Papuan Dogs – the first companions of man

Published by: Thomas Schultze-Westrum

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A. Personal introduction

 

The fascination of New Guinea – the Last Unknown.

My journey to Australia and New Guinea half a centrury ago. Visit to Sir Edward Hallstrom and „his“ dogs at Taronga Park Zoo of Sydney.

Travelling twenty times (from 1959 to 2003) into the wilderness of New Guinea: to the Central Highlands and the Papuan Gulf District – discoveries of ancient strains of New Guinea village dogs.

This publications presents the first comprehensive survey of Papuan dogs.

B. Scientific introduction

Troughton’s description of Canis hallstromi from the highlands of New Guinea – the so

called „New Guinea Singing Dog“.

The actual scientific status of Papuan dogs: wild or feral ?

C. About strains and breeds

A dynamic definition of dog breeds. Reference to Lawrence Alderson.

Pariah dogs. What are „primitive dogs“ ? References to Eberhard Trumler’s research.

The NGSD breed is separated from traditionally kept Papuan dogs.

D. Early migrations to New Guinea and Australia

South-east Asian dogs: their origin and differenciation.

The zoo-geographical isolation of New Guinea and the Australian continent.

Migrations of humans, dogs and pigs from the Asian mainland – first to New Guinea and from there to Australia.

The evolution of the Dingo.

E. Adaptation and differentiation of dogs on New Guinea

The criteria for evolution of native breeds on the New Guinea island continent.

The role of ecological and cultural factors.

Early traces of dog husbandry (archaeological evidence).

The so far undefined strain of the coastal zone (e.g. in the Papuan Gulf, the Raja Ampat Archipelago) and the newly discovered strain of the foothills inland (the Mt. Bosavi region) and the Southern Highlands District.

Their relations to the Australian Dingo.

The Fraser Island Dingo link-population.

F. Our experiences with Individual Papuan dogs

„Sóbi“ and „Nérumu“ in the field and at home in Germany. Observations of their behaviour, various anecdotes.

G. Traditional dog husbandry in selected regions of New Guinea

The use of dogs in game hunting.

Eating of dog meat.

Dog teeth as ornaments. Customs related to the collecting of dog teeth. Barter trade.

The attachment and status of dogs in Papuan village society: integration and affection.

H. Mythology and folk-tales about dogs in selected Papuan tribes

Collected from early travel books and ethnographical literature.

I. Preservation of strains – but how?

The endangered status of Papuan dog strains

Their near extinction and measures for their preservation.

Footnotes (F…separate article)

Research papers (Bibliography…in the same separate article)

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This entry was posted on November 11, 2010 at 21:05 and is filed under Gulf of Papua, Papuan Dogs, Rare breeds, Zoological Research.

7 Responses to “Papuan Dogs – the first companions of man”

  1. Janice Koler-Matznick sagt:

    I just wanted to let people interested in primitive and aboriginal dogs know that there are now Facebook sites dedicated to them: ‎The INDog Project for the Indian village dogs, Village Dogs and Primitive Pariahs World Wide, and African aboriginal dogs. There is also a web site for the Primitive and Aboriginal Dog Society: http://padsociety.org/

    Contrary to the statements made in the good Dr. Schultze-Westrum’s major contribution to the knowledge about Papuan dogs, the New Guinea singing dog has never been selected in captivity to any „breed“ standard. In fact, after an initial short false start with United Kennel Club, we started the NGSD Conservation Society with its own stud book and no more Singers were registered with UKC. As soon as we had genetic proof they are dingoes, we had them removed from the UKC which does not register AU dingoes. I wrote the standard (required by UKC) after surveying all owners of Singers and having them measure their specimens. All variation in the unavoidably inbred population was included in the written standard/description. The only selection that has gone on is against badly kinked tails as if continued or bred together this can result in problems in the spine. We facilitated the establishment of the NGSDCS Papua New Guinea, a recognized non-profit group in Papua, and have tried for a decade to get field work done on wild Singers, sending equipment, but so far due to lack of major funding not much has been accomplished there. We are still doing what we can but we are a tiny group.

  2. Thomas Schultze-Westrum sagt:

    Hi, many thanks indeed for your encouragement. I am still working on the assemly of papers and notes In the Name of Conservation,
    Keep in touch!
    Thomas

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