Podengo Central

Podengo Central

A place for Podengo owners and fanciers to share information and research the breed in a topical manner. Supported by the APPMGC & APPPC


    Is the Podengo a distant relative of the Australian dingo?.

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    james ensor

    Posts : 116
    Join date : 2012-02-01
    Location : London, England

    Is the Podengo a distant relative of the Australian dingo?.

    Post  james ensor on Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:25 am

    First of all the name. Podengo passing through a south Indian and an Aborigine language could readily become Dingo in English. Then there is the fact that both dogs thrive in arid climates and are exceptionally good at finding any food, such as lizards that can exist in these harsh regions. Both display remarkable speed and agility. And they certainly look similar if you take the short-haired Medio with the pointed ears, narrow head and body and curled fluffy tail. We know that the Podengo was brought to Portugal and Spain by the Romans, from Palestine. There are still similar dogs in Israel, today, which have been called Canaan and, which look very similar. The Bedouin in the Arabian desert still use them for herding sheep and goats and guarding, for which the Podengo also has great talent.

    Skeletons of a very similar dog have been found at Harrappa, an ancient settlement in what is now northern Pakistan. This is also very like the Pariah dog, which roams semi-wild semi-domesticated throughout India, today.

    Recent DNA research by the Universityof Leipzig, Germany has discovered that an influx of people with the DNA of southern India reached Australia about 4,000 years ago, long before the Englishman Captain Cook. They mixed with the Aborigines who had been there for much longer, but withouit dogs. Today about a tenth of the Aborigine DNA is from the same groups as South Indians. Their arrival coincides with the earliest time from which dingo skeletons have been found.

    Seperate research on dingo DNA right across Australia suggests that all Australian dingoes probably stem from a single female. This would suggest an arrival by ship. The dingo DNA is related not to the south-east Asian wolf, once thought to be its fore-runner, but much more closely to primitive, domesticated dogs. Many of these are now being reclassified as Canis Lupus Dingo on the basis of their DNA. Could the Podengo also be in this group?

    james ensor

    Posts : 116
    Join date : 2012-02-01
    Location : London, England

    Re: Is the Podengo a distant relative of the Australian dingo?.

    Post  james ensor on Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:31 am

    A very thorough and complicated research project by Tony Gonzalez from the Australian National Univerity in Canberra, published just last year examined several types of wild and semi-wild dog in Australia, India and the Middle East, both alive and from skeletons.  He concluded after exhaustive measurements such as the length of snout and breadth of head, that the dingo derives directly from the pariah dog.  This is still found in India and the Levant, including Israel and is very similar, across this range.  Although he did not study the Podengo, it does seem likely that the Podengo also derived from the Levantine pariah dog.

    As all these dogs were and are good rat-catchers it seems plausible that they were carried by ship over quite large distances in antiquity. He also finds some similarity with the fascinating New Guinea singing dog and the pale-footed wolf of Israel and the wolf-jackal that lives in the Nile Valley.  However the dogs have smaller teeth and smaller brains than the wolves and their behaviour is quite altered, perhaps because of their closeness to humans.


    Last edited by james ensor on Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:50 am; edited 1 time in total

    james ensor

    Posts : 116
    Join date : 2012-02-01
    Location : London, England

    Re: Is the Podengo a distant relative of the Australian dingo?.

    Post  james ensor on Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:47 am

    Take a look at the New Guinea Singing Dog in this clip on youtube from San Diego zoo.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09vg0VXSKdM

    The female appears virtually identical to Maria who is a Podengo Medio female from the Cape Verde islands. The only discernible difference is that Maria has a pink nose and this dog has a black nose. She was reportedly on heat and singing to attract her mate. She succeeded and a few months later had puppies,

    These dogs live wild at over 7,000 feet in the mountains at the center of Papua and New Guinea, where American and Australian troops struggled to defeat the Japanese in 1944.

    Since the Portuguese took Podengos in their ships as far as the Cape Verdes in the Atlantic, it  is possible that they carried them also, as far as New Guinea in the Pacific.

    The New Guinea Singing Dog has been tested and found to have similar DNA to the Australian dingo. One of its feats reportedly is that it can climb trees. Our dogs try but fall off onto their backs unless there are convenient branches.  Brando who looks like a Labrador but has the spirt of a Podengo has bayed at the moon with two other, similar dogs.

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