Mammal

New Guinea Singing Dog

Area: 
Papua New Guinea
Habitat: 
mountains, thick forests
Food: 
small mammals, small reptiles, birds
Size: 
28 to 36 inches long, up to 18 inches tall at shoulder
Babies: 
litter size averages four pups
Singing dogs are considered the "wildest domesticated dog or most domesticated wild dog."
Sing a Song

 

Singing dogs look like pet dogs, with their goldish red or black-and-tan coat with white markings. They have a narrow muzzle, petal-shaped ears, and wide cheekbones. Well adapted to hunting in steep areas with thick vegetation, the singing dog’s joints and spineA stiff, sharp projection on an animal; another word for quill. are extremely flexible for a dog—they climb and jump like a cat!

 

But when it comes to sounds, these canids really have their own voice! Most of the singing dog's vocalizations are similar to that of the wolf, dingo, and domesticDescribing an animal kept by people as a pet, for work, or other reasons. Sheep and goats found on farms are domestic, those found in the wild are not. dog, but their howl is incredibly unique. Sonograms show the howl is similar to the song of the humpback whale! The singing dog’s howl sounds like a yodel, with the tones going up and down. And when in a group, one dog starts singing and others join in at different pitches, each with its own unique voice. Singers also whine, yelp, bark, and scream (a drawn-out yelp). 

 

Researchers believe that New Guinea singing dogs probably hunt alone and possibly defend a territory in mated pairs. Family groups live together, with both parents raising the puppies. Pups spend most of their day sleeping or playing. Playing reinforces social bonds and is great practice for future hunting expeditions.