Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Peru offers Obamas hairless dog

Ear, a Peruvian Hairless dog
Could hypoallergenic Ears be seen running across The White House lawns?

Peruvian dog lovers say they have the ideal pet for US President-elect Barack Obama and his family - a bald breed that was once favoured by Inca rulers.

Mr Obama last week promised his two daughters a puppy but Malia, 10, is allergic to most dogs.

Members of the Peruvian Hairless Dog club say the breed, the only one native to South America, would be perfect as the dogs cause no allergies.

And they have a four-month-old puppy in mind, currently nicknamed Ears.

The head of Peru's Friends of the Hairless Dog Association, Claudia Galvez, says she believes Ears would be the perfect choice for the Obamas.

On Monday, she sent a letter to the US embassy in Lima to enquire whether the president-elect and his family would be interested in giving a home to Ears at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

"They do not cause any type of allergy and are very friendly and sweet," Ms Galvez was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"We want to give a male puppy to Obama's daughters, so they get to experience all the joys of having a dog but without any allergies."

The Hairless Dog, or Viringo breed, is believed to date back some 3,000 years and the breed is depicted in pre-Hispanic ceramics.

Their lack of hair may not make them the most cuddly pet but their fans say they make up for it by having a higher than average body temperature, says the BBC's Dan Collyns in Lima.

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