The Dingo falls into a kind of netherland between wild and domesticated. With the scientific name Canis antarcticas, he stands apart from Canis familiaris, but he lives in proximity to Australia’s First People, so he is not entirely wild. The Dingo is what is known as a pariah dog, a group that also includes the Canaan Dog, the Basenji, the Pharaoh Hound, the Ibizan Hound and the Chihuahua.
Pariah dogs have distinctive physical traits: moderate size, prick ears, wedge-shaped heads, squarish bodies with long legs, smooth coats, and forehead wrinkles. They rarely bark, another characteristic of dogs that live close to the wild. The Dingo and his kin are living pictures of what the first domestic dogs looked like. The Dingo is not a suitable companion for the average family and is not usually kept as a pet.
Is the Dingo the Right Dog for You?
The Dingo is highly intelligent, cunning and independent. In his homeland of Australia, he is considered a pest, and many fences stretch across the country to protect flocks from his predations. If you keep a Dingo, you must take on the responsibility of protecting neighborhood pets or neighboring livestock from him.
To train a Dingo, use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play and food rewards, and keep training sessions short. Like most dogs, Dingos can become bored when left to their own devices. They can become noisy or destructive if they don’t have other dogs to keep them company or don’t receive much attention from their people.
The Dingo’s coat is easy to groom. Give the smooth or wire coat a weekly brushing to remove dead hairs, and trim nails, brush teeth and clean the ears regularly. A bath is rarely necessary.
5 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Dingo Puppy
- Finding a good breeder is more important than finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible.
- Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Many of the health problems in Dingos aren't apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an adult dog, most of them can be ruled out. Dingos can live 10 to 12 years or more, so an adult dog will still be a part of your family for a long time to come.
- Puppy or adult, take your Dingo to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.
- Don’t ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store. You’re more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to housetrain puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills.
- Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with “puppy lemon laws,” be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.
Because they are not generally bred for or kept as pets, little is known about the health of the Dingo. In general, they appear to be a healthy breed. They may suffer muscle or toe injuries while running.
Pet Insurance for Dingos
Like most other insurance companies, Embrace does not insure Dingos.
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