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Dingo

License : Dingo license

Captive life span : 10-12 years

Size : Average shoulder height 60cm

Weight : 10-20 kilograms

Housing : Secure exhibit structure

Under the Victorian Wildlife Regulations there is a specific license for dingoes. A Dingo License authorizes the holder to possess, keep, breed, buy, sell and dispose of dingoes for non-commercial purposes and to possess dingoes at other sites for exercising, obedience training, education, or display at shows conducted by a canine association.  Enclosure requirements are set within the licensing by Department Environment Land Water & Planning (DELWP).  Dingo license application.  A dingo license application is subject to an onsite inspection of your dingo enclosure and before a decision is made on your licensing application. 


Dingo is the name given to Australia’s native dog. Its origins can be traced to the Dharuk word for a domesticated dog. The Dharuk word for a wild dog was warrigal. Historically Aboriginal Australians had dual uses for the dingo and warrigal.  Over time the distinction between domesticated dog and wild dog was not recognised.  Now the description of dingo refers to both wild and tame Canis lupis dingo.


The dingo’s natural distribution range covers most of mainland Australia from the tropical north, central deserts, coastal mountains and many islands. The conservation status of the dingo in Australia is varied - threatened, endangered, protected.  This status varies across Australian States and geographic locations. Views of dingoes can be controversial at times described as vermin, these views are subjective dependent on location, opportunities for human contact and land use.   Dingoes are a protected species in National Parks across Australia.  A major threat to the dingo as a species is hybrisation with wild dogs - Canis lupis familiaris.
Dingo care and diet are remarkably like that of a domestic dog.  The challenge for dingo keepers is understanding the pack hierarchy of this species. Monitoring is required when animals are removed and/or added to the pack. Dingoes can live for 12–14 years in captivity, but rarely live longer than 10 years in the wild.


Housing  - Under the licensing requirements and application

The enclosure must 
•    be child-proof and of sufficiently secure design and construction to prevent escape of dingoes and unauthorized access to dingoes
•    have a minimum floor area of 30 metres2 for up to two dingoes and an additional 10 metres2 for each additional dingo (over 9mths)
•    have fences of either 3.0m in height or a minimum of 2.0m in height with an additional 45 degree inward return of at least 1.0 m in length (or the inward return being a full secure roof)
•    have a 1.0 metre inward-facing mesh return fitted at the base of the fence and fastened to the ground at right angles to the fence or the fence is anchored securely to a cement slab. Have a secure escape-proof fence

 

Dingoes are highly agile climbers. Secure roofed enclosures with additional electric fencing to act as an escape deterrent should be considered. Consider within the design and construction of the enclosure adjacent pens and air locks.

Dingoes will dig it is recommended to secure the enclosure perimeter. Dig enclosure wire 1 metre into the ground or lay wire around the perimeter on the ground surface, securely pin the wire to the ground.  Enclosures could also have a surrounding wet or dry moat construction. Construction of an enclosure close to established trees with provide immediate shade.  Within the enclosure include a dry sleeping/resting shelter. Many zoo and commercial displays incorporate caves and dens for shelter. Furnishings in the enclosure should be provided for stimulation.  Logs and rocks for climbing and foraging.

 

Health – Similar to domestic dog breeds, dingoes may need treatment for fleas, mites, lice and heart worms. 


Diet - dingoes diet in the wild is typically – mammals, birds, reptiles and some vegetation.  A captive diet should try to mimic wild diets for variety and nutritional requirements. Food intake of 4–5% of body weight per day is a good feeding guide. Obesity can become a problem in captive dingoes adjusting diets may be necessary to maintain a lean body condition. Captive diets should focus on whole prey items to maintain dental health and contribute to behavioural enrichment. Whole rabbits or chickens, meat with hide and bone included are good options. ‘Rabbit carcasses should be frozen for ≥1 wk prior to thawing and feeding out to kill tissue stages of the rabbit tapeworms Taenia pisiformis and T. serialis, since the dingo can act as definitive host’. Offer meaty bones regularly and include a good- quality dry dog food as an addition to other prey items. It is recommended that dingoes should be fed individually once or twice a day. Some diets recommend complete starve days and others report a starve days to be unnecessary. When a dingo’s diet is varied and balanced supplements are not required. Energy requirements increase by up to 60% during late pregnancy and lactation. Drinking water should be available at all times.


Breeding - Dingoes breed readily in captivity. Dingoes are polygynous the dominant male will mate with all females. Females have one oetsrus period each year. Gestation averages 63 days with one to eight pups per litter. The dingo breeding cycle is well described in (Jackson 2003)