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Breed Information

Going by his general conformation, it is an elegant and slim dog, whose aspect expresses speed,
strength, and harmony without ever appearing coarse. He is of noble and affectionate nature with
those nearest to him. He is reserved towards strangers, lively, alert and a good guard dog.

The breed is very rare and very primitive. Their anatomy is stronger and more substantially
structured than a traditional Sighthound, but they possess the Sighthound-like characteristics
of speed and keen vision and hearing. The dog needs to have long limbs and elegance. The Peruvian
hairless dog most resembles greyhounds with its structure and speed.

    Heidi Gustafsson

The ratio between the height at the withers and the length of the body is of 1:1; the body of
the females can be slightly longer than that of the males.The Peruvian hairless dog should be
relatively square-like and even. The bitches length of the body should not be too long
because the dog has to look elegant and long-limbed and even though the females are longer in
body they are still squarish. Length in females should be in the loin and not the ribcage.

This breed has, as a fundamental characteristic, the absence of hair all over the body. Another
particular feature is that the dentition is nearly always incomplete. Forward pointing tusks in the
canines can also occur. No dog should be penalized for missing teeth.

The Standard points out two fundamental characteristics of the breed, the absence of hair
all over the body and incomplete dentition.

Scientific experiments on other hairless breeds suggest a dominant semi-lethal gene to be
responsible for both the hairlessness and the defective teeth in the dog.

A PIO is noble and affectionate at home with those close to him while being lively and alert. Yet,
he is wary of anything or anyone new. A good guard in the presence of strangers.


This dog can be very shy at first. Peruvians need time to trust new people and things. Do not expect
to be overwhelmed by wagging tails and kisses. Approach the dog with a no nonsense attitude and pat him.
If you approach slowly with hands out, the dog assumes the worse and backs away. A Peruvian is cautiousness
towards all new things and people is in its character. The cautiousness of the breed appears as timidness,
because the dog does not want a strange person touching it particularly on the head.

The head is of wolf like conformation.

The skull is Of medium breadth. Orthoïd, 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 well developed. The occipital crest is hardly marked.


Cranial-facial depression barely marked (approximately 140 degrees).

The color of the nose must be in harmony with the different colors of the skin.

In the profile view, the nasal bridge is straight.

They must be as tight as possible and close to the gums.

The cheeks are normally developed.

Eyes are alert and of intelligent expression. The eyes must be of average dimensions, slightly almond
shaped, neither deep-set nor prominent, normally and regularly placed, neither too close together
nor too wide apart. The color can vary from black, going through all shades of brown up to yellow,
in harmony with the skin color. In any case, both eyes must be of the same color. The color of the
eyelids may go from black to pink in subjects with a light colored face. The light pink colors are
admitted but not sought after. If a dog has a patched or Clown Face and the patches do not cover the
eye then the eyelids may well be pink, as that part of the skin contains no melanin.

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 their tip, ending
almost pointed. The ear set starts on the upper part of the skull to end laterally and obliquely. In
the erect position, the axes of the ears form a variable angle near 90 degrees, ears are not at 90
degrees but near 90 degrees. Ears should be placed a little on the side of the head and they should
be relatively large and be erect, rather than small.

The incisors are in a scissor bite and the canines developed normally. The absence of one or all the
pre molars and molars is accepted. The lower jaw is only slightly developed.

The dogs normally have some premolars. Many do not have canine teeth. It is a rarity to find dogs
that have plenty of teeth and are still a TRUE hairless! Dogs with too much hair often have all teeth
like the coated version. There is however a lot more to a dog than its teeth. The dogs in Peru rarely
have full mouths- the lack of teeth is real. If one has to decide between an over-hairy dog with teeth
or a true hairless with lesser teeth, the hairless is absolutely better. Some individuals lose some of
their teeth during the years and others don't even get some of their teeth. It is often that young dogs
lose their permanent teeth because the root of the tooth does not develop properly.

The upper line of the is curved (convex). The length is approximately the same length as the head. The
shape is near to a truncated cone shape, supple, with good musculature. The skin on the neck is fine,
smooth and elastic, really close to the subcutaneous tissues. No dewlap.

The forquarters are Well united with the body. Seen from the front, they are perfectly vertical and the
elbows are not turned out. The angle at the shoulders joint varies from between 100 degrees and 120 degrees.
Seen in profile, the angle formed by the pastern and the vertical will form 15 degrees to 20 degrees.

The body is elegant, not robust, with a muscular body.

the topline is straight, although certain subjects show dorsal-lumbar convexity which disappears at

The withers are barely accentuated.

As seen from the front, the chest must have good amplitude, but without excess; come down almost to the
elbow. The ribs must be lightly sprung, never flat. The girth of the chest, measured behind the elbows,
must exceed by about 18% the height at the withers.

The topline is straight, with well-developed back muscles often forming all along the back a muscular
bi-convexity, which extends to the lumbar region.<

The lumbar region is strong and well muscled. Its length reaches approximately 1/5th of the height at
the withers.

Its upper profile is slightly convex. Its slant compared to the horizontal is about 40 degrees. Its
solid and well-muscled conformation assures a good impulsion.

The lower profile draws an elegant and well-marked line which goes from the lower part of the chest
and rises along the belly which must be well tucked up, but without excess.

The muscles are rounded and elastic. The curve of the buttocks is well marked. The coxal-femoral angle
varies between 120 degrees and 130 degrees. And the femoral-tibial angle must be of 140 degrees. Seen
from behind, the hindquarters must be vertical. Dewclaws must be removed. The angulation of the
hindquarters should clearly balance that of the forequarters. The curve of the buttocks is clearly
defined. When viewed from the side or behind the rear pastern should be vertical.

The forefeet are semi-long and look like hare-feet. The pads are strong and heat-resistant. The
interdigital membranes are well developed. The black dogs have preferably black nails The lighter
dogs light nails the hind feet are the same as the forefeet. The feet of a Peruvian are webbed,
as you would expect in a water dog. The breed was developed on the western side of Peru where little
rain falls. The webbing along with the short step enables the dog to run up sand dunes after prey.
Black dogs can have some white nails too, but black is preferred. All nails, however, must be very
strong and long. The dogs have a massive nail growth and if the nails are not clipped frequently.