Wild dogs in National Parks.

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 17:25
ThreadID: 110363 Views:4783 Replies:23 FollowUps:27
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Hi folks

On my upcoming trip I intend to occasionally camp in some more remote western Qld National Parks and was wondering about the possibility of encountering wild dogs. Has anyone had the experience? It would appear from recent articles here in Qld (but I believe other states as well) that wild dogs have become a real problem in many areas.
Is it a problem that I should worry about or not and if it is any precautions to take. Obviously not leaving food laying around etc as an attractant but your thoughts appreciated.



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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 18:06

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 18:06
Never had a problem with wild dogs, have seen more wild cats. In some of the National Parks you will get the odd Dingo or two hanging around the camping areas, so just the basic common sense precautions, not leaving your rubbish out overnight etc. Kevin
AnswerID: 542684

Reply By: Member - gujimbo - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 18:28

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 18:28
I would say that wild humans are a bigger problem wherever you go!!!

AnswerID: 542686

Reply By: Joe Fury - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 18:37

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 18:37
G'day Arlo

I actually do not have any real life experience of wild dogs in Queensland national parks, but I do have first hand knowledge of wild dogs in the remoter parts of Western Australia, my guess wild dog behaviour is largely the same any where in the outback.

I had a close encounter with Dingo's in the Rudall River National Park, where I had to fend them off, there were three dogs initially, possibly mum and her two kids, but they were large animals ~ not pups but seasoned hunters and these buggers had no initial fear of me at all, two ~ possibly three other dogs in the same pack just watched from a short distance and at no time did they join in on the action.

I was not between the dogs and a water source but I was stopped in a dry creek bed in a shady area technically minding my own business when the Dingo bitch fell off the bank of the creek bed and simply stared at me with a real dumb expression on it's face, yapped/yelped twice and sprinted back up the bank disappearing into the tall grass ~ end of story I thought.

In the time it took me to compose my self and turn back towards the vehicle, she was advancing at me from the back of my vehicle, the other two dogs actually charged at me with tails between their legs but snapping and teeth bared.

All I could do at that moment was shout and kick river sand at them which slowed the two dogs but not mum, she circled around between the vehicle and the river bank and out of sight, I managed to slide a length of Aluminium tube off of the High Lift Jack handle fairly smartly and waited for what might come ~ nothing absolutely nothing happened, but this encounter rattled me and I was on edge the whole time I was there.

I see Dingo's and Dogs quite often when I venture around the region, they usually watch but make no menacing moves, but for that one occasion. Karijini National Park has warning signs and printed literature with references regarding the negatives in feeding and interacting with wild dogs when they wander into your campsite.

My guess is they can't be trusted to any degree, more so if you are completely alone.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
AnswerID: 542688

Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 20:54

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 20:54
Hi Joe

That's scary.
Was camped at Desert Queen Baths in May and listening to the dingoes calling at night was one of the highlights of the trip.


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Follow Up By: Honky - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 22:27

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 22:27
I bet that story goes down well around a camp fire at night.
What an experience.

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Reply By: get outmore - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 19:29

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 19:29
ive thought of this but its never been an issue
weve had dogs come for a look staying just out of the firelight.
Just be thankfull were not America - for all we like to tell the world how our timid snakes that rarely kill anyone are so dangerous

give me a snake thats petrified of me over an 8 ft grizzlie that if it decides it wants you or your food theres nothing you can do any day.
Even brown bears - the educational vid at yosemite shows a bear tearing open the door of a car for a look like it was cardboard
AnswerID: 542690

Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:55

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:55
Yep ... I'm with you there cobber.

In 2012 we on our own private safari through some of the more remote parts of Botswana and Namibia and whilst we had no close calls as such, there was always the thought in the back of your mind of some large furry pussy sitting on the top of a hill a km or so away, seeing you and deciding you may go well as a quick snack.

Our nasties generally pale into insignificance in comparison. Having said that, of course common sense still applies here.
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Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 23:24

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 23:24
Although never having been threatened in western Qld, I do recall a camp mate who got a fright when she opened her eyes upon waking, in her swag. We were camped on a creek line well north of Innamincka, in Qld. There, alongside her, and face to face, was a dingo -who bolted at her exclamation.

Was it a dingo? Well it looked like a dingo, but I am aware that a DNA examination of scats outside the dog Fence in SA revealed that only (approx) 25% were full blood dingoes. The balance had some degree of domestic dog in their genes.

AnswerID: 542698

Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 00:48

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 00:48
Do the words " a dingo has got my baby!" mean anything to you.

