Scientific Classification: canis lupis dingo
Alternative Names: bush dog
Location: they are found all over Australia and in parts of Asia. Their habitat ranges from desert to grasslands and the edge of forests
- Dingoes are related to wolves and might possibly be the oldest breed of dog in the world.
- An apex preditor of Australia, they are opportunistic hunters and either search for food alone or hunt in packs.
- Dingoes are seen as a pest by sheep farmers because they sometimes kill sheep. Their usual diet consists of lizards, birds, kangaroos and rodents.
- They rarely bark and communicate using long howls.
- There are three kinds of dingo – island, alpine and desert dingoes. Their colours can vary from sandy cream to deep red.
- It is believed that dingoes were introduced to Australia but legally they are considered native because they’ve been here for so long.
- It’s hard to find a purebred dingo because they tend to interbreed with domestic dogs. The purest dingoes live on Fraser Island, but they are under threat from overculling.
- Dingoes have special wrists that allow them to rotate their paws.
Cuteness Rating: If you like dogs, then you’ll think dingoes are pretty cute.
Danger Rating: They have teeth like a dog and may attack if they feel threatened.
Our first encounter with a dingo was on the Nullarbor. We were heading back to the highway after spending the night at Murrawidginee Caves and the dingo was hanging about by the track. A really curious fella, he just stopped and looked at us as we stopped and looked at him.
We saw dingoes again at Greenough Wildlife & Bird Park and learnt about the efforts to save the dingo from extinction.
A dingo crossed our path again in the Kimberley on the way up to Mitchell River. He was hanging about by the road to get a drink from a puddle.