Posts Tagged ‘Papua New Guinea’

These hunters rely upon their dogs to hunt tree kangaroos, cuscus, and feral pigs.

The dogs are derived from the semi-wild New Guinea singing dog, which is a dingo that evolved to live in the New Guinea Highlands.

This footage shows the dogs hunting in the forest. It also includes a clip of the New Guinea singing dog howling.

The New Guinea singing dog is a critically endangered subpopulation of the ding (Canis lupus dingo) that is in desperate need of genetic diversity. Because these village dogs are derived from it, I don’t see why they aren’t recruited as potential outcrosses.

One of the most unfortunate aspects of the New Guinea singing dog is that too many of its advocates have considered it a separate species from the dingo and the domestic dog. Many older texts even refer to it as Canis hallstromi. Almost all of these dogs descend from a single litter that was born in Australia from imported parents.

Of course, that reality is not understood when a welfare situation pops up. When 85 of these dogs were recently discovered in Pennsylvania living in less than ideal situations, the dogs were confiscated. From my understanding, about half of these dogs have been spayed and neutered.

Now, spaying and neutering rescued dogs is required by law in so many jurisdictions. It doesn’t matter what kind of dog.

I’m very worried that big chunk of this breed’s potential genetic diversity has been compromised. Until those 85 were discovered, there were only 150 of these dogs residing outside New Guinea. There are a few still roaming the New Guinea Highland, though I would be highly surprised if these dogs were “purebred” and illegible for inclusion their studbooks.

Of course, all of this would be moot point, if their advocates were more willing to allow outcrosses to dingoes and other primitive dog breeds. The dingo and the New Guinea village dog seem to be the most logical outcrosses to increase this breed’s genetic diversity, but I have heard of someone crossing in Shetland sheepdog — of all things. There is also the Malaysian Telomian breed, another monestrous primitive breed from Malaysia that so strongly resembles the singing dog.

BTW, I should mention that the name Canis lupus dingo is controversial. Some taxonomists think all dingoes–including the singing dog– should be considered part of the domestic dog subspecies, Canis lupus familiaris. Dingoes are derived from dogs that existed in Asia or Indonesia that existed under a varying amount of domestication. Once out of agricultural societies, these dogs developed physical features and behaviors that are more associated with wolves than village dogs.


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