Peruvian Inca Orchid: Ancient Hairless Dog Breed

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Peruvian Inca Orchid is an agile and highly intelligent dog breed. This breed can be coated, but in most cases, it's is entirely hairless. Read on to discover more about this unusual breed.

Breed Characteristics:

Peruvian Inca Orchid is an elegant dog breed developed in Peru. This breed is best known for its hairless appearance, although they may be coated as well.

This breed comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. They are often described as alert and lively, and very good when it comes to hunting. Here is more on this dog breed.

Quick Facts

Real name: Peruvian Hairless Dog
Other names: Perro Sin Pelo de Perú, Inca Hairless Dog, Viringo, Peruvian Inca Orchid, Calato, Peruvian Walking Dead dog, Dielmatian
Origin: Peru
Breed type: Hairless dog
Weight: Small 4 – 9 – 18 lbs (4-8 kg), Medium 18 – 26 lbs (8-12 kg), Large 26 – 55 lbs (12-25 kg)
Height: Small 10 – 16 inches (25-40 cm)
Medium 16 – 20 inches (40-50 cm), Large 20 – 26 inches (50-65 cm)
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Litter Size: 3-5 puppies
Color: Chocolate-brown, elephant-grey, copper, or mottled. They can also be one color, or one color with pink spots
Coat: Hairless, and when coated their hair is short and soft

Peruvian Inca Orchid Introduction

The Peruvian Inca Orchid is an affectionate dog breed of unusual appearance and elegant contours. They come in three sizes, with the smallest one being only 10 inches, and the largest one going up to 26 inches.

They are mostly known for their hairless appearance and delicate skin. Some of them are even coated, but they are in the minority. Interestingly, both coated and hairless varieties can occur in the same litter.

The Peruvian Inca Orchid is an elegant and slim dog, whose aspect expresses speed, strength, and harmony.

Owners describe this breed as noble and affectionate, and slightly wary of strangers. They are good watchdogs, and they are often described as loyal and protective, but like all dogs, they should be supervised when around younger children.

Extra caution should be taken with small pets, as they may see them as prey.

Peruvian Inca Orchid History

The Peruvian Inca Orchid is one of the oldest breeds in the world. The evidence of this breed first appeared in Moche pottery in 750 AD. They were also seen in other historical items, including Chimu, Chancay, and Incan pottery.

These dogs were used as companions by the Chancat people, and they strongly believed that this dog’s urine and feces were beneficial for medical purposes. Many believed that this breed brings luck.

The original hairless dogs were small companion animals, but the small dogs were interbred with the foreigners’ dogs when the Conquistadors conquered Peru. This mix leads to the development of three distinct sizes.

The Andean people gave their best to protect the dogs, but the breed did not fare well in the coast cities. There, the hairless dogs were considered diseased and pariahs and were often exterminated.

In 1966, a big turn happened to this breed, when an America, Jack Walklin, traveled to Peru.

From there, he brought eight dogs to the States. Dog experts believe that Jack was the one who named the breed – the Peruvian Inca Orchid.

With this name, the breed was established under that name in the States and Europe.

Germany registered the breed with the FCI in 1981. In 1985, the Kennel Club of Peru accepted the breed and requested the FCI change the name to Perro sin Pelo del Peru (Peruvian Hairless Dog).

As of 2001, the breed is protected in Peru. That year, Peru declared the breed a National Patrimony, and the dogs are now protected in Peru.

Peruvian Inca Orchid Physical Appearance

The Peruvian Inca Orchid or otherwise Peruvian Hairless Dog is a sighthound.

He is an elegant and slim dog, mostly in hairless variety. At first sight, females look slightly longer than males do.

The proportion of length and height at the withers is the same. Although this breed comes in three sizes, they are all identical in appearance and have similar, if not identical, physical characteristics.

All three varieties of this breed can be born coated or hairless, although only 25 to 30 percent of dogs were born coated.