My brother was talking one night about working camped in north western QLD in rocky country.
He recons to always take a shovel with him when he goes to lighten his load.....not that there is any hope of digging a hole in the rocky ground.....he recons to turn over a big rock, leave his messaage underneath and turn the rock back.
But he always carries the shovel for the dingoes.

In all seriousness.....you simply can not trust any dog....in many places they are very bold and agressive.
If they are hungry who knows how bold thay will get.

And some of these dogs are serioulsy smart.
what do you think would be an easier target..... a full grown cow with horns or you on your own.

Serioulsy......with dogs, snakes, spiders, ants and all sorts of other livestock......I simply will not sleep on the ground.

I remember one night.....a group of us had a camp fire and camped overnight...about 20 of us.
I went and slept in a tent.....on a stretcher...had a great nights sleep.

quite a few slept arround the camp fire under tarps and blankets.......quite a few woke up wet from the dew.
BUT Stevo......he woke up to a vague sense of pain.....which as he woke became more intense and defned....yeh it seemed to be comming from one of his arms....nope...that would be his hand...and he could not move it.....still waking and puzzled... he opened his blury eyes and there was something hard, large and heavy on hand.......his first thaught was some bastard had put a big rock on it......further investigation revealed it was a horse.

This horse just wanted to see what this bloke was doing lying in their living room.

Back when I was in scouts, one of the other patrolls did not lace their flaps up properly.....they woke up to see a cow with its whole head in their tent.....seems it had been there for some time......it was cold outside.

Buffalos have a habit of charging straight thru ya camp at night.....particulary if you have camped in what they think is a main road.

Even skippie who means you no harm at all, can do you some damage if it gets startled and has wondered into ya camp when it was quiet and the fire had gone out.

Ya simply can't trust animals.

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Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 12:08

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 12:08
Further to my post above. We were camped in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in western Botswana and saw a few lions from time to time, but heard about another group who were camped in tents (we had roof top tents).

Tents on the ground are quite acceptable. As long as they are properly closed the animals merely see them as another mound (apparently).

Anyway, this other group awoke to find a pride of lions had taken up residence in their campsite for a good part the day. One couple even awoke to find an inwards bulge in the side of their tent where a lioness was using it as a backrest. Apparently they spent a very nervous few hours lying there very very quietly (no doubt busting for a piss ..... among other things).
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Reply By: Bigfish - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 07:42

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 07:42
Just remember that they are about. Don't offer food or leave it lying around.
Wild dogs would be the last thing I,d be worried about.

I,ll be surprised if you even see any dogs.

Some people are that worried about snakes, dingos, buffaloes etc.etc. that they should not have left home in the first place. Just be aware of your surroundings and you,ll be right.

Enjoy the trip.
AnswerID: 542700

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 10:12

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 10:12
Yeh some people are surprised and astonished when they have some sort of unplesant encounter with animal life.

I am sure Lindy Chamberlan would have been better off at home, as would any of the victums of other well publicised dog atacks.

Surely it is smarter to take sensible precautions than to ignore the risks.

I certainly would never leave a baby or small child unattended on any camp site

If it is an area known to have wild dogs......surely some simple precautions would be wise.

As for me...I don't sleep on the ground or in the open unless I have no other choice.


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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 10:21

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 10:21
"Surely it is smarter to take sensible precautions than to ignore the risks."

Dead right. Thats why the thread was started. Lessening the risk.
Common sense should be used at all times. Myself, I only sleep on the ground. Never had an issue apart from getting way too hot to sleep when I had my swag on bauxite during a build up period. Was like a microwave. Result -slept in chair.

Dingos howling at night might cause you alarm but I,ve heard em hundreds of times and never had an issue. You,ll find the dogs hanging around the edges of towns and communities will be the cagiest and least trustworthy. They have a little respect for man but if hungry will ignore it and take a chance to grab food.

Normally a small campfire will deter every wild animal..apart from man.
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Reply By: Member - Bigred13 - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 10:23

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 10:23
On our recent trip to Innaminka and SW Qld we had on 3 occasions a lone dingo walked through our campsite about 10 meters away ,not in the least interested in us ,having said that ,do not leave food around any time, especially at night ,and in sealed containers .Oh and do not leave boots or shoes around ,or they will go missing in the night , I have seen that happen when I was working in the Cooper Basin. I was driving a bulldozer on one site and everyday this dingo would walk past where I was dozing ,quite unconcerned ,so one day I half opened a tin of tinned milk and set it half buried in the dirt, he found it and when he could not get all the contents out he dug away at the dirt until it rolled over and he then got the lot ,very smart dingo that one .
AnswerID: 542703

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 10:55

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 10:55
Yeh these dogs are not stupid.....they are very good at looking uninterested.

