The bush dog or in Venezuela perro de agua (water dog) is a strange little fellow. It lives from Central America all the way to Southern South America...but it is rare everywhere. I have heard people talking about it but I have never seen one myself. I read one was spotted in the San Esteban National Park, a national park in Northern Carabobo I know well as I used to roam around a lot there. I hope bush dogs can survive in that area. The San Esteban National Park is a wonderful place, but it is heavily under pressure from expanding urban settlements, people's ignorance towards the environment and lack of government control. Carabobo is one of the most densely populated regions of Venezuela and people keep settling in there.
To let you understand the importance of these animals: they are very rare, they are threatened and they are not a variation of the Old World dogs but the only living species of the genus Speothos. That is a genus of the caninae subfamily, which is part of the Canidae family . Wolves, foxes and jackals are closer to our normal dogs in the evolutionary tree than the bush dog.
A bush dog in prison