New Guinea Singing Dog vs Kuri - Breed Comparison

New Guinea Singing Dog is originated from Papua New Guinea but Kuri is originated from French Polynesia. New Guinea Singing Dog may grow 8 cm / 3 inches shorter than Kuri. Both New Guinea Singing Dog and Kuri are of same weight. New Guinea Singing Dog may live 6 years more than Kuri. Both New Guinea Singing Dog and Kuri has almost same litter size. New Guinea Singing Dog requires Moderate maintenance. But Kuri requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Miscellaneous dogs
Miscellaneous dogs
Origin:
Papua New Guinea
French Polynesia
Height Male:
35 - 38 cm
13 - 15 inches
25 - 46 cm
9 - 19 inches
Height Female:
32 - 35 cm
12 - 14 inches
25 - 46 cm
9 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
8 - 15 kg
17 - 34 pounds
13 - 15 kg
28 - 34 pounds
Weight Female:
6 - 10 kg
13 - 23 pounds
13 - 15 kg
28 - 34 pounds
Life Span:
15 - 20 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
1 - 6
5 - 8
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Hallstrom Dog, NGSD, New Guinea Highland Dog, New Guinea Dingo, Singer, New Guinea Wild Dog
Peroor New Zealand Native Dog, Guri
Colors Available:
Black and tan with white markings, golden red.
White, brown, tan, cream, black - solids and different patterns
Coat:
weather resistant coat double coat breed
Medium length, rough
Shedding:
Moderate
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Curious, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Stubborn
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
No
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
Yes

History

new guinea singing dogIn 1957 the New Guinea Singing Dog was “discovered” in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and he is found no where else. There is a lot of debate among scientists, taxonomists and biologist as to what is really a species and what is a subspecies. When the NGSD was found he was classified as a new canid species then in 2007 they were downgraded to a subspecies.

Today the NGSD is considered to be a wild dog and a primitive dog. They have lived in Papua New Guinea in the Highlands for thousands of years. They are closely related to other wild dogs, such as Australia’s dingo. They are today as they were a thousand years ago – wild. So wild that many counties have them in their zoos.

With the right care and enough socialization, they do very well as companion animals living with people. They are difficult to domesticate however and the person who owns one should be a part of the NGSD community in order to get support, share issues, and learn from others who have lived with these “wild dogs” for many years.

Any New Guinea Singing Dog found in North America or Europe is a direct descendent of two couples that were taken to zoos in China and Australia. The NGSD makes a howling sound that modulates and undulates through a wide series of tones. No other dog makes this musical sound. Rare even in New Guinea today, the Singer is thought to be the rarest of all dogs.

The only organization that recognizes the Singing Dog is the UKC and they are allowed in UKC competition. The NGSD now holds the classification of a domestic dog – a Canis lupus dingo - which is a subspecies of Canis lupus. In 2016 a group of 15 wild dogs were photographed for the first time ever. Prior to this the NGSD were never seen in more than pairs.

It is believed that they do not live and operate in packs, but rather solitary, pairs or family groups where both the parents do the work of raising the pups.

Kurī, also known as Guri or Peroor New Zealand Native Dog, is the Maori name for this dog which was introduced to New Zealand by the Maoris when they migrated from East Polynesia around 1280 AD.

They were in fact Polynesian dogs which died out in New Zealand. The Māoris would use the dog as a food source and the skins would be used to make some form of clothing. The bones were used to make items such as necklaces and fish hooks.

Not surprising then that the dog became extinct in New Zealand, with the last known Kuri specimens being found in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Description

new guinea singing dog puppyThe New Guinea Singing Dog is a medium sized dog with short legs and a broad head. They are about average height and they are very limber and flexible. They can rotate their paws and spread their legs at much greater angles than the average canine. Thus, they can easily climb a tree. They can jump like a cat.

They have very reflective eyes that are shaped like almonds and have dark rims. The color of the eye can be dark brown to dark amber. It is also believed that they can see better than other domestic dogs in low light settings. Their pupils let in more light due to pupils that are wider than most other dogs.

The ears of the NGSD are lined with fur, pointed and erect. The are forward laying and can be rotated in order to hear even the farthest and faintest of sounds. There are dark guard hairs on the spine and back of the ears and tail. On young dogs the muzzle is black but by age 7 it is already beginning to turn gray.