A wild dog is always interested in everything......they know about everything that is going on in their back yard........they are very smart and capable of strategic thaught.

They are capable of identifying targets
Identifying oportunity
Capable of complex team work
Proficient in distraction and misdirection
Very patient
have good memories
Good observers of behavoiur.
Can sing in harmony ( as we humans understand it)
They appreciate harmonica music

Oh and they travel very large distances quickly and with little effort.

Chances are they know more about humans (well what matters to them) than most humans know about dogs.

Where it matters to them they are well and truly smarter than many humans.

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Follow Up By: Steve - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 18:54

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 18:54
They wouldn't appreciate my harmonica music, I can tell yer. I'd have em yelping and howling off into the distance, no danger.
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Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 10:45

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 10:45
Dingos have made numerous attacks on humans on Fraser Island. Google 'Fraser Island Dingo Attacks'.

See following link Dingos attack 2 Female Tourists
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:31

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:31
Yes the FI dingos are becoming pests, but I would suggest they are not typical of outback dingoes.
The FI dingoes are in almost daily contact with humans, the majority of them humans are tourists who do not obey the basic rules and entice them to come closer to the camara.
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Follow Up By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 20:27

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 20:27
Actually, I'd say that the tourist are becoming a pest on Fraser by feeding the dingoes.
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:20

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:20
Used to be a juvenile that hung around the Old Yeo Homestead - not sure if it's still there or not.

We had them circling a couple of our campsites on the CSR last year - you could hear them and catch the occasional glimpse - they were fairly wary but obviously looking for an opportunity to steal something - didn't give them a chance.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:23

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:23
Closer view

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Reply By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:35

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 11:35
Plenty of 'dogs' in central and western Qld. Many are hybrids and work in packs to attack sheep and cattle with devastating consequences for the pastoralists. Attacks on humans do occur but rarely - especially in tourists places like Fraser Island where stupid tourists sometimes feed them and there seems to be little effective control judging by the frequent stories in the press.

Most farmers/graziers spend a lot of time and money on controlling the dogs on their properties, and most National Parks do carry out 1080 baiting programs but these are getting less effective as the dogs get smarter, the kills, when you can find them, are usually the pups and inexperienced younger dogs. IMHO Strychnine would be far more effective as you would get to see the results plus it is very much faster and more humane than 1080. Some of the worst offenders are the few 'organic growers' who will not use poisons and shooting is rarely an effective control measure. They become the preferred breeding sites Exclusion with dog proof fencing and well designed controls at access points like grids along with baiting is the best control measure. Bloody expensive though.

We have looked after several sheep and cattle properties so have first hand experience.

I would not be concerned heading out into western Qld Parks and other areas. Stay alert and using common sense you should have no problems at all.
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Follow Up By: doug v - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 17:40

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 17:40
we are organicly certified cattle and sheep producers and we are not offenders in the control of wild dogs. that feels like an insult ,because under the nop usda certification organic producers selling in these markets are not allowed to bait, much as we the organic industry here in aus would like to . as for shooting for control, yes it can work, an acquaintance of ours on a channel country block earlier this year disposed of nearly 5000 yes 5000 dogs in just three months shooting from helicopters.as for using strychnine, yes it is fast but not safe or even humane like 1080 which actually is a naturaly occurring compound in some of our native flora, and the aus organic industry has been pushing for its use on accredited properties for some years now , but the usda nop characters adamately refuse to recognize its suitability for aus use which leaves us with little recourse , but shooting, trapping, and fencing(which with such long boundaries, becomes more costly than the property is worth) and cohabiting maramas/donkeys. having had enough dog attacks ourselves this is an issue of economic survival for many stock owners, when even full grown cattle are pulled down by a hungry pack in drought time. by the way pure bloods are just as destructive as mixed blood, as the bite will fester and without antibiotics
(not allowed under usda nop) or strong salt water treatment, and kill the animal. on the topic of this thread , in lean times hungry dogs will stalk anything they judge to be a meal,yes I've been stalked at night by a sheep killer I was tracking , who sucummed to some adroitly mixed fast travelling mineral suppliments, but in normal seasons there is little to fear when food for them is adequate.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 21:02

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 21:02
Strychnine is a particularly cruel method of killing animals and they suffer a needlessly extended death.
Anyone who has seen a dog die of strychnine poisoning (as I have), knows it's a cruel, painful, and lingering death.
There are better and more effective poisons to kill wild dogs and strychnine should be avoided as much as possible.

