Amazing Facts about New Guinea singing dogs

A dog that can sing, yes New Guinea singing dogs can howl in unique vocalizations which can outdo the opera singers.

New Guinea Singing dogs are wild dogs originating from the island of New Guinea. They are considered the oldest and rarest of the breeds of dogs.

These dogs are also known as New Guinea Wild DogsNew Guinea Highland Dogs, or Singing Dogs for their unique vocalization skills.

They are very rare to see nowadays even in New Guinea and its wilderness. There are approximately only about 100 of these domesticated dogs in the world so if you are looking to own a rare dog breed, this one would make a difficult prize.


It is believed that Singing Dogs originated from Asia and migrated to New Guinea island and Australia.

Singing dogs habituated the high mountainous regions and became agile and smaller. Whereas the Australian Dingo became larger with the availability of food in Australia.

Experts suggest that this is the most primitive of all dog breeds with strains dating as back as 30,000 years old.

Scientists found a tooth of a dog believed to be of the Singing dog in the Papua region of New Guinea which dates back to 5,500 years old. This is the oldest specimen of fossil of any dog!

Unique trait – Singing

Singing Dogs have a small uvula-like structure at the back of their soft palate. This helps them to howl many typical vocalizations including a special type of howl which includes extreme frequency modulation generally not heard in other dogs.

New Guinea singing dogs are popular for their unique singing trait as this is something rare and they are really good in the same. When one singing dog starts to howl (sing), he is generally joined by the pack.

New Guinea singing dogs
source: Flickr

Physical Looks and Characteristics

New Guinea Singing dogs are small to medium-sized dogs having fox-like appearance.

They look quite similar to Australian Dingo and Basenji. Though they are around 1/3rd in size of Australian Dingo. They have shorter legs and broadheads with wide cheekbones.

Singing Dogs have a short double coat which is a tan or golden red color with some white markings. They don’t need much grooming as they self clean themselves.

Height: 16 to 18 inches

Weight: Average weight is around 25 pounds

Lifespan: New Guinea Singing dogs live a long life averaging 15 to 20 years.

They inhabited the mountains and have very flexible limbs and a spine which make them ideal to live in high-land elevated forests.

Eyes of singing dogs are quite reflective that helps them to see better at dusk.

New Guinea singing dogs as Family Dogs

Though for long they have been classified as domesticated dogs, there is still a lot of debate on whether they are domestic or wild dogs. Recent studies have shown them to be wild dogs.

New Guinea singing dogs are not recommended as family dogs especially for families with children.

While they are intelligent and with persuasive training and socialization from birth can be a companion dog; still you cannot trust them as they are intelligent independent dogs who can live on their own.

They have hunting traits and eat marsupials, rodents, and birds while in the wild of New Guinea. Their hunting drive is very strong and can undo any training. They are quite dangerous to small pets.

New Guinea singing dogs are also not considered good watchdogs as they can get along with strangers as well. They are considered barkless and bark seldom.

singing dog
Source: Flickr

New Guinea Singing Dogs – A rare Breed

New Guinea Singing dogs are a very rare breed.

They inhabit the high lands of the New Guinea Islands.

Due to the difficult terrain, they were hard to find. Also, villagers in that area do not use them as pet watchdogs as they have a very high prey drive and cannot be trusted with small animals especially chickens.

Slowly the breed mixed with western dogs and crossbreeds became more popular. Nowadays pure breed of New Guinea Dogs is almost extinct.