Peruvian Inca Orchid

Peruvian Inca looking forward

Quick Facts


8.5 to 17.5 pounds (small)

17.5 to 26.5 pounds (medium)

26.5 to 55 pounds (large)


9.75 to 15.75 inches (small)

15.75 to 19.75 inches (medium)

19.75 to 25.75 inches (large)

Average Lifespan:

12-14 years

Known For:

Athletic, loyal and protective hounds with elegant and slim silhouette.


Welcome to the fascinating world of the Peruvian Inca Orchid! These remarkable dogs are a source of joy and wonder for pet lovers around the world. In this guide, we’ll explore the captivating history, unique appearance, and charming personality of the Peruvian Inca Orchid.


The Peruvian Inca Orchid, often called the PIO, is a breed known for its distinctive appearance and intriguing heritage. While not as widely recognized as some other breeds, the Peruvian Inca Orchid has a loyal following of enthusiasts who appreciate its elegance and endearing qualities.

History and Origin

The Peruvian Inca Orchid’s history is as intriguing as its name. This ancient breed traces its roots back over 1,000 years to the pre-Inca cultures of Peru. These dogs were not only beloved companions but also held a sacred status among indigenous peoples. They were revered for their warm disposition and believed to have healing powers due to their unique ability to emit body heat.


The Peruvian Inca Orchid’s association with royalty and nobility further cemented its importance in South American history. The breed was often depicted in ancient pottery and textiles, showcasing its prominence in Inca and pre-Inca civilizations.


Notable PIOs include “Manchas,” who accompanied the famous explorer Pizarro during his conquest of Peru in the 16th century. Manchas and other PIOs played a vital role in establishing early European contact with South America.

Breed Characteristics


Barking Tendency

Dog Friendly

Health Issues

Shedding Level









Cat Friendly

Exercise Needs


Social Needs








App. Friendly

Child Friendly


Energy Level

Stranger Friendly

Watchdog Instincts







Appearance and Size

The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a breed of striking appearance. They are a medium-sized dog with a slender, graceful build. One of their most distinctive features is their nearly hairless skin, which sets them apart from most other breeds. Their skin is often mottled with patches of hair, giving them a unique and exotic appearance.


These dogs come in various colors and patterns, with some individuals sporting a full coat of hair, while others are entirely hairless. Their skin can range from soft pink to dark gray or brown.

Despite their sleek and delicate appearance, Peruvian Inca Orchids are sturdy and agile. They typically stand between 18 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 20 to 50 pounds, making them a manageable size for most households.


Stay tuned for the next sections of this guide, where we’ll delve deeper into the personality and temperament of the Peruvian Inca Orchid, as well as their health and care requirements.

Personality and Temperament

The Peruvian Inca Orchid possesses a delightful and affectionate personality that endears them to their human companions. They are known for their loyalty and strong bonds with their families, making them wonderful household pets.


These dogs are often described as sensitive and empathetic, which allows them to tune into their owners’ emotions.


Β They thrive on human interaction and are known for their sweet and gentle nature. Peruvian Inca Orchids are often seen as “velcro dogs” because they love to be close to their loved ones, whether it’s cuddling on the couch or following you around the house.

Despite their calm and loving disposition, PIOs can be somewhat reserved around strangers. However, early socialization and positive experiences can help them become more confident and sociable with new people and situations.

Health and Lifespan

Peruvian Inca Orchids are generally a healthy breed, and their unique lack of hair can be beneficial for those with allergies. However, like all breeds, they are prone to some health issues to be aware of. These may include:

  • Skin Care: Due to their hairless nature, Peruvian Inca Orchids require special care to protect their skin from sunburn, dryness, and temperature extremes. Regular moisturizing and sunscreen application, especially on sunny days, are essential.
  • Dental Health: Dental care is crucial for PIOs as they can be prone to dental issues. Regular brushing and dental check-ups are recommended.
  • Joint Problems: Some PIOs may experience joint issues, so it’s essential to provide a balanced diet and appropriate exercise to maintain their overall health.
  • Ear Health: Like many dogs, they can be prone to ear infections, so regular ear cleaning is advised.

PIOs have an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, which is relatively long for a medium-sized dog. With proper care and attention to their unique needs, they can lead healthy and happy lives well into their senior years.

