THE ROLE OF THE DINGO
CANIS LUPUS DINGO is the Latin name for dingo, LUPUS meaning ‘wolf’
To most people, Australians in specific, the dingo is regarded as a wild dog however, the ecological roles between these two animals are almost completely different. True, they are both canines and predators, and both play a role in regulating animal numbers, but their intentions are different. Wild dogs are driven by an instinct to survive and they hunt to fulfil that need without hesitation. Dingoes/wolves on the other hand have a multifunctional role and are driven by an instinct to safeguard ecological stability. Function 1: What drives a dingo to hunt is an animal in distress. When a dingo perceives a sick or weak or vulnerable or injured animal, this acts as a trigger and releases a hormone into its system, driving it to kill that specific animal. In this way they remove the weak, thus keeping animal populations strong, an essential component for a healthy eco system. Function 2: Dingoes are territorial and manage areas between 10 and 60 square kilometres. When they perceive an animal species (prey or predator) is overpopulating in their territory, they will work to bring those numbers back down to a sustainable level and then stop killing. They are also known to protect animal species whose numbers are low from other predators, thus allowing their numbers to rejuvenate. Function 3: Dingoes regulate their own species keeping their own numbers at a sustainable level, thus preventing overpopulation.
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As doggy guardians, when we take our dogs for their walk, we will generally be the ones who choose where to walk and what to do. But, sometimes it’s important to pay attention to where your dog wants to go too. Let them follow their nose, let them investigate, let them decide where they want to go. As long as your dog isn’t over excited and you don’t think you’re heading toward anything dangerous/detrimental to your training, give it a go; we promise you’ll have some good adventures.