The Singing Dogs



"Making the public aware of New Guinea Singing Dogs and educating people about them are the most important tasks assigned to New Guinea Singing Dog conservators and to the captive Singing Dog population they embrace..

Maintaining Singing Dogs as "best kept secrets" will only aid in their slide to oblivion.

Singing Dogs should be presented to the public in the most natural form possible both in temperament and conformation.

The preservation of ethical captive breeding practices and sound rescue and rehoming procedures are essential elements in Singing Dog preservation" DE, Sept./2012



Just wanted to let you know that Judy and I have recently started a Facebook group called "Primitive Dog Rescue & Photo Archives." 

We are listing primitives, ancients, and domestic dogs who need quality, permanent homes.We are encouraging other rescue groups that specialize in the placement of primitive breeds to crosspost on our Facebook page in order to spread the word to as many people as possible.  So if you are part of a rescue organization that finds home for Shiba Inu, Carolina Dogs, Korean Jindo, Canaan Dogs, New Guinea Singing Dogs, or even Australian Dingoes, be sure to look us up and post your information on Primitive Dog Rescue. 

PD rescues are described on two Facebook pages: "Donald D. Ehrlich" at:  

and  "Primitive Dog Rescue" at: 

Stop in and see who needs a "forever" home..


"Rescues in Need" photos are located on the "Photo Page".


If you are considering the adoption or purchase of a Singing Dog, you need to start becoming mentally and physically prepared. 

Singing Dogs are an ancient breed and they require special handling and although a puppy is extremely cute when little, they grow quickly as do all dogs. 

Within 7-9 months a Singer will go from a cute/playful puppy to a full blown active adolescent and fully mature by two years of age.  Females will begin coming into heat as early as 6 months of age.   

Space requirements will become more critical. 

More time will be needed for working with your Singer every day. 

My wife and I have taken care of Singers for 28 years and personally, we prefer to obtain Singers when they're adults. We like the challenge.

Singer adults who have not been given human attention are oft times a challenge, but there is a special satisfaction that a person realizes after they've been able to win over an adult. 

Giluwe was our first adult female.  We obtained her from Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin. 

Yes, San Diego Zoo was the first to bring them to the united States.(See Chronological History)but Dr. Brisbin did much more. 

Giluwe was a swell dog. She was very people friendly and it was only natural for us to ask her to give birth to our first Singer litter in our house.  We had a 30X60 walk in basement which was split up into a garage, utility room, bathroom, and family room.  The stairway leading up to the main floor was 8 feet wide and afforded a large storage space underneath the staircase.  The floor under the staircase was covered with a piece of scrap carpet and was a cozy, closed in area.  That was where Giluwe chose to give birth to her first litter.  

I spent the night with her while she gave birth.  By morning she had four puppies and had come to her milk.

We raised that first litter in our family room.  The pups were clean and well mannered.  They housebroke easily.  It was simple to let them go outside to the enclosed backyard.

During those early years part of our Singers were house dogs, but after moving to our current location, we built what we call the Kennel Building and started using it for whelping out our females and raising up our puppies.

Judy and I believe Singing Dogs are medically better off living outdoors.  Fresh air and sunshine and plenty of exercise room are hard to beat.  They're nature's natural choice.



Singing Dogs as House Dogs.   Singers in Homes versus Singers in Zoos

by Donald D. Ehrlich

Numerous New Guinea Singing Dogs have been indoor pets or house dogs since the early 1960’s.

Many people believe Singers have always been relegated to living in zoos and sanctuaries, but such is not the case.
It seems there have long been a few courageous people who loved these dogs and realized that Singers are “plastic” and can “mold” into new and different environments.

One of the reasons many people have a misconception regarding Singer placement is because in the United States nearly all of the Singers have been imported by zoos.

The fact remains however, that zoos are run and influenced by people, human beings who liked these dogs and decided they'd thrive indoors as well as outdoors.

In other words, yes, zoos have been used to import Singing Dogs, but in many cases, part of the offspring of those original Singers found their ways into private hands and into private homes complete with children and family pets.

There is a long list of private owners and enthusiasts who have welcomed Singers into their homes, worked with the Singers to become tremendous family members and have contributed countless pages of text to the Singer archives.  It seems that some Singing Dogs have the ability to become as faithful a companion as any domestic canine.

So, the concept of Singers in private homes is not a new concept.  Zoos and individuals have been selling and/or placing Singers in homes for over 50 years.

The Hammond Dispersal was a significant event in Singer history.  Mr. & Mrs. Hammond owned the largest collection of NGSD ever found in the world, some 68 adults plus about 20 puppies. 

