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When you think of Mexico, the first thing that comes to mind is good food (think tacos, tortillas, and burritos) and rich culture.
Tourists flock to this Latin American country to get a taste of the cuisines, special cenotes (natural swimming holes), white-sand beaches, and traditional celebrations such as the Dian de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) among many things. There’s a lot to see and do in Estados Unidos Mexicanos.
On the other hand, Mexico has a very dark side.
Forget about the drug cartels and a toxic political climate (although these are petrifying as well).
The issue of Mexican street dogs is what is deeply concerning.
It is said that Mexico has the highest number of stray dogs in Latin America. The situation is horrible, pathetic, and very disturbing.
To keep you posted, we will reveal some of the surprising facts about Mexican street dogs.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, Mexico has approximately 18 million dogs within its borders.
Out of this, only 30% have a home. The rest roam freely on the streets.
They have very little to eat. The searing heat and lack of shelter don’t help things either.
Because of the lack of basic care, many of the canines succumb to a host of diseases and infections.
Zero grooming also means their claws grow into the feet and matting of their coats. Over time, they pull on the skin and make it hospitable for bug larvae to thrive.
Most of them also have ticks and fleas in the entire body.
In a bid to deal with the overpopulation of dogs, the Mexican authorities are said to capture and murder about 20,000 dogs every month in one city.
Rather than using humane ways of killing the poor animals, the authorities resort to available and inexpensive strategies of murder like electrocution.
In addition to this, the dogs go through the worst possible threats from all manner of places. Some are tortured and killed by kids for fun. Others are brutally murdered for sporting reasons.
Granted, there are animal anti-cruelty laws but these are not very operational. Authorities are not keen on prosecuting abusive people.
To make things worse, the country doesn’t believe in neutering animals as they believe it compromises the masculinity of the canine.
Why Are There So Many Stray Dogs in Mexico?
It is mostly because neutering and spaying are not widely accepted practices in the country.
Plus, not many people actually have any knowledge of the programs. Those that do cannot gain any access to them.
Without spaying and neutering, the problem of overpopulation of dogs is inevitable.
The fact that the stray dogs interact with each other also makes things difficult to control.
Any female on heat will always get a willing male to mate with her. Conception soon follows and in a few weeks’ time, the female will carry a litter of her own. As soon as the puppies are of age, she will go into heat again and the cycle repeats itself.
In addition to ignorance as far as spaying and neutering are concerned, irresponsible pet owners in Mexico extrapolate the stray dog problem as well.
Those that don’t take good care of their pups by training them, grooming them, and giving the right food ultimately let their dogs roam the streets.
The canines will leave the home in search of mates, food, and friends. In the end, they will remain in the streets or come back home pregnant.
Some owners actually throw the dogs if they feel overwhelmed with them.
What Are The Most Famous Mexican Dogs?
At the top of the list, we have the Mexican Pit Bull, also known as the Chamuco.
Just one look and you can tell that this dog is muscular and ferocious just like his Pitbull cousin.
His Spanish name is ‘The Devil” which goes to show how intimidating and aggressive this breed is.
The Chihuahua is also native to Mexico. It is believed that this breed was domesticated by the Toltecs long before the Aztecs came into the picture.
The older generations were convinced that Chi’s guided the souls of the departed through the afterlife. Sadly, this caused many Chihuahuas to be sacrificed.
Also known as Xolo, this breed is the Mexican Hairless Dog.
The coat literally has no hair on it but for some reason, the breed thrives well in the South American country.
Well, there are a few fur-coated Xolos but a majority of them are hairless.
Mexicans call him the Mexican Wolfdog because he resembles a wolf in many ways.
Basically, this is a cross between various dog breeds and wild wolves. Breeders developed it in the 90s.
Although they are rare, you can come across one if you are lucky.
5. Chinese Crested
This might come as a shock to you but the Chinese crested is actually from Mexico and not China.
Well, at least researchers have discovered that the original Chinese Crested dogs made their way to China from Mexico.
What Kind Of Dogs Are in Mexico?
There’s a wide collection. Of course, the Mexican Street Dog is the common breed on the streets but there are plenty more.
You are likely to meet the aforementioned breeds because they are native to the land.
However, don’t put your hopes up for the Calupoh. It is quite rare that many Mexican citizens haven’t interacted with the canine.
Mexicans have also imported a number of breeds from all over the world. Dog lovers are often crazy for the Schnauzer (all sizes), German shepherd, English bulldog, pug, and the Poodle.
What Is A Mexican Street Dog?
This is a terrier dog called Callejeros (street dog) by the local residents. This is a street-smart, scrappy breed that likely descended from earlier stray dogs that used to roam Mexican beaches and streets.
Some people believe that this specific breed is not a domestic dog but rather a self-sufficient scavenger that resembles a dog.
Mexican street dogs have tan coloring and come in all shapes and sizes. It is not uncommon to find them in long, curly coats of other colors apart from tan.
Is Mexican Street Dog A Breed?
Sort of. The dog essentially carries a sea of genes and exhibits the characteristics of pretty much the common dog breeds such as the Labrador, cocker spaniel, German shepherd, cattle dog, terrier, poodle, beagle, boxer, pit bull, Vizsla, ridgeback, basenji, Doberman, and huskie.
Despite having genes from all these breeds, the Mexican street dog basically has one function: survival in a dangerous world.
Most dogs here are adaptable, food-driven, intelligent, and fearless.
Despite having different physical characteristics, they have the same qualities, temperament, drive, and goal.
What dog is in Coco?
The Xoloitzcuintli also called Xolo or Mexican Hairless Dog. The breed became public after the Pixar film Coco aired with the main star Dante being a Xolo.
Are Chihuahua’s Mexican?
Yes. The dogs are actually named after the Mexican State of Chihuahua that borders New Mexico and Texas.
It is believed that dog fanciers first discovered the early Chis in the state right in the middle of the 19th century.
The universal belief is that the Toltec group of Mexicans developed the dog after deriving it from the Techichi in the 9th century.
Is It Safe To Touch Mexican Street Dogs?
Yes. Most of these dogs are actually very friendly towards people. They love hanging out with kids and other dogs.
Unless you show signs of danger and threat, these canines will welcome you. If you offer them something to eat, they will truly appreciate your company.
There it is –Surprising facts about street dogs in Mexico.
The situation down there is horrifying. Many dogs go through hell to get a meal and a comfortable bed to sleep in.
Luckily, there are a number of animal activist groups springing up to change the narrative.