The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a rare breed of dog. They are usually hairless, with a minority of the puppies being coated. Breeders prefer the hairless ones to the coated puppies…
Also called Peruvian Hairless dogs, the Peruvian Inca Orchid was kept by rulers of the Incas at the time of the Spanish conquest in the 1540’s. It is actually thought that the breed was around as early as 300 C.E., as images of the dogs have been found on pre-Incan pottery.
Description of the Inca Orchid
The most desireable of these dogs is the hairless variety. While some may have hair on the head and tail with other dogs being coated, Peruvian breeders seem to prefer the hairless ones. There are three size ranges with small being 9 to 18 pounds, medium 18 to 26 pounds and large 26 to 55 pounds.
Prospective owners should realize that the hairless puppy that they are about to adopt is basically naked. Therefore, the Inca Orchid should have a sweater and warm place in the winter and precautions should be taken to keep it from getting sunburned in the summer. Skin of the dog should be moisturized often using lanolin free lotion or oil. This breed is friendly and takes well to family life, being good with children and other pets. They are also protective of their owners.
The Orchid puppy has a life expectancy of 11 to 12 years. Along with a tendency to dry skin which will sometimes produce acne and blackheads if not properly cleaned and oiled, these dogs also tend to have dental problems. Many of the dogs in the United States can be traced back to about a dozen dogs that were imported originally from Peru, and interbreeding has worsened these tendencies.
Breeders and Puppies
The Peruvian Inca Orchid puppies are born on an approximate 2:1 ratio of hairless to coated. Many breeders, especially those in Peru tend to eliminate the hairless puppies. However, other breeders keep the coated ones around and encourage breeding with the hairless dogs to make the breed healthier. According to these breeders, without the coated dogs breeding with the hairless ones the health problems prevalent in the skin and dental areas of the dogs would become worse. Therefore the coated Inca Orchids are needed to keep the bloodline of the hairless ones strong.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is an intelligent and sensitive breed. They take well to training and actually seem to want to learn and to obey their owner. They do not take well to harsh discipline and a slightly raised voice is enough to get their attention. Although they do not like to be left alone, they can be trained so that they don’t mind being alone for a while.
Due to the care needed for this breed, they are not well suited for the novice owner. If the owner is aware of how to care and train the Inca Orchid puppy, it will be well worth it, as they are faithful and loving animals.