The dispersal started in October of 2010. 

As of this writing which is 3/21/2012, there still remain a handful of Hammond NGSD adults in foster care.  These are adults who have never yet been adopted into permanent homes.  There is the lingering question as to why they still remain in foster care?  Part of the answer lies in the contents of the following article.  This is just one of dozens of articles written about the Hammond Dispersal.  Most of the articles are carbon copies of each other.  After reading some of them, it is easy to see why the Hammond adults have been hard to place in permanent homes. Approximately 20 of the original 68 adults are now dead.  They died from such causes as distemper, natural causes, as well as being hit by cars after they escaped captivity.


  Rare New Guinea Singing Dogs Discovered in Pennsylvania by Megan Drake   November 9th, 2010

A rare breed of dog, indeed, is the New Guinea singing dogs (NGSD).  So rare in fact, until one month ago, only 150 were known to exist in captivity — most of those in world zoos.(This is not true.  Most Singing Dogs live in private homes or are, at least, privately owned.)  They are suspected of being extinct in the wild because there have been no known sightings in New Guinea since the 1970′s.

And in case you’re wondering, they are called singers because of their unique vocalizations.  A melodious howl becomes a chorus when other singer dogs join in.  Have a listen.

The World Population of NGSD Just Exploded!

Last month, in a small town west of Harrisburg, Pa., about 80 of these unique dogs were discovered living with a hoarder. Randy A. Hammond, 58, obtained his first two NGSD at an Ohio flea market in 1995.  A man gave him another pair shortly thereafter, and all the dogs found at his property are descendants from those two pairings of singing dogs.

An anonymous tip led State dog warden, Georgia Martin, to Hammond’s property.  Discovered among rusted out vehicles cluttering the rural landscape were about 68 adult NGSD in scattered kennels.  Some had puppies and one was about to give birth.  Living conditions were deplorable as the total number of dogs exceeded the 24 kennels on the property.

Jim Tuttle from Public Opinion wrote about the newly discovered singing dogs.

Greeted by the “chilling and beautiful” choir of NGSD on her first visit to Hammond’s address, Martin researched the breed to determine the best way to help.  Various organizations were contacted for assistance.  They include:

Local veterinarians(and other volunteers) are also assisting with spay/neuter and vaccinations.  None of the dogs were licensed or vaccinated against rabies, which is required by PA state law.(This not true. At the time the dispersal started, all but one of the adults had been vaccinated against rabies.  They weren't licensed(not too sure all PA dogs have to be licensed either) but they had received their rabies shots because the state had a vet go in and vaccinate them, even the pregnant females...This fact was swept under the carpet and was never made public because rabies vaccinations should not be given to pregnant females.......)

About New Guinea Singing Dogs

Singing dogs are a genetically and ecologically distinct canine species.  They are thought to be a sister-taxon of the Australian Dingo.  With New Guinea being an island, interbreeding with other canine groups did not occur.  This causes the NGSD to be evolutionarily significant.

Some other unique characteristics of the NGSD are their ability to fold their legs under, much like cats do.(Wow, poor English useage!)  They also give cheek rubs as a sign of affection.( More often than not, cheek rubs are ways to mark territory)  NGSD’s can climb trees and are avid diggers.(Yes, but they don't live i trees.)  They have not evolved a dependence on humans, so they won’t take to performing work of any kind for us.  This is not a true statement at all.  And I guess the real question is why does this author thing that worthiness is based on a dog's ability to do work for humans??) 

Animal Planet video:(Should be burned)


The singing dog has longer canine teeth than other dogs, as well as carnassial teeth made for sheering meat and bone.  NGSD are very independent and take to training much like a cat — on their own terms!Another attempt, another negative statement intended to make the Singing Dog look to be a wild, untrainable, unsafe animal.  Statements like this are out-of-line.)

Due to their unusual habitat needs — lots of room with safely enclosed fencing and large trees to climb(Right!!  This is a joke.  Singers can climb to a point, but they do not "require" trees to climb) — NGSD do not make good or safe house pets for the ordinary pet owner.(This is true)   They are still considered a wild animal and should not be placed into a family with small children.  If properly socialized from puppyhood, a NGSD can be an appropriate pet, but only in a household that can provide the habitat, training and socialization needed.

