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Captive Breeding Programe
Dingoes Friend or Foe?

    "Is the purebred Dingo in the wild a friend or foe?"

    This is the difficult question that is often asked; - So what
    do you think?  

    I have been associated with Dingoes in captivity, and with
    their behaviour in the wild for nigh on 50 years. In these
    next few lines I will try and give you an outline of what I
    think, and what I know.

    Firstly, let us ask the question; "is the wild purebred Dingo
    our foe?" You might well ask "won't he kill and maim my
    livestock?" The simple answer to this question, is yes he might
    if there is nothing else to eat, if he (the Dingo) is sick or
    injured, or if he finds sick or injured livestock. But as a
    general rule, the purebred Dingo in the wild avoids areas
    where Livestock are, because that is where humans are likely
    to be, and the purebred Dingo is by nature a very allusive


    The Purebred Dingo in the wild will avoid contact with humans, if he possibly
    can, and any sort of confrontation with livestock means humans will be alerted.

    The Dingo in the wild is by nature a very timid animal and keeps very much to
    himself in the small "family" unit.  It is unfortunately the "hybrid" animal or
    Wild Dog that kills or injures livestock.  These Wild Dogs are the hybrid
    product of domestic dogs and Dingoes. Often the domestic dog is a "hunting
    dog" left behind after a hunting trip, which itself goes wild and often then
    mates with the Dingo, if he/she is not killed by the purebred Dingo, who,sees
    the "interloper" as a threat to the closely guarded family unit. Property working
    dogs and town dogs, not restrained at night have also been known to mate with

    Most hunters, property and town dog owners, are responsible people who's dogs
    are well cared for, and of great value to them, but sadly there is an element of
    people who really don't care that much about their dogs or what they do.  
    These hunting or working and town dogs are often undernourished and underfed,
    with their owners incorrectly thinking that if they are half starved they will
    hunt or work better.  But this is just not true. Being underfed also means they
    are under fit, and whilst they may give chase to their prey, they very quickly
    "run out of puff" and collapse from exhaustion. Many of these poor unfortunate
    animals die or are killed by purebred Dingoes, especially if they are males and
    seen as a threat to the Dingo family unit. But a percentage survive and start to
    look for easy food.  Livestock are much easier for them to hunt and kill than
    native prey, although they often kill slower moving native species too. Any
    females soon find themselves accepted by lone Dingo males, especially if they
    are in season.  And so begins the problem of the wild dog.  Unlike Dingo
    females, who only have one mating season a year, and where almost always, only
    one female in the family unit will have puppies, the domestic dog comes in
    season twice a year and every one of them will be mated and produce puppies.  
    Puppies that will grow up with the domestic hunting dogs urge to catch and kill
    anything, unlike the purebred Dingo that only hunts to survive.

    For thousands of years the purebred Australian Dingo was the "top order
    predator" and as such kept many native species under control. This was
    especially so with Kangaroos that have always been the Dingoes favourite meal.
    They hunted Kangaroos with stealth, cunning, and team work. As a result of
    this Kangaroos were kept under control and never grew to the plague proportions
    they are in today.  In areas where there used to be Purebred Dingoes there
    were very few,or no foxes and virtually no feral cats (because the Dingoes killed
    them) so our native wildlife was protected.  There were also no Deers and very
    few feral pigs. In short, where the purebred Dingo remained the top order
    predator, the natural environment was protected, and flourished.  But sadly
    because of the damage done to livestock by Wild Dogs, the purebred Dingo has
    all but been wiped out.  

    There are still small pockets of wilderness where the purebred Dingo exists, but
    they are few and far between, and their numbers are now so small that it is
    only with those people dedicated to keeping the Purebred Dingo alive through
    captive breeding that are preventing this wonderful animal from becoming

So, what do you think now?
- Is the Purebred Dingo our friend or our foe?
Pure bred Dingo Cassie, playing with her great
mate, Jack Russell Terrier, Dajackie Caesar
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