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Dogs of South America
South America holds the origin of only four dog breeds, the Argentine Dogo, Brazilian Mastiff, Brazilian Terrier, and the Peruvian Hairless Dog. The Peruvian Hairless Dog is also known as the Peruvian Inca Orchid, and some will argue that the two of them are separate breeds. The other three have ancestors in Europe, but were uniquely developed in their prospective countries. While the Peruvian Hairless Dog is truly a South American breed and can trace its ancestry back past the time of the Incas and beyond.

The South American Peruvian Hairless Dog is a very ancient breed, although no one knows exactly where it originated. Some believe that its ancestors were brought to the Americas 2,000-3,000 years ago across the Bering Strait from Asia. It is believed they have been around at least since 750 A.D. The Incas, as well as pre-Inca cultures on the Peruvian coast kept them as pets. Ceramic hairless dog figures have been found from the Chimu, Moche, and Vicus culture. The mountainous area of the Incas was too cold to be the natural habitat of these dogs, but they were highly prized there. The Spanish conquest of Peru nearly extinguished the breed. Luckily this South American breed survived in the rural areas so it can still be found today.

Unfortunately, dog fighting is still heavily practiced in South America, more prominently in Argentina, Colombia, and parts of Brazil. The Argentine Dogo is heavily bred for this, and sometimes the Brazilian Mastiff as well. Dog fighting has existed in these areas for hundreds of years, now extinct breeds that had once been used for dog fighting in this region were the Dogo Cubano and Dogo Cordoba. In recent years even the American Pit Bull Terrier has found its way to the South American dog fighting rings.

Argentine Dogo
Brazilian Mastiff
Brazilian Terrier
Peruvian Hairless Dog
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