Which Dog is for You, Xoloitzcuintli or Border Collie? A Breed Comparison

If you are looking for a new canine companion, you might wonder which dog breed best fits you. There are hundreds of dog breeds worldwide, each with unique traits and characteristics. Some dogs are more suitable for certain lifestyles, environments, and personalities than others.

This blog post will compare two very different dog breeds: the Xoloitzcuintli and the Border Collie. We will examine their history, appearance, personality, temperament, training, exercise, care, maintenance, and cost. By the end of this post, you should better know which dog is for you, Xoloitzcuintli or Border Collie.

Characteristics Comparison between Xoloitzcuintli and Border Collie

Here is a table summarizing the key differences between Xoloitzcuintli and Border Collies:

CharacteristicsXoloitzcuintliBorder Collie
OriginMexicoUnited Kingdom
SizeSmall to mediumMedium
Weight10 to 50 lbs30 to 55 lbs
Height10 to 23 inches18 to 22 inches
CoatHairless or coatedDouble coat
ColorBlack, gray, red, brownBlack and white, blue merle, red merle
Lifespan13 to 18 years12 to 15 years
PersonalityCalm, loyal, alertEnergetic, intelligent, eager
GroomingLow to moderateModerate to high
Health issuesSkin problems, dental problems, eye problemsHip dysplasia, eye problems, epilepsy
Cost$600 to $3000$600 to $1500

History of Breeds

black and white bc on the grass

One of the world’s oldest and rarest dog breeds is the Xoloitzcuintli, also known as the Xolo or Mexican Hairless Dog. The ancient Aztecs and Mayans revered it as a sacred animal over 3000 years ago. The Xolo was believed to have healing powers and to guide the souls of the dead to the underworld. This dog was also used as a source of food and fur by some indigenous people. They almost became extinct in the 19th century due to colonization and persecution. However, in 2011 the American Kennel Club revived and recognized the Xolo thanks to the efforts of some committed breeders and enthusiasts.

The Border Collie is a descendant of the landrace collies that originated in the border region between Scotland and England. The Border Collie was bred for its herding abilities and intelligence by farmers and shepherds who needed a dog that could work with sheep in harsh terrain and weather conditions. Many experts consider the Border Collie to be among the most intelligent and amenable to the training of all dog breeds. It can learn a variety of commands and tasks and excel in various dog sports and activities. In 1995, the American Kennel Club recognized the Border Collie.

Appearance of Border Collie Compared to Xoloitzcuintli

The Border Collie and Xoloitzcuintli are two very different-looking dogs. Border Collie has a long, narrow head with erect ears, while the Xoloitzcuintli has a broad, short head with large, floppy ears. Moreover, the Border Collie has a long, muscular body with a deep chest and a long tail, while the Xoloitzcuintli has a lean, muscular body with a short tail.


The Xoloitzcuintli comes in three sizes: toy (10 to 15 lbs), miniature (15 to 30 lbs), and standard (30 to 50 lbs). The Xoloitzcuintli has a lean body with long legs and a long tail. It has a wedge-shaped head with large ears that stand erect. The Border Collie is a medium-sized breed with a long, thick coat.

Coat & Colors

The most striking difference between the Xoloitzcuintli and the Border Collie is their coat. Xoloitzcuintli is a small breed with a short, smooth coat that can be black, red, or fawn. The Xoloitzcuintli can be either hairless or coated. They come in hairless variety that has soft skin that can be black, gray, red, or brown. The coated type has a short coat that can be any color or pattern.

The Border Collie has a double coat that can be smooth or rough. Their skin can be any color or variety of colors, but the most common is black and white. The Border Collie has a medium-sized body with a deep chest and a long tail. It has a broad skull with medium-sized ears that can be erect or semi-erect.

Difference in Personality & Temperament

The Xoloitzcuintli is a calm and loyal dog that bonds strongly with its owner. It is alert and protective of its territory and family, making it a good watchdog. This dog is independent and can be aloof or wary of strangers. It is affectionate and gentle with its loved ones but may not tolerate rough handling or teasing. The Xoloitzcuintli could be more vocal and bark more.

