeared in England around the 13th century. Initially used in bull baiting, those animals were much larger, thicker, and more aggressive than the English Bulldogs we love today.

English Bulldogs make lovely family pets. These guys are very tolerant and affectionate with children and other canines. They do not require much grooming or maintenance but do need regular exercise. Though okay around other canines, be wary of keeping them around cats, as they retain a higher prey drive. This breed is highly independent and somewhat stubborn and may suffer from separation anxiety. This pooch may just be the perfect armchair companion because they never want to leave your side.

The English Bulldog is medium-sized and reaches 60 or more pounds. They stand out for their wrinkly faces and flat skulls. This is another brachycephalic pup that often has health problems if owners do not correctly monitor them. Their flat faces give them an endearing, adorable look. This sweet breed often looks like they always wear a smile.

Labrador Retriever

Lab sleeping on the floor indoors with reflection on the floor
Labradors are incredibly smart and well-natured and have become popular as service and therapy dogs.

Labrador Retrievers are popular all over the world, and the same is true in Mexico. This breed was traced to Canada in the early 1800s, where they worked alongside fishermen. Due to their incredible skill as swimmers, they would also work to ferry messages back and forth between boats. Back then, they were called the St. John’s Newfoundland, the lesser Newfoundland, or the St. John’s dog. These pups work as guide dogs, competitors, search and rescue, assistance dogs, and more. They also work in hospitals alongside doctors and learn to sniff out diseases like cancer.

As pets, there is not a dog one can find that is as agreeable as the Labrador. Labs are incredibly trusting, affectionate, and social. The Lab retains its playful mentality and sense of mischief well into adulthood. The excellent news about Labradors is that they like just about everyone they meet, and almost everyone likes them. They do not make great guards because they tend to make friends with everyone.

Labs are big, weigh between 55 and 90 or more pounds, and live between 10 and 12 years on average. They can come in many colors, black, chocolate, yellow, red, and silver. They have a fluffy, double coat, though the outer layer is harder and more protective. Labs are heavy shedders, meaning there may be better choices for people with allergies. They do very well with children and other animals and are easy to train, making them a top choice for families worldwide.

Poodle

Poodle with a pink towel on head
Poodles come in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard (pictured)

Poodles are incredibly smart and very cute, making them a popular choice all around the world, as well as in Mexico. This country has an affinity for smaller dogs, and the poodle fits right in. The smaller varieties are quite popular and range between 10 and 15 pounds. Poodles originated in Germany, though often connected to the French people and country. Poodle mixes, referred to as Doodles, are also incredibly popular as designer breeds.

Poodles were originally bred as retrievers to assist with hunts. The breed is also loved for their incredible friendliness with people, especially children. These dogs are intelligent and easy to train, provided owners set firm boundaries. Poodles were bred to retrieve in the water. In fact, their name Poodle comes from the German word “pudel,” which means to splash in the water.

Poodles stand out for their curly, soft coats and intelligent, agreeable temperaments. They can be trained to do many things, including tricks and games. Poodles rank at the top of the list for the most intelligent canines. They are extroverts, eager to please, and love attention.

Pug

Small Black and Tan Dog Looking at Camera
Pugs have a rich history that starts in China but are popular in North America too.

In Mexico, the adorable, lovable Pug is also a very popular pet. Pugs have roots in China but made their way into the hearts of the Mexican people. Pugs are popular not just in this country but also all over the world. They hold ancient roots and are thought to have originated in China around 400 BC. They were a favorite of Chinese royalty and the wealthy, especially taken with flat-faced breeds. In fact, royalty was so taken with the Pug that only the royal family and a few chosen special people were allowed to own one of these sacred dogs for centuries.

Pugs are fantastic companions as well as highly effective watchdogs. They make excellent family pets. These little guys are friendly with children and other canines and are reasonably easy to train. They need moderate exercise and do well in small homes. These guys are small yet packed with personality. They are known for being quite brave but also have an independent streak.

Pugs are famous for their easy-to-recognize flat faces and constant smiles. The Pug has large eyes that stand out from their faces, short bodies, and tightly curled tails. If you are lucky, you might find one with a double curl, which is considered the picture-perfect tale. With thin, pointy ears and tons of wrinkles, these lovable dogs Always bring a smile to your face.

