Peruvian hairless dog
Perro sin pelo del Peru

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History of the breed

When the Spaniards arrived at the Tahuantinsuyo they encountered a different civilization. It was socially and politically organized by the vision and concept of the Andean man, without the influence of the advanced societies that were developing on the old continent. They discovered a rich variety of fauna and flora. "Strange" species, never been before by the European eye rapidly captivated their interest and curiosity.
Many of these species were taken to Spain as souvenirs of the New World and among them some strange dogs without hair.
An original and unpublished manuscript, kept in Madrid, contains the observations of Francisco de Hernandez where he reports that "... in New Galicia there is a breed of dogs without hair, of smooth coloured skin, similar to the lebrels, although they are taller and have a different way of barking than the others, and of which prince Charles, our lord, has one".
In more recent times, the Peruvian writer Guillermo Gallardo narrated "... when Philip the Beautiful of Spain arrived, they presented him with some souvenirs brought from the occidental lands recently discovered. On Wednesday 22 June of 1502 the son-in-law of the Catholic Kings stayed in his lodgings, but they showed him two very new things. One was a totally black dog with no hair at all that stretched out his snout like a black woman. The other a green parrot hardly bigger than a small monkey, talking of what is credible".
These statements collected and narrated by the first chroniclers who arrived with the expeditionary hosts of Francisco Pizarro, are the first news we have about the existence of the Peruvian Hairless Dog. Nonetheless, its origin is a story not yet told that takes us back more than two thousand years, into the distance of time.
During the formative period of the Andean societies, the regional development predominated along the Peruvian coast and the mountain areas. Once the influence of agriculture started, theocratic feudal states emerged and extended in time until after the beginning of the Christian era. The union between man and dog initiated thousands of years ago, also acquired importance for the former inhabitant of the Andes. Probably one of the oldest demonstrations of this is the discovery in the cove of Puémape of San Pedro de Lloc, of dog’s burials sharing the cemetery with the inhabitants of the time. These belong to the Salinar Culture, whose remains show an antiquity of approximately 300 years BC.
The dog's significance also had an effect in the artistic expression of the Nazca Culture (100-700 AD). During the second phase the ceramics was characterized for being particularly naturalistic, very simple and refined, reddish with plants, fruits and animals designs. Sculptural representations of polychrome fruits and animals were also common, where the hairless dog is represented with an admirable realism. Besides, we must point out that dogs appear in the repertoire of the petroglyphs of Pampa de Ingenio.
This fact is related to the existence of the Pampas de Nazca, famous for the lines that form different zoomorphic figures, particularly, the petroglyph that has been interpreted as a dog. It is not strange since this animal was always considered as servant of the mountain deities. Not far from Nazca town, people still believe that dogs go with death spirits to the mountain Coropuna.
The Vicus Culture (500 BC-400 AD), who owe their name to the hill situated on the grounds of the former Pabur Farm, about 50 kms east of Piura, did not stay behind in this sense and through their ceramics showed us the same characteristics that the dog conserves to our days. Its ceramics expresses an exceptional skill in sculptural or plastic art because the modeled figures and other sectors of the receptacle were painted with red designs and/or with the technique called negative decoration. Anthropomorphic, phytomorphic and zoomorphic sculptures are frequent. The image of ceramics with a globular handle, where the top part is crowned by the head of a hairless dog is shown for a better understanding.
More than 1000 years before the Tahuantinsuyu, a people today called Mochica (100 BC-700 AD) reached its maximum development in the coastal plain of Perú. In spite they did not know anything about writing, the Mochicas transmitted the representation of their activities and environment through their art, expression means that amazingly looks like real. Pottery is the most common and best known artistic expression of the Mochica. More than 90% of the survived rests are ceramics and almost all the scenes represented in any other technique also appear under the form of fired clay receptacle.
The Moches were famous for portraying in their huacos the different aspects of their society, the personality of their master, their traditions and rites, human expressions of their different states of mind, birds and others animals. Here we point out the hairless dog with whom he coexisted and kept as a faithful companion, and who deserved a place within the family.
