Peruvian Hairless Dog – Hairless Companion with a Long History

The Peruvian Hairless Dog goes by many names: it is known as the Virgo, Perro sin Pelo del Perú, and the Peruvian Inca Orchid. In its homeland, it has been revered and deliberately bred for over 1000 years. A genetic mutation makes them hairless, just like Mexican and Chinese hairless dog breeds, which are much older than meets the eye. Unfortunately, the dogs pay a high price for this.

Unmistakable and Graceful: Distinguishing Features of the Virgo

Not all purebred hairless dogs are actually naked. Pure breeding is not possible with breeds like the Perro sin Pelo del Perú. Depending on the combination of parents, hairy puppies occur with a probability of 1:2 or 1:1. The characteristics typical of the breed are also easy to see in the hairy Virgos, as the fur grows very short and close-fitting.

The Peruvian Hairless Dog from head to tail

  • The head of the primal dog is similar to that of the wolf: it tapers in a wedge shape towards the snout, and when viewed from above it is quite broad. The stop is moderately developed.
  • Muzzle and lips are straight and very taut, missing teeth are tolerated in hairless dogs as the bite is affected by mutations in the FOXI3 gene.
  • A certain severity can be read in the eyes, as in the German Shepherd Dog. The iris can be dark, tan, or amber in color and the eyelids are light in some dogs, which is not a breed exclusion criterion. However, dark eyelids are preferred.
  • The ears can be erected; when not in use, they fold backward. They are medium length and triangular in shape with a point. Due to the gene mutation in the naked variant of the breed, malformations sometimes occur here too, which are not tolerated in inbreeding.
  • The neck is slightly arched and very muscular, as is the rest of the body, which is described as “mesomorphic”. The upper profile line is slightly curved, and the belly is visibly tucked up, although the breed does not appear greyhound-like.
  • The rabbit-like, rather long paws on the front and hind legs are striking. The hind legs are well-muscled and rounded on the cheeks, they are slightly angled.
  • The tail is set broad and low, tapering to a point sometimes carried upright but never over the back.

Skin and coat of the Peruvian Hairless Dog

Naked variety

The hairless dogs have very tight, smooth skin all over their bodies. Individual hairs grow on the head, neck, and back and can come in all colors. Skin color also varies, with solid breeding young being preferred to those with white or pink piebald.

Allowed skin colors

  • Black (Elephant Black, Slate Black, Blue Black)
  • All shades of gray
  • Blue
  • Brown (dark brown) to beige to light blonde
  • Light spots can appear anywhere on the body, but should not cover more than a third of the area.

Colors in hairy hairless dogs

There are no specifications for coloring hairy viringos. According to the FCI, they come in all colors and piebalds, since there is no selection in this area. They often have a dark base color with pink and white spots.

The three orders of magnitude of the Peruvian hairless dogs

  • Large-type males and females measure 51 cm to 65 cm in height at the withers and weigh between 12 and 30 kg.
  • The medium type weighs 8 to 12 kilograms and measures between 41 and 51 cm at the withers.
  • There is also a small type, reaching 25-40 cm in height at the withers and weighing 4-8 kilograms.

The South American Primal Dog from the Orchid Fields of the Incas: History of the Viringos

Dogs of the breed are also called Peruvian Inca Orchid or Inca for short among enthusiasts. In the Inca culture, they were the dogs of the nobility and guarded orchid fields. They were only let out at night so they couldn’t crossbreed with the farmers’ dogs. However, the breed is much older than the Incas, who ruled Ecuador to Chile from the 13th to the 16th century. Funerary objects and works of art from the 3rd century BC BC clearly prove that hairless dogs with the same gene mutation were already worshiped at that time.

Close relatives far away

It is no longer possible to clearly determine which culture first recognized the FOXI3 gene mutation and cultivated it in a targeted manner. It is clear that all old hairless dog breeds are related to each other and can be traced back to one individual. Their worldwide spread began in the 17th century by Spanish ships, with the exception of the Chinese Crested, which has been bred in China for a very long time. According to current knowledge, these breeds have the same origins:

  • The Mexican Xoloitzcuintli (Xolo for short) is also bred in three sizes and is similar to the Perro sin Pelo del Perú in many respects.
  • Chinese Crested dogs have fur on their head, paws, and the tip of their tail. They are pure companion dogs and are much more delicately built than their South American relatives.
  • The African hairless dog (Zulu sand dog) probably became extinct in the 20th century. A living relative is the Abyssinian Sand Terrier, which is also considered an endangered species.
  • The Argentina Pila is a subspecies of the Peruvian Hairless Dog.
  • Joining Dogs in India are also nearly extinct. They yodel instead of barking.
  • Hairless Khala dogs are also common in South America. Their head shape differs from their wolf-like ancestors.
  • The American Hairless Terrier has been bred in the United States since 1988. The breed originated independently from international hairless dog breeds when Rat Terrier breeders happened to come across a hairless puppy. The gene responsible for hairlessness is also different from Chinese and South American hairless dog breeds.

Nature and Character of the Viringos: The Proud Protector

Peruvian Hairless Dogs exhibit distinctive behaviors that make them unique and highly sought after among dog lovers. They are calm and obedient without imposing themselves on their owners. The guarding instinct is fully intact: This makes them incorruptible night watchmen who don’t let strangers near them and report every unusual noise. Also, like their original human companions, they are true sun worshipers. They love to warm their bare skin in the sunlight and take advantage of every ray when possible.

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