The bush dog is a candid, native to Central & South America. This cute looking dog is very rare in most areas and is the only living species in the genus Speothos. In Brazil, the bush dog is popular as cachorro-vinagre and in Spanish-speaking countries; these dogs are called Perro-Vinagre or Perro-de-monte. Bush dogs are elusive and are distantly related to maned-wolves.
Read on to explore some more information about this rarest mammal.
Species: S. venaticus
Binomial name: Speothos venaticus
Bush dogs, also popular as vinegar dogs, are typically small. They have long brownish fur, with a lighter reddish tinge on the head, neck, and back. Adults have a body length of 57 – 75 cm, with a tail measuring 12 – 15cm. Having a shoulder height of 20-30cm, bush dogs weigh not more than 8 kg. They have short legs, short snout, and small ears. Bush dogs have webbed toes, which allow them to swim faster.
Bush dogs primarily inhabit lowland forests up to 1,900 meters elevation. They are found in wet savannas, habitats near rivers, drier cerrado, and open pasture. Bush dogs are semi-aquatic and thus, they are found near water.
Bush dogs prefer living in lowland areas. Their distribution range starts from Panama southward to southern Paraguay, Brazil, and north-eastern Argentina. They are also found in northern margins of the Amazon basin, Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia.
Bush dogs are carnivorous and are known for being cooperative hunters. They mainly prey on large rodents like pacas and agoutis. Opportunistically, they take capybaras and rheas when hunting. Bush dogs are fond of hunting alone in open areas and they mostly prey on small rodents and lizards.
Check out their behavioural traits;
There is nothing like any particular season for mating.
They mate throughout the year. Like other canids, bush dog mating includes a copulatory tie, during which the dogs are locked together. Urine marking plays an important role in their pre-copulatory behaviour. The gestation period lasts for 65-83 days. Female dogs produce three to six pups at a time. The pups are born blind and weigh 125 to 190 grams. Their eyes open after 14 – 19 days and the young are weaned at around four weeks.
Bush dogs have a lifespan of up to 10 years in captivity.
These dogs have no natural predators.
IUCN classified bush dogs as near threatened.
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