Despite what some believe, Dingos are not descendants of domesticated dogs gone wild. The Dingo Canis familiaris: Breed: dingo is a member of a group of primitive dogs with a number of distinguishing characteristics. One of the important distinctions between Dingos and most "tamer" types of dogs is that Dingos have an annual breeding cycle, when the animals become more aggressive and territorial. This was important in the recent fatal attack on Fraser Island as the Dingos on Fraser Island are at the peak of this breeding season, and are excitable and protective of mates and territory.
Dingos are Australia's largest mammalian predator. They have been present in Australia for at least 3,500 years, and some estimates are for as long as 11,000 years. They play an important role in the ecology of Australia, helping suppress populations of feral animals, and have actually helped maintain endangered species by excluding introduced feral predators like foxes and cats. Dingos are highly intelligent with strongly developed senses of smell, hearing and sight. They are territorial, and develop lifetime bonds with family, either Dingo or human. They can use their paws like hands, and climb rocks and trees to survey their surroundings from high places. Dingos seldom bark, but howl, yelp, yodel and purr instead.
Dingos have been kept as pets, sometimes very successfully, but they are a breed that requires special care and handling. They are strongly individualistic and independant. They are also very sensitive and don't respond well to changes of owner or living location. They are very nimble, and require very secure pens with a top cover to keep them in. Above all, a Dingo family needs to be kind, gentle and predictable, as Dingos rarely recover from traumatic experiences or rejection.