Peruvian Hairless Dog
Other names: Peruvian Inca Orchid, Perro Sin Pelo de Peru, Inca Hairless Dog, Viringo, Calato, Peruvian Walking Dead Dog, Dielmatian
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a hairless dog that comes in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. Also known as the Peruvian Hairless dog, it’s roots can be traced as far back as 750AD. They were actually used as a food source for tribes around the coastal region of Peru. However, the Incas put a stop to this practice after conquering the area. The Peruvian Inca is a lively little character. They’re very affectionate towards their owners and don’t like being left alone for long periods of time.
Key facts about the Peruvian Hairless Dog
Origins and history
The Peruvian Inca dog was revered by many ancient tribes. Depictions of the dog appear on artefacts dating from 300BC. They are seen on the ceramics from pre-Inca tribes like the Vicus, the Mochica, the Chancay, and the Chimu. Despite holding the animal in high regard, some of these tribes used it as a food source, although the Incas put an end to the practice when they conquered the region. The Inca believed that this small, hairless animal had mystical qualities, including the ability to heal serious medical conditions. It wasn't recognised by the FCI until 1985.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types
Section 6 : Primitive type
Physical characteristics of the Peruvian Hairless Dog
Female : Between 10 and 26 in
Male : Between 10 and 26 in
Female : Between 9 and 66 lb
Male : Between 9 and 66 lb
Black. White. Grey. Brown. Can be one colour or with pink spots.
Type of coat
Hairless. A slim and elegant frame. Long but muscular neck. High head carriage. Erect ears and a medium length tail which is also very thin. Alert posture.
Good to know
Almost all Peruvian Incas are hairless. However, a small number have a short, tight coat.
The gene that causes hairlessness also causes some dental problems. Peruvian Incas have fewer teeth than other breeds. They also tend to fall out as the Inca approaches old age.
Although they don’t require any grooming, many experts recommend using a moisturising lotion to help keep the Incas skin clean and healthy. But opt for natural, organic options like olive oil, coconut oil, and baby lotion that DOES NOT contain lanolin.
Extremely affectionate towards owners. Really warms to women and children. Tends to stay away from “strangers.”
Although this dog is very playful, they’ll quickly grow bored of repetitive games like fetch. These fast learners need to be challenged with interesting and novel games.
An excitable breed. Can be a little “hyper.”
A very smart dog that learns quickly. This means they have a low tolerance for boredom. Any owner will have to come up with new ways to keep this dog mentally stimulated.
Although not bred to hunt, many Peruvian Incas were used as sighthounds that specialised in catching small rodents.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Shy and nervous around new people, especially adult males.
A very independent-minded dog. Gets bored easily. May turn stubborn if not handled correctly.
Behaviour of the Peruvian Hairless Dog
This dog should never be left alone for long periods of time. Not suited to solitude. A lack of regular company will lead to depression and separation anxiety.
Easy to train / obedience
In the right hands, these dogs are fairly easy to train. But they do require a varied and challenging training schedule.
Can be quite vocal, especially if they haven’t seen you for a little while. Should never bark excessively. Such behaviour will be linked to mental health issues.