The Border Collie is a medium-sized herding dog native to the United Kingdom. It is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, and it is often used as a working dog on farms and ranches. The Border Collie is a highly active dog that needs plenty of exercise. It is also a brilliant dog and easy to train.

The Border Collie is a friendly and affectionate dog, making it a great family pet. However, it is essential to note that the Border Collie is a working dog, and it needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation. If you are not prepared to provide a Border Collie with the level of activity and training it needs, then this is not the breed for you.

The Xoloitzcuintli and the Border Collie are very different dog breeds. The Xoloitzcuintli is a calm and loyal dog that is good for families. At the same time, the Border Collie is an energetic and intelligent dog that is best for active people who can provide them with plenty of exercise.

Family and Border Collie versus Xoloitzcuintli

people touching neck of black dog

Both breeds the Xoloitzcuintli, and the Border Collie can make good family pets but have different needs and preferences. The Xoloitzcuintli is more suitable for families with older children who can respect its space and boundaries. They may not enjoy being left alone for long periods and may suffer from separation anxiety. The Xoloitzcuintli prefers a quiet and relaxed environment where it can relax and cuddle with its owner.

The Border Collie is more suitable for families with active children who can play and exercise. This dog does not like being bored or idle and may develop behavioral problems if not stimulated enough. The Border Collie thrives in a busy and lively environment where it can be involved in various activities and challenges.


The Xoloitzcuintli can get along with kids if socialized and trained early. However, the Xoloitzcuintli may not be the best choice for families with young or rowdy kids who may unintentionally hurt or annoy it. The Xoloitzcuintli may also be possessive of its owner and may not appreciate sharing attention or affection with kids.

The Border Collie can be a great companion for kids if socialized and trained from an early age. This dog can be playful, gentle, and patient with kids who can respect its limits and energy level. They can also be a good teacher and role model for kids who want to learn about responsibility, obedience, and teamwork.

Other People

The Xoloitzcuintli is reserved and cautious around strangers. It may take some time to warm up to new people, and they may not be friendly or outgoing. The Xoloitzcuintli may also be territorial and protective of its owner and home, making it a good watchdog but not a good guest greeter.

The Border Collie is friendly and curious around strangers. It may greet new people with enthusiasm and interest, especially if they have treats or toys to offer. The Border Collie may also be friendly and polite with visitors, making it a good host but not a good guard dog.

Dogs & Other Animals

The Xoloitzcuintli can get along with other dogs if socialized and trained early. However, the Xoloitzcuintli may need to be more tolerant of dominant, aggressive, or rude dogs. The Xoloitzcuintli may also chase or hunt smaller animals, such as cats, rodents, or birds unless raised with them.

The Border Collie can get along with other dogs if socialized and trained from an early age. However, the Border Collie may try to herd or control other submissive, passive, or slow dogs. Unless taught otherwise, the Border Collie may also chase or herd smaller animals, such as cats, rodents, or birds.

Behaviour Issues

Border Collies and Xoloitzcuintlis are both intelligent and active breeds of dogs. They can be great companions, but they can also be prone to specific behavioral issues.

The Border Collie may develop behavior issues if not given enough attention, exercise, or mental stimulation. These issues include hyperactivity, barking, nipping, chasing, herding, or obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

  • Herding behavior: Border Collies were bred to herd livestock and may try to herd people or other animals in the home.
  • Nipping and biting: Border Collies may nip or bite if not adequately trained.
  • Excessive barking: Border Collies are often very vocal and may bark excessively if bored or anxious.

The Xoloitzcuintli may develop behavior issues if not given enough attention, exercise, or mental stimulation. These issues include separation anxiety, barking, digging, chewing, escaping, or aggression.

  • Separation anxiety: Xoloitzcuintlis are very attached to their owners, and they may suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone for long periods.
  • Destructive behavior: Xoloitzcuintlis may become destructive if they are bored or anxious.
  • Aggression: Xoloitzcuintlis may be aggressive towards other dogs or people if they are not properly socialized.

If you are considering getting a Border Collie or Xoloitzcuintli, it is crucial to be aware of these potential behavioral issues. With proper training and socialization, these dogs can be wonderful companions.

If you are already a pet parent to a Border Collie or Xoloitzcuintli and have trouble with behavioral issues, please consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can help you to understand and address your dog’s behavior positively and effectively.

