Breed Standard

Body Condition

The ideal North American Paco-Vicuña is best described as elegant looking. Compared to other camelids like the alpaca, the body type has a finer bone structure, with fine legs lightly covered with fiber, a clean open belly, long delicate neck, and a very refined head. The nose is finely tapered, eyes are larger and rounder than a regular alpaca. Ears are set slightly forward and are spear shaped without any excess fiber. The body type is much lighter in bone structure, with slightly longer leg/neck to body ratios. The back is often slightly rounded with a gentle curve. Tail set is lower and held close to the body. There is a general absence of topknot or a minimal one at best. A pronounced chest bib of guard hair is present.


The fleece exhibits an extreme density in its best form, with readily discernible guard hair present throughout the fleece. The prime blanket area is the dominant fiber product, with little neck/leg/belly coverage. Fiber structure is distinguished by a highly disorganized crinkle rather than an organized crimp as is present in most regular alpacas. The fleece has a very uniform and low micron throughout the blanket, with few seconds from neck and leg.



The coloration of the North American Paco-Vicuña comes in a range of 6 basic colors: white, beige, light/medium/ dark Vicuna, and mahogany. Pattern of markings often show a pronounced ‘ancestral line’ with a lighter color line angling downward mid body from shoulder to hip. Often the pattern is a distinctive color change from dark to lighter from spine towards belly, with a much lighter underbelly and the inside of the legs. White markings are sometimes seen on the face and lower legs, as are darker tips of ears, nose, and feet. A pinto pattern of one color on the prime fleece with lighter legs/belly is occasionally seen and is not a defect. A patterned color variation or spotting across the blanket is not desirable nor is it commonly seen.


Fiber Fineness

The general micron range is 12-16 microns as most desirable, with fineness less than 20 microns acceptable for general breeding stock. Above 20 microns is not desirable, (but will occasionally be used for outside bloodlines).


Benefits of a Breed Standard

a) A breed standard, once widely accepted, can be a strong unifying force within the industry. The breed standard serves as a target or goal to aim at or aspire to.

b) A breed standard will discourage crossbreeding.

c) A breed standard having been developed by consensus of all major stake holders will discourage the development of multiple competing standards. Multiple standards would retard progress toward overall national herd improvement by confusing breeders as to which target to shoot for.

d) A breed standard will serve the new buyer by serving as a yardstick against which to measure potential purchases.

e) A breed standard can facilitate the development of evaluation tools that established and new breeders alike can use to determine the success of their breeding program.

f) In the future a breed standard can facilitate the development of data sets that breeders can utilize to track performance thus facilitating selection based on objective performance criteria



IDEAL Traits




Elegant profile showing balanced proportions of neck, body, and legs. Head finely shaped, narrow to nose, larger rounded eye.

Often phenotypically true to type, yet express subtle differences in frame and overall appearance.

Lacks overall balance, proportion and has greater substance in bone.

(blocky or chunky)

Balance & Topline

Proper proportions demonstrated in slightly longer neck and legs relative to body length.  Length is the same as height, with a slightly rounded topline from withers to the hip, rounding at the croup.

Slightly off in balance with the  profile being shortened in any direction.

Obvious lack of balance and proportion and/or topline deviated in a humpback or swayback condition.


Absent to minimal top knot.  Refined head tapering to a narrow nose/muzzle.   Ears erect, spear-shaped and of appropriate length, set slightly forward and absent of extra fiber. Large, round eyes clear and bright, free from congenital anomalies. Nasal passages symmetrical. Incisors meet the forward edge of the upper dental pad and the mandible and maxilla are vertically aligned.

Broader shaped muzzle and head shape with a moderate topknot with a wedge appearance. May exhibit slight deviations in jaw alignment. Incisors may extend beyond or slightly behind the forward edge of the upper dental pad. Mandible is slightly wider than maxilla.

Topknot often fluffy and open over a long muzzle. Ears out of proportion with the head, banana-shaped or fused. Jaw alignment incorrect with lower teeth extending well beyond or behind the upper dental pad. Asymmetry of nasal passages and crooked tooth alignment.


Movement demonstrates a fluid gait and balanced stride, with both toes pointed forward or slightly outward and tracking evenly in a straight line on upright pasterns.

