New Guinea Singing Dog

From Academic Kids

The New Guinea Singing Dog (NGSD, New Guinea Highland Dog, or Singer) is a relative of the Australian Dingo that is native to New Guinea. Discovered by Sir Edward Halistrom in 1957, NGSDs have remained isolated for almost 6000 years, making them possibly the oldest of the pariah dogs. They are unique in their ability to howl in a wolf-like manner, but unlike wolves, Singers modulate the pitch, hence the name. NGSDs have a fox-like appearance, with a double coat that ranges in color from red to brown, and have a characteristically large carnassial tooth. They stand between 14 and 18 inches at the withers, and weigh 17 to 30 pounds as adults.

Once thought to inhabit the entire island of New Guinea, today populations remain only in remote mountainous areas. They are an exceptionally clever breed of dog, but are hard to keep because of wild behavioural traits. There is some debate as to whether NGSDs are truly domesticated animals, though with proper training, the pack-instinct of the NGSD usually makes it possible to keep the animal. They are a recognized breed by such organizations as the United Kennel Club, which classifies them as a pariah dog.

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