Species: S. venaticus
The bush dog, also called the vinegar dog, water dog, forest dog, savanna dog, and vinegar fox, is a canine of Central and South America. It is a social creature, living in groups of around 10 animals. It is also a very capable swimmer, owing to its webbed paws. Although the bush dog is still relatively widespread, it is rare within it range, with human encroachment presenting the primary threat to their populations.
The dog is a small, stocky dog that resembles, in some respects, a domestic terrier. It has short legs and stands only about 12 inches at the shoulder. It is around 22.6 – 29.5 inches long, and weighs close to 11 – 15.4 lbs. The bush dog has long, brown/tannish fur. Its snout is also relatively short in comparison to the rest of its body, giving it an almost bear-like appearance.
The dog’s diet is comprised primarily of rodents, including agoutis and pacas. It hunts in small groups of 10 – 12 dogs, which allow it to bring down larger prey. It has also been known to hunt alone.
The bush dog occurs in the wet savannas and tropical forests of Central and South America. Its range spans from Panama in the north down through to Paraguay and Argentina in the south, covering portions of Ecuador, Colombia, the Guyanas, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia in between. For shelter it is known to make use of hollow logs and cavities such as armadillo burrows.
Gestation lasts somewhere around 65 days, after which time a litter of 1 – 6 pups are born. Bush dogs reach sexual maturity at around 1 year of age.