Hairless dogs are usually naked all over the body, and many of them can still have hair in the form of a small patch on top of the head, as well as fluffs of hair on the lower tail and feet.

On the other hand, coated dogs can have a short, medium, or long (powderpuff) single coat.

This breed has a broad skull, wedge-shaped head, and wrinkled lips. They also have pricked ears in the form of a candle flame and are usually carried folded back.

The neck is long, strong, and relatively long. The stomach is well tucked up, and the loins are muscled, while the back is straight and strong.

The tail is pointed and carried low, slightly tucked down between the legs, toward the belly. The hind legs are well-boned, powerful, and muscular. This breed is built for speed, which is evident thanks to these physical characteristics.

Peruvian Inca Orchid Grooming

These dogs are sensitive when it comes to grooming. They should be kept in the house, and on sunny days they will need a specially designed sun cream for dogs.

Occasional bath is fine with proper shampoo, but this is something that should be checked with your veterinarian. Everything else is regular grooming:

  • Check ears and gums weekly
  • Check skin for any sign of infections
  • Trim nails regularly

Peruvian Inca Orchid Personality

Peruvian Inca Orchids were bred to be used as hunters and messengers, which is the main reason why they are so active and vivid. With time, this breed evolved to being a good watchdog and eventually companion.

They are extremely intelligent, and they love rules. This breed is best for owners who already have the experience of owning a dog, so they can get the most out of the training.

Orchids are very loyal and affectionate toward their families, and they are often suspicious of strangers. Still, they are rarely aggressive or overly protective.

They are great family pets, and they can get along with children nicely, as long as children don’t treat them as toys.

Since they have a high energy level, it’s best not to leave them toddlers and youngsters alone. Or at least provide a certain degree of supervision.

They tend to see smaller animals as prey, so if you have a multi-pet household, think twice if this is the breed for your home.

Peruvian Inca Orchid Training

You should start training your Peruvian Inca Orchids as soon as he comes to your home. Early socialization is the key when it comes to a well-behaved dog.

This breed is sensitive, and as such, they do not make great outdoor dogs and should be kept in the house. They are intelligent, making training challenging.

New dog owners should be able to commit a great amount of time needed to train and socialize their new puppy.

This is a primitive breed, and as such, they will have a wide range of temperaments.

This is the main reason why they are recommended for families with older and considerate kids, rather than to families with small children. Rough play is discouraged with puppies, as this can promote aggressive behavior.

Peruvian Inca Orchid Health

The Peruvian Inca Orchid is generally a healthy breed. Just like in humans, some dogs may appear some genetic issues.

This is why it’s important to work only for responsible breeders if you can’t find this breed in any local shelter.

Adopting a dog can be such a wonderful experience, and you can provide a home to someone who has been through a lot – so, if possible, always think about adoption first.

When working with breeders, be sure to ask for medical papers, meet at least one of the parents, and check well where the puppies have been living. These small clues can tell you how serious a breeder is or not.

Responsible breeders will always screen puppies for most common helaht issues in teh breed, including:

  • Eye infections
  • Ears infections
  • Hearing loss
  • Cardiac and patella exams

Peruvian Inca Orchid Nutrition

The Peruvian Hairless should do fine on high-quality dog food. If you want to feed your dog on home-prepared food, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian first.

Any diet should be appropriate for the dog’s age, size, and weight. Make sure that you know how much you should feed your dog and which human foods are a big no-no for your canine.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight, check it with your veterinarian.

Don’t overfeed your dog because obesity in pets is one of the States’ rising issues. Clean the dog’s bowl regularly and always provide clean and freshwater.

The Bottom Line

Peruvian Inca Orchid is one of the rarest and most unusual dogs in the world. Dating back to pre-Incan times, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is a dog with deep and strong roots in Peruvian culture.

How important this breed is to Peru, the best, tells the fact that this breed is Peru’s national dog. They come in threes size and are mostly hairless.

If you don’t live in an extremely warm area, your Orchid should do fine on high-quality food, proper maintenance, and a lot of love.

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