Things to Consider Before Buying a New Guinea Singing Puppy
By Judith Aleguen | Updated on Nov 13, 2022
The New Guinea Singing Dog (NGSD) is an ancient wild dog breed that originated on the island of New Guinea. It is also referred to as the New Guinea Dingo, Hallstrom Dog, New Guinea Highland Dog, Canis Hallstromi, the Singing Dog, New Guinea Wild Dog, and Bush Dingo. They got their quite unusual name because of their vocalizations, which sound like a combination of singing and howling due to the dogs' ability to change the pitch of their howls and make other noises. Here is everything you need to know before taking this dog home!
They are quite a rare breed.
To this day, the New Guinea Singing Dog remains the world's rarest dog breed. They were discovered in the 1800s, but purebred Singing Dogs became extremely rare due to interbreeding with other dogs. The NGSD strain has been around for a very long time; it is thought to be about 30,000 years old.
Another reason for this rarity is the fact that these Singing Dogs are only found in the forested highlands of New Guinea. The native villagers quickly lost interest in the New Guinea Singing Dog as they were replaced by larger, easier-to-train domesticated dogs and crossbreeds.
They are very vocal dogs.
It's incredible how many different noises canines can make, but the New Guinea Singing Dog is unlike any other dog you've ever heard. These guys are called "singing" dogs because, you guessed it, they sing. They use various vocalizations besides just barking to convey their messages and thoughts. They can yell, howl, bark, whine, and whistle.
Sometimes, they love to make up their sound. When one group begins to sing, others will soon join in, each contributing their unique sound, just like a church choir. They are distinguished above all others by their unique ability to produce a harmonious and undulating tone.
The New Guinea Singing dogs have a strong prey drive and are territorial.
When it comes to hunting, the New Guinea Singing Dogs can catch birds and rodents by climbing trees, all thanks to their flexible spines. Although it is sometimes possible to socialize this breed to get along with other pets it grows up with; they also have a very high prey drive that is nearly impossible to eradicate.
Given their rarity, very little is known about the hunting habits of singing dogs in the wild, although these canines are notoriously territorial.
They are hunting dogs.
The indigenous people of New Guinea occasionally used these dogs as hunting dogs in the past, but nowadays, most people keep these dogs as pets rather than as working animals.
But the New Guinea Singing dogs have developed exceptionally limber bodies to survive in the tree-filled hills and the harsh conditions presented by the mountainous, dense terrain. They can jump great distances and climb trees, making them somewhat akin to cats.
These dogs need lots of exercises.
Regarding activity level, these dogs rank high among those that need a lot of exercise and activities. A Singer needs a significant amount of physical activity daily to maintain overall good health.
Due to its ancestry in the wild, this breed has high energy requirements and may display behavior problems if not given enough physical stimulation. But unlike many other high-energy dog breeds, the New Guinea Singing dogs were reported to become less hyperactive as they age and are generally relatively calm.
These canines resemble dingoes, but they make loyal pets if their owners are firm and patient. A dog of this breed can keep going all day long and are so agile and resourceful because they were trained to cover a lot of ground to find food in the wild.
For this reason, owners who are constantly on the move and enjoy exploring the great outdoors will get along with these dogs just fine. Remember that you shouldn't let your Singer run free while you're outside, but they also need plenty of time to run around and play in a safe, contained area.
They need a diet for a medium-sized dog with a very high activity level.
Despite being medium size, the New Guinea Singing Dog is a very active breed. When living in the wild, this species consumes a variety of small to medium-sized animals like marsupials, rodents, and birds, but they also eat fruits. The New Guinea Singing Dog thrives on a raw diet of lean meats when kept in captivity.
These dogs are brilliant but can be challenging to train.
The New Guinea Singing Dog is intelligent; however, as distant relatives of wild dogs, these canines can be wary of humans and difficult to tame and domesticate. Despite their intelligence and problem-solving skills, these dogs are notoriously difficult to train and keep as pets due to their high prey drive, stubborn independence, and ability to escape yards and enclosures quickly.
Training and socialization from a young age are therefore advised for this dog. The most effective training techniques involve positive reinforcement, and training must be consistently administered. No matter how much experience you have as a dog owner, it can take time to teach this dog anything. Nonetheless, that hinges on how well you handle its erratic behavior.
