Like in many countries, dogs are extremely popular in Mexico. Many people have dogs, although in some economically-struggling areas. these dogs often lack basic medical care and generally live outdoors, roaming throughout the day. That doesn’t mean that the people of Mexico don’t love their dogs, though!
If you visit Mexico, there are a few dog breeds that you are far more likely to see than any other.
The 11 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Mexico
The Mestizo isn’t actually a true breed of dog. Instead, the stray mixed-breed dogs that often roam the streets of Mexico have been given this title. Interestingly, these mixed breed dogs are far more popular with Mexicans than any purebred dog breed. These dogs often live in dangerous environments and may learn to rely on humans for food scraps for survival. For this reason, many Mestizos follow people home and adopt them as their family. The kind-heartedness of the Mexican people has made them partial to these dogs in need of love.
|Temperament:||Courageous, energetic, loyal|
The Chihuahua is a perennial favorite dog breed in many parts of the world due to their compact size and loyal nature. They tend to be big dogs trapped in small dogs’ bodies, making for a courageous and protective friend. Chihuahuas are native to Mexico, often believed to be the descendants of an ancient breed of dog called the Techichi. They come in a range of sizes, although they are overall small dogs, and they can have short or long hair. Their compact size makes them popular for urban living.
3. Siberian Husky
|Temperament:||Alert, energetic, intelligent|
The Siberian Husky is a popular breed in Mexico, but this breed is not for the faint of heart. Huskies were originally bred for pulling sleds across long distances in freezing environments. This means that they have high activity needs and can be difficult to keep properly stimulated in apartment living. They also may struggle in the high heat of Mexican summers, so it’s important for Husky owners to pay close attention to their dog’s heat cues during the warmer months. This breed tends to be popular for its beauty and high intelligence.
4. Standard Schnauzer
|Temperament:||Playful, trainable, lively|
The Standard Schnauzer is a popular dog in Mexico, although Miniature Schnauzers also make up some of the Schnauzer population. These lively dogs are often ready to roll at a moment’s notice, making them loyal companions for active households. They are intelligent and trainable dogs with quite a stubborn streak, so a committed owner is necessary for training and handling these dogs. They do require routine grooming to maintain their coat, along with routine exercise to burn excess energy.
5. Miniature Poodle
|Temperament:||Intelligent, playful, confident|
The Miniature Poodle is a small- to medium-sized dog popular in Mexico because of its small size and lovely temperament. They tend to be extremely intelligent dogs that aim to please, making them relatively easy to train. They do require routine grooming to maintain their curly coat, though. Miniature Poodles make great dogs for urban living, although they do still require some activity on a daily basis to keep them entertained. These dogs are incredibly loyal and tend to show a high level of attachment to their people.
6. Labrador Retriever
|Temperament:||Outgoing, friendly, trainable|
The Labrador Retriever consistently ranks as one of the most popular dogs across many countries. This is due to its extreme friendliness and trainability. Labs are adaptable dogs that can happily live in urban settings as well as rural settings with room to run. They love having a job to do, and they are confident and focused in stressful settings, making them sought after as service animals. For many people, the biggest thing that holds them back from being able to have a Lab is the overall large size of these dogs.
7. Doberman Pinscher
|Temperament:||Loyal, obedient, fearless|
The Doberman Pinscher cuts an intimidating presence, making it a popular pick for protection work. On top of its fearsome appearance, this breed is extremely loyal, confident, and brave. They may be standoffish with strangers, but they are fiercely loyal to their own people. This breed makes a great guard dog, as well as a great companion for people with an active lifestyle. These are large dogs that require an experienced handler, though. In the wrong hands, a Doberman may be prone to poor behavior and potential aggression.
|Temperament:||Loyal, stubborn, courageous|
In Mexico, there are a lot of dogs that look like Pitbulls, but most are not true American Pitbull Terriers. There are a variety of bully breeds and bully mixes in Mexico, like the American Bully, American Bulldog, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. There are notable differences in size between these purebred dogs and their mixes. However, they tend to all have similar temperaments. They are often exceedingly loyal dogs that are protective of their people and show fearlessness in the face of stress. They do best with an experienced handler, though, who can manage the issues associated with these breeds, like animal aggression and a high prey drive.
|Temperament:||Aloof, protective, calm|
The Xoloitzcuintli is better known by its nickname, the Xolo. Xolos come in toy, miniature, and standard sizes. This breed is native to Mexico, and although they are relatively rare today, they are considered to be an important part of Mexican culture that many people are working to preserve. The Xolo isn’t a breed for just anyone, though. These dogs tend to be aloof and highly protective of their people. They are alert and make great watchdogs, but they also tend to stay calm, even in the face of stress.
10. Yorkshire Terrier
|Temperament:||Independent, bold, intelligent|
The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog known for its sassy personality and cute looks. It does have relatively high grooming needs. This breed is highly intelligent but also extremely independent and stubborn, making training difficult. They are a popular breed in Mexico due to their cuteness and small size. This is a great breed for urban living since they have relatively low activity needs and are small enough to comfortably live in an apartment. They can be big barkers, though, so it’s important to work on training and spend time with this breed every day to burn energy and prevent bad behavior.
|Temperament:||Charming, stubborn, calm|
The Pug is an ancient dog breed that has been a favorite of lap dog lovers for a long time. They can be a little bit lazy and prone to obesity, so encouraging activity is necessary for this breed. Pugs tend to be good dogs for urban living due to their relatively small size and low activity needs. They also tend not to bark a lot, making them a good option for apartment living. They can be difficult to train due to their laziness and stubbornness, but this breed is quite playful, so sometimes it’s necessary to get creative to encourage your Pug to stay active.
Why Does Size Matter?
Although there are some big dogs on the list, small dogs far outnumber big dogs in Mexico. Why would Mexicans prefer smaller dogs, though? This size preference is primarily related to limited space in some of the more urban parts of the country. In urban areas, people often live in small spaces and in close proximity to other people. This can make managing a large dog difficult, and many urban living environments don’t allow big dogs at all.
Small dogs just make more sense for people in the more urban parts of Mexico. In the more rural parts of the country, larger dogs may be slightly more popular, with Mestizos being the most prominent “breed” of dog that people own. Most Mestizos are medium or large dogs, but there are some small ones roaming as well. In more dangerous areas, big dogs, especially those that look tough, are often more popular.
Mexico is a country that has shown significant growth and development over the last few decades. As this has continued, more and more people have gotten dogs and more people are treating their dogs like members of the family. Growth has not only led to an increase in dog ownership, but it has also led to major increases in sales within the pet care industry. People are investing in more supplies and better quality food for their beloved dogs.
Featured Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock