The Peruvian Hairless Dog (Peruvian Inca Orchid) is a breed of dog with its origins in Peruvian pre-Inca cultures.
According to the FCI breed standard, the most important aspect of its appearance is its hairlessness. 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 disqualified from conformation showing. The color of skin can be chocolate-brown, elephant grey, copper, or mottled. They can be totally one color or one color with tongue pink spots. Albinism is not allowed. The eye color is linked to the skin color. It is always brown, but dogs with light colors can have clearer eyes than darker-skinned dogs.
Peruvian Hairless Dogs vary in size :
Small 25 – 40 cm (10 – 16 inches)
Medium 40 – 50 cm (16 – 20 inches)
Large 50 – 65 cm (20 – 26 inches)
Weight is also varied according to size :
Small 4 – 8 kg (9 – 18 lbs)
Medium 8 – 12 kg (18 – 26 lbs)
Large 12 – 25 kg (26 – 55 lbs)
The dogs should be slim and elegant, with the impression of force and harmony, without being coarse.
The ears should be candle-flame shaped and erect with the possibility to lay flat.
Proportions of height (at withers) to length (withers to base of tail) are 1:1.
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 Empire (The Spaniards classified them as one of the 6 different breeds of dogs in the Inca Empire), they were also kept as pets in pre-Inca cultures from the Peruvian coastal zone. Ceramic hairless dogs from the Chimú, Moche, and Vicus culture are well known. Depictions of Peruvian hairless dogs appear around 750 A.D. on Moche ceramic vessels and continue in later Andean ceramic traditions. The main area of the Inca Empire (the mountains) is too cold for the natural existence of the dogs. While they were commonly eaten in ancient times in the northern coastal areas of Peru the Inca prohibited the consumption of dogs when they conquered that region.
The Spanish conquest of Peru nearly caused the extinction of the breed. The dogs survived in rural areas where the people believed that they held a mystical value, and because of their reputation to treat arthritis.
In recent years, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) accepted the breed and adopted an official breed standard. Before that time, in the United States, some enthusiasts created another type of Peruvian hairless dog, the Peruvian Inca Orchid. The Peruvian Inca Orchid is recognized by the AKC, and all recognized dogs are descendants of 13 dogs brought from Peru in the early 20th century. The club UKC also recognized the breed in recent years.
Photo By Hookery=Yuri Hooker – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18763367