Peruvian Inca Orchid (Small)

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Is the Peruvian Inca Orchid (Small) right for you?

Species group:

The basics:
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is an elegant hairless sighthound. While this ancient dog was certainly prized by the Incas, it dates back to pre-Inca times. The name comes from the Spanish conquistadors, who evidently discovered these dogs among the orchids owned by Incan nobles. Hairless dogs of both Peru and Mexico were believed to have medicinal properties that could cure arthritis and muscle pains. Their lack of hair makes them warmer to touch, and the dogs were likely kept as bed warmers.

The successful owner will know how to be a kind, consistent, and intuitive alpha who can use reward-based training methods. You must also be willing to protect this devoted animal from the sun. There is a choice of three sizes-- small, medium, and large.

Note: There is some controversy about the modern breed. Some breeders feel that only the hairless variety should be preserved. However, the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard clearly states that, "the coated examples... are an important part of this breed's genetic makeup."

Appearance / health:
The Peruvian Inca Orchid or the PIO resembles a small deer in structure and movement. Although lean and light boned, it is quite muscular. It has dark round eyes that have the tendency to squint in sunlight. The lips are wrinkled and thick. The ears are leathery, sometimes having strands of hair. The small variety weighs between 9 to 18 pounds.

The Peruvian Inca Orchid’s skin needs protection against the sun. A good sunscreen is essential if the dog is going to be in the sun for long. Show dogs are regularly scrubbed and their skin is kept soft with exfoliating creams intended for human use. However, generally it may be better not to soften the skin as it makes it more prone to tearing.

It may be kept supple and smooth by using lotions or creams or rubbing it with oil. These dogs are bathed with a gentle soap. The fragile skin is susceptible to sunburn, drying irritation, and tears from other dogs, cats, and objects. This is a very clean breed with no doggie odor and no fleas. The hairless PIO is ideal for allergy sufferers because there is no hair to shed.

This breed requires a moderate amount of exercise, preferably including the chance to run around in a fenced in yard.

Although generally healthy, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is prone to skin and teeth problems.

Behavior / temperament:
Peruvian Inca Orchids are primitive sighthounds that may not be suitable for the novice owner with a poor understanding of dogs. They are extremely sensitive to rough treatment or even a raised voice. They thrive in human company.

This breed needs early socialization and obedience training. They respond well to gentle training, but cannot tolerate harsh treatment.

They bark rarely.

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