Training & Exercise of a Border Collie and Xoloitzcuintli

Border Collies and Xoloitzcuintlis are two very different breeds of dogs, but they both require a lot of training and exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

Border Collie on agility course, over the jump

Border Collies are herding dogs known for their intelligence, agility, and energy. They need at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily, mental stimulation, and socialization. They are very responsive to commands and can learn various tricks and skills, but they also need consistent and positive reinforcement. Border Collies are unsuitable for apartment living or owners who are unprepared to devote time and attention to their training and exercise needs.

Xoloitzcuintlis, also known as Mexican Hairless Dogs, is an ancient breed that originated in Mexico. They are loyal, alert, and affectionate dogs that bond strongly with their owners. These dogs need moderate exercise, such as a daily walk or a play session, but they are not as active or demanding as Border Collies.

Xoloitzcuintlis are easier to train than some other breeds, but they can sometimes be stubborn and independent. They need firm and gentle guidance and socialization from an early age. Xoloitzcuintlis are suitable for apartment living as long as they have access to a warm and comfortable environment. They are sensitive to cold and sunburn, so they need protection from extreme weather conditions.

Taking Care & Maintenance Difference

The Border Collie and the Xoloitzcuintli require regular grooming and care to keep them in good shape. However, the Xoloitzcuintli and Border Collie are two dog breeds with different needs and characteristics.

Xoloitzcuintli must be protected from the sun, cold, and insects, as its skin is susceptible to sunburns, allergies, and infections. It is recommended to apply sunscreen, moisturizer, and insect repellent to its skin daily and to provide it with clothing and bedding to keep it warm and comfortable. Xoloitzcuintli must also have its nails trimmed regularly, as they grow fast and can cause injuries.

Border Collie must be brushed frequently, at least once a week, to remove dirt, mats, and loose hair from its coat. It must also have its ears checked and cleaned regularly, as it is prone to ear infections.

Grooming a Xoloitzcuintli and Border Collie

Grooming a Xoloitzcuintli and Border Collie can be a bit different, but some general tips will help you take care of both breeds.

Xoloitzcuintlis are hairless dogs, so you must brush them regularly to remove any dead hair. You can use a soft-bristled brush or a rubber curry brush. You should also bathe them every few weeks or more often if they get dirty.

Border Collies have a double coat, so they must be brushed more often than Xoloitzcuintlis. You can use a slicker brush to remove dead hair and a pin brush to detangle their fur. You should bathe them every few weeks or more often if they get dirty.

Both breeds are prone to ear infections, so you should check their ears regularly and clean them with a cotton ball dipped in an ear-cleaning solution. You should also trim their nails regularly, especially if they are indoor dogs.

Here are some additional tips for grooming a Xoloitzcuintli:

  • A de-shedding shampoo may help remove dead hair
  • Use a conditioner to help keep your skin healthy.
  • Put sunblock on their skin if they spend time in the sun.

Here are some additional tips for grooming a Border Collie:

  • Use a de-shedding tool to help remove dead hair.
  • A conditioner may help keep your coat healthy
  • Brush their teeth regularly to help prevent gum disease.

You can keep your Xoloitzcuintli and Border Collie looking and feeling their best with a little care and attention.


Mexican hairless on a Sunny day

The Border Collie’s thick double coat requires significant grooming twice yearly. They need to get their hair brushed every day to eliminate dead strands and avoid matting. Maintaining a clean and tidy coat requires regular bathing and trimming.

The Xoloitzcuintli has little or no hair, so they don’t shed much at all. However, they still need weekly brushing to remove dead skin cells and dirt. They also need frequent bathing and moisturizing to keep their skin healthy and smooth.

Life Span

The Border Collie has an average life span of 12 to 15 years. Meanwhile, the Xoloitzcuintli has an average life span of 13 to 18 years.

Diet & Nutrition

Both breeds need a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs and energy levels. They should be fed according to age, weight, activity level, and health condition. They should also have access to fresh water at all times.

Xoloitzcuintli and Border Collies are active breeds of dogs that require a high-quality diet high in protein and fat. Xoloitzcuintli are also prone to allergies, so it is essential to choose a food free of common allergens such as wheat, corn, and soy. Border Collies are also prone to weight gain, so it is crucial to monitor their food intake and ensure they are not getting too many calories.