Wild Dog Fact Sheet - QLD

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: doug v - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 21:24

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 21:24
yes ron n strychnine is bad but fast from my own use many years ago ,the worst though is that any strychnine not metabilized by target animals liver before it dies, is still active and will do a secondary kill of anything that chews the carcase, years after the first kill.
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Follow Up By: SDG - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 22:26

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 22:26
Did I read that right Doug? No antibiotics allowed?
Everybody is saying we should go organic.
All the animal rights people are complaining about farmers not using antibiotics, antiseptics etc, when they are marking, docking, eartags, etc.

Can't win either way.
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Follow Up By: doug v - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 07:08

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 07:08
if an animal is treated using any non organicly allowed substance particulary antibiotics(due to the fact of antibiotic building resistance by bacteria in human consumption) that animal can no longer be sold as organic. there are however in most instances, an organic alternative, such as salt water, for wound treatment.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 08:30

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 08:30

Think the animal libbers are more concerned about the lack of anaesthetics, and pain reduction, during procedures.


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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 12:11

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 12:11
I really don't understand why people sleep right on the ground if there's an opportunity to sleep off it. I've never slept on the ground since Army days - when we had no choice.
Every crawling insect under the sun, and even snakes, move around on the ground at night.
Centipedes and scorpions enjoy roaming at night, particularly in desert country. Numerous people have related stories to me about being bitten by crawlies at night when sleeping on the ground.
My old man used to relate a story to us about being bitten in his swag when working in the Murchison in the 1930's - whereby he promptly found a huge centipede had crawled into his swag.
If you kept an infra-red camera on you during the night, you'd probably be appalled at the amount of wildlife crawling around you, examining you, and even trying to climb into bed with you, when you sleep on the ground.

Dogs are attracted to warmth, to lights, to food smells, and to new activity in their vicinity (turn over and expose a big area of fresh soil, such as you do with a dozer, and dogs will come from kms away to play in it).
Dogs are very curious and want to check out all the new stuff that has just arrived in "their" territory - such as you, your camping stuff, and your vehicle.

Dogs are very good at reading subtle body language and movements, that humans are not so good at.
Dog have personalities, the same as humans. You get relatively passive dogs, and you get aggressive dogs.
It's the aggressive ones that have little fear of humans until you demonstrate you're equally aggressive - by body language, by body movements, and by taking up a weapon.

Fire, very loud noises, and stinging sprays is what makes dogs turn tail, no aggressive dog will hang around if you're wielding fire, making loud noises, or spraying out a stinging spray.
So even just a cap gun will deter a dog who is advancing on you threateningly, or picking up a stick that has flames attached to it.
A water pistol full of Tabasco sauce solution, sprayed in a dogs face, stings their sensitive parts such as their mouth and eyes, and makes them back off.
A can of pepper spray is ideal, but it's illegal to possess the stuff in most states now.

Bottom line is - it's relatively rare for wild dogs to attack adult humans, unless they're in a pack, feel cornered or threatened, or are trying to protect their young.

In Joes case, it's quite likely he was too close to a dingos den where there were pups, and the dingoes were aggressive because they were simply protecting their young.
AnswerID: 542708

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 08:50

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 08:50

I always camped on the ground in my swag, with few worries, until we moved to Inland Taipan country, on the Diamantina.

Most, if not all swag incursions were while I was in the Kimberley, and as I recall all these were while working on Auvergne station, between the Victoria and East Baines Rivers. One Bandi-Bandi, 2 centipedes and a few spiders. One of the centipede visits is worth telling later, in a blog!

We were camped at a bore in 1974 on Rockhampton Downs, mustering in the area that was reduced considerably by all the flood waters, from that massive wet.

Camped in a good, clear area, no fire risk and one would assume, quite wrongly in this case, no worry about snakes. We had all hit the swags, and the boys were playing cards till much later.Young Toby, who was only one to have his mozzie net erected, crawled into the swag, and the next thing........

Holy &$@$&@$ bleep , there's a etc snake in my etc swag, and he etc near bit me, holy etc hell!!! And so on, and so on. Toby survived, but the King Brown did not, overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers, rocks and shovels, albeit all thrown from a discreet distance.

