Pre-Hispanic cultures coexisted with one that has disappeared today
Mexican dog breeds are different from each other, there are large and very small, and although the best known is probably the chihuahua, there are others such as calupoh, a breed unknown to many.
Did you know that some pre-Hispanic cultures in Mexico lived with a race that has disappeared today? In the framework of World Dog Day, to be celebrated on July 21, whose objective is to recognize the importance of these animals in human life and raise awareness about the abuse or neglect they commonly suffer, a descriptive list of the three is presented. internationally recognized endemic races of Mexico.
Calupoh, the wolfdog
Large in size, black in color and impressive yellow eyes, the calupoh arose in pre-Hispanic Mexico and was hardly recognized until 1999 as a breed by the Mexican Canophilic Federation (FCM).
According to the FCM, the breed emerged from the mix of the gray wolf – abundant in the North American region in the period prior to the Spanish conquest – with the common dog.
Some pre-Hispanic cultures gave the animal as an offering to Mother Nature in exchange for bonanza, and they made the “cross” of the wolf and the dog because “it allowed them to be in direct contact and nurture the spirituality that these animals emanate,” says the FCM. .
“In places such as the Pyramid of the Moon and the temple of Quetzalcóatl in Teotihuacán or the greater temple of Tenochtitlan, remains of the canine have been found in the form of an ornament,” he stresses.
It is an agile and strong dog that resembles the wild wolf for its mane and long legs, the males are characterized by their great muscles. They usually have black fur – a product of hybridization with the wolf – which sometimes turns silver during adulthood.
Males grow to 62 to 75 centimeters, females 58 to 70 centimeters.
He is noble and loyal to owners and children, he can be reserved and shy with strangers, a common characteristic of wolves.
It adapts to multiple activities, including grazing.
Tiny in size, the Chihuahua has been recognized as the smallest breed of dog in the world, belonging to the group of toy breed dogs.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) places the chihuahua as a descendant dog of the techichi, a now-disappeared breed that was taken as a companion animal by the Toltec civilization and later by the Mexica, and even by Moctezuma, who considered it a “legendary treasure “, until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.
The AKC details that during the 19th century the breed began to be exported from Chihuahua to the United States, being common for citizens of that country to name them according to where they came from, hence the origin of the name “chihuahua” or “chihuahueño”. Later, during the 1940s and 1950s, Hollywood musicians and celebrities like Xavier Cugat contributed to their popularity by displaying them in their public performances.
Its average height is between 15 and 40 centimeters, while its weight ranges from one to four kilograms. There is the long-haired chihuahua, the smooth-haired chihuahua, the deer-headed chihuahua and the apple-headed chihuahua.
Something common among the varieties of the breed is that they have bulging eyes and straight, pointed ears.
Their coat colors vary between white, brown, black and mixed. They have an average life expectancy of between 15 and 18 years.
It is a nervous and anxious dog, but very loyal, pending the actions of its owner, to the extent of wanting to defend it in any situation that exposes it to “possible danger”. To counteract their concern, it is necessary for chihuhua to have adequate training and to walk more than once a day.
The xoloitzcuintle is a breed whose name is made up of the words “Xolotl”, which refers to the god of the same name -characterized as being the god of sunset and death-, and “Itzcuintli”, which means dog or page, which it could mean “servant of the god Xolotl”.
“During the pre-Hispanic period he was considered a spiritual guide for souls, on his way to Mictlán – the underworld or place of eternal rest – where he served as a funeral offering for their masters,” the National Geographic magazine noted in a 2017 article. “The Spanish mistook it for little horses,” he says.
It is believed that they are from Colima, however, vestiges of the breed have been found in the Mayan zone and in the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, said xoloitzcuintles breeder Ana María Rivera in an interview with Notimex , in 2017.
The animal was popularized by public figures such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, who owned specimens in their home.
The breed measures between 51 to 76 centimeters in height and weighs between 11 and 18 kilograms, although there are smaller varieties that reach between 23 and 26 centimeters and weigh between two and seven kilograms.
It has a thin head, a straight muzzle and a muscular body, with little or no hair. It has habitually brown eyes and erect and triangular ears.
They usually require special care for their skin in the absence of fur.
And although they normally do not have hair, there are specimens that do. The varieties of its color range from brown to black, gray, bronze, blonde and reddish, but in general in dark tones.
It is very good for family coexistence since it is usually obedient, intelligent and loyal, always alert to what its owner does.
He is playful as a puppy, as a very loving and mischievous adult. He is never aggressive.
With information from the Mexican Canophilic Federation, National Geographic and American Kennel Club