A family of “ancient” dogs has stunned the internet, with many people remarking on the animals’ statuesque appearance.
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 attracted a lot of attention since being posted on Wednesday, amassing more than 87,000 upvotes.
The snap, which can be seen here, shows three black dogs, believed to be parents and a puppy.
“A family of Xolos, one of the most ancient dog breeds in the world,” the caption said.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) advised pet lovers that the correct way to pronounce the breed is “show-low-eats-QUEENT-lee.”
Explaining more on their long lineage, it 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: “Xoloitzcuintles are national treasures in Mexico, with a history that goes back at least 3,000 years. Mentions of these” strange hairless dogs “appear in the journals of Columbus and other European explorers. Ancient Aztecs named the breed for their dog -headed god Xolotl.
“Xolos were considered sacred by the Aztecs and often were sacrificed and buried alongside their owners to serve as protective guides to the next world. In modern times, Xolos are dedicated watchdogs and companions.”
Their striking appearance was a hit online, as LordSharington thought: “They definitely look like dogs from the underworld.”
spiderMechanic reckoned: “Anubis was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the pic.”
Charleeclairee agreed, saying: “Yep! I came here to say Anubis and his sons have arrived.”
Merikaninjunwarrior reckoned: “They look like sphinx cats as well, so that also makes them look more significant.”
Beneficial_Step9088 admitted: “I thought these were statues.”
SplodyPants raved: “Damn. This is truly Interesting as F ***. I would love to interact with those dogs in real life.”
JefferyDexterB wrote: “Serious Anubis vibes.”
The dog-headed god Xolotl is said to have “descended to the underground hell of Mictlan to gather the bones of the ancient dead,” according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Whereas Anubis, often represented by a jackal or a man with the head of one, had differing roles in various dynasties, moving from lord of the dead to “conductor of souls,” it said.
The chart below, provided by Statista, shows popular dog breeds.
Newsweek reached out to u / DavidRolands for comment.