Peruvian Inca Orchids

The Peruvian Inca Orchid is an exotic blossom from the Andes but he’s also a sighthound that comes in two distinct varieties: hairless and coated. The breed’s name in Quechua, the language of the Incas, translates to “dog without vestments,” or naked dog. The Spanish, who are said to have found them living amidst orchids in Inca homes, called them perros flora: flower dogs. He is also sometimes called the moonflower dog.

Traits, Personality and Behavior

reserved and cautious temperament, although he should not be timid. He takes his time studying guests before deciding whether to accept them, and he dislikes having strangers touch him. Early socialization is essential with this breed to ensure that he is not fearful when exposed to new situations or people. On the plus side, these traits make him a good watchdog. He is sensitive and is best suited to a home with older children who will treat him respectfully.

When it comes to training, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is a quick learner. He responds well to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play and food rewards. To hold his attention, keep training sessions short, fun and interesting. The PIO can be possessive of toys or other objects. Kindly teach him to let you take things from him 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, he will be good at agility, lure coursing, obedience and rally.

Remember that the hairless PIO is sensitive to sun. Don't leave him outdoors for long periods during the day, and apply dog-safe sunscreen to his body before walking him. If you can exercise him early in the morning or in the evening, so much the better.

Expect to bathe the hairless variety weekly to keep his 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.

A people-loving and delicate-skinned dog like the Peruvian Inca Orchid needs to live in the house. Make sure he has soft bedding to cushion his streamlined body, and think of him as your own living bedwarmer during winter. He is sensitive to temperature extremes and may need to wear a sweater in cold weather or have access to air conditioning in hot weather.

Variations of the Peruvian Inca Orchid

From the long wedge of a head to the tapering tail, the PIO has an elegant outline. The breed comes in three sizes: small (8 to 18 pounds), medium (18 to 26 pounds) and large (26 to 55 pounds). The hairless variety has prick ears, while the coated dogs have rose ears that bend forward or outward because they are covered in hair.

The hairless Peruvian Inca Orchid has smooth, supple skin with a narrow patch of hair on top of the head, sort of like a mohawk. He may sometimes have a little fuzz on the forehead or sparse tufts of hair on the lower tail and feet. His skin can be solid or spotted. The coated variety has a short to medium-length single coat, so he comes in several different looks: short and smooth, long and curly or long and straight. The texture of his hair can be coarse or soft. Dogs with a longer coat may have feathering on the ears and tail.

Health Issues Common to Peruvian Inca Orchids

All purebred dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. It's not unusual for hairless dogs to be missing some of their teeth. The traits of hairlessness and missing teeth are genetically linked. He can have skin problems such as acne, and his thin skin is easily wounded. Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. Having the dogs "vet checked" is not a substitute for genetic health testing.

5 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Peruvian Inca Orchid Puppy

Finding a good breeder is more important than finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible.

Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Many of the health and behavior problems in Peruvian Inca Orchids aren't apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an older dog, most of them can be ruled out. Since a Peruvian Inca Orchid can live to be 10 to 12 years old, even an adult dog will be with your family for a long time.

Puppy or adult, take your Peruvian Inca Orchid to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.

Don't ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store. You're more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to house-train puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills.

Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with "puppy lemon laws," be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.

Pet Insurance for Peruvian Inca Orchids

Pet insurance for Peruvian Inca Orchids costs more than for mixed breed dogs. This is because Peruvian Inca Orchids are more likely than mixed breed dogs to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.

Embrace dog insurance plans offer full coverage for all breed-specific conditions (excluding those that are pre-existing) to which Peruvian Inca Orchids are susceptible. The best time to get pet insurance for your Peruvian Inca Orchid is when he's a healthy puppy. You can't predict what will happen in the future, and pet insurance is the one thing you can't get when you need it the most.