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.
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.
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.
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.
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.