Schnauzer

Standard Schnauzer Rescue sitting on dock
This schnauzer comes in three different sizes: miniature, standard (pictured), and giant.

Schnauzers originate in Germany but are incredibly popular among the people of Mexico. They were once known as the Wire-Haired Pinscher. These guys are incredibly popular as pets in many different areas of the country. Originally bred as a working dog, the Schnauzer makes a wonderful companion and is incredibly popular in homes with children. They are skilled hunters and very smart, and they can learn many different tricks, puzzles, and games. They can weigh between 13 and 90 pounds or more, depending on their size. They are long-lived, between 13 and 16 years, even longer for the smaller sizes.

Schnauzers are built well. They have heavy bones, a square build, and sturdy bodies. These dogs have wiry, harder coats that tend to be medium, though the larger sizes tend to have shorter coats. Because of their wired coats, they require hand stripping a few times a year.

Schnauzers are high-energy and need a lot of exercise. They are super loyal but love attention and can develop separation anxiety if left alone, even for a short time. These pups are highly active, energetic, and affectionate. They have a very high prey drive, so it may not be the best fit if you have other animals, especially smaller pets like cats.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky Puppy under a yellow blanket
The Husky is loved in Mexico, partly for its gorgeous coat and striking blue eyes.

Known as a cold-weather dog, it may seem surprising to find a Siberian Husky in the tropical climate of Mexico. However, they are growing in popularity. Huskies have incredible personalities and are very smart, making them popular pets worldwide. Siberian Huskies are purebreds, originally developed by a tribe of eastern Siberian nomads. Huskies are bred to be both hard-working sled athletes and agreeable companions. The Husky continues to work as a sled dog by professional mushers but has become popular as a companion in many places, including Mexico.

Huskies have adorable faces as well as engaging personalities. Though they are excellent sled dogs, fast runners, and very strong, the Husky is quite famous for his clumsiness. This endearing personality trait makes him a hilarious and constantly entertaining companion. He is also quite charming, very friendly, and has no regard for personal space.

The Siberian Husky gets large, reaching between 35 and 60 pounds, and lives long between 12 and 14 years. Loved for both their beauty and personalities, the elegant Husky makes an excellent pet in the right family. He loves children, particularly because he is a big child at heart, even into his senior years.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier with Harness on walking outside with people's feet in background
Yorkies are popular because of their small size, meaning they can live just about anywhere.

The Yorkshire Terrier or Yorkie is another favorite breed in Mexico. This breed can be traced to England but is popular all over the world. They can have a silky or fluffy coat, which grows quickly and needs a lot of care. Yorkies are quite energetic and have bossy personalities. They also tend to make good guard dogs as they bark a lot and are aggressive. Though the Yorkie is known to be friendly, they need a lot of training to do well in homes with young children.

Yorkies are small and only weigh between 5 and 7 pounds. They reach just 7 to 8 inches tall and can live between 13 and 16 years. These pups come in many colors: black and gold, black and tan, blue and gold, and blue and tan. Yorkies are full of energy and brains but retain an extremely high prey drive meaning they don’t mind chasing small animals, including other pets.

Yorkies are notable for their adorable appearance, with tiny, sturdy bodies. They have button eyes, small dark noses, pointy ears, and very inquisitive faces. The teacup variety weighs just two to four pounds and is quite hard to find. Yorkies have smooth, dark coats that change color as they age. Though physically small, they have huge personalities and require a lot of work, but they make unforgettable pets.

Final Thoughts

Mexican dog breeds have also been frequent features in popular culture, from movies and television shows to books and music. For example, the Chihuahua was prominent in several films and television shows, including the Disney movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and the animated television show “¡Mucha Lucha!”

Several adorable, unforgettable, and unique dog breeds come from Mexico. Though few are native to the area, dogs continue to be a very popular animal in modern-day life and the country’s rich history. We have introduced you to some of the most famous and secretive breeds associated with Mexico. Some may not be native to the area but are highly popular with the people there. This country has long had a love of canines, as they are an integral part of the culture, history, and way of life.

Whether you’re a dog lover or simply interested in learning more about Mexican culture and history, exploring the world of Mexican dog breeds is a must. With their rich history, cultural significance, and unique characteristics, these canines are a fascinating and inspiring subject that will surely capture your imagination and heart.

3 little chihuahuas wearing sombrero hats

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