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10 Strangest Wild Dog Breeds

Epic Wildlife

From the singing dogs of New Guinea, to the most mysterious breed ever, the Maned wolf, these are the 10 STRANGEST Wild Dog Breeds !

New Guinea Singing Dog -- The animal doesn’t necessarily carry a tune … but it is named for its unique vocalization. They have a distinctive, melodious howl, which begins with a sharp increase in pitch and ends with extremely high frequencies. It’s not uncommon for the dogs to indulge in some chorus howling, where they all howl together. The sound is unassociated to any known canid, or dog like creature. Native to the island of Papua (pap-you-wah), the singing dogs are closely related to the dingo, but are considered a separate species.

African Wild Dog -- It’s also known as the African Painted Dog, due to its colorful fur. It’s speculated that those colors might serve as a means of visual identification … these animals can recognize one another at distances up to 100 meters. It’s native to sub-Saharan Africa and is known for its hypercarnivorous diet … meaning its diet is more than 70% meat. Antelopes are especially favored, and this animal will chase them until exhaustion sets in. African wild dogs are highly social animals that live in packs of up to 27 adults and yearling pups.

Ethiopian Wolf -- It’s recognized by its red and white fur and long, narrow skull and is about the size of a coyote in build and size. In fact, DNA analysis has shown that the creatures are more closely related to coyotes and gray wolves than other African canids. Unlike most social carnivores, these animals will forage … and feeds only upon small prey like rodents. It’s current range seems to be restricted to several isolated mountain ranges at elevations up to 4,500 meters. They seem to engage in temporary associations with Gelada (jell-A-da) monkeys found in the Ethiopian highlands. Troops of Gelada (jell-A-da) monkeys will tolerate solitary wolves hunting for rodents in their midst … while the wolves ignore juvenile monkeys who could be the size of their prey. Did you know this is one of the world’s rarest canids, and is also the most endangered carnivore in Africa?

Maned Wolf -- This creature has always presented something of a puzzle. Its markings resemble that of a fox. But it’s not a fox … and despite its name, the Maned Wolf is not a wolf! So what is it? Well, it is recognized as the largest canid from South America, and is actually the only species of the genus ‘Chrysocyon’ (crys-oh-sun) which means ‘golden dog’. They can weigh over 50 pounds and stand nearly three feet tall at the shoulder. Its most distinguishing physical characteristics are its long black legs and distinctive black mane, for which it’s named. The mane actually serves to enlarge the animal’s profile when it’s under threat or displaying aggression. It’s found in grasslands throughout South America, from Brazil to Peru to Argentina.
Did you know the Maned Wolf is also known as the Skunk Wolf … that’s due to the distinctive odor of its territorial markings.

Dingoes -- The phrase “ A Dingo ate my baby” is pretty well embossed on the pop culture consciousness thanks to the movie “A Cry in the Dark” (1988). But these Australian wild dogs had a notorious reputation for a long time before that. And little wonder … this is the largest terrestrial predator in Oz. While their exact ancestry is still debated, dingoes are generally considered as descended from semi-domesticated dogs which reverted to a wild state when introduced to Australia. Due to their attacks on animals, dingoes are often seen as a pest by livestock farmers.

Dhole (dole) -- Although it resembles the African wild dog, the Dhole is the only member of its genus (jenn-us). This canid is native to jungles of Central and Southeast Asia … and is also known as the Asiatic wild dog. The social animals can weigh up to 40 pounds and live their lives in packs. They mainly prey on smaller animals including frogs, lizards, and rodents …. Although the pack will sometimes bring down larger animals like deer. But while it’s a fairly dominant predator, the dhole can itself be preyed upon by tigers and leopards. Distinguishing characteristics of the dhole include their complex body language which can communicate signs including greetings or aggression. And they’re known for making distinct vocal calls to coordinate with the pack. The repetitive sounds are said to be so distinctive that individual animals can be identified by their own unique calls. Oddly enough, it’s still unknown exactly how the dholes make these sounds! Got any theories?

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