The Peruvian Inca Orchid is an exotic blossom from the Andes: a sighthound that comes in hairless and coated varieties. The breed’s name in Quechua, the language of the Incas, translates to “dog without vestments,” or naked dog.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
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Pre-Inca pottery portrays the Peruvian Inca orchid in great detail.
The hairless Peruvian Inca Orchid has smooth, supple skin with a narrow patch of hair on top of the head. Sometimes they may have a little fuzz on the forehead or sparse tufts of hair on the lower tail and feet. Their skin can be solid or spotted. The coated variety has a short to medium-length single coat, so they come in several different looks: short and smooth, long and curly, or long and straight.
The hairless variety is rumored to have a higher body temperature than other dogs, but it’s not true. Because there’s no coat between you and the dog’s skin, the hairless Peruvian Inca Orchid just feels as though they are warmer than other dogs. In winter the hairless variety needs to wear a sweater or jacket if they are outside, and that’s not optional. The Peruvian Inca Orchid should live indoors year round and is an excellent choice for city dwellers.
The ideal owner for this breed is already experienced with dogs and their behavior. A Peruvian Inca Orchid has a reserved and cautious temperament, although they should not be timid. They take their time studying guests before deciding whether to accept them and dislikes having strangers touch them. Early socialization is essential with this breed to help ensure that they are not fearful when exposed to new situations or people.
When it comes to training, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is a quick learner. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and food rewards. To hold their attention, keep training sessions short, fun, and interesting. They can be possessive of toys or other objects. Kindly teach them to let you take things from them without any argument.
A PIO needs a moderate amount of exercise daily such as a 20- or 30-minute walk or active play in a fenced yard. If you’re interested in dog sports, they can be good at agility, lure coursing, obedience and rally.
Remember that the hairless PIO is sensitive to sun. Don’t leave them outdoors for long periods during the day, and apply dog-safe sunscreen to their body before walking them. Expect to bathe the hairless variety weekly to keep their skin clean and healthy. You may also need to apply moisturizer to help keep the skin supple. Your dog’s breeder can advise you on his grooming needs.
Peruvian Inca Orchids on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Peruvian Inca Orchid ancestry.