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National Dog of Peru: The Hairless Peruvian Inca Orchid

Posted by Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel on Jun 9, 2018 10:55:00 AM



The Peruvian Inca Orchid goes by many names; it’s also known as the Inca Hairless Dog, Virngo, Calato, and Perro Sin Pelo de Peru. They’re even referred to as perros flora or “flower dogs.” But to many, they are merely called the Peruvian Hairless Dog.

While the Peruvian Inca Orchid is admittedly an odd-looking dog, Peru is so proud of the breed that it was declared its national dog in 2001. In fact, they are Peru’s only breed of dog that is registered internationally.

The Ancient Peruvian Hairless Dog

The Peruvian Hairless Dog. is from an ancient breed, originating from pre-Inca cultures. The original Inca dogs were kept as pets during the Inca Empire. They were companion dogs that were believed to be believed to be bred to help keep people warm. Because they were hairless, snuggling up next to them meant more skin to skin contact which generates more warmth.

Depictions of the Peruvian Hairless Dog have been discovered on Moche and Andean ceramics, dating as far back as 750 A.D. The Incas seemed to believe that the hairless dog was mystical and had the power to cure everything from arthritis to headaches. They were also incredible hunters. The original Inca dogs were entirely hairless, and it is believed that the Spanish bred their sighthounds with Incan dogs to create larger dogs.

The Peruvian Inca Orchid Today

While they are called the Peruvian Hairless Dog, not all of them are entirely hairless. Some have little tufts of hair on their tails or heads. Some are even born with a full coat of fur. The coated variety of the Peruvian Inca Orchid come in colors such as white, tan, pink, brown, grey, and black. They also come in different shapes and sizes. The smaller ones are only about 9.75 inches in height while a larger dog can grow as tall as 25.75 inches. Their weight is between 8.5 lbs and 55 lbs.

The Peruvian Inca Orchid would be described as elegant by anyone who can appreciate their unique attributes. They are agile and lean, expressing that they have strength and speed. They are lively, protective, and alert, they make excellent home companions and watchdogs.

As they are hairless, you shouldn’t allow your Peruvian Inca Orchid to spend too much time in the sun. If they like to play outdoors; apply canine-specific sunscreen to their skin. Don’t use any sunscreen that contains Zinc Oxide as your dog may lick it from their fur, potentially harming their health. Pay particular attention to the rims of their ears. Because their ears often stand erect, they catch a lot of sun exposure and tend to become dry and cracked.

If you are considering owning a Peruvian Hairless Dog, remember that will need specific care. Because they are a hairless breed, keeping their skin protected from the sun with good moisturizing is vital. Also, remember that they come from an ancient kind of hunters. Your new pet will not only be an excellent companion but will be instinctively sight-hunting which is great if your home is prone to small rodents. These dogs are affectionate, playful, and loyal.

In Peru there are some place where you can find some of these beautiful dogs.

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Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel

Topics: MOCHE, Incas

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