The Kuri is extinct now but it was a small to medium sized dog with a thick set neck. He stood between 25 and 46cm and weighed about 13 to 15 kilograms.

He had thick medium-length rough textured hair, small head, erect ears, short legs and a bushy tail. The color of their weatherproof coats varied and some were black, some white or cream and some were a mix of colors and patterns.

An interesting feature about them is that they didn’t bark but instead they howled. They were good at hunting birds.

Temperament:

The Kuri wasn’t considered the brightest breed, but he would have benefited from some training and socialization as this just makes a dog a better pet in every sense – more obedient and better behaved in all situations.

Some Kuris were friendly and able to bond with their human owners, while others were independent and somewhat aloof. Their size would have allowed them to be kept in the city or the country as they weren’t particularly energetic dogs, not requiring much ground to run around in.

Health Problems

Health Problems

new guinea singing dog dogThough the breed is not extinct – it is so wild and secretive that there is no history or record of any health problems. However, the small number of domestic companion animals have shown health issues in recent years.

Pancreatitis – can be chronic or acute. If chronic it needs to be treated and diet changed. If acute it is usually deadly.

Hip Dysplasia – can cause lameness or arthritis.

Dental Disease:

Some Kuri dogs scavenged while others were pets and ate well. The lifestyle they led would have determined their health. In those days they would have suffered with dental disease, common in adult dogs. Left untreated, dental disease can lead to dental tartar buildup with gum inflammation and tooth loss.

Dental disease can also lead to other organ diseases. These days brushing your dog’s teeth with canine toothpaste and toothbrush can help to ward off dental disease.

Ear infections:

Those Kuris that weren’t pets, tried to survive scavenging, and their homeless situation could well have led to ear infections – caused from a wax- and dirt buildup within the ear. He would have been frantic trying to scratch his ears. In modern times, if your dog showed signs of an ear infection, you would need to get him to the vet.

Caring The Pet

Feeding the puppy

new guinea singing dog puppiesIn the wild both pups and adults are thought to eat small mammals and birds as well as fruits. In homes feed a high protein diet. Because of the tendency toward pancreatitis do not feed raw or under cooked meat. If feeding meet do so in small amounts well cooked, very lean. Stay away from the fat. Feed puppies very small amounts. ¾-1 cup high quality dry puppy food twice a day.

Feeding the adult

Same as the puppy when it comes to meat although you could give the adult a little more. 1 ½ cups od high quality medium breed dog food twice a day.

Points for Good Health

In the wild there is no indication of health issue. A very healthy breed.

Games and Exercises

The NGSD needs a lot of stimulation both mental and physical. They must have a daily walk and somewhere to run. They are escape artist in homes. Remember they can jump like cats and climb trees. If their head can pass through a hole, so can the rest of their body.

Grooming:

The Kuri will have required regular grooming which means a brushing down twice a week. Brushing would have been useful to prevent loose hairs from shedding with the dog. He would have had to have his ears and eyes checked too to avoid infections. Brushing him would have given his owner the chance to check him over for fleas and ticks too.

Exercise:

As the Kuri wasn’t an overly energetic dog, a walk a day would have kept him content and fit.

Diet:

The Kuri was a dog that essentially formed part of someone else’s diet. Those that managed to escape being a meal for someone no doubt had to scavenge for food. Because they were used to help people catch birds, they themselves were used to catching birds for themselves.

As a small to medium sized dog, if you were to keep such a dog as a pet you would have given him a cup or two of dried kibble a day and tried to vary his diet by including some home-cooked food and raw meat.

Characteristics

Children friendliness

new guinea singing dog dogsThey could be, but it must be remembered that this is a wild dog.

Special talents

Varying the pitches when howling

Adaptability

It’s possible but not recommended. Leave them wild.

Learning ability

Highly intelligent but trainability is questionable unless well socialize and attached to their people.

It appears as though some Kuris were kept as pets and that they were able to develop loving relationships with their owners.

We don’t know too much about the extinct Kuri, but scientists are now studying and analyzing the hairs of the dog to find out more about it, and specifically why the Maori dog disappeared some time in the 19th century without a trace.

They will also be analyzing Kuri bones salvaged by archaeologists and which were found on rubbish heaps. These bones can be tested to see whether the diet of the Kuri changed much between the days of Maori settlements and the arrival of the European settlers.

Comparison with other breeds

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