Hairless Khala

Khalas are loving and docile with family and friends – being closely bonded with their owners. They are hardy and are willing to make do with only the bare necessities, as they live an unprotected life in their homelands. They do well with other family pets and do best in the company of another dog, especially another hairless one. They can be aloof with strangers and require firm authority. This is a primitive breed and generally not a good choice for first time dog owners – if you can find one.

Minimum Exercise:

Exercise/Activity Level: Medium. One hour or more daily walking, and will also appreciate playtime/bonding time in the garden or yard on top. This is a hardy breed which would tend to roam relatively freely in the home village, so it is likely it will do as much exercise as you want. A medium sized, well (high) fenced garden or yard is an advantage for playtime.

Size: Medio – 14 to 17 inches (36-41cm) Grande – 17 to 20 inches (43-51cm)

Weight: Medio – 15 to 30 lbs (7-14 kgs) Grande – 18-30 lbs (8-14 kgs)

Colour: Colour is not important within the breed ‘standard’ but most have dark grey skin when mature.

Town or Country: Both – they will adapt to apartment living given adequate exercise

Low Allergy: Yes

Best Suited for: A previous/ experienced dog owner with moderate time for exercise and a medium sized home and garden, with or without children. It would be an advantage for someone to be around during the day.

Group: Hound (Continental Kennel Club)

Originally From: South America – Bolivia, Peru, Argentina in particular - where they live from the coast right up into the high mountains

Original Purpose: Companion

Living Space: Medium. This dog will not take up much space in an apartment as long as it gets out for at least one good daily walk of an hour. However as a largely ‘outdoor’ dog in its homelands, it will do better with a garden to play in.

Coat: Hairless – usually with some hair on the top of the head

Grooming: Moderate, possibly high. Similar to grooming requirements for the other hairless breeds. Protection from extreme sun using suncream and/or T shirts and from cold with coats/sweaters. Skin moisturising may be necessary and bathing occasionally to keep the skin clean. Khala nails are hard and long and the dogs are very sensitive to them being trimmed.

Children: High. They are a family dog and will do well with children they are brought up with or ones they have accepted. They have a natural distrust of strangers. Therefore make sure new children are fully accepted by your Khala before leaving them unsupervised together – even if your own children are there.

Sociability with strangers: Medium to low. Khalas are bonded to their family and can be initially aloof – though not aggressive – with strangers. Give them time to warm up to new people arriving at the house.

Sociability with animals or other dogs: Medium to high. They do especially well in the company of other Khalas or hairless dogs. However, another dog for company would also be an advantage.

Trainability: This is a willing dog with owners. However it is a primitive breed with limited time exposed to a conventional modern environment. Therefore training needs to be firm, to avoid Khalas taking over the household

Noise Level: Not known

Known Health Issues: Bad teeth

Lifespan: Not known in conventional modern environments. Likely to be similar to other hairless breeds eg 10 years.

Special Needs: Khalas will give chase without thought and have no road sense at all. Ensure that your Khala is well trained to recall and walked on a lead if there is any danger of straying into traffic. When startled, Khalas tend to freeze. If challenged, they will tend to run away from the danger because they have no fur to protect themselves from attack, and their teeth are also primitive.

Khala is pronounced ‘Cowla’ and is the Quechua Indian word for ‘without clothing’.

The dogs come in two types:

  • Medio (medium) – Slightly shorter legged and more rustic, also called the ‘pottery type
  • Grande (large) – longer legged with a more elegant look, moving with ease and agility

Both of these types can occur in the same litter and are not classed as different breeds.  There is no selective breeding yet for one type or the other.

Khala pedigrees are rarely written down in their native land.  Argentina, Bolivia and Peru in particular are trying to establish proper breeding records and registries for Khalas.

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