The Bush Dog is an unusual canid with very different looks from other dog breeds. It is a wild dog with a very little number and on the verge of extinction. The first glance on this dog might be confusing with the bear as it very much looks like a bear but in a miniature version.

It is a small-sized canine with a solid, muscular body, short legs, and relatively small ears and tail. Their teeth are adapted for their carnivorous habit which is hunting and the muzzle is slightly longer than average.

Origin and History

The exact origination of the Bush Dog is not traced but they are found in numbers in Central and South America. A paleontologist named Peter Wilheim Lund found fossils of Bush Dog in Brazil cave and believed to be extinct. The genes of this dog are very much similar to the African Wild Dog due to which it can be said that they both are very close relatives.

Rare Breed

Bush Dog is an extremely rare canid that can only be found in Suriname, Guyana, and Peru with consistency. Outside this area, they are very rare and you will be lucky if you can just have a sight of it. It is even listed “near threatened’ in the IUCN list of ‘Threatened Species its population is decreasing rapidly.

In Brazil, the educational program and monitoring are planned through tracing, camera-trapping, and doing community work. There is no certainty that Bush Dog will be saved and we can only hope that they do not get extinct.

Bush Dog with its puppies
Bush Dog with its puppies.
Image Source: Robert Pickett Wildlife Photography

Is Bush Dog Child-Friendly?

Bush Dog is a wild dog which habitats are the lowland forests, seasonally flooded areas, savannahs, and rainforest and more. They cannot be domesticated and kept in a house with human beings, so their friendliness with children is out of the question.

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: The Bush Dog has an agile, active, and very independent temperament. It is not at all suited to human beings or anywhere near the human area. They love being in dense, wet, and vast forest which makes them unfitting with human beings.

Behavior: The Bush Dog’s other name is ‘water dog’, which is given because of its fondness with water. It is semiaquatic that swim and dives underwater looking more like an otter than a dog.

Bush Dog swimming
Bush Dog swimming.
Image Source: Flickr

Personality: the Bush Dog is a hunter that hunts in a day and rest at night. It is usually seen in a pack although it alone can hunt animals. Their usual hunt includes rodents, peccary, birds, rhea and other small as well as the large game.


Training Bush Dog is not an easy job as they are wild dogs. It is an independent dog that does not need any training from human beings.


  • Bush Dog does not bark but makes a high-pitched sound to communicate with other members of the group.
  • Since they live in a pack, only the dominant female gives birth to puppies while other females protect, feed, and clean the pups.
  • In Brazil, Bush Dog is called cachorro-vinagre/ cachorro-do-mato, while in Spanish it is called perro vinagre, zorro vinagre, perro de agua, or perro de monte.


The Bush Dog comes in reddish color with brown fur on the back and dark brown on the belly area. The young ones are covered in black fur.


Bush Dog puppies playing.

Cost: The average cost of the Bush Dog is unknown.


Height: The average height of the Bush Dog is between 20-30 inches.

Weight: The average weight of the Bush Dog is between11-18 pounds.

Similar Dog Breeds to Bush Dog

  • Short-eared Dog

Visit Doglime for more dog breeds information and their temperament.