Canis lupus dingo belong to a group of primitive dogs characterised by short
coats, erect ears, characteristic skull shape and teeth. They breed once a year,
unlike domestic dogs that breed twice a year. The dingo probably descended from the Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes),
and is commonly thought of as an Australian wild dog, although it is also found
throughout Southeast Asia. The dingo has a ginger colouration, with a whitish
chest and paws. They have a bush looking tail. In Central Australia most pure-breed dingoes are of the yellow form,
with about one in twenty being coloured black and tan.
The dingo differ from domestic dog in that they howl rather than bark,
although the dingo and domestic dog can successfully interbreed. Dingoes whose
colouration include streaks of grey, brown or patchy colouration indicate cross
The dingo is found throughout most of mainland Australia, preferring habitats
that include forest or woodlands merging with grassland. They are also found in
the arid habitats of Central Australia, although this is only where there is
fresh water available. They have been sighted in regions like the:
- MacDonnell Ranges (NT)
- Finke Gorge National Park (NT)
- Dalhousie Springs (SA)
- Kings Canyon (NT).
- Lake Eyre (SA)
- Nadgee Nature Reserve (NSW)
- Napier Range (WA)
- Fraser Island (QLD)
It is though that the dingoes of Fraser Island is the purest strain of the
dingo Australia. Here they freely roam the rainforest, bushland and beaches and
have become quite accustomed to the presence of humans, both locals and tourist.
Indeed it is this familiarity with humans and the tendency of some tourists to
feed them, that causes problems. Once they associate people with food, they may
attack those whom they perceive as weaker than themselves, that includes young
children and babies. Some people have become blas้ about the fact that dingoes
are wild animals, and have been ignoring the signs to not feed them, resulting
in a number of attacks, resulting not only in people getting hurt, but also in
the dingoes being put down.