Care and Maintenance

Peruvian Inca grooming

Caring for a Peruvian Inca Orchid is a rewarding experience. Their low-maintenance coat (or lack thereof) means you won’t need to deal with shedding, but you’ll still need to take some specific steps to keep them comfortable and healthy:

  • Grooming: While they may not require regular brushing, you’ll need to apply moisturizer or sunscreen to protect their skin. Additionally, occasional baths are necessary to keep their skin clean and healthy.
  • Exercise: PIOs are an active breed and enjoy daily walks and playtime. They have a lot of energy to burn, so regular exercise is essential for their physical and mental well-being.
  • Diet: Provide a balanced diet appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best feeding regimen for your PIO.


Stay tuned for the next sections, where we’ll delve into training and behavior, as well as how Peruvian Inca Orchids interact with families and other pets.

Training and Behavior

Training a Peruvian Inca Orchid can be an enjoyable experience, thanks to their intelligence and willingness to please. These dogs are quick learners, making them well-suited to various training activities. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Intelligence: PIOs are known for their intelligence, which can be a double-edged sword. While it makes training easier, it also means they can get bored quickly. Keep training sessions short, engaging, and positive to maintain their interest.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and play to motivate your PIO during training. Harsh or punitive methods are not recommended and can lead to fear or anxiety.
  • Socialization: Early socialization is crucial to ensure your PIO is comfortable around people, other dogs, and various environments. Expose them to different experiences and people to help them become well-adjusted adults.
  • Basic Commands: Teach your Peruvian Inca Orchid basic commands like sit, stay, and recall. These commands are essential for their safety and well-being.
  • Behavioral Challenges: PIOs can be sensitive and may develop anxiety or fear-based behaviors if not properly socialized and trained. Address any behavioral issues with patience and positive reinforcement, and consider consulting a professional dog trainer if needed.

Peruvian Inca Orchid and Families

Peruvian Inca with people

Peruvian Inca Orchids can make wonderful family pets. They are known for their affectionate and loyal nature, making them great companions for individuals and families alike. Here’s how they typically interact with families, children, and other pets:

  • Children: PIOs are generally good with children, especially if they are raised together. However, as with any dog, supervision is essential to ensure that both the dog and the child are comfortable and safe. Teach children how to interact gently and respectfully with the dog.
  • Other Pets: Peruvian Inca Orchids can get along well with other pets, including cats and dogs, if properly introduced and socialized from a young age. Keep in mind that individual personalities can vary, so monitor their interactions.
  • Elderly Companions: Their calm and gentle nature makes PIOs excellent companions for the elderly. They enjoy cuddling and providing comfort to their owners.

Adopting a Peruvian Inca Orchid

If you’re considering bringing a Peruvian Inca Orchid into your home, adopting one can be a rewarding experience. Here’s how and where to adopt one of these unique dogs:

Rescue Organizations: Look for breed-specific rescue organizations or animal shelters that may have Peruvian Inca Orchids available for adoption. These organizations often have dogs in need of loving homes.


Breeders: If you prefer a puppy, do thorough research to find reputable breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs. Ensure they provide proper documentation of health checks and genetic testing.


Local Shelters: Visit your local animal shelters or check online adoption platforms for available PIOs. It’s possible to find these dogs in need of homes in various rescue organizations.

Before adopting, consider your lifestyle, living situation, and ability to meet the unique needs of a Peruvian Inca Orchid. They make wonderful companions, but they do require specific care and attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is unique about the Peruvian Inca Orchid?

The Peruvian Inca Orchid can be hairless or coated and is known for its elegant and slender appearance. The hairless variety requires sunscreen and clothing for protection against the elements.

How much exercise does a Peruvian Inca Orchid need?

They have moderate exercise needs, satisfied with daily walks and playtime. They enjoy activities that stimulate their mind and body.

Are Peruvian Inca Orchids good with children?

They can be good with children if socialized early, but care should be taken with the hairless variety to prevent skin injuries.

What health issues can affect Peruvian Inca Orchids?

The hairless variety may have dental issues and skin problems. Both varieties can be prone to epilepsy and stomach sensitivity.

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