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  • Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Noble
  • Height: 9.75-15.75 inches (small) 15.75-19.75 inches (medium) 19.75-25.75 inches (large)
  • Weight: 8.5-17.5 pounds (small) 17.5-26.5 pounds (medium) 26.5-55 pounds (large)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Group: Miscellaneous Class

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Breed Standard
Peruvian Inca Orchid standing facing left.
Peruvian Inca Orchid head and shoulders facing forward.
Peruvian Inca Orchid shoulders facing forward, head turned left.
Peruvian Inca Orchid sitting in three-quarter view.
Peruvian Inca Orchid head and shoulders in three-quarter view.
Peruvian Inca Orchid standing in three-quarter view in a grassy field.

About the Peruvian Inca Orchid

These affectionate companion dogs are essentially sighthounds (think Greyhounds and Whippets) and have the same elegant contours of their racy cousins. PIOs come in a range of sizes: the smallest might stand just short of 10 inches; the largest top out at nearly 26 inches. Their distinguishing feature is, of course, hairlessness. The delicate skin can be a solid color or spotted with unpigmented areas. Coated PIOs are in the minority, and the coated and hairless varieties can occur in the same littler.

Going by his general conformation, it is an elegant and slim dog, whose aspect expresses speed, strength and harmony without ever appearing coarse. Another particular feature is that the dentition in the hairless variety is nearly always incomplete, associated with the congenital alopecia. Noble and affectionate at home with those close to him, he is at the same time lively and alert. He might be wary of strangers and is a good watch dog. The breed is loyal and protective of his family, but like all dogs, should be supervised around younger children. Caution should also be taken with small pets that may be seen as prey.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country. Since November 2010, The Peruvian Inca Orchid Enthusiasts Club has served as the AKC Parent Club to represent the Peruvian Inca Orchid.
Peruvian Inca Orchid

Find a Puppy: Peruvian Inca Orchid

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Find Peruvian Inca Orchid Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Peruvian Hairless should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

These are not outdoor dogs and require sunscreen on sunny days. Beyond regular grooming, the occasional bath will keep your Peruvian Inca Orchid clean and looking his best. Their nails can be trimmed when needed with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Ears should be checked occasionally to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed when needed.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Regularly

EXERCISE

The Peruvian Inca Orchid requires a good bit of activity to remain healthy and happy. Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or going on walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

Peruvian Inca Orchids require a great deal of socialization and should be kept in the house, as they do not make good outdoor dogs. This breed is intelligent and can be a challenge to train. New owners should be able to commit to a substantial amount of time needed to train and socialize their new PIO puppy. Because they are a primitive breed, they have a wide range of temperaments, from a typical docile sighthound to a more feral temperament. PIOs are not recommended for families with small children, but they can do well with older, more considerate kids. Rough play is discouraged with puppies, as this can promote aggressive behavior. They can be raised with smaller dogs or cats, but require supervision.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

The majority of Peruvian Inca Orchids are healthy dogs. Working with a responsible breeders, those wishing to own a Peruvian Inca Orchid can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.

Peruvian Inca Orchid sitting in three-quarter view.
Hairless dog effigy circa 1200 AD made of blackware typical of Chimu pottery found on the north coast of Peru.
Chimu blackware vessel from Peru circa 1000-1400 AD featuring a hairless dog bitch nursing her litter.
Moche vessel featuring two hairless dogs.
A Peruvian Inca Orchid lying in three-quarter view.
Peruvian Inca Orchid puppy.
Peruvian Inca Orchid puppy.
A Peruvian Inca Orchid standing on a farm in Huaral, Peru in 1998.

History

The ancient history of the Peruvian Inca Orchid can be told through pottery and textiles. The breed first appeared in Moche pottery in 750 AD. They were also depicted in Chimu, Chancay, and Incan pottery. The Chancay people used the dogs as companions, and certain pottery even depicts them in sweaters. Their urine and feces were believed to be used in medicines. The Chimu considered them good luck and used the dogs’ warmth for the treatment of arthritis and respiratory conditions.

The original hairless dogs were small companion animals, but when Peru was conquered by the Conquistadors, the small dogs were interbred with the dogs of the foreigners and over the years, three distinct sizes developed. In the mountainous regions, the Andean people protected the dogs, but the breed did not fare well in the cities along the coast. There, the hairless dogs were considered diseased and pariahs and were often exterminated.

In 1966, an American, Jack Walklin, visited Peru and brought eight dogs back to the US. He is believed to be the one to have named the breed the Peruvian Inca Orchid and the breed was established under that name in the US and Europe. Germany registered the breed with the FCI in 1981.

In 1985, the Kennel Club of Peru accepted the breed and requested the FCI change the name to Perro sin Pelo de Peru (Peruvian Hairless Dog). In 2001, Peru declared the breed a National Patrimony and the dogs are now protected in Peru.

Did You Know?

The Peruvian Inca Orchid has been assigned the Hound Group designation.
The fundamental characteristic of the breed is the absence of hair on its body, except for small vestiges on the head, extremities and tail.
Other names for the breed include Pio, Perro sin pelo del Perú (Dog without hair of Peru), Perros Flora (Flower Dogs), Moonflower Dog, Inca Hairless Dog and Peruvian Hairless Dog.
Pre-Inca pottery portrays this breed in great detail.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid has been eligible to compete in the Miscellaneous Class since January 1, 2011.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid has been eligible to compete in Lure Coursing since September 1, 2012.

The Breed Standard

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black Check Mark For Standard Color 007
Blue Check Mark For Standard Color 037
Bronze Check Mark For Standard Color 060
Brown Check Mark For Standard Color 061
Copper Check Mark For Standard Color 535
Cream Check Mark For Standard Color 076
Gold Check Mark For Standard Color 091
Gray Check Mark For Standard Color 100
Gray Brindle Check Mark For Standard Color 107
Lilac Check Mark For Standard Color 504
Red Check Mark For Standard Color 140
Red Brindle Check Mark For Standard Color 148
Rose Check Mark For Standard Color 534
Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 195
Tan Brindle Check Mark For Standard Color 446
Tri-Colored Check Mark For Standard Color 380
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Black Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 002
Brown Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 022
Cream Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 044
Gold Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 097
Gray Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 028
Red Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 023
Sable Check Mark For Standard Mark 026
Spotted Check Mark For Standard Mark 021
Tan Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 012
Tri-Colored Check Mark For Standard Mark 086
White Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 014
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