The Dingo and Dingoes

sleeping dingoThe dingo is probably the only dog whose bite is definitely worse than its bark and whose head and paws can rotate to achieve feats other dogs can only dream of.

Life can be tough for dingoes though – so tough that, to an Australian, “a dingo’s breakfast” means no breakfast at all! The combination of lack of water and lack of food over much of Australia’s parched landmass means dingoes have to be very resourceful to survive.

Wild dingoes in desert regions are often extremely lean – they can look emaciated – because there isn’t enough food around to get fat on. Domesticated and semi-domesticated dingoes are heavier.

The dingo first appeared in Asia over 10,000 years ago – as the wild descendant of one of man’s first attempts to tame the wolf. Just like wolves, dingoes can be mated with domestic dogs.

Cattle farmers successfully mated dingoes with dogs in the 1800s when they found dogs from the British Isles were not tough enough for extreme conditions in Australia. The result was the Australian Cattle Dog – typified by the blue and red-heeler breeds.

DNA analysis shows that the first dingoes arrived in Australia from Asia around 5,000 years ago. The name “dingo” was the word used in a now unspoken aboriginal dialect for these members of the dog family.

Please explore our dingo topics and facts. We’re sure you’ll find plenty of interesting information about these amazing creatures.