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DINGO - SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Dingoes live to five or six years of age in the wild and fifteen years in captivity.

They typically live in family packs: a dominant monogamous breeding pair and their offspring of current and past years. Adolescent or old adults ousted from the family group may form loose groups.

A pack will occupy a territory which will vary in size depending on food availability. The pack will patrol the territory, scent marking the boundary and hunt as a group or individually depending on the prey size.

Dingo Scat

Dingoes will defecate and urinate to mark their territory.


The white female is the older sister of the pups. She is an important member of the pack. Here she shows respect to her mother who is the dominant female in the pack.

Dingo respect
Dingo hunter

Dingoes are an opportunistic hunter and scavenger, feeding on a range of food including mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and vegetation.

Dingo howl

Dingoes have several vocalisations. Howling is used to locate individuals and warn off strangers. A bark howl or cough is used in the presence of danger, alarming pups or pack members to flee or hide. Vocalisation increases with the onset of the breeding season.

Male dingoes are generally sexually mature at one and a half years of age and are usually fertile all year round.

Testosterone levels increase over the breeding season, often increasing aggression from the dominant animals towards the subordinate animals.

Female dingoes will have one breeding season generally between March and June. If the female does not mate or conceive with the first oestrus she may cycle again within the March-June period.

The gestation period is sixty three days and the average litter size is three to five pups. The entire pack will care for the young, regurgitating meat to pups as young as three weeks of age. Pups will commence eating solids at approximately three weeks of age and will often be weaned by the time they are six weeks of age.

Dingo litter Dingo suckling