Animal Diaries Archive
24 November 2006
One of the most common questions we get asked on our daily dingo walks throughout Australia Zoo would have to be, what makes a dingo so different to today’s domestic dog? Many people have the misconception that dingoes are just like your domestic dog, when in fact they are very different.
It is very easy to be deceived by the looks of wild dogs. Just because it may look like a dingo does not necessarily mean it is a purebred dingo. First generation dingo hybrids often resemble the look of a purebred dingo. Unfortunately, in Australia there is so much hybridisation going on (cross-breeding) between wild dogs and dingoes, that truly pure wild dingoes are getting harder and harder to find. So sadly the dingo gene is being diluted. Dingoes are an endangered species and are at the risk of extinction within the next ten years. I will try and cover some of the unique traits that dingoes have to help you understand the differences.
• Dingoes only produce one litter of pups per year, whereas domestic dogs will produce two
• Dingoes do not bark like your domestic dog. They communicate through several different howling techniques
• Dingoes don’t have the doggy smell that our domestic dogs have.
• Dingoes have several scent glands, including one on the tail (only wild canids have scent glands on the tail)
• Dingo’s skull morphology is different to that of the domestic dog
• Dingoes have the ability to turn their wrists (a hunting adaptation)
• Dingoes can move their head almost 360 degrees, which enables them to be able to track their prey without moving the rest of their body
• Dingoes are independent free spirits with indifference to human expectations, compared to domestic dogs which thrive on human interaction.
What I have covered are just a few of the many differences between dingoes and domestic dogs. So I hope I have given you a better understanding of these truly beautiful and free independent spirits.
Until next time, dingoes RULE!