Dogs, in general, appear in almost all the representations of Mochica's activities in the Moche iconography, and it usually appears next to the priest or warrior or the main character. This fact, which until that time was only observed in scenes painted in ceramic, was confirmed in 1987, when archeologist Walter Alva discovered in the center of a clay platform known as "Huaca Rajada", the tomb of a Moche governor, warrior and priest who was called "Senor de Sipán". The first finding was a guardian with his feet amputated, symbolizing his obligation to stay forever in this place. Then in a funeral box was the Senor de Sipán who was surrounded by eight servant's skeletons, two concubines and one dog.
Great part of the unearthed ceramics that represented the hairless dog were found in the developing centers of the Sicán Culture (900-1100 AD), called with this name by the Archeological Project of Sicán.
Observing them, we can point out the knowledge that they had of the canine species showing it in its different attitudes and stages of development. This way we can observe them while mating, in alert attitude or feeding. They were represented as wind instruments like cornets and whistles, to mention the most frequent. Some ceramics show him carrying collars which can be interpreted as a way of identification, allowing perhaps -without intending to do so- a sort of selection, which combined to the genetic strength enabled it to bridge centuries of oblivion to these days.
The decline of the Moche Culture gave way to the Chimu Culture (1100-1470 AD), which comprised a period of transition between the Wari (700-1200 AD) and Inca (1100-1470 AD) hegemony. The largest amount of ceramics belongs to this culture. Like the Moches they portrayed the different stages of life, breastfeeding a reduced number of their young, as is the case today, resting placidly, and many other moments. Accepted in the homes, they would retribute with their service, alerting its dwellers of the incursion of neighbors seeking to conquer land and also exterminating rodents and bugs that threatened the harvest.
Other regional states in pre-Inca times molded the hairless dog into their artworks. The Chancay Culture (1200-1470 AD) with its beautiful recipients in their black on white style depicted the life cycle of the hairless dog. Perhaps the two most characteristic ones are those showing the coitus in a bispherical container, where the extremities of the male are handles. The other shows the hairless dog in a watchful attitude.
Once the Tahuantinsuyu was established, the Incas carried out its political and social organization, where the expansion of the State was based on the reciprocity, redistribution system, and in a lesser scale, on the exchange existent particularly in the Coast. In several cases, territorial annexations were carried out in a pacific way, since it was better to accept the offerings of reciprocity of the Inca than a doubtful war with fearsome consequences for the losing ethnic group. This was beneficial for a fast Inca's expansion that obliged its governors to look for new supply sources for rewarding local maters. However, the enormous extension of the State had very fragile foundations that gave rise to its collapse when Pizarro's army appeared.
In the North they expanded until Loja and in the Southeast until Tucumán and La Plata, in the current Ecuador and Argentina. It was indispensable the repopulating of these new territories with immigrants or «mitmaq» from ethnic groups closely related to the Incas, so that they could fulfil tasks in favor of the State. Therefore, Chimu's artisans were moved to Cuzco so that they could work in silver and goldsmith's art for the Inca and the nobleness. Since they arrived with their belongings and domestic animals, there was a broad spread of the hairless dog in South America, known in Bolivia as Bolivian "ccala", and in the North of Argentina as dog "pila".
In ceramics, despite its affinity to some Mochicas and Chimu's glasses, it showed more advanced techniques which is not the case of the artistic level in this early stage, since there was a high degree of stereotypation and a decrease in quality and realism of the representations in this stage. The Inca Culture contributed with new forms, but neither the manufacturing technique nor the decorative models, which became the Chimu-Inca style. We show some ceramics representing the hairless dog corresponding to this style.
Undoubtedly, the survival of the Peruvian Hairless Dog during the viceroyalty and the rising republic is due to the coastal farm people. They kept for themselves their old traditions and customs, where it was used as an efficient remedy against rheumatism and all sort of maladies, which are detailed in the essay by Hermilio Valdizán, called "Popular Medicine" published last century. It was not only accepted for its curative qualities but also for its capacity to exterminate rodents, which caused great prejudices during the crop. Likewise, its distrust and suspicion nature shown to strangers made it an extraordinary guardian. Nowadays, when it is raised in the countryside, it develops its hunting instinct; besides it is an excellent pet dog, qualities inherent since ancient times. This is why talking of a living relic is not that far from reality.