They are quite friendly once they warm up to you.
Although they may be wary around strangers initially, New Guinea Singing Dogs quickly warm up to their human companions. When these dogs are socialized with varied people, they form strong bonds with their humans and often become very affectionate.
Since the New Guinea Singing dog evolved without much contact with humans, captive-bred examples of the species often take their reserved, self-reliant demeanor into the family home. They are reserved or selective in their affection for strangers but lavish on those they know and love.
These singing dogs are quite a healthy breed.
A strong and healthy breed, this dog can be traced back to its ancestry among wild dogs. No major hereditary diseases are associated with this breed; however, every dog is susceptible to some illness.
A New Guinea Singing Dog can live anywhere from 15 to 20 years, but despite its long life expectancy, very little is known about any breed-specific diseases in the breed because of its extreme rarity.
The reported health problems experienced by this breed are minimal and shared by most dogs. This includes hypothyroidism, gastrointestinal issues, and allergies.
They have medium to long coats that come in varied colors.
The New Guinea Singing Dog has a fluffy coat that can grow from medium to long, and its tail is equally as bushy. They are typically a combination of red, brown, and tan fur with white points.
Most have a black muzzle that gradually turns gray after seven years of age. The undercoat, as is customary, is thick and fluffy, while the outer coat is straight and brittle. Because of its resilience and versatility, this dog does well in hot and cold climates.
They are not difficult to groom and maintain.
This breed requires minimal effort when it comes to maintaining its appearance. Only bathe your dog on rare occasions, as frequent bathing can wash away the coat's natural oils, rendering it vulnerable to harsh elements.
A few times a week, brush your dog's double coat to remove dirt, reduce shedding, and stop tangles and mats from forming, especially in the thick undercoat.
Due to his independent nature, the NGSD requires little in the way of care and grooming. So, aside from the occasional brush, your Singer requires no other maintenance. You should brush its teeth at least three times and week and inspect its ears constantly. Nails should be trimmed whenever necessary.
They are pretty good at digging and climbing.
When a fence isn't properly secured, these dogs can easily climb over it just as quickly as they can dig under it. They have more range of motion than most canines and can squeeze through openings much smaller than their head, much like a cat.
The New Guinea Dingo is a master of escaping, and its long history of adaptation to its native jungle environment has prepared this species to thrive in any environment, including those that require it to scale trees and cliffs.
Moreover, Singing Dog is also a proficient climber, digger, and jumper, allowing him to traverse any terrain easily. To avoid problems with your new NGSD, you must house it in a secure area.
They are not overly aggressive dogs.
They are gentle and protective toward kids, but it's best to keep an eye on them when they're together. Due to its isolated evolution, this dog breed adopted characteristics not found in other, more domesticated canine species.
Like all wild animals, this dog is naturally wary of strangers and cautious around those it doesn't know well, but it is not aggressive toward humans in any way. Aside from the occasional sniff out of curiosity, he prefers to avoid them.
They need proper socialization to thrive with very young children.
The New Guinea Singing Dog is not a good choice for a pet, especially in households with very young children. So, if raised with children, this dog thrives more in a family with older and more mature kids.
It has a wild side that can never be fully tamed or understood. It is not in NGSD's nature to assault or harm your child. However, it will not put up with mistreatment or give in to a child's demands, but it may also react instinctively out of fear.
They are not friendly to other pets.
A domesticated Singer retains many characteristics shared by wild canines because it is still a semi-feral dog. In light of this, if you already have pets like cats, you should stay away from the Singing Dog breed because there is no way to ensure their safety around one.
When interacting with other dogs, especially those of the same sex, they can be violent. Because of this, it is vital to introduce your New Guinea Singing Dog to other dogs from an early age.
In summary, this breed is only suggested for some, especially those not new to dog ownership. A Singing Dog requires a confident and experienced owner who can assert his authority while still being kind to his pet. A dog like this needs a strong-willed, focused, and thorough owner who can understand the dog's instincts and emotions. If you can tame and keep up with these dogs, you are surely rewarded with a loyal friend for life!