Save the Dingo


Strategies on coping with wild dogs

"In Australia, livestock guardian dogs are mainly used to protect against dingoes, feral dogs and foxes, but also against birds of prey, cats, goannas, crows, quolls and Tasmanian devils." - Invasive Animals CRC


Dingoes are not dogs. A wild dog is a domestic dog gone feral. Dingoes are very territorial and kill domestic dogs entering their territory. There are numerous accounts from early settlers of dingoes showing aggression towards domesticated dogs. "Domestic dogs falling in their power are immediately devoured...Domestic dogs they seize without hesitation" (The Naturalists Library, Jardine, W. 1839).

Dingoes do not readily interbreed with domestic dogs. This only occurs when pack structures are disturbed by humans (e.g. shooting, baiting, trapping). Furthermore, research shows that dingoes left in hierarchically intact packs generally don't target sheep. By killing dingoes, the problems of sheep predation and once-domesticated now-feral dogs only gets worse.


Maremma Sheepdog

Maremma Sheepdog, working in Italy
Photo: MGerety



Guardian Animals

  1. Maremma Sheepdogs
    These have "been used for centuries by Italian shepherds to guard sheep from wolves. The literal English translation of the name is "The dog of the shepherds of the Maremmano and Abruzzese region"" - Wikipedia.

  2. Donkeys
    Donkeys probably do not deliberately protect livestock. Many donkeys dislike and are aggressive towards dogs, coyotes and foxes and provide indirect protection for domestic animals. Donkeys have exceptional hearing, a keen nose and excellent vision. They use these senses to detect intruders. They bray, bare their teeth, chase, and attempt to kick and bite dogs and coyotes. Some donkeys will also chase deer, bears, strange livestock, humans and other intruders in a similar fashion.

    Picture of a DonkeyDonkeys do not intentionally patrol the pasture looking for intruders. They investigate disturbances within the herd or flock and will pursue predators or intruders if they detect them.

    They are most successful in protecting livestock in small and level pastures, where the donkey can see all or most of the area from one location.

    In addition to the aggressive behavior of the donkeys, the presence of a large animal with smaller livestock may be sufficient to cause some coyotes, dogs and other predators to avoid the area.
    - Protecting Livestock with Guard Donkeys - Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.



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