The Australian Dingo, also known as a Warrigal, is our wild dog.
We saw plenty of Australia's wild dogs growing up in the outback of New South Wales.
Our father was a boundary rider on the the wild dog fence (border fence) between New South Wales and Queensland and even though it was our fathers job to keep the fence in good condition and to keep them out of New South Wales we couldn't help but love them.
They are very rare outside of Australia, and even though they are not native Australian animals they are still classified as wildlife and can not be exported from Australia, except to and from registered and approved wildlife parks and zoos.
They are a naturally lean, medium sized dog, they have a bushy tail, strong claws, an angular looking head with erect ears. They normally have a red to yellow coat, although some are black with tan points.
Dingoes do not bark, they howl and yelp.
When European settlers arrived in Australia, they were tolerated, and the settlers even welcomed them sometimes, but as soon as the settlers brought sheep into Australia this changed, they were then trapped, shot, and poisoned.
It didn't matter to the settlers if the dog was wild or whether it belonged to Aboriginal people they still hunted them. Aboriginal people across Australia adopted them as companion animals.
They breed once a year, but only the dominant members within an established group do the breeding.
The breeding season is from March to June and the average size of a litter is four or five pups. Both parents take part in the raising of their pups.
The young pups will start leaving their den for short periods of time at around 3 weeks of age, they are fully grown at about 7 months.
They are an intelligent and curious animal. They are no more dangerous to man than any feral dog, but they have got a bit of a bad reputation.
When we were kids the purebred was the normal one seen, but sadly the interbreeding with domestic dogs is threatening the purebred species, some see the eventual extinction of the purebred as unavoidable.
Our mother wrote a poem about the Australian Dingo, we hope you enjoy it.
See, nothing wrong!
Cautiously sniffing the hot evening air,
Looking for food to take to her lair,
Nose turning back,
She listens and watches along her old track,
Onward she goes,
Carefully placing her soft padded toes,
Ears thrusting forward,
Eyes that are sharp,
Moving so constantly, piercing the dark,
Patience her virtue,
She knows that she will,
Keep searching til morning for something to kill,
Drags to her lair,
The food she has found,
That her pups too, will share.
Stella P. Bell
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