30 Interesting Facts About Dingoes

Despite their small size, dingoes are known to bravely hunt adult kangaroos in packs.

If you only know that dingoes come from Australia, then you’re in for a treat!

These fascinating creatures have many unique and surprising facts – even if you’re not an animal lover, there’s something here to pique your interest.

Historians are unsure whether dingoes were ever domesticated or have always been wild. One theory suggests they were domesticated for a time before returning to their natural state.

The Dingo Fence, a fence in Southeast Australia built in the 1920s to keep dingoes away from farm animals, is one of the longest structures in the world. At over 4,970 miles (8000 km) in length, it costs approximately $10 million annually to maintain.

In the 1980s, the fence was shortened by 745 miles (1200 km) due to the need for repairs.

Dingoes come in three main varieties: the reddish golden dingo in desert areas, the alpine dingo in the wildest parts of Australia, and the northern dingo with a finer build.

Another name for a dingo is a “warrigal.”

Depending on the area of Australia, owning a pet dingo may be legal. In New South Wales, a permit is not required, while in Queensland, owning a dingo is entirely illegal.

Many cattle dogs and kelpies in Australia have dingo ancestry due to interbreeding.

Dingoes differ from domesticated dogs in that they have flexible wrists like humans, allowing for easier maneuvering in tight spaces and climbing trees. They can also turn their heads 180 degrees, aiding in hunting and prey spotting.

Dingoes are more similar to wolves than dogs. They do not bark, instead making a wolf-like howl that resembles a yodel.

Wild dingoes have an average lifespan of 5-10 years, while those in captivity can live up to 20 years.

The earliest known dingo lived around 3,500 years ago, although historians estimate a broader timeline of 4,500-18,000 years ago.

Female dingoes will consume their offspring’s feces – a gross behavior!

Despite their size, dingoes are fearless enough to take on adult kangaroos when hunting in packs.

Dingoes enjoy hunting rabbits, sheep, kangaroos, and other wild animals. If food is scarce, they will also eat eggs and birds.

When food is plentiful, dingoes will bury leftovers for later consumption.

In Australia, if one wants to spot a wild dingo, they should look near large bodies of water. These animals usually inhabit empty rabbit holes, hollow logs, and other burrows that are close to rivers and lakes. Despite their preference for living close to water, dingoes have developed methods to conserve it. In situations where the water supply is limited, the stronger animals will drink the water, leaving the older and weaker ones to go without. Additionally, the stronger dingoes will deny access to food to the weaker ones, causing them to die quickly due to starvation or malnutrition.

In a pack of 12 dingoes, there is usually one alpha male and one alpha female that mate to reproduce for the entire group. When the female gives birth, usually to around five or six puppies at a time, the other pack members help raise the young. The dominant female will often kill other puppies born into the pack, as she wants the other females to look after her own babies.

Dingoes are not often targeted by other animals in the wild, but their peers might pose a threat. There is also the possibility of farmers shooting them if they come too close to their farms, or crocodiles occasionally attempting to prey on them. While dingoes will eat many different animals, they are not often hunted by other creatures. However, snakes frequently target dingo puppies.

Over time, dingoes have bred with other dogs, leading experts to doubt whether there are any truly “pure” dingoes left in modern-day Australia. Despite their somewhat invincible reputation, dingoes are not often seen targeting humans. They are more likely to run away than attack.

During mating season, which lasts from March to June, dingoes become more social, while for the rest of the year, they tend to keep to themselves. The animals are very protective of their pack and territory, and if a foreign dingo tries to enter, it is unlikely to escape alive.

While dingoes are unique to Australia, the United States has a similar breed known as the pariah dog. Despite walls being built and farmers shooting at them, dingoes continue to exist in abundance in Australia. Rarely, a wild dingo has entered a home or hotel room and attacked a child or baby, resulting in the animal being captured and put down.


1. What is a dingo?

A dingo is a type of wild dog that is native to Australia. They are medium-sized dogs and have a distinctive yellowish-brown coat.

2. Are dingoes dangerous?

Dingoes are wild animals and can be dangerous, especially if they feel threatened. However, they are generally shy and avoid human contact.

3. Do dingoes bark?

Yes, dingoes do bark, but they also make a range of other vocalizations, including howls, growls, and whines.

4. Are dingoes related to wolves?

Yes, dingoes are believed to have descended from wolves that lived in Asia thousands of years ago. However, they have evolved differently and are now considered a separate species.

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