Commonly referred to as “Singers” by those who know them, the New Guinea Singing Dog (NGSD) is widely considered to be one of the rarest canines in the world. With only two possible sightings in the wild, one being confirmed, there are an estimated 17 left in the wild. So how did Shy Wolf Sanctuary come to rescue such rare canids?


“Singers” are a wild canine native to Papua New Guinea off Australia. They were first discovered and classified as their own species by a man named Hallstromi (Canis hallstromi) but later were reclassified as a subspecies of the dingo. Currently, taxonomy is still unclear but generally they are considered to be Canis lupus dingo hallstromi or Canis dingo hallstromi. The original pair went to a zoo in Australia and it is widely thought that most captive bred Singers trace back to this pair.


Melbourne was in a foster home in Florida when we were contacted about taking him in to Shy Wolf in February of 2018. He was estimated to be two years old and originally came from a petting zoo. The man who owned him put the pair into an exotic animal auction where he was purchased by several members of the New Guinea Singing Dog Conservation organization. They wanted Melbourne and his female companion to be safe and not end up in a back yard breeder situation.


The female was not very social and the two were fighting, so the pair was split up. Melbourne is highly social and loves people. He’s the perfect ambassador for the sanctuary and to teach people about this very special canine that only gets to 30-35lbs. We are told that Melbourne resembles the original pair and structure more closely as his back legs are taller than the front and the tail is fuller than other singers.

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