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Spotlight On The Peruvian Hairless Dog

June 1, 2022
Did you know that June 15th is Peruvian Hairless Dog Day? We know this isn’t one of the more well-known breeds. However, these striking and lovable pups definitely deserve their turn in the spotlight. A Columbia, MD vet discusses the Peruvian hairless dog in this article.


As one may suspect, the most prominent feature of the Peruvian hairless dog is their coat … or lack thereof. Fido is one of just a handful of bald pooches. Some of the others include the Peruvian Inca Orchid, Xoloitzcuintli, Chinese Crested, Argentine Pila or American Hairless, and African Hairless pup. It’s worth pointing out that these dogs aren’t always completely bald: they may have some fur on their heads or paws, or possibly on the end of their tails. As far as coloring goes, these sweet pups can be brown, grey, copper, or mottled. They always have brown eyes, though shades may vary.


The Peruvian Hairless Dog is also known as the Peruvian viringo, naked dog, or Chimú dog. There are a few types of the Peruvian Hairless Dog, but the only one that is officially recognized by the AKC is the Peruvian Inca Orchid. All of the registered dogs are descended from the 13 pups brought from Peru in the 1900’s. However, they are not allowed to be shown, because of concerns over possible health problems. This is something of a heated topic among Fido’s fans. Some breeders are concerned about congenital health issues, while others note that healthy hairless pups have been around for centuries.


Fido has a long history. These dogs were kept during the Incan period, and were one of the six native breeds observed by the Spaniards. In pre-Incan cultures, they were kept as pets. They were depicted in ceramic pottery dated from about 750 AD. In 2018, DNA analysis revealed that these cute canines’ ancestors reached North America about 4500 years after humans did, and came by way of Siberia. They were isolated from other canines for the next 9000 years. The dogs from this time period had a unique genetic signature, which disappeared from the breed after European contact. Today, they are a beloved Peruvian mascot, and are considered part of the country’s cultural heritage. Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? We can help! Contact us, your local Columbia, MD animal clinic, today!

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