The Chiribaya Shepherd
Although many believe that the Chiribaya Shepherd is an extinct dog breed, others consider that some very rare dogs of this breed still exist.
This breed of dogs is native to southern Peru. It may not be certain if this breed still exists or not, but it is certain that several years ago, plenty of dog tombs with dogs of these breed were found by researchers in cemetery plots. This shows that people who have benefited had such dogs treated them as important family members, having a deep respect for their companions.
From what researchers have discovered, this type of dog is said to have a medium-sized snout and paws, similar to the ones of a hare. Dogs like this have a beige color. In a way, they are considered similar to Golden Retrievers. Their hair is long. Even if researchers cannot agree if Chiribaya Sheperd still exists or not, they all agree that descendents of this dog breed can be found around Ilo, Moquequa.
Anthropologists believe that this dog breed was used for its llama-herding abilities, which means that these dogs were skilled runners and also intelligent. Let's not forget that many dog tombs containing this type of dogs were recently found, this showing that their owners appreciated them very much and emphasizing the fact that this dog breed was friendly, otherwise those dogs would not have been buried, like humans are.
Like many other dogs used for their herding abilities, these dogs were easy to train. The fact that they were found covered in blankets and having food next to them, which was supposed to be consumed by them in the afterlife, shows clearly that people were very fond of such dogs, considering them more than just simple animals.
It is not clear if the animals that were found in those cemetery plots died of natural causes or not, and also few information is known about the health status of these dogs. Because Chiribayas were used as work dogs, it is believed that their health was generally good.
The lifespan of this dog breed is another thing that researchers can't agree upon. It is known that they lived somewhere around 900 A.D., before the establishment of the Inca Empire in Peru. Their diet and work conditions influenced them a lot, just like the lack of professional help, in case of health problems. In the past, people, and also animals, relied only on herbs and natural remedies.
There are so many things that researchers are still trying to find out about the Chiribaya. What is very important to acknowledge is the fact that the legacy of these dogs will carry on for many years from now, showing everybody that animals should be respected and loved. The Chiribaya Shepherd dogs may not exist anymore to tell their story, but their memory will live on, for as long as the writings about this type of dogs will continue to amaze their readers.