A good diet for a Xoloitzcuintli or Border Collie should include the following:

  • High-quality protein: Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass. Good sources of protein include chicken, beef, fish, and eggs.
  • Fats: Having a healthy fat supply in your dog’s diet will provide them with a steady supply of energy and aid in maintaining a glossy coat.
  • Complex carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates provide your dog with sustained energy. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include brown rice, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins and minerals are essential for your dog’s overall health. Good quality dog food will provide all the vitamins and minerals your dog needs.

It is essential to feed your dog the right amount of food for their age, weight, and activity level. You should also ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. If you have any questions about your dog’s diet, consult your veterinarian.

Health Issues

Both breeds are generally healthy but can be prone to genetic or inherited diseases. It is essential to take your dog to the veterinarian for regular check-ups for early detection especially if your dog is already aging or you have an information about its genetic history. This will also help avoid getting complications which are more costly to treat.

Xoloitzcuintli health problems:

  • Hip dysplasia: Pain and incapacity are symptoms of hip dysplasia, in which the hip joint is abnormally formed.
  • Elbow dysplasia: Simply put, it is a painful condition that causes lameness at the elbow due to improper joint alignment.
  • Deafness: a condition in which the dog is born deaf or loses hearing later in life.
  • Eye problems: Xoloitzcuintlis are prone to several eye problems, including dry eye, glaucoma, and retinal atrophy.
  • Skin problems: Xoloitzcuintlis are also prone to some skin problems, including allergies, hot spots, and mange.

Border Collie health problems: veterinarian checking the dog with stethoscope

  • Hip dysplasia: Occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint do not line up correctly, leading to pain and lameness.
  • Elbow dysplasia: The joint surfaces do not align properly, leading to discomfort and lameness.
  • Eye problems: Border Collies are prone to some eye problems, including dry eye, glaucoma, and retinal atrophy.
  • Deafness: a condition in which the dog is born deaf or loses hearing later in life.
  • Epilepsy: This is a condition in which the dog has seizures.
  • Collie eye anomaly: This is a condition in which the dog has an abnormal development of the eyes.
    Idiopathic epilepsy: a condition in which the dog has seizures for no known reason.

Cost of Getting a Border Collie versus Xoloitzcuintli

The initial investment and ongoing care for either breed can be substantial. The initial cost of purchasing a puppy fluctuates according to factors such as the breeder’s popularity, proximity, supply, and demand. Border Collie puppies often cost between $600 and $1,500. A Xoloitzcuintli puppy can cost anywhere from $800 to $3,000.

Puppies of Xoloitzcuintli versus Border Collie

The average litter size for a Xoloitzcuintli is 2-6 puppies, while the average for a Border Collie is 6-8. So, on average, Border Collies have more puppies per litter than Xoloitzcuintlis. However, it is essential to note that litter size can vary depending on the individual dog and breed. Some dogs may have larger or smaller litter than average.

Breeders & Centers

Both breeds can be found through reputable breeders or rescue centers. It is essential to do your research before buying or adopting a dog from any source. Check the breeder’s credentials, references, health guarantees, contracts, and policies. You should also visit the breeder’s premises and meet the parents and littermates of your potential puppy. Most importantly avoid buying from pet stores or online sellers that may be involved in puppy mills or scams.

Conclusion: Which Is Better, Xoloitzcuintli and Border Collie?

There is no definitive answer to which breed is better, as both have pros and cons. The best breed for you depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, expectations, and resources. You should consider the following factors before deciding – having enough time, space, and energy to provide adequate exercise and training for your dog and having any allergies or sensitivities to dog hair or dander.

Moreover, you also need to consider whether you live in a hot or cold climate, having other pets or children in your household and whether you prefer a more independent or more attached dog. Aside from that, also take note f you want a dog that is more friendly or more protective of you and if you have a budget for buying and maintaining your dog.

Ultimately, the best breed for you is the one that matches your personality and needs and that you can love and care for unconditionally. The Border Collie and the Xoloitzcuintli are lovely dogs that can bring joy and companionship to your life as long as you are willing to commit to their well-being and happiness.

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