You would be forgiven for never having heard of a New Guinea Singing Dog because they are thought to be the rarest breed on the planet. As their name suggests, when these dogs howl, it sounds like they are singing and it's estimated there are only very few of them kept as pets both in the native homeland and elsewhere in the world.
The New Guinea Singing Dog looks a little bit like a fox and their coats can be a similar colour too although dogs can also be black and tan or brown with some dogs having lovely white markings on their chests, paws and underbellies. Whatever colour, their coats are short and sit closely to their bodies giving them a very tidy look about them. When young, the puppies are incredibly cute and resemble fox cubs which just adds to their overall appeal.
Native to New Guinea, these charming dogs have been around for a long time with records of them being around back in the 1800s when explorers who ventured on the island found them living alongside villagers. The breed almost vanished altogether at one point in time, but luckily these lovely dogs were saved from the brink of extinction in the fifties and seventies when pairs of dogs were taken to Australia where they were bred in a Sidney zoo. The dogs we see today are all descendants of the New Guinea Singing Dogs that were bred in the Australian zoo back then.
It would be fair to say, the New Guinea Singing Dog also resembles the Dingo and it is thought they are indeed closely related to this ancient breed. Needless to say, they got their name because of the sound they make when they howl which as previously mentioned is very reminiscent of someone singing.
The breed is considered the rarest dog on the planet, even in their native New Guinea, but some breeders are now producing healthy examples of them in other parts of the world, along with several zoos. Today, the breed is recognised by several Kennel Clubs around the globe which includes the UKC. They are not recognised by the UK kennel club, and as these are essentially wild dogs, they are not recommended as being kept as pet dogs in the UK.
Although the New Guinea Singing Dog can make a lovely pet under certain circumstances, they are not the best choice for everyone. The reason being they are so similar in nature and looks to a wild dog. With this said, when well socialised from a young age, they form very strong bonds with their owners adding a whole new dimension to the meaning of sharing a home with a canine companion.
They are very active, lively dogs by nature as such they enjoy nothing more than being kept busy. They are also incredibly alert and love to explore their environment whenever they can. One thing that's worth bearing in mind, is that if a New Guinea Singing Dog can get their head through a gap, their body will follow. As such they are pretty adept escape artists. Although they get very close to their owners, these dogs can be a little wary and aloof around strangers. They can also be quite aggressive around other dogs whether they know them or not and this is particularly true of same sex dogs.
Because of their close relationship to the wild dog, the New Guinea Singing Dog boasts an extremely strong prey drive and they are masters at tracking anything down using all their senses to do so. As such, they need to be kept on leads when out on walks in parks or the countryside and gardens have to be very secure to keep them in or you might find they go walk abouts.
Male dogs typically stand at between 14 to 15 inches at the shoulder and can weigh in at anything from 18 to 30 lbs with their female counterparts being that much shorter and lighter too.
Robust and Healthy Breed
The New Guinea Singing Dog is known to be a hardy and healthy dog although more research and studies into the breed would need to be done to establish whether they are predisposed to inheriting any health disorders. The problem is there are so few of these dogs around that there is only a small gene pool to draw from. When well cared for and fed a good nutritious diet to suit their ages, a New Guinea Singing Dog can live anything from 15 to 20+ years.
There are some lovely lesser known breeds of dog in the world, with some of them being extremely rare. One such breed is the New Guinea Singing Dog that as their name suggests "sings" rather than barks which adds to their overall charming appeal. These dogs resemble foxes especially when puppies when they could easily be confused for fox cubs. They are not recommended as being kept aspets, simply because they are so much like wild dogs both in looks and to a certain degree in nature.