30 March 2023.
The New Guinea singing dog is also known as the New Guinea Highland dog. It is a dog species found in the New Guinea Highlands on the island of New Guinea. This breed is one of the few considered “barkless” and known for its unusual “yodel”-like style of vocalizing, hence its common name of “singing dog.”
Origins and Characteristics
Considered an ancient lineage of dog, the New Guinea singing dog was once thought to be a separate species in its own right, under the name Canis hallstromi. However, this species is closely related to the Australian dingo. Living wild in the remote mountains of New Guinea, this breed has adapted to its environment over 20,000 years, free from contact with people.
The New Guinea singing dog is unique among canines for its vocalizations. Their howls are similar to both the song of the humpback whale and a yodel. These howls are an important part of their communication with their pack members, and they are able to create a wide range of vocalizations, from soft whimpers to high-pitched yelps.
UK’s Last New Guinea Singing Dog
The last member of an ancient sub-species of dog in the UK, named Kota, recently died in mid-March at Exmoor Zoological Park. Kota was 15 years old when he died. He had been in palliative care for two months after losing his partner Belle four weeks earlier.
Ancestry and Conservation Efforts
New Guinea singing dogs are believed to be the original ancestors of all domestic dogs in the Asian region. As a result, the Singing Dog Conservation Society in the United States has been working to preserve the breed. However, there are currently only six breeding females in the society, with no litters expected until the summer.