The dingo is a free and wild dog mainly found in the outback of Australia. It is believed that its ancestors arrived thousands of years ago in the area. The dingo is very similar to the regular dog, but doesn’t live among people, so it can easily be distinguished among other canines. It can survive in numerous types of habitats and needs to have water close to its habitat. In Australia, this type of dog is very important, as it has a great role in the ecosystem, many times acting as a predator and keeping under control the population of rabbits and rats that may affect cattle ranches.
See dingoes in the wild in the video bellow, filmed by two amateurs:
In the last years, studies were made to see if the dingo is more similar to the regular dog or to the wolf. In South Australia, one experiment managed to shed some light on the matter. A “detour task” test was used by researchers to see the reaction of the dingo. In the past, the same test was used to find out more information about the wolf. This method was used by them to to see how these species of dogs can solve spacial problems.
A detour task is one in which dogs are placed behind a fence and they can see a person or a treat after it. They need to figure out quickly how to reach that person or how to grab that treat. Tests showed that wolves are very quick when they need to figure out the spacial problem in order to reach a treat, while regular dogs need help from people and even after several trials they still fail to impress. In similar situations, dingoes manage to grab the treat quickly without needing human help to solve their problem.
The research including dingoes was made in Victoria, Australia and the results were published in a national journal studying the behavior of animals. If you want to understand better how a detour task is made in reality, you can watch a video with a few regular dogs being tested. You will see in the video that the people present in the same room with the dogs communicate with them all the time in order to help them carry the task to the end. In case of dingoes, human help is not necessary, as these wild dogs are able to find solutions on their own, like they do in the wild, where they live freely.