Dingo, Wild Australian Dog
The Dingo is a wild free roaming dog mostly found in the outback of Australia. It is generally believed to have come with humans from Southeast Asia thousands of years ago At that time dogs were not domesticated to the extent they are now. According to Wikipedia the dogs then would have been closer to the Asian Grey Wolf, Canis Lupus. Features and instincts of the Dingo differs from other canines due to being isolated from both humans and other dogs. Australia's ecology also contributed to its development as a species.
Dingoes closest relatives from Southeast Asia and the Pacific is Canis Lupus Dingo and different from the domestic dog (Canis Lupus famiTiaris) there are, however, some scientific reconsideration about the classification of domestic dogs because the DNA evidence of the relationship of dogs to wolves.
As Australia's biggest predator the Dingo is a problem for the sheep industry because of attacks on livestock. The control methods employed by the sheep industry, however, conflicts with efforts to conserve Dingoes. The cattle industry may benefit from the dingo holding down some cattle predators,
They are now considered a sub species of the Grey Wolf but were previously considered a sub species of the domestic dog. It seems unsettled whether they are wolf, dog or neither in terms of scientific consideration. Generally the status of the domestic dog is being reconsidered since the advent of DNA. That evidence suggest a closer relationship between wolves and dogs but I think the sampling has been too small, so far, to be conclusive.
he name “dingo” traces back to early European colonization in New South Wales and may have come from the word “tingo” used by aboriginals of Port Jackson for camp dogs, according to the website “subspecies of the dog.” Dingoes might be called Alpine Dingoes, Desert Dingoes, Cape York Dingoes. In modern times, Australian Native Dog or Australian Wolf.
The Dingo in Australia is physically a lot like both the domestic dog and pariah dogs in southern Asia. According to “Subspecies of the dog:” They have:
relatively broad head
erect ears eyes-yellow yellow over orange to brown
longer canine teeth than domestic dog
longer muzzles than domestic dogs
fur is short, bush on tail
color of fur is sandy to reddish brown
an unusual characteristic of the Dingo is lack of dew claws
Dingoes generally remain in one area and do not migrate seasonally,
According to Dogster.com dingoes
weight 50-70 lbs
height 19-23 inches
lifespan 18 yrs.
The Dingo might be the basis for hundreds of modern dog breeds.
The website Australian Animals. Net dingo Australia's Wild dog tells me that the dingo is not a pack animal. If true, that is very different from wolves and according to some dog trainers it is different from domestic dogs. The article says that they live and hunt alone or in pairs of small family groups. On the other hand, ”Dog Breed Info Center”says:”They have strong cooperative instincts and live in packs.” However, they go on to say Dingoes seldom hunt in packs..
Dingoes as pets
In Australia there are Dingoes being raised for the purpose of selling for pets. But at the time of their publication the Dingoes are not available as pets, outside of Australia and not exported. Those who do have them asspets need to have a calm, firm authority. They are not recommended for apartment life and must have a secure fenced enclose. When walking or in a park they should not be taken off leash.. They need long walks with a firm human leader.
Their coat is weather resistant and does not require much grooming.
Interesting facts and theories s about Dingoes
It is thought that Dingoes were brought to Australia as long ago as 15,000 years ago. Some current evidence indicates that Aborigines and Dingoes came at different times. Dog Breed Info states that the Dingo came to Australia 4,000 years ago.
Dingoes could be the base stock for 600 true dog breeds, according to Dog Breed Infor Center
Dingoes could be related to semi wild dogs of southeast Asia and got to Australia with sea farers who used them for trade and/or food. According to dogster.com.
As hunters the dingoes hunt mostly at night and eat mammals but will eat reptiles and insects.
They mature sexually at one year and mate for life.
According to Dog Breed Info.com dingoes have been reported to be able to do agility and general obedience tasks.
More About Dogs
- Norwegian Elkhound, history of a working dog breed, companion of vikings
Norwegian elkhounds were originally bred to help hunt both large and small game. They bark more than most dogs of this type as the barking was the way they signaled their owners about the game.
- Greenland Dog history:An Ancient Sledge Dog Breed
Greenland Dog is an article about a breed of dogs used by the Inuit as sled dogs and hunting Polar bear.They are powerfulk dogs and quite beautiful.
- Canadian Eskimo Dog: One of Rarest Dogs
A powerful dog for pulling Eskimo dogs may be the oldest and rarest of indigenous canines.sled it it as a Spitz breed.A great dog for adults but not for children.
Should wild dog breeds like the Dingo be sold as pets?
They climb trees, a trait they have in common with New Guinea Singing Dog and the Finnish Spitz, both of which are closely related to the Dingo, according to dog breed Info Center.
Their life expectancy can be over 20 years.
In summary, the dingo is a wild dog brought to Australia long ago. Theories vary as to how long. It may be a offspring of the Grey Wolf, although it was recently believed to be from the dog category biologically. Having been isolated from other dogs for a long time they have some features that differ from other dogs. There is some interest in developing them as pets but that is in the beginning stages.
Copyright 2012 Don Hoglund
Sources of information for this article are::
Dog Breed Info Center,
Wikipedia article on Dingoes,
Australian-Animals.net Dingo Australia's Wild Dog
© 2012 Don A. Hoglund