Peruvian Inca Orchid
(aka: Peruvian Hairless Dog, PIO, Moonflower Dog, Perro Flora, Inca Hairless Dog)
The Peruvian Inca Orchid has dark round eyes that tend to squint in the sunlight due to over sensitivity. The lips are wrinkled and the think, leathery ears sometimes have wisps of hair. Hair grows on the top of the head. Some are born coated with hair in the same litter as the hairless PIO. The skin is soft and pliable. It can be heavily mottled in any color, in any combination with a pink background, or it can be solid colored.
Peruvian Inca Orchid Temperment
For the right owner the Peruvian Inca Orchid is an exotic treat. Their skin requires special care (see grooming). Quick witted, calm and intelligent. They are usually good with children and get along with other dogs.
The fact that this breed does not have hair does not mean that its skin requires no care. The skin must be protected as much as possible from the sun. A good sunscreen should be used if the dog is going to be out in the sun. People who show these dogs scrub them regularly to remove dead skin and to keep the skin soft by using special exfoliating creams intended for use by humans. If you do not plan to show your PIO and the dog is in a normal environment, it is best to not soften the skin as it makes the skin tear more easily. It is most important to keep the skin supple and smooth and to prevent it from becoming dry. Using a lotion or cream or, sometimes, rubbing it with oil is recommended. Bathe these dogs regularly 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. The coated variety has hair all over the body and does shed, but not much coat care is required. Regular brushing is required.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid originated from Peru. Spanish explorers coma upon this breed in the homes of the Inca nobility when they first entered Peru in the early 1500's. ALL the PIO in the US go back to fewer than a dozen dogs imported a long time ago, so it's a VERY tight gene pool... hence the cookie-cutter look (which is considerably different from the current dogs being imported from Peru.) There have been a few Perro sin Pelo del Peru brought to the US in the last 5 years or so. In Peru the Peruvian Inca Orchid is known as the "Calato", a Quechua word that means "Naked". The full name would be "Al'co Calato" (naked dog), but no one seems to use that name. The Spanish carried the dogs to China as gifts, and they may be the origin of the Chinese Crested breed.
Early socialization is required. Peruvian Inca Orchid's do not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training must be done with kindness and consistency. The Peruvian Inca Orchid is highly obedient and quick to learn.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is prone to skin and teeth problems. 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.