Peruvian Inca Orchid
Peruvian Inca Orchid – General Description
The Peruvian Inca Orchid, also known as the Peruvian Hairless Dog is a breed of dog with its origins in Peruvian pre-Inca cultures. It is one of several breeds of hairless dog. It should not be confused with the Xoloitzcuintli.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 5, Section 6, #310
- AKC Hound (FSS) The AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS) is an optional recording service for purebred dogs that are not yet eligible for AKC registration.
- UKC Sighthounds & Pariahs
Character & Temperament
Peruvian Hairless dogs are affectionate with family but wary of strangers. They are typically lively, alert and friendly with other dogs but can be protective as well. They are agile and fast. These dogs do not like to be alone, but when trained, can do well. These dogs are intolerant of extreme temperatures. They generally require an owner that understands dog language and are not recommended for beginners.
This is an ancient breed. Although it is often perceived to be an Incan dog because it is known to have been kept during the Inca Empire, they were also kept as pets in pre-Inca cultures from the Peruvian coastal zone. Ceramic hairless dogs from the Chimú, Moche, and Vicus culture are well known. Depictions of Peruvian hairless dogs appear around 750 A.D. on Moche ceramic vessels and continue in later Andean ceramic traditions. The main area of the Inca Empire (the mountains) is too cold for the natural existence of the dogs. The Spanish conquest of Peru nearly caused the extinction of the breed. The dogs survived in rural areas, where the people believed that they held a mystical value. In recent years, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) accepted the breed and adopted an official breed standard. Before that time, in the United States, some enthusiasts created another type of Peruvian hairless dog, the Peruvian Inca Orchid. The Peruvian Inca Orchid is recognized by the AKC. The club UKC also recognized the breed in recent years.
Size & Appearance
According to the FCI breed standard, the most important aspect of the Peruvian Inca Orchid appearance is its hairlessness. The dog may have short hair on top of its head, on its feet, and on the tip of its tail. In Peru, breeders tend to prefer completely hairless dogs. The full-coated variety is disqualified from conformation showing. The color of skin can be chocolate-brown, elephant grey, copper, or mottled. They can be totally one color or one color with tongue pink spots. Albinism is not allowed. The eye color is linked to the skin color. It is always brown, but dogs with light colors can have clearer eyes than darker-skinned dogs.
Peruvian Inca Orchid Dogs vary in size :
- Small 10 – 16 inches (25 – 40 cm)
- Medium 16 – 20 inches (40 – 50 cm)
- Large 20 – 26 inches (50 – 65 cm)
Weight is also varied according to size :
- Small 9 – 18 lbs (4 – 8 kg)
- Medium 18 – 26 lbs (8 – 12 kg)
- Large 26 – 55 lbs (12 – 25 kg)
The Peruvian Inca Orchid should be slim and elegant, with the impression of force and harmony, without being coarse.
The ears should be candle-flame shaped and erect with the possibility to lay flat.
Proportions of height (at withers) to length (withers to base of tail) are 1:1.
Miscellaneous Behaviors and Myths
The hairless dogs have a tendency to sleep in tight spaces, such as under small tables, house corners, holes in the ground to avoid air currents. Also, if provided with a blanket, they will make it their own and carry it from one ambient to other if they move around (without any type of training).
They keep their tongue inside their mouth and do not drool, and as expected, don’t shed any hair. Therefore, it is a very clean dog.
The body temperature of hairless dogs feels higher than other dogs due to the lack of hair. According to Peruvian folklore, letting the dog “hug” you is believed to help with stomach pain and other disorders such as asthma.
One persistent myth states that such hairless dogs are born both blind and deaf, but have a heightened sense of smell and can be trained to detect wild game and truffles. However, it is worth noting that these myths are largely unfounded and that hairless dogs are not at an increased risk for developing blindness or deafness at birth.
Other myths claim that the dog is a vegetarian or that it cannot bark (actually it can bark very loudly).
It is very likely that some of these myths have helped the breed to survive for so long in Peru.
Health & Maintenance
The lack of hair leads to a reputation for being clean, for being easy to wash with a sponge, and for a natural lack of fleas or other parasites. Despite this, the dog needs care, but in another way. The skin should be washed from time to time to remove dirt and prevent clogging of pores. Baby cleaners are a good choice provided that they do not contain lanolin. Some dogs are prone to have acne or at least blackheads. The skin sometimes becomes too dry and can then be treated with moisturizing cream. Again, baby lotion without lanolin is a good product choice to soften and moisturize cleansed skin.
Protection against sunlight is recommended on lightly colored/white dogs. Sun-block or other methods are beneficial to prevent sunburn.
