A family of “ancient” dogs has stunned the internet, with many noticing the statuesque appearance of the animals.
The Xoloitzcuintli, sometimes shortened to Xolo, has been compared to Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead and guardian of the underworld, by Redditors.
A post on the site’s Interesting As F*** forum, by u/DavidRolands, has garnered a lot of attention since it was posted on Wednesday, garnering more than 87,000 upvotes.
The snap, which can be seen hereshows three black dogs, believed to be parents, and a puppy.
“A family of Xolos, one of the world’s oldest dog breeds,” the caption reads.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has advised pet lovers that the correct way to pronounce the breed is “show-low-eats-QUEENT-lee”.
Explaining more about their long lineage, he said: “The 3,000-year-old Xoloitzcuintli, the ancient Aztec dog of the gods, is today a loving companion and vigilant watchdog.”
They come in three sizes and can have fur or be hairless. Despite their similarity to Anubis, the breed’s origins are in Central America, not Egypt.
The AKC said: “The Xoloitzcuintles are national treasures in Mexico, with a history that dates back at least 3,000 years. Mentions of these ‘strange hairless dogs‘ appear in the diaries of Columbus and other European explorers. The ancient Aztecs named the breed for their god-headed dog Xolotl.
“Xolos were considered sacred by the Aztecs and were often sacrificed and buried alongside their owners to serve as protective guides to the next world. In modern times, Xolos are devoted watchdogs and companions. “
Their striking appearance was a hit online, as Lord Sharington thought: “They definitely look like hounds of the underworld.”
spiderMechanic opined, “Anubis is the first thing that came to mind when I saw the photo.”
Charleeclaire agreed, saying, “Yes! I came here to say that Anubis and his sons have arrived.”
Merikaninjunwarrior felt, “They also look like sphinx cats, which also makes them more meaningful.”
Beneficial_Step9088 admitted, “I thought they were statues.”
SplodyPants said, “Damn. It’s really interesting as F***. I would love to interact with these dogs in real life.”
JefferyDexterB wrote: “Serious Anubis vibes.”
The dog-headed god Xolotl is said to have “descended into the subterranean hell of Mictlan to gather the bones of the ancient dead”, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. While Anubis, often depicted as a jackal or jackal-headed man, had different roles in various dynasties, ranging from lord of the dead to “conductor of souls”, he said.
The table below, provided by Statista, shows popular dog breeds.
Newsweek contacted u/DavidRolands for comment.