When it comes to exotic breed names, it doesn't get much better than the Peruvian Inca Orchid and when it comes to exotic looks, the same can be said of this quite unusual and charmingly proud looking dog. Although, many people can be forgiven for thinking it's the name of a tropical flower found in the Amazon, the name in fact refers to a clever, noble and well respected sighthound with a character and personality that is just as pretty as its name.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid can be either hairless or they can boast having coats of sorts, but the breed always has a spot on the top of their heads which is affectionately called the “kiss spot”. Hairless Peruvians or PIOs as the breed is often referred to, have a wonderfully marked skin that comes in a variety of colour combinations, all of which are incredibly appealing. These colour combinations includes shades of pink, tan, grey, white, brown and black.
The breed is renowned for its wonderfully calm temperament showing total devotion and loyalty to their owners. They can be a little shy around people they don't know but they are very rarely aggressive with strangers, they just like to keep their distance in their noble, aloof way.
The breed is thought to have originated in Asia, and in ancient times, these gorgeously strange looking canines were highly prized by the Incas who often portrayed images of the dogs on items of pottery and other items. During archaeological excavations, many ancient graves were found with people and their dogs being buried together.
Although there are dogs with coats which are more like powderpuffs than actual coats, it was the hairless dogs the Incas prized so much. Owners kept their dogs safe inside their houses in order to protect their pet's skin from the effects of the scorching sun – the same still applies today.
It was the Spanish Conquistadors who first discovered the breed when they arrived on the shores of Peru and subsequently conquered the land for the Spanish royalty of the day. They first saw these funny hairless dogs in amongst orchid blooms and naturally named them “Perros Flora” which translated to English means Flower Dogs. A little later this changed to the charming Peruvian Inca Orchid.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a solid medium sized dog that boasts an athletic build, standing at anything between 15 to 20 inches tall and weighing in at around 25 to 35 lbs. Although, very independent the breed is famed for being gentle and fun to be around. The hound in them means they are highly intelligent and are usually pretty quick to wrap owners round their tidy paws in no time at all.
As pups, the breed is simply adorable looking with their ginormous ears and woeful looking yet intelligent eyes, making it so hard to resist falling in love with them. They are such endearing little puppies but they do grow up to be proud dogs that need to be well trained and socialised. Training should be started at a early age simply because PIOs are so clever, they can easily get the better of people if they are allowed to. If ever there was a breed that was an “independent thinker” it's the Peruvian Inca Orchid.
Other names the breed goes by includes Dielmatian, Viringo, Inca Hairless Dog and Perro Sin Pelo del Perú. Being so protective and loyal by nature, The Peruvian Inca Orchid is not the ideal choice of dog for families with young children. However, because of their unique protective personalities, they will guard your home like true professionals. When it comes to being guard dogs, PIOs are right up there with the best.
The hairless PIO takes very little in the way of grooming simply because they have no fur. However, their skin does need to be looked after, especially in the hotter summer months when there's a risk of them being sunburnt. If this were to happen it would cause all sorts of health issues and discomfort for the dog. A good quality suntan lotion with a higher factor should be used on their skin to protect them from any harmful effects of the sun. It's also a good idea to oil their bodies from time to time, being careful not to go too near their eyes as this will help keep their skin in good condition.
However, in the colder winter months, these lovely hairless canines need to be kept warm too. Without any fur to keep them warm, the breed really does feel the cold so care has to be taken to make sure Peruvian Inca Orchids stay warm. Even the coated Peruvian will feel the cold because as previously mentioned, their coats are more fluff than fur. This also means dogs with coats only need gentle grooming from time to time as way to interact and bond with them.
Peruvian Inca Orchids are not the easiest dogs to find in the UK but with so much interest in the breed, it is getting easier to source well bred pups from reputable breeders. These lovely noble canines do need a lot more care than your average pooch due to the fact they don't have any fur. If you do contact a breeder make sure the pups have been very well socialised. You would need to train your pet because these dogs are very clever and they need to know who is the boss. Once you have established you are the leader of the pack, you will have a gloriously amusing and loyal best friend for life!