Dingo is Australia’s wild dog. It is found in Australia, in all states but Tasmania. They are found throughout the mainland of Australia, close to a source of water.
Dingo is a dog breed that has never been fully domesticated. It is almost never kept as a companion. This is partly due to its remote isolation, but also through lack of human intervention. Untrained Dingos are unsuitable child companions and cannot easily be obedience trained. Obedience training is best accomplished by kindness, patience, and a firm but gentle hand. Dingoes can be kept as pets if they are taken from the litter before 6 weeks of age. At this young age they can be tamed, but once over 10 weeks they should not be taken out of the wild.
The Dingo is a medium sized dog, with a bushy tail, and red to yellow coat. Dingos do not bark, but they do howl.
If properly trained and cared for the Dingo can make a very nice unique pet. They are said to be able to perform agility and general obedience. The dingo has some unusual traits – a great tree climber and at times a bit aloof, but these are interesting traits and are in the same category as the dingoes nearest cousin the New Guinea Singing Dog and the Finnish Spitz, but displaying the same characteristics.
They do not have the same degree of tooth crowding and shortening of the jaw that distinguish other dog breeds from their ancestor, the Indian Plains Wolf. Also like the wolf, the female Dingo has only one breeding cycle each year. Unlike other dogs, the Dingo chooses a mate for life, sometimes mourning itself to death after the loss of its partner. Often a litter of Dingo puppies is found in the hollow of a tree, totally protected from all sides, with the dam guarding the front. Even so, pups frequently fall prey to snakes. Families of Dingoes can be heard vocalizing together before a hunt.
Dingo dogs have strong cooperative instincts and live in packs. These groups habitually hunt by night. They work silently and only learn to bark from association with other canines. They communicate by a distinctive yelp or howl. The Dingo may hunt alone or in family units, but rarely in packs. Water is a barrier to Dingoes and most will only wade, not swim. Wild Dingo dogs shy from man and have reverted to the wild. To survive in the wilderness, they have learned to play possum, shamming death.
The Dingo rarely shows aggression. Years of persecution have developed a flight rather than bite temperament. Male Dingoes kept as pets are very restless during breeding season. Puppies and breeding season is around May/June. As of right now Dingo puppies are only available inside Australia and not for export, however this may change as Dingo fanciers push to educate people about this unique dog. Owners of the Dingo need to display a natural authority over the dog. Calm, but firm, confident and consistent with the rules. Proper canine to human communication is essential.
The Dingo is an undomesticated animal that should get plenty of exercise. When in captivity they need to be taken on a daily, long walk or jog to satisfy their natural migration instinct where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, never in front, as in a dog’s mind the leader leads the way and that leader needs to be the human.
In the wild, dingo dogs live an average of 5 to 10 years. In captivity, dingoes live an average of 13 to 15 years. Cases in which dingoes in captivity have survived for up to 24 years have been recorded.