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Peruvian Hairless Dog

Other names: Peruvian Inca Orchid, Perro Sin Pelo de Peru, Inca Hairless Dog, Viringo, Calato, Peruvian Walking Dead Dog, Dielmatian

Peruvian Hairless Dog
Peruvian Hairless Dog adult
Peruvian Hairless Dog

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. 

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Key facts about the Peruvian Hairless Dog

  • Life expectancy : Between 10 and 12 years
  • Temperament : Playful, Intelligent
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Naked
  • Price : Between £400 and £600

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types

Section

Section 6 : Primitive type

Physical characteristics of the Peruvian Hairless Dog

Adult size

Female dog Between 10 and 26 in
Male dog Between 10 and 26 in

Weight

Female dog Between 9 and 66 lb
Male dog Between 9 and 66 lb

Coat colour

Black. White. Grey. Brown. Can be one colour or with pink spots.

Type of coat

Hairless.

Eye colour

Brown.

Description

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. 

Temperament

Affectionate

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Extremely affectionate towards owners. Really warms to women and children. Tends to stay away from “strangers.”

Playful

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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

Calm

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An excitable breed. Can be a little “hyper.” 

Intelligent

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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. 

Hunter

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Although not bred to hunt, many Peruvian Incas were used as sighthounds that specialised in catching small rodents.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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Shy and nervous around new people, especially adult males. 

Independent

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A very independent-minded dog. Gets bored easily. May turn stubborn if not handled correctly.

Behaviour of the Peruvian Hairless Dog

Tolerates solitude

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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

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In the right hands, these dogs are fairly easy to train. But they do require a varied and challenging training schedule. 

Barking

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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.

Tendency to run away

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These dogs are very unlikely to run away. Only a bored or frustrated Peruvian Inca will run away from home. 

Destructive

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These dogs are very prone to separation anxiety. Any Peruvian Inca suffering from the condition is likely to start displaying destructive behaviour. 

Greedy / Gluttony

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These small to medium sized dogs have a modest appetite. Not known for being greedy. 

Guard dog

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A first rate watchdog. Alert. Lively. Excellent vision. 

First dog

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Not the best dog for  the first time owner. These intelligent canines have very specific training requirements. 

Lifestyle

Peruvian Hairless Dog in a flat

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As long as they’re getting enough exercise, smaller Peruvian Incas will feel comfortable living in a flat. The larger version of the breed will need a bit more space. 

Need for exercise / Sporty

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30-50 mins a day will keep them happy. They also need plenty of time off the leash to run free and explore.

Travelling / easy to transport

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Smaller Peruvian Incas are very easy to transport. They’re also small enough to travel with the commercial airlines that allow some dogs onto their planes.

Compatibility

Peruvian Hairless Dog and cats

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These dogs can live alongside cats quite happily. However, it’s best to introduce them to cats as early as possible. 

Peruvian Hairless Dog and dogs

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Very friendly towards other dogs. Loves making new “doggy” friends. 

Peruvian Hairless Dog and children

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An excellent family dog. Really enjoys the company of children. Playful and loving. Very protective over toddlers and babies.

Peruvian Hairless Dog and the elderly

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Can make a good pet for active elderly people, although the smaller Incas are probably more suitable for senior dog lovers.

Price

The cost of buying a Peruvian Inca puppy will be between £400 to £600. Monthly costs will be between £50 to £80.

Grooming

Extremely low grooming needs. Need to be bathed and oiled routinely to avoid skin problems. 

Shedding

Hairless.

Nutrition of the Peruvian Hairless Dog

2 to 3 cups of high-quality dog food split over two daily meals.  

Health of the Peruvian Hairless Dog

Life expectancy

Generally healthy, although they do have some breed specific problems. Their average life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.

Strong / robust

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A small but sturdy animal. Well built. Muscular. Smaller Peruvian Incas are a bit more delicate. 

Withstand heat

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Unlikely to overheat, but overexposure to direct sunlight can lead to sunburn and skin lesions.

Withstand cold

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These hairless dogs will suffer in the cold. They will need a thick doggy coat for winter walks. Not suited for owners living in colder climates. 

Tendency to put on weight

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No issues with weight gain or obesity.

Common illnesses

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.

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.

Names

Titch, Chip, Nina, Ria

Find out more dog name ideas here

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