Interesting Facts and Figures on Dingoes

Filed under: Useful Information - 10 Oct 2012  | Spread the word !

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The dingo is Australia’s free-roaming wild dog. These dogs live in sandy deserts and all kinds of forests, inhabiting mainly the outback of the continent. It is thought that dingoes have descended from wild Asian dogs with the arrival of one of the waves of human settlement thousands of years ago, when dogs were still relatively undomesticated and closer to their wild Asian grey wolf parent species. Here are some quick facts and figures on dingoes, an interesting species that has unfortunately become endangered.

Dingoes are covered with yellowish brown hair. They are about 50 cm tall and 120 long. Most of them have coats of short yellow-brown hair but there are also cream-colored dingoes, as well as black and tan. These dogs have bushy tails and pointed ears. Their color is determined by where they live. Typically, golden yellow dingoes are found in sandy areas, while darker black and tan dingoes live in forests.


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Dingoes are able to adapt to many different habitats. This can be seen in their coat. Dingo dogs living in hot, tropical areas have a short single coat, while those living in cool and cold mountain area have a longer, thicker coat with a double layer of fur that keeps them warm.

Dingoes eat just about anything. They are apex predators and are considered to be the largest terrestrial predators on the continent. They commonly feed on rabbits, kangaroos and rats, but can also eat reptiles and insects. They also eat dead animals they find when savaging lands and some kind of plants. Dingoes are known to frequently attack livestock and are seen as pests by the sheep industry.


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Dingoes usually live in small family groups, also known as packs. Each dingo pack has its own territory and leader — the alpha male. They can either hunt alone or with other dingoes. They usually hunt in packs when they want to catch large prey. These dugs can hunt in the day time, at dawn and at night, being both diurnal and nocturnal species.


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Dingoes do not bark (or rarely bark), which is one of the most interesting features of this dog species. Instead of barking, dingoes howl as a way of announcing where their territory is. They also make many different sounds which enables them to communicate with the group, keep the family group together, or call their puppies.

Dingoes breed once a year, typically between May and July. The pups are born 63 days layer, usually in a den. They produce litters of about 4 to 6 puppies. Until the pups are about 3 weeks old, their parents catch the food and bring it to them. Then, the pups leave the den and are taught to hunt on their own by their parents. Another interesting fact about these dogs is that dingoes mate for life, meaning that a dingo pair stays together for life.


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Dingoes can be tamed and kept as pets. However, having a dingo as a pet is illegal in many regions of Australia, including South Australia, Tasmania, and Queensland. In the Northern Territory and Victoria, dingo owners are required to have a special permit in order to keep them as pets. New South Wales and Western Australia are the only regions where dingoes can be kept as pets without a license.

There certainly are many interesting facts about dingoes. Even though these dogs can be trained and domesticated, it is not recommended to have them as pets. This is not because they are dangerous or because the taming process requires much effort, time and dedication, but because the species has become endangered. It is important to remember that dingoes can bite and can harm you when provoked, so do not play around with them. After all, they are wild animals.

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Dingoes Are Endangered

Filed under: Useful Information - 30 Aug 2012  | Spread the word !

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Dingoes are free-roaming wild dogs native to the continent of Australia. They have a unique wolfish look that leads to many people thinking they are actually wolves. This is not true. They are just wild dogs. In the recent years, once urbanization has started to take over, dingoes have started to breed with regular dogs, which has caused the pure dingo population to drop significantly.


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Moreover, many “hybrid” dingoes are adopted by people as pets, even though they belong in the wild and have different characteristics than domestic dogs. They are apex predators playing an important role in Australia’s ecosystems, being actually the largest terrestrial predators on the continent. 

This means that they attack livestock, as do feral domesticated dogs, so they are seen by pests by the sheep industry. On the other hand, the cattle industry may benefit from the dingoes hunting rabbits, wallabies, rats and kangaroos. However, this has not stopped farmers from poisoning and killing dingoes. This is one of the reasons why the species has been placed on the “endangered species” list.

Besides being considered pests and therefore killed by angry farmers, dingoes interbreeding with domestic dogs is another reason behind their endangered status. For instance, experts estimate that in Victoria, only about 100 pure dingoes still live today. The loss of habitat is also a major threat. Even though there are many conservation areas for dingoes such as national parks and natural reserves, these dogs are declared pests outside these protected areas. Landowners are committed to control the local populations. 


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New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, and several other Aboriginal lands and UNESCO World Heritage Sites are the only places where dingoes are protected. There are many groups involved in conservation programs such as the Australian Native Dog Conservation Society, and the Australian Dingo Conservation Association. Their efforts focus on preventing pure dingoes from interbreeding with other domestic dogs, which is very difficult and costly.

Placing dingoes on the “threatened species list” is therefore necessary, especially since scientists warn that the species is close to extinct. Scientists also say that preserving dingoes will help farmers.

So, there are two main causes why dingoes are endangered:

  1. interbreeding with other dogs
  2. being “hunted” by unhappy farmers

Here is a great video that will provide you with more information on this subject.

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How Dingo Dogs Communicate

Filed under: Useful Information - 25 Jun 2012  | Spread the word !

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Dingoes or dingo dogs are a species of dogs that can only be found in Australia, mainly in the outback. Apparently, their ancestors arrived on the continent hundreds of years ago, when the dogs where not quite domesticated. They resemble a lot the Asian grey wolf, officially known as Canis lupus, which is considered to be the parent species of these dogs. Today, they are also know as Canis lupus dingo to be clearly separated from the ordinary dogs which have the Latin name of Canis lupus familiaris. In order to study the manner in which these dogs communicates, researchers discovered that they use phonetic communication. They bark less than regular dogs and they use 19 sound types. Some even say that the barking of dingo does is not an actual bark, because the sound they make is very short and monosyllabic. Only 5% of the sounds dingo dogs make can be classified as barking. Their barks are similar to coughing and it is mainly use to put the members of the pack and the puppies in alert. According to studies, even if dingo dogs stay with regular dogs, they still do not bark more often.

However, dingo dogs howl. They have three distinct forms of howling and these are moans, bark-howls and snuffs. Each of them has about ten variations. It is not known which is the exact meaning of all the types of howls. It is clear that the frequency with which the dogs howl is given by the social stability, by the behavior of each dog, by the food shortage, by the time of the day and so on. It is also a fact that groups of dingo dogs use howling to express different feelings towards one of the members.

Dingoes have other types of communication, too, but 65% of it are vocalizations. Another thing dingo dogs do is something that German people call “schrappen”. When the dogs are disturbed, they show their teeth and they clash it, as they are ready to bite. These dogs also use scent marking and communicate by marking certain places with their urine or with their feces. In the mating season, they use their scent glands a lot. An important thing makes them similar to regular dogs: they are very responsive to human gestures and they react to social cues they see in people.

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