From Peruvian Kennel Club

Standard FCI

FCI-Standard N: 310

(Perro sin pelo del Perú)

ORIGIN : Peru.


UTILIZATION: Companion dog.

Spitz and primitive type.
Section 6
Dogs of primitive type.
Without working trial.

PREAMBLE: These dogs have been kept as a peculiarity because of their genetic nature, the procreation of dogs with and without hair in the same litter. Lost in the darkness of time the naked variety reached a major milestone when it was officially recognized as a breed native to Peru in 1985, during the ordinary Assembly of the FCI at Amsterdam city, thanks to the initiative of the Cynologist Ermanno Maniero, who did the first breed standard, it was possible that this was registered as a new breed under the name of Peruvian Hairless Dog with the number 310 of the nomenclature.
The recognition of the hairless dog did not eradicate the coated relative into oblivion. Disdained from any breeding program, its current recognition in the light of developments in the study of its genome emphasizes the genetic value of the breed and contributes to its development and preservation. The recognition of the coated variety, for show and for breeding, favours the expansion of genetic variability, improving the breed’s strength and attracts new breeders.
Initially to be registered, the coated variety must be the product of two hairless dogs duly registered in a stud book or breeding record.
The coated variety can only be mated to a hairless specimen of the breed and subsequently also for generations to come. The mating between coated specimens is banned, just like the registrations of these in any studbooks without duly registered parents.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : The Peruvian hairless dog, because of its particular nature, was the subject of obvious curiosity by the Peruvians from different times. Because of the allocation of different properties, they are seen on ceramics of different cultures pre-Incas like Vicus, Mochica, Chancay, Chancay with Tiahuanaco influence, Chimu and others where in many cases the hairless dog has replaced the puma, the snake or the hawk, standing with the greatest interest in the Chancay culture. As seen in these illustrations, the hairless dog makes its appearance in the archaeological periods of Pre-Inca times, from 300 BC until 1460 AD.

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Going by his general conformation, it is an elegant and slim dog, whose aspect expresses speed, strength and harmony without ever appearing coarse. There are two varieties, the hairless whose main feature is the absence of hair all over the body and the coated variety, that is entirely coated. Another particular feature is that the dentition in the hairless variety is nearly always incomplete associated with the congenital alopecia.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : The ratio between the height at the withers and the length of the body is 1 : 1; the females can be slightly longer than the males.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : : Noble and affectionate at home with those close to him, at the same time lively and alert; he might be wary of strangers and is a good watch dog.

HEAD : Of lupoid conformation.
Skull: Mesocephalic. Orthoid, i.e. the upper axes of the skull and muzzle are parallel; a slight divergence is accepted. Seen from above, the skull is broad and the head tapers toward the nose. The superciliary arches are moderately developed. The occipital protuberance is barely marked.
Stop: Slightly marked (approximately 140°).

Nose: Good pigmentation, the colour of the nose must be in harmony with the different colours of the skin; in the different shades in the hairless variety and with the colour of the hair in the coated variety.
Muzzle: Seen in profile, the nasal bridge is straight.
Lips: They must be as tight as possible and close to the gums.
Jaws/Teeth: The incisors should fit in scissor bite. In the hairless variety the absence of one or more teeth is accepted. In the coated variety the dentition must be complete with teeth normally developed and in a normal position. The jaw is not strongly developed.
Cheeks: Developed without exaggeration.
Eyes: Alert and intelligent expression. The eyes must be of average dimensions, slightly almond shaped, neither deep-set nor prominent, normally and regularly placed, i.e. neither too close together nor too wide apart. The colour can vary from black, going through all shades of brown to yellow, in harmony with the skin colour in the naked variety and with the coat in the variety with hair. In any case, both eyes must be of the same colour. The colour of the eyelids may go from black to pink in subjects with light coloured face. The light pink colours are admitted but not sought after.
Ears: The ears must be pricked when the dog is attentive, whereas at rest, they are laid towards the back. The ears are of medium length; broad at the base, tapering progressively towards the tip, ending almost pointed. The ear set starts on the upper part of the skull to end laterally and obliquely. In erect position, the axes of the ears form a variable angle from 50° to near 90°.

Upper profile: Curved (convex).
Length: Approximately the same length as the head.
Shape: Near to a truncated cone shape, supple, with good musculature.
Skin: Fine, smooth, elastic and really close to the subcutaneous tissues. No dewlap.

