Mexican Street Dogs are commonly known as village dogs or callejeros ("street dogs") in Mexico. They tend to be good-natured but can sometimes be wary of people.
This scrappy, street-wise, catch-all breed likely descends from the stray and feral dog populations that roam the streets and beaches of Mexico. But some experts believe Mexican Street Dogs aren't truly companion animals. They propose the canines are actually self-sufficient scavengers closely related to dogs that first appeared thousands of years ago.
Whatever the case may be, humans have had little involvement with Mexican Street Dog breeding. And that means the dogs come in a variety of sizes, colors, and builds.
The National Institute of Statistics and Geography estimates that about 70 percent of the 18 million dogs in Mexico live on the street.
Mexican Street Dogs are diverse in size, shape, and color patterns.
Generally, Mexican Street Dogs have short hair and tan coloring. But long, wiry, and curled coats of different colors do occur.
The most distinctive trait of the Mexican Street Dog is its diversity of traits!
As the "street" in their name would imply, many of these dogs must fend of themselves. So, they tend to be intelligent, adaptable, and highly food-motivated. But often, Mexican Street Dogs are also friendly. And with proper socialization, they do well with children and other dogs.
Mexican Street Dogs need a high-quality diet—especially if they come directly from the streets. If you can estimate your dog's age, it's best to choose a food specially formulated for their life stage.
If you have a short-haired Mexican Street Dog, using a bristle brush weekly will keep their coat looking good. On the other hand, dogs with long, wiry coats need a sleeker type of brush to help prevent matting and remove dirt.
All grooming routines should also include trimming nails, cleaning ears, and brushing teeth.
As you can likely imagine, Street Dogs often get their exercise by running around the boulevards and beaches of Mexico. So, if you bring one home, you should be prepared to meet their activity needs.
Mexican Street Dog puppies typically have more energy than adult dogs and need short bursts of exercise (e.g., brief walks or play sessions). An adult or senior dog, however, will have different energy levels. And in general, exercise needs vary from dog to dog, depending on their health and age. But if your dog seems stir-crazy or gets destructive, take that as a sign that they need to get out and move around.
Because of their experiences on the streets, Mexican Street Dogs often have a sensitive nature and respond best to motivational tools. A reward-based approach to training using treats and favorite toys is usually quite effective. With appropriate training, Mexican Street Dogs can perform various tasks—such as herding cattle or sheep.
Reviewed July 26, 2020 by Annette Louviere, DVM