Deviations exist in foot placement and leg angulation when viewed from both the front and the side indicating improper joint structure. Gait not smooth.

Extreme deviations in angulation of the shoulder or hocks or collapsed pasterns. Resultant movements are short, choppy, winging out, toeing in or rope walking.

Front Legs

Show lighter substance of bone, with correct angulation when viewed from the front and side with toes pointed forward, also demonstrating adequate chest width.

May be slightly heavy boned, have a moderate deviation in angulation from either front or side view, leg rotated slightly in or out as evidenced in foot position.

Very stocky with heavy bone structure, front or side view deviation in angulation is extreme, position of feet very-close or too far apart, extreme outward or inward leg rotation.


IDEAL Traits



Hind Legs

Hindquarters are not overly broad, with strong, well-muscled thighs. Legs show  correct angulation to slight sickle of the hock joint when viewed from the side and rear.

May be moderately heavy boned or broad in hindquarters.

Hocks touch during standing and movement. Extreme deviation appears from the side when the hock joint is either extremely angled (sickle-hocked) or too straight (post legged).

Body Capacity

Shows narrow to medium breadth and depth of body, chest, and abdomen. Excellent size for age.

May demonstrate a slightly smaller frame for age or be slower to develop.

Small in overall size and stature for age.


Tail set centers off the rounded croup and is palpated just off the pelvis as a natural extension of the spine. Tail is straight, lower than average and easy to flex with a length sufficient to cover the genitalia.  Tail does not carry an excess of fiber.

Tail set may be slightly high and length may be less than ideal.

Tail set high on the croup, kinked, or bent and unable to be straightened, too short to cover genitalia.


External genitalia are anatomically correct in size, shape, and position. Four to five teats are uniformly positioned. Males have two evenly sized, firm testicles that are descended into the scrotal sacs.

Four teats exist in close proximity to each other. Small vulva opening. Testicles small, but descended into scrotal sac.

Vulva that is too small, incorrectly positioned or angled, closed at birth requiring surgical intervention. Males with only one testicle, very-small testicles, or very-soft testicles. Fewer than 4 teats, or more than 5.





IDEAL Traits




The fleece exhibits extreme density equal to that of a pelt, holding together after shearing.   Neck wool is equal to more often shorter than prime blanket, and exhibits extreme density.  Leg wool is absent to minimal in appearance.  There is an absence of belly wool.

Exhibits some degree of organized crimp, still has superior density and good staple growth.

Exhibits an open or less dense fleece, with no to moderate crinkle/crimp.  Poor staple length.

Fiber Structure

PV fiber has superior natural brightness, fleece exhibits crinkle rather than a highly organized crimp, and has great uniformity in micron. Staple length is from 1.5 to 3 inches growth per year between ages 1 to 4 years at a minimum. Density is extreme to the point of showing no discernible lock structure but more so an interlocking of all fibers from the crinkle. PV fiber tests for a higher curvature than alpaca, most often valuations greater than 55 degrees. Optimum is curvature in the 70’s to 90’s.

Average levels of luster are present throughout the fleece expressed as a velvety, satin sheen.

Poor level of brightness evident. The overall fleece is very coarse, dry, and lacking  structure.


This most valued trait is exemplified as low micron fiber, not relative to age, expressed across the blanket, making fleece ideal for processing into garments which may be worn next to the skin. The rate of change in micron over time is none to minimal, preserving the fiber value of the PV as it ages.

Microns in the range of 17-23 are acceptable for breeding when bloodlines are factored in, and if fleece shows good structure and density with acceptable staple length.

– Strong or high micron fiber exceeding 23 microns.

– Rapidly increasing micron values with age is strongly undesirable.

Presence of

Guard Hair

A strong and easily discernible presence of guard hair across the blanket, extending above the prime or secondary fiber.  The presence of the guard hair is desirable to protect the ultrafine blanket, preventing felting and contamination by hay or vegetation.

Variation in the size of primary and secondary follicle fibers is distinctive and easily recognized. Structure of the fiber reflects crinkle but also some areas of lightly organized crimp.

Extreme micron variation exists across  the entire fleece.  Little variation between microns of Primaries (guard hair) and Secondary fibers.