BODY : Mesomorphic.
Topline: Level, although certain subjects show a dorsal-lumbar convexity, which disappears at croup, level.
Withers: Barely accentuated.
Back: Straight, with well-developed back muscles often forming all along the back a muscular bi-convexity, which extends to the lumbar region.
Loin: Strong and well-muscled. Its length reaches approximately 1/5 of the height at the withers.
Croup: The superior profile is slightly convex, slanting approximately 40° to the horizontal. Solid and well-muscled giving a good push.
Chest: Seen from the front, the chest must have good amplitude, but without excess; reaching almost to the elbow. The ribs must be slightly sprung, never flat. The chest, measured behind the elbows, must exceed the height at the withers with approximately 18%.
Underline and belly: The lower profile presents an elegant and well-marked line which goes from the lower part of the chest and rising to the belly which must be well tucked up, but without excess.

TAIL: The tail is set on low, thick at the root it tapers towards the tip. When excited, the dog can carry the tail raised in a loose curve above the backline, but never as curved as being rolled up. At rest, it hangs with a slight upward curve at the tip. The tail is sometimes carried tucked in towards the abdomen. In length it almost reaches the hock. Tail to be complete.

LIMBS FOREQUARTERS: Well united with the body, seen from the front they are perfectly upright with the elbows not turned out. The angle at the shoulder/upper arm varies between 100° and 120°. Seen in profile, the angle is 15° to 20°.
Forefeet: Are semi-long and look like hare-feet. The pads are strong and heat-resistant. The inter-digital membranes are well developed. The black dogs have preferably black nails and the lighter coloured dogs light nails.

HINDQUARTERS: The muscles are rounded and elastic. The curve of the buttocks is well marked. The coxal-femoral angle varies between 120° and 130°. The femoral-tibial angle must be of 140°. Seen from behind the hindquarters must be upright.
Hind feet: Same as forefeet.

GAIT / MOVEMENT: Due to the angulations defined at the description of the limbs, some of these dogs move with shorter steps but faster and at the same time quite soft and flexible. The limbs, seen from front or behind must move in a single line (i.e. single tracking).

SKIN : The skin must be smooth and elastic all over the body, but can form a few rounded almost concentric lines on the head and round the eyes and the cheeks in the hairless variety. It has been verified that the internal and external temperature of the hairless dogs is exactly the same as that of other breeds (coated or not). The absence of hair leads to an immediate and direct emanation of heat, different from the coated subjects, where the heat filters through the coat by natural ventilation.
Colour: The colour of the skin in the hairless variety can vary from black, slate black, elephant black, bluish black, the whole scale of greys (diluted black), all nuances of genetic blue, dark brown going to light blond. All colours can be either uniform or show pinkish or white patches on all parts of the body. White or pink spots must not cover more than 1/3 of the body. Solid colours are preferred.

Hairless variety: Without hair, only very few hairs on the head and at the extremities of the legs and the tail are admitted, and sometimes sparse hair on the back. These hairs can be any colour or combination of colours.
Coated variety: Smooth, short and tight coat. The hair can be any colour or combination of colours.

There are three sizes in the males and females.
Small : from 25 to 40 cm ( 9 3/4 to 15 3/4 inches).
Medium : from 41 to 50 cm (15 3/4 to 19 3/4 inches).
Large : from 51 to 65 cm (19 3/4 to 25 3/4 inches).

The weight is in relation to the size of the males and females.
Small : from 4 to 8 kg (8,8 to 17,6 lbs).
Medium : from 8 to 12 kg (17,6 to 26,4 lbs).
Large : from 12 to 25 kg (26,4 to 55,1 lbs).

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
  • Semi-erect ears, one or both.
  • Pincer bite.
  • Absence of PM1 in the coated variety.
  • White or pink spots covering more than 1/3 of the body in the hairless variety.
  • Presence of dewclaws.
  • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Over or undershot bite.
  • Deviated jaw (i.e. wry mouth).
  • More than one teeth missing in the coated variety.
  • Hanging or cropped ears.
  • Tongue normally hanging outside of the mouth (paralyzed).
  • Eyes of different colour (heterochromatic)
  • Tail-less, short tail or docked tail.
  • Presence of hair in the hairless variety on parts of the body not indicated in the standard.
  • Total or partial de-pigmented nose.
  • Height more than 65 cms and less than 25 cms.
  • Albinism.
  • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
  • Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.

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