The Peruvian Hairless

Quick Facts

- Best for experienced owners
- Good with children when raised with them
- Good with other dogs and household cats when raised with them
- Small-large size
- Medium exercise needs
- Low shedding
- Medium watchdog abilities
- Medium ease of training

The Peruvian Hairless is an ancient breed of dog that can be traced back to Peruvian pre-Inca times; they are one of the world's oldest breeds. They were once pampered pets and hunting dogs of the pre-Inca and Inca Peruvian people. Ancient artefacts dating back to 750 A.D show dogs that resemble the breed.

The breed was almost completely wiped out during the first Spanish conquest of Peru, but they survived in the rural areas where they were revered for as being mystical in nature and sacred to the Gods. Today the Peruvian Hairless is recognized by only a few of the major kennel clubs worldwide and is considered a rare breed.

Peruvian Hairless dogs are highly intelligent and capable of thinking for themselves, making their own decisions and trusting their own judgement. They can be mildly independent and stubborn, and require an experienced owner who knows how to be a solid pack leader they can respect. Peruvian Hairless express themselves through their body language more than the average dog, owners need to be able to read and understand them. They are clever dogs that can easily outwit the casual dog owner. They can be a little sensitive and not comfortable around people, so should have early and thorough socialization with different people, animals, and situations. Many do not like being left alone and can have problems with separation anxiety.

With their family and close friends, Peruvian Hairless are affectionate and friendly, with strangers they tend to be aloof and watchful. The are protective alert dogs that make fine home watchdogs and guardians. Most Peruvian Hairless are good with children, but some can find the rough handling of rambunctious toddlers a bit too much to handle. Children should be taught to handle them gently with respect and care. They are usually good with other dogs, especially when well socialized with them. However, they will not stand for pushy or aggressive dogs. Most can peacefully cohabitate with cats when raised with them. However, they are not trustworthy around small pet like rabbits, rodents and birds.

Peruvian Hairless are active, agile and fast. They are athletic dogs that require an hour or two of exercise daily. They usually enjoy participating in many of the organized dog sports like agility and obedience trials, flyball and lure coursing. They love to run and make wonderful jogging or bicycling companions. They are chasers of small animals and birds, so should not be allowed off lead outside a safely enclosed area.

Appearance and Grooming:
Peruvian Hairless come in three sizes; small, medium and large. The small measures 10-16 inches at their withers and weighs 9-18 pounds when full grown. The medium is 16-20 inches tall and weighs 18-26 pounds when full grown. The large Peruvian Hairless measures 20-26 inches at their withers and weighs 26-55 pounds when full grown. They are lithe elegant dogs, well muscled and athletic. Most Peruvian Hairless are completely hairless; however, some have a tuft of hair on the top of their head, tail tip and on their feet. A few Peruvian Hairless are born fully coated; this is considered a serious fault and disqualifies them from the show ring, however, it does not affect their ability to be great pets. The skin can be one solid colour or have pink spots; they are available in brown, grey, mottled or copper.

Despite the lack of hair, Peruvian Hairless have higher grooming needs than many dog breeds. They require a weekly wipe down with a damp cloth and regular baths. Their skin may become dry and require a moisturizing lotion; the rims of their ears are notorious for becoming cracked and dry. Baby products work well for cleaning and moisturizing the dog, but they should not contain lanolin. Some dogs are prone to acne or blackheads. They are odourless dogs that do not shed.

Peruvian hairless are hardy dogs with minimal health issues. Seizures and strokes have been seen in the breed , but they are not extremely common. Most of the Peruvian Hairless’ health problems come from his lack of hair, owners should watch for sun burn, skin cancer, skin lesions, sensitivity to cold temperatures, dental problems due to lack teeth and a high sensitivity to insecticides. They require sunscreen during the summer to help prevent burning, and a sweater or jacket during the winter to help prevent chills. Due to their lack of hair, they do not get fleas or ticks. They average life span is around 12 years.


Located in: Sighthounds