Peruvian Inca Orchid

Type: Companion Dog

Height: There are 3 size classes: Small 10 - 16 inches; Medium 16 - 20 inches; Large 20 - 28 inches at the withers, females are slightly smaller than males.

Weight: There are 3 weight classes: Small 9 - 18 lbs.; Medium 18 - 26 lbs.; and Large 26 - 55 lbs.

Life Span: 11 - 12. Although some have lived to as old as 16.

Litter Size: 2 - 4 puppies.

Country of Origin: Peru

Activity: Medium

Watch-dog: High. They are generally distrusting of strangers.

Guard-dog: Low. These dogs are small and frail, and do not have great defense against an intruder.

Description: Very much like the sight hound, Peruvian Inca Orchids love to run. They are an elegant and slim dog, whose aspect expresses speed, strength and harmony without ever appearing coarse. The Peruvian Inca Orchid was bred as bed warmers by the early Indians in Peru, with the powderpuff version being used as hunters. They were often kept in the same room as their orchids where the humidity helped to preserve their silky smooth skin, thus leading to their name. Although their temperatures are the same as other breeds, the lack of hair makes them feel warmer to the touch - perhaps giving rise to the phrase 'three dog night' as a term for cold evenings. Peruvian Inca Orchids are an extremely devoted to their family, and they can be very wary of strangers. They are clowns who love to entertain and spend time with their families. They are lively, very intelligent, and are quick to obey. This breed is sensitive, however, and does not need much correction. It will likely wilt at a raised voice. The Peruvian Inca Orchid is affectionate, loving and loyal. Unfortunately, this breed suffers from a range of health problems associated with their hairlessness. The powederpuff versions of the breed are kept in the genes in order to prevent more health problems. Hairless Inca Orchid Dogs can suffer from sunburn, cold temperatures, and dental problems such as losing teeth. They are fragile dogs, but they are very friendly and get along with most anyone.

Does this Breed sound right to you ? Click Here to Find a Breeder

Other Names: Perro sin Pelo del Peru, Moonflower Dog, Perro Flora, Chien nu du Pérou, Peruanischer Nackthund, Peruvian Hairless Dog, Perunkarvatonkoira, Peruu Inca Orhideekoer, Inkade Orhideekoer, Viringo and Peruaanse Haarloze Hond

Colors: Solid colors, or heavy skin spotting of all color combinations on a pink or white skin background. They are either hairless or powderpuff. Their colors can be white with black, tan, blue, or red markings. They can also be red or blue with lighter markings.

Coat: Peruvian Inca Orchids can be hairless or coated. Coated variety ranges from Doberman length to almost as long as a Collie's fur. It can be short, medium or long.

Temperament: Peruvian Inca Orchids are a very soft tempered dog. They are quiet and easy to live with, reserved with strangers until they can evaluate the situation. They are calm, sensitive, and loving. They remain devoted to their owners, and are willing to please. Most are easily obedient, highly intelligent, and good with other animals. They are a bit fragile for children, unless the children are well behaved. Inca Orchid Dogs are outgoing in play, quiet in the house, but fastidious. They are affectionate, noble, and loyal. They can also be very agile, alert, and quick.

With Children: Being delicate dogs, they do not do well with rough play.

With Pets: Peruvian Inca Orchids are not dog aggressive and can play with same sex playmates as well as smaller or larger dogs. Great with cats if socialized early.

Care and Training: Skin care is a must for the hairless variety, once weekly bathing will keep their skin soft and supple. The furless versions do not have fleas, are usually clean, and are easy to clean. Sometimes this breed can get acne. The ears should have regular attention, as they can become dry and cracked easily. Peruvian Inca Orchids do not need excessive exercise, but should be exercised regularly like any dog. Regular walks are fine. Because of their sensitive nature, corrections are not required very often when training. It is very important to begin socialization as puppies in order to ensure that they get along with other pets and people in the future.

Learning Rate: Their intelligence level is a constant source of delight to those who appreciate intelligence in animals. Obedience - High. They are willing to please and are sensitive to training, making them want to get it right. Problem Solving - High.

Special Needs: Protection from the sun and cold, skin care, and socialization.

Living Environment: They are flea-less, hairless and odorless - making them the perfect indoor dog. Their yards must be secure to ensure that a bunny or squirrel cannot entice them to chase and escape. Shade and a warm place to sleep at night is needed for this breed, as their lack of hair makes it difficult for them to keep warm on cold nights, and a hot sun in the summer will give them a sunburn. This breed does well in an apartment, and the best owner for this breed would be an owner living in the city or suburbia.

Health Issues: Because of their naked condition these dogs sunburn easily and get cold quickly. The hairless variety lacks premolars and may be toothless at maturity, of which will need veterinary attention.

History: The name of the Peruvian Inca Orchid has an interesting origin. When Spanish explorers found Peru, they also found this hairless breed in the domiciles of the natives. The houses were usually decorated with orchids, and therefore the breed was called the Peruvian Inca Orchid dog. The name of Moonflower Dog also has a story to its name. The lighter-toned variations of the breed were kept inside during the day to prevent sunburn, and at night were allowed to roam free under the moonlight, thus leading to their name. It was believed the Peruvian Inca Orchid dogs - officially Perro sin Pelo del Peru - were crossed with the sight hounds brought by the Conquistadors to produce the modern breed. However, since statues, drawings and other artifacts dating before Pizzaro's time document hairless dogs very similar to what is seen today, it is more likely the breed descended from the hairless dog of Mexico, the Xoloitzcuintli. The Peruvians utilized methods of selective breeding constantly in their culture, even marrying brother/sister pairs among themselves to produce consistency. They applied these methods to breeding their dogs as well, and perpetuated the hairless type. The breed still comes in furred varieties occasionally in litters, but they are only used to help with the hairless version's teeth, eye and skin problems. There is a "night time" and "day time" version of the Peruvian Inca Orchid: the night time version is light-skinned. This dog was prized among the Peruvians and breeders would try to get the lightest pigment they could. The other time, the day time dogs, also called Inca Hairless Dogs, are black in color. Historians say the Peruvian Hairless was brought to the Americas 2,000 to 3,000 years ago during the migration from either Asia across the Bering Strait, or from Africa. Many theories abound to the origin of the Peruvian Inca Orchid, but they are believed to have been around since A.D. 750 when they appeared in the settlements of the Moche people of Peru. Today they still serve their original purposes, although now the hairless type performs in the show ring. They are kept as bed warmers, companions and house pets.

First Registered by the AKC: Foundation Stock Service 1996

AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Class: Southern

Registries: FSS, PKC (Peruvian Kennel Club), FCI (Group 5), UKC