Peruvian Hairless Dog
|Peruvian Hairless Dog
|Perro Sin Pelo del Perú
Inca Hairless Dog
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 5 Section 6 #310
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Peruvian Hairless Dog is a
dog with its origins
pre-Inca cultures. It is one of several breeds of
This is an ancient breed. Although it is often perceived to be an
Incan dog because
it is known to have been kept during the Inca-imperium, they were also kept as
pets in pre-Inca cultures from the Peruvian coastal zone. Ceramic hairless dogs
from the Chimú,
Vicus culture are
well known. The main area of the Inca imperium (the mountains) is too cold for
the natural existence of the dogs. The Spanish conquest of Peru nearly caused
the extinction of the breed. The dogs survived in rural areas, where the people
believed in their magical forces. In recent years, the
Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) accepted the breed and adopted
breed standard. Before that time, in the United States, some enthusiasts
created another type of Peruvian hairless dog, the
Peruvian Inca Orchid, which has never been officialy recognized by a major
According to the FCI breed standard, the most important aspect of its
appearance is its hairlessnes. The dog may have short hair on top of its head,
on its feet, and on the tip of its tail. In Peru, breeders tend to prefer
completely hairless dogs. The full-coated variety is not recognized as a valid
breed variation for the
The color of skin can be chocolate-brown, elephant grey, copper, or mottled.
not allowed. The eye color is linked to the skin color. It's always brown, but
dogs with light colors can have clearer eyes than darker-skinned dogs.
Peruvian Hairless Dogs vary in size:
- Miniature, 25 to 40 cm (10 to 16 inches)
- Medium (or medio), 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 inches)
- Large (or grande), 50 to 65 cm (20 to 26 inches)
The smallest weighs from 4 kg (9 lb) and the largest up to 25 kg (55 lb).
Some kennel clubs consider the three to be separate breeds.
The dogs should be slim and elegant, with the impression of force and
harmony, without being coarse.
The ears should be candleflame shaped and erect with the possibilty to lay
Proportions of height (at
length (withers to base of tail) are 1:1.
The dogs are very smart, independent, demanding, quick learners, and are
loyal and good with children. They are friendly with other dogs but can be
protective as well. These dogs do not like to be alone, but when trained, can do
well. It is a dog that can be indoors or outdoors. They are agile and fast.
Dispite its assets, the primitive nature of the dog doesn't make it a good dog
for beginners. It needs an owner that understands
The lack of hair leads to a reputation for being clean, for being easy to
wash with a sponge, and for a natural lack of
fleas or other
Despite this, the dog needs as much care as other dogs, but in another way. The
skin should be taken care of frequently. Almost all of this breed tend to have
acne or at least
The skin often becomes too dry and can be treated with some kind of moisturing
Protection against sunlight may be neccesary, depending on the season and the
color of the dog's skin. The dark-colored dogs get used to direct sunlight and
need to be looked after only in spring when sunlight gets stronger. The
light-colored dogs (copper) and spotted ones have to be protected always, in
summer. They tend to quickly
Protection against cold is necessary when it gets colder. However,
sensitivity to cold may vary from dog to dog, with smaller dogs more sensitive
to cold than the bigger ones.
The ears need special attention. The rims of the ears can dry out and chap
Genetics and health
The genes that cause hairlessness also result in the breed often having fewer
teeth than other breeds, mostly lacking
One theory is that hairlessness is dominant-lethal, which means that
homozygotic hairlesness doesn't exist. This results in a birthrate of 2:1,
hairless : coated. However, some breeders don't show this result, having a
birthrate between 2:1 and 8:1.
AKC-type breed standards are not compatible with the genetics of hairlessness
in dogs, but FCI rules are. Some breeders think that interbreeding with coated
(Peruvian) dogs is required to maintain functional teeth and nervous system
health in subsequent generations. They say that breeding of hairless with
hairless (and common but unacknowledged
culling of hairy
pups from litters to maintain a "pure" image) leads to short-lived dogs with
serious health problems. However, other breeders think the opposite and are
doing well, too.
Other than skin-care issues, there are no known health issues to this breed.
It is a persistent myth that the body temperature of hairless dogs is higher
than other dogs; they may feel warmer due to the lack of hair. Letting the dog
"hug" you is supposed to help with stomach pain and other disorders, according
to Peruvian folklore. Other myths are the dog is a vegetarian or that it cannot
bark. It is very likely that some of these myths have helped the breed to
survive in Peru.
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