Protection against cold is necessary when the dog is not able to move around at its own speed under adverse weather conditions. Sensitivity to cold may vary from dog to dog. Smaller dogs seem to be more sensitive to the cold than their larger counterparts.
The rims of the ears sometimes need special attention as they can become dry and cracked.
Genetics and Health
The genes that cause hairlessness also result in the breed often having fewer teeth than other breeds, mostly lacking molars and premolars. Some are born with more dentition than others.
One theory is that the hairlessness trait is recessive-lethal, which means that homozygotic hairlessness doesn’t exist. This results in an average birthrate of 2:1, hairless : coated. According to Hans Räber “Enzyklopädie der Rassehunde” T.I 25% of the population is born coated.
While they are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) for its Foundation Stock Service as Peruvian Orchid dogs, they cannot be shown at AKC shows, they are also registrable with FCI, UKC, NKC,APRI, ACR. Some breeders think that interbreeding with coated (Peruvian) dogs is required to maintain functional teeth and nervous system health in subsequent generations. They say that breeding of hairless with hairless (and common but unacknowledged culling of hairy pups from litters to maintain a “pure” image) leads to short-lived dogs with serious health problems. However, other breeders (especially in Peru) think the opposite, and are doing well (for centuries already), too.
Like all breeds there are some health problems. These include IBD, seizures, stroke, and skin lesions. They are very sensitive to toxins and care should be taken in use of insecticides. Insecticides are absorbed through the skin, and body fat keeps these toxins from entering the liver too quickly. Since these dogs have very low body fat, toxins are absorbed too quickly and cause severe damage to the nervous system and GI tract.
- Hans Räber “Enzyklopädie der Rassehunde” T.I
- Berrin, Katherine & Larco Museum. The Spirit of Ancient Peru:Treasures from the Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera. New York:Thames and Hudson, 1997.
- Manuel González Olaechea y Franco (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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- Author releases the image into the [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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- Marion & Christoph Aistleitner (own pic (User:Mediocrity)) [CC0 (creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
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Animal Planet – Dogs 101: Peruvian Inca Orchid
Peruvian Inca Orchid (Perro sin pelo del Perú)
FCI-Standard N° 310/ 25. 04. 2001 / GB
TRANSLATION : Mrs. Peggy Davis.
ORIGIN : Peru.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 13.03.2001.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 5 Spitz and primitive type.
- Section 6 Dogs of primitive type.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
According to certain experts, this dog was introduced in Peru during the Chinese immigration, soon after the promulgation of the law abolishing the slavery of the blacks by the president of Peru, Don Ramón Castilla. On the other hand, other searchers suppose that this dog comes from the African continent through the intermediary of nomads who arrived in America accompanied by their hairless dogs. Another possible explanation is that the presence of this dog would be due to the migration of men and their dogs from Asia to America through the Bering Strait.
However, next to all these suppositions, there are certain proofs such as the representations which appear on ceramics of different pre-Inca civilisations (Vicus, Mochica, Chancay, Chancay, under Tiahuanacoid influence, Chimu); in many cases the hairless dog has replaced the Puma, the snake or the falcon, this in particular and in a more evident way in the Chancay culture. As we can gather from the reproductions, the hairless dog appears during the pre-Inca archeological periods, i.e. between the years 300 BC and the years 1400 AC.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
Going by his general conformation, it is an elegant and slim dog, whose aspect expresses speed, strength and harmony without ever appearing coarse. This breed has, as a fundamental characteristic, the absence of hair all over the body.
Another particular feature is that the dentition is nearly always incomplete. Of noble and affectionate nature with those nearest to him, he is reserved towards strangers, lively, alert and a good guard.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
The ratio between the height at the withers and the length of the body is of 1 : 1; the body of the females can be slightly longer than that of the males.
BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT :
Noble and affectionate at home with those close to him, at the same time lively and alert; he is wary and a good guard in presence of strangers.
Of lupoïd conformation.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Mesocephalic. Orthoïd, i.e. the upper axes of the skull and muzzle are parallel; a slight divergence is accepted. Seen from above, the skull is broad and the head tapers toward the nose. The superciliary arches are moderately developed. The occipital crest is hardly marked.
Stop : Cranial-facial depression barely marked (approximately 140°).
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : The color of the nose must be in harmony with the different colors of the skin.
Muzzle : Seen in profile, the nasal bridge is straight.
Lips : They must be as tight as possible and close to the gums.
Jaws/Teeth : The incisors are in scissor bite and the canines developed normally. The absence of one or all the premolars and molars is accepted. The lower jaw is only slightly developed.
Cheeks : Normally developed.
