Short-Eared Dog

Short-Eared Dog – Going Against the Mainstream

illustration of a short-eared dog by Ravenari which shows the dog looking to the left in profile, with green leaves over its body and a purple and pale green background.

Keywords: Elusive answers. Keep searching. Sensory overstimulation. Preferring to be on your own. Wanting things a specific way. Wetland and rainforest wisdom. Sometimes shyness and withdrawal is necessary. Shadow walking. The unexpected. Going against the mainstream.

Description: The short-eared dog (Atelocynus microtis) is an elusive wild short-haired, small canid endemic to the Amazon rainforests. Their coats are highly variable in colour, and females are one third larger in size than the males. They have partially webbed feet. They are well adapted to wetlands and many different types of rainforest and lowland forest, including bamboo, cloud, and swamp forest. It strongly prefers habitat free from human disturbance.

Short-eared dogs are solitary and avoid interactions with humans and other animals. Anecdotally, one is more likely to see a jaguar than a short-eared dog in the Amazon. It is considered the most unusual and unique canid, not quite like foxes or wolves, and with a feline way of walking. They are mainly carnivorous but will eat fruit and nuts, as well as fish, insects, mammals and reptiles. They are quite dependent upon giant armadillos for their burrows. The main threat to their existence are habitat destruction, feral dogs and the spread of disease, and hunting for bushmeat. They are predated upon by boas and jaguars.