A study published in 2010 by Dr. Alan Wilton in the scientific journal, Nature, found the Australian Dingo and NGSD to be the oldest of dog breeds.  And NGSD are more closely related to wolves than any other canine species.(Here's another negative statement intended to sentationalize)

Help Arrived

James McIntyre of the New Guinea Singing Dog Conservation Society and Tom Wendt of New Guinea Singing Dog International traveled from Florida and Illinois, respectively, to assist Martin in assessing the singers.  Only two of the dogs were considered safe to re-home.  They were sent to Susan Oliver near Allentown, a fosterer(correct English useage??) who has experience with the breed.  This is so outrageous.  To state publicly that only two out of 68 are worthy of being given a home is horrendous and totally incorrect and unfair to those dogs.  Is it any wonder some of the surviving adults still languish in foster care?  The two Singing Dog experts who did the evaluations did not have long term Singer experience nor did they have extensive evaluation experience.  Their evaluations have since been proven incorrect by several adopters.  Yet, the media world hung on to and printed their every quote.  March 2012)The others will be sent to sanctuaries or zoos.

Hoarding is considered a mental illness.  Animal hoarders often do not realize what they are doing is wrong or dangerous because they collect the animals out of love.  Hammond has been very cooperative with authorities and will be allowed to keep 10 of the dogs on the condition they are spayed/neutered.  Even though the number of dogs exceeded 80, he had names for each one.  He spent more than $100 per week on dog food — a significant amount considering his janitorial salary at a local retirement home.

What Will Happen to the Pennsylvania NGSD

Eight female NGSD and 17 puppies(8 mothers and 20 puppies) are already on their way to a sanctuary in Arizona.  Add to that a pregnant female(came to Kansas) and two injured dogs, one with two legs bitten off by their father and another with one missing leg.  (It is not uncommon among NGSD — if puppies are left in a pen with their father — for this to occur.)  Plans are already in motion for the two-legged dog to be fitted for a wheelchair to aid in mobility.

Because of the high inbreeding of Hammond’s dogs, McIntyre says they cannot be used for the captive genetic breeding program to further the breed. Hammond’s dogs show evidence of too much inbreeding by the reduced tail size(length) and reduction in litter numbers.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is planning to take between 10 – 20 of the singers on November 11, and move them to their Utah-based sanctuary.(Note:  They actually moved 16 to FL.  Later, after being left in FL in foster care for several months, several had been permanently placed by the foster care provider, the remaining 12 adults contracted distemper and died.)

What Will Happen to Randy Hammond

Georgia Martin filed three citations against Hammond:

  • Operating a kennel without a license (the maximum number of dogs allowed in Pa. without a license is 25)
  • Not having the dogs licensed
  • Not having the dogs vaccinated against rabies

The maximum punishment he is facing is $1,100 in fines.  Hammond also received a citation from Dennis Bumbaugh, Humane Society Police Officer with Better Days Animal League, for one count of animal cruelty due to unsanitary conditions.


Read more: animal hoarding, animal welfare, new guinea singing dogs, ngsd, pennsylvania, wild 


Donald E.

5:31PM PST on Jan 28, 2011

I'm sorry, my last line should have been: "Inquire and help."
New Guinea Singing Dog International website is a good place to go to help or they have a yahoo group as well.
At this point, there's no use of looking back. The damage has already been done. The right thing to do is to find permanent homes for the adults. Most of them have only been removed to foster care.
The initial social evaluations have been found to be grossly inaccurate and although the adults have been badmouthed by most media articles, the fact is that there are numerous friendly Singing Dogs who need homes.

Donald E.

5:21PM PST on Jan 28, 2011

Regarding Mr. & Mrs. Hammond, they are victims just like their dogs. The dispersal was ill handled from the beginning. G. Martin meant well, but she should have dug into backgrounds a little deeper before she gave over the(at that time it was a rescue)total operation to one inexperienced individual.
She should have sought out Singer people with long term experience and held onto some vestage of control by the state of PA so that the state could have called the shots if need be.
In our opinion Mr. Hammond, instead of being condemned, should have been afforded education and counseling, even financial help, in order to keep all the dogs together in one spot.
The educational and research opportunities passed over are horrific.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Singer research and could have been a showcase research facility if it'd been handled properly, but in our opinion, the person who was given ownership of the Singing Dogs saw it more as an opportunity to get some private breeding stock even though they're flawed. The very first thing he did was remove 2 young intact adults and place them with associates. Good or bad, private breeding was planned from the beginning.
As an update, Mr. Hammond ended up keeping 24 or 25.
We do want to reintroduce into the wild, but not with flaws. Any flaws have to be bred out which takes some serious doing.
There are many adults who still need homes. There are some very personable ones too.
Inquire and hel

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