Eyes : Alert and intelligent expression. The eyes must be of average dimensions, slightly almond shaped, neither deep-set nor prominent, normally and regularly placed, i.e. neither too close together nor too wide apart. The color can vary from black, going through all shades of brown up to yellow, in harmony with the skin color. In any case, both eyes must be of the same color.
The color of the eyelids may go from black to pink in subjects with light colored face. The light pink colors are admitted but not sought after.
Ears : The ears must be pricked when the dog is attentive, whereas at rest, they are laid towards the back. The ears are of medium length; broad at the base, tapering progressively towards their tip, ending almost pointed. The ear set starts on the upper part of the skull to end laterally and obliquely. In erect position, the axes of the ears form an variable angle near 90°.
Upper line : Curved (convex).
Length : Approximately the same length as the head.
Shape : Near to a truncated cone shape, supple, with good musculature.
Skin : Fine, smooth and elastic. Really close to the subcutaneous tissues. No dewlap.
Topline : Straight, although certain subjects show a dorsal-lumbar convexity which disappears at croup level.
Withers : Barely accentuated.
Back : Topline straight, with well developed back muscles often forming all along the back a muscular bi-convexity which extends to the lumbar region.
Lumbar region : Strong and well muscled. Its length reaches approximately 1/5 of the height at the withers.
Croup : Its upper profile is slightly convex. Its slant compared with the horizontal is about 40°. Its solid and well muscled conformation assures a good impulsion.
Chest : Seen from the front, the chest must have a good amplitude, but without excess; comes down almost to the elbow. The ribs must be lightly sprung, never flat. The girth of the chest, measured behind the elbows, must exceed by about 18% the height at the withers.
Underline and Belly : The lower profile draws an elegant and well marked line which goes from the lower part of the chest and rises along the belly which must be well tucked up, but without excess.
The tail is set on low. Of good thickness at its root, it tapers towards its tip. When excited, the dog can carry the tail raised in a round curve above the backline, but never as curved as being rolled up. At rest, it hangs with a slight upward hook at the tip. Sometimes carried tucked in towards the abdomen. In length it almost reaches the hock. The tail must not be docked.
Well united with the body. Seen from the front, they are perfectly vertical and the elbows are not turned out. The angle at the shoulders joint varies between 100° and 120°. Seen in profile, the angle formed by the pastern and the vertical will be from 15° to 20°.
Forefeet : They are semi-long and look like hare-feet. The pads are strong and heat-resistant. The interdigital membranes are well developed. The black dogs have preferably black nails and the lighter dogs light nails.
The muscles are rounded and elastic. The curve of the buttocks is well marked. The coxal-femoral angle varies between 120° and 130°, and the femoral-tibial angle must be of 140°. Seen from behind, the hindquarters must be vertical. Dewclaws must be eliminated.
Hind feet : As the forefeet.
GAIT / MOVEMENT :
Given the structure and angulations of the above mentioned quarters, these dogs move with a rather short step, but fast and at the same time quite soft and flexible.
The skin must be smooth and elastic all over the body, but can form a few rounded almost concentric lines on the head and round the eyes and the cheeks. It has been checked that the internal and external temperature of these dogs is exactly the same as that of other breeds.
The absence of hair leads to an immediate and direct emanation of heat, different from the hairy subjects, where the heat filters through the coat (hair) by natural ventilation.
To deserve the name of hairless dog, the coat (hair) must be non-existent. Vestiges of hair on the head and at the extremities of the legs and the tail are admitted and, sometimes, a few rare hairs appear on the back.
The color of the hair can vary from black in black dogs, slate black, elephant black, bluish black, the whole scale of greys, dark brown going to light blond.
All those colors can be uniform or show pinkish patches at all points of the body.
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
There are three sizes in the males and females.
Small : from 25 to 40 cm ( 9 3/4 to 15 3/4 inches).
Medium : from 40 to 50 cm (15 3/4 to 19 3/4 inches).
Large : from 50 to 65 cm (19 3/4 to 25 3/4 inches).
The weight is in relation to the size of the males and females.
Small : from 4 to 8 kg (8,8 to 17,6 lbs).
Medium : from 8 to 12 kg (17,6 to 26,4 lbs).
Large : from 12 to 25 kg (26,4 to 55,1 lbs).
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
- Semi-erect ears.
- Presence of dewclaws on the hindquarters.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
- Aggresive or overly shy
- Upper or lower prognathism.
- Deviated jaw.
- Hanging or cropped ears.
- Tail-less, short tail, docked tail.
- Excessively hairy on the parts authorized by the standard.
- Presence of hair on other parts of the body not authorized by the standard.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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