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New Guinea Singing Dog

In touch with it’s wild side, this dog has a unique vocal range


The New Guinea Singing Dog (NGSD) is a fascinating dog breed. It’s ancestors were brought to the island of Papua New Guinea approximately 6,000 years ago. From that point on, the dogs inhabited the islands and were renowned for their haunting “singing,” which consists of howling with several tones at once. It has been determined that the NGSD and the Australian Dingo share ancestry, with the Australian Dingo branching off from the same stock as the NSGD. Specimens have been taken from time to time for study, with a pair being brought to the Taronga Zoo in Sydney. There, the dogs became very popular, and other zoos began to inquire about exhibiting the animals throughout the world. Today, most dogs throughout European and American zoos are descended from the Taronga pair, as the dogs became increasingly rare in the wild. In fact, sightings became so rare that the dogs were believed to become extinct in their native New Guinea. For decades only stories of the dogs existed. But a photograph appeared to capture one of the dogs in 1989, and another photo appeared to capture one of the dogs in 2012. Finally, in 2016 a pack of the dogs was discovered in the New Guinea highlands. They are considered to be a rare and threatened breed.

Read about the history of this breed HERE

OTHER NAMES – Hallstrom’s Dog, New Guinea Dingo, Singing Dog, NGSD


The New Guinea Singing Dog is not like your average domesticated dog and is not recommended as a house pet for most people as it is closely related to a wild dog. Indoors as a pet, the well socialised NGSD is a clean, well mannered companion. They adapt quickly to the household culture and routines, including adjusting behaviour to better communicate with domestic dogs, and while they learn quickly and are easy to train, they’re not as biddable as a purely domestic breed, such as a Labrador. Still, they seem almost hard wired to live in cooperative symbiosis with humans. Even shy, untouchable, unsocialised dogs seem to prefer to be indoors in close proximity to people. These dogs have developed alone in the wilderness for eons without interference or reliance upon humans, and they lack any reliance on humans and can exist without them just fine. That being said, dogs that have been raised by people from young pups or for generations are eager to interact with people. They can be comical, affectionate, and protective. They are also eager to learn tricks when in the right mood. However, like most wild canids, they are difficult to confine and will come and go as they please in search of new adventures. They also exhibit an extremely high prey-drive, making any other animal fair game. If left to their own devices in an unstimulating and unenriched environment, they will create their own entertainment, often to the tune of exploring what their surroundings are made of, and figuring out how many options there are to escape to find a more stimulating environment. For these reasons, when kept as pets, these dogs must undergo socialisation and companionship obedience training to help them understand the boundaries that exist outside of the wild that will keep them and others safe. NGSDs must be walked on a secure lead at all times when outside their fenced yard or home, they will embrace their freedom if loose and will quickly disappear at a very fast pace.

See these dogs living as pets on our YouTube channel, towards the end of this profile ⬇️


This information is taken from the Continental Kennel Club and other reliable sources.

TEMPERAMENTGentle, Affectionate, Alert
EXERCISE NEEDED2 hours per day
HEIGHT – MALE14 – 18 in / 35 cm – 46 cm (to shoulder)
HEIGHT – FEMALE12 – 17 in / 30 – 43 cm (to shoulder)
COAT TYPEShort, Double Coat
GROOMING NEEDSSeveral times a week
RARE BREEDRare – Threatened


  • With only 200-300 hundred living in zoos, private facilities and private homes, the NGSD is one of the oldest and rarest canids currently living.
  • Colours include red or shades of red with or without symmetrical white markings, black and tan, ginger, cream and roan.
  • Many NGSDs will climb high into trees or other structures.
  • Head Toss, which is a bid for notice and attention or food, or sometimes a sign of frustration, displayed in various degrees depending on level of arousal. This can manifest as a slight flick of the head to a rapid full 360 degree rotation.
  • The Singer’s multi-pitched howl is unique and when more than one NGSD is present, they will howl together, each one with their own individual song.
  • NGSDs are very inquisitive and also adept at problem solving. Therefore, cabinets in kitchens and elsewhere may need “child-proof” locks installed.
  • Often after a meal while ‘relaxing’, will use its nails in a scraping manner across the teeth near the gum line (no dental floss needed!)


You can view these beautiful pictures larger and in a slideshow, click on any image to view.


Enjoy this video about New Guinea Singing Dogs, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below. Here you’ll find some videos of these dogs living as pets, where they are comical, curious and cute!


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the New Guinea Singing Dog breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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