Rare Dog Breeds

Peruvian Hairless Dog

One of the more difficult tasks of being a dog owner is having to groom the animal’s hair coats (most have 2 coats, a primary coat and an undercoat which is the one that is likely to shed on a seasonal basis and is the cause for most dog allergies).

You have to wash them so their hair doesn’t get dirty and stink, you have to brush their hair out so it doesn’t get matted and tangled, there’s just a lot of work that goes into maintaining your dog’s hair. Luckily, there are several breeds of dog which are hairless. One breed of hairless dog, though it is somewhat rare, is the Peruvian Hairless Dog.

Peruvian Hairless Dog

Peruvian Hairless Dog picture by Harvey Barrison.

An Ancient Dog Breed

The Peruvian Hairless Dog is ancient breed, dating back to pre-Incan time in Peru. Ceramic hairless dogs and other art forms depicting the hairless dogs date back to as early as 750 A.D. One Peruvian Hairless Dog breed is the Peruvian Inca Orchid, named as such when European settlers found Peruvian Hairless Dogs in the orchid gardens in Incan homes. Peruvian Hairless Dogs lived primarily in rural areas with families as the civilization of the time believed that the hairless animals possessed mystical value and that holding one to your body would bring you good luck.

Grooming The Peruvian Hairless Dog

While having no hair to wash and brush, Peruvian Hairless Dogs still need to be groomed and taken care of. Despite being very clean and parasite free, they should be given baths on a fairly regular basis to keep their skin from drying out and to remove dead skin. They can easily washed with a sponge and a light soap. Their skin is prone to getting dried out easily, and so you should rub lotion into their skin with regularity as well to keep their bodies moist as dry skin can tear easily.

They are also likely to get sunburned and for this reason don’t like being in the sunlight. If you’re going to bring your dog outside when it’s sunny, you should apply some sun block to their skin just as you would your own. In the winter, they become very cold very easily so if you bring them out during such cold weather, you should put a sweater or coat on them for protection. It’s because of their being easily chilled or burned that Peruvian Hairless Dogs should be kept as indoor pets and only brought outside for a walk. They are also quite prone to skin ailments such as acne, fungus, and other skin legions, another reason to keep them clean despite their lack of hair.

Peruvian Hairless Dog As A Pet

Peruvian Hairless Dogs come in small, medium and large dogs. The smaller of the breeds are 10 to 16 inches tall, the medium are 16-20 inches tall and the largest of the breed are 20 to 26 inches tall. Their weights range from 9 pounds to 55 pounds. They are intelligent and fast learners, making training a fairly simple task. They’re also loyal and great with children especially. However, they are independent and a bit demanding due to their poor luck of being born without the protective coat of hair.

However, not all Peruvian Hairless Dogs are hairless (as crazy at that sounds). Hairlessness is a recessive-lethal trait, meaning that not every dog born in this breed with be hairless. Typically, the ratio is 2:1 (for every 2 dogs that are hairless, 1 will have a full coat), although every litter is different and in some cases can have a ratio as high as 8:1 (1 with a full coat for every 8 that are hairless).