The Peruvian Inca Orchid or PIO is an ancient breed that has no hair on body. There are two kinds of variants of this breed, the hairless dog and the coated dog. Irrespective of the coat types, this dog makes lovable companion to active owners. The dog is self-assured, fearless and affectionate in nature.
It has outstanding skills in hunting small animals, rodents and vermin. It also outperforms itself in lure coursing, rally and agility. Based upon space in your house, you can buy small, medium or large dog.
Though the breed may appear ugly to you but PIO enthusiasts find it endearing and unique. The breed has special ability to turn head which none other dogs can do. This unusual looking dog is even declared as national dog of Peru. The meaning of its name is “Peruvian hairless dog”.
This exotic dog is lovingly called as “moon dog” because its bare skin is not meant for sunlight and it is energetic when the sun sets. This breed is listed among the rarest dogs in the world.
Peruvian Inca Orchid Origin
This breed is said to have lived before Inca Empire. People of early times believe that the dog has mystical power as it can cure arthritis and joints related problems. There are many theories about this breed.
Few believe that the dog originated in China and came to Peru when Chinese immigrants settled in that country. Few believe that the dog originated in Africa and was brought to North America by Africans. Among all the most sensible theory is that the dog originated in South America between 300 BC and 700 AD because paintings and scriptures of Inca Empire depicted hairless breed of dog.
- The dog hails from Peru/ South America.
- Peruvian Inca Orchid is a hound variety of dog as it hunts by sight.
- The dog makes lovable companion because it is human oriented breed.
- The hairless variety of dog emits heat from body. Cuddling the dog gives relief to joint pain or inflammation.
- The dog is alert, lovable, intelligent and protective in nature.
- The lifespan of this breed is 11-13 years.
- The dog comes in three sizes - small, medium and large.
- The dog comes in following colors - black, tan, pink, grey, white and brown.
- The average cost of the breed is $400 - $600 USD.
- PIO is okay for apartment living but being a sighthound it has a habit of chasing so an average sized yard is suitable for it.
- It is a hypoallergenic breed.
- Both the variants of dog - hairless or coated do not shed.
- This dog is prone to skin injuries.
- Grooming the dog is easy.
- The dog is easy to train.
The PIO is a slender dog which resembles to small greyhound. It has pointed and sleek ears that stand atop its head. Its face is narrow and muzzle is pointed. The dog has deep and expressive eyes. Their feet are referred to as “hare feet” as it tends to be flat and webbed. Their neck is well arched and has deep chest.
Size and Weight
- Small sized - The dog is 10–16 inches tall and weighs around 4–8 kg.
- Medium sized - The dog is 16–20 inches tall and weighs around 8–12 kg.
- Large sized - The dog is 20–26 inches tall and weighs around 12–25 kg.
Coat and Color
- Hairless dogs have smooth, soft and fragile skin which is pleasurable to touch. The hairless dog also emits heat from its body. It can sport few strands of hairs on its head and tail.
- Coated dogs have either short or long hair which can be coarse of soft to touch. The texture of the hair can be curly, wavy or straight. They also have facial furnishings.
- Dogs may sport freckles at the time of birth which gets bigger as they reach adulthood.
- Irrespective of the coat variants, the dog comes in black, tan, pink, grey, white and brown colors.
- Personality - It is a high spirited and lively dog. The dog has inquisitive nature and it is always in search of fun and thrill in life. It makes best playmate to kids as kids can match its level of energy. The dog forms strong bonds with its family and cannot survive without them. It has protective instincts towards its family and won’t think twice before sacrificing its life for family members.
- Behavior - Peruvian Inca Orchid is alert guardian and affectionate companion. It is distrustful of strangers which makes it vigilant watchdog. Being a sight hound, it has insatiable drive to chase small animals. Though it is peaceful with dogs. Inside home, they are calm and quiet but as it goes outside they become active and energetic. Hairless dog is extremely sensitive to sun and weather condition so make sure it doesn’t get expose to sun much. It is better to keep them inside home and conduct their physical activities in the yard. This breed is obedient in nature and is a well-mannered dog to have at home.
- Activities Requirement - The dog is energetic and needs good amount of exercise on daily basis. Like all sighthounds, it loves to run. You can also conduct lure coursing and rally to the dog. Make sure that the dog stays inside home at the time of sunny or chilly weather.
- Trainability - This dog is highly trainable. They are more than willing to learn new things which training an easy job for the master. You can teach advanced skills and tricks effectively. It is important to socialize the dog else so that you have a well-balanced dog inside home.
As the dogs are born with few teeth so make sure you do not give them any hard food to chew. Feed them kibbles soaked in curd, milk or warm water. Always keep fresh water at its place of eating.
The life expectancy of this breed is 11-13 years.
It is hypoallergenic breed. This breed is healthy because of its limited gene pool. But they are prone to suffer from dental problem. This dog is naturally born with less and missing teeth. Take them to dentist regularly for their dental checkup. Hairless dogs are prone to skin injuries and acne. Apply antiseptic on its injury or cuts. This breed may also suffer from dry skin, strokes and seizures.
Peruvian Inca Orchid dog is easy to groom. Hairless dog skin is supple so it is advisable to apply baby cream or sunscreen to protect its skin from UV rays. The coated dog needs to be brushed once a week. Other grooming need of the dog is similar to other breeds of dogs.
The dog shouldn’t be exposed to sunlight and excessive cold weather. A moderate climate is best for it. The dog can thrive in apartment provided you fulfill its exercise needs.
Things To Consider Before Buying
- Peruvian Inca Orchid dog makes adorable companion as it forms close attachment with the owner.
- It will keep your house rats, rodents and pests free.
- Cuddling the dog gives awesome feeling. The hairless dog tends to emit heat from its body which relives arthritis pain.
- The dog is prone to skin injuries and allergies as it has sensitive skin.
- Separation anxiety is common problem for this breed.
- It is quite a rare breed. You need to wait till months to buy this breed.