I later measured the deceased, as thick as my forearm, and I'd reckon maybe 9 feet long.... A huge specimen. A young bloke got bitten by a similar sized snake on the Cooper many years later, and it took him months to recover completely.


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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 08:56

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 08:56
Hey Ron
Just a note on the Tabasco sause thing, my staffy had a bit of a chew on anything stage when younger, thought I'd fix her up, got the Tabasco sauce out, and small paint brush, went around painting all the corners of the out door setting, the back deck, her kennel, where ever she had a chew.. When I turned around I found her following me, licking it off... When I held out the brush, she licked it clean... Loved it!
Cheers Odog
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Reply By: Dingojim - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 13:59

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 13:59
Gee whiz and I was going to share my knowledge but I've been gazumped. Having owned, trained, bred dingos for> 20 years during which time I spent many hundreds of hours observing these magnificent, ( yes I am biased ), creatures which included deliberately interacting with them in the wild I reckon the Dingos rate way down the list as dangers go. Many scribes have listed precautions which are really common sense , a commodity absolutely essential in the outback.
AnswerID: 542713

Follow Up By: Kris and Kev - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 14:49

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 14:49
Good points, they are a brilliant animal. And I recall reading an article recently that said since farmers have targeted dingoes the feral population of dogs and cats have increased to the point that they now say we need the dingoes back! Kevin
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Reply By: SDG - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 15:43

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 15:43
Not a dog, but still a close encounter with an animal.

Camp encounter
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 17:12

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 17:12
There was at least one mangy-looking dingo hanging around Warakurna Roadhouse and campground when I was there in late October.
However, it was very wary and wouldn't come in any closer than the edges of the campground during daylight hours - but I'll wager it was a different story when all the lights went out, and everyone went to sleep.
I grabbed this quick shot of it at sunrise (about 4:30AM), but it wouldn't stop, it wanted to keep moving constantly.


I've seen some very healthy, broad-chested dingos that were very solidly-built dogs and you can see how they can easily pull sheep down.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 20:40

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 20:40
Hullo Arlo

I have travelled quite a bit in outback WA, SA, NT, Qld and NSW over the years, bush camping some of the time. Wild dogs and dingos have not been an issue, at least so far. That doesn't mean that they haven't n been around - they have. But not an issue.

The only NP and State Forests where they have been an issue for me is in eastern Victoria, particularly east of the Omeo Hwy - and I am thinking here of east of Omeo around Black Mountain, then Moscow and Bentley Plains huts across to the Bonang/Bendoc/Errinundra area.

As well as personal experiences, the landowners and rangers are very concerned about the increasing numbers and aggressiveness of wild dogs, often hunting in packs. Wide spread baiting using 1080 is being used plus selective shooting. One land owner in particular told me that he thought it would only be a matter of time before there was a tragic incident involving people as small children often went off by themselves exploring nearby their camp.

This was brought home by an incident I was told about at Moscow Hut where a group of adults and children had headed off in the late afternoon to explore around the adjacent lake/swamp. Fortunately a number of adults had decided to stay back and were sitting outside the hut observing the group. They became aware of a pack of dogs coming out of the forest and working there way around in order to separate the children from the adults. Immediate action to head this off was successful but left the whole group pretty shaken.

The ranger I spoke to down near Club Terrace told me that interbreeding of dogs such as Alsatians, Rottweilers, Labradors and similar large dogs was producing fearless and cunning hunters.

The above does not mean I have ceased to visit these areas. But I don't use my swag; rather I sleep in the Tvan with the lid down :-) And I am careful about my movements on foot, particularly at dusk and early morning. The howls from a pack steadily coming nearer at night are loud enough to wake me and I remain pretty alert until they begin to fade in the distance!

AnswerID: 542725

Reply By: Crusier 91 - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 03:04

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 03:04
You will know if there is a wild animal close by while you're sleeping............by the stench.
AnswerID: 542731

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 10:40

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 10:40
Remember compared to our charlie chaplin era black and white standard, the dogs sense of smell is, full colour, high definition, in wide screen and way more sensitive than ours.

These dogs are not stupid and will be only too aware that they smell...they make their approaches to us and other prey targets with that in mind.

Besides, when we are asleap our sense of smell like our other senses varies from completly inactive to unreliable, depending on the phase of sleep.

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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 03:10

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 03:10
And........let us not forget.........Lindy Chamblem.........
AnswerID: 542732

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 08:25

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 08:25
I doubt if you'll have any dramas, Arlo, in the remote parks. As others have mentioned, parks with high visitor numbers may need some extra care.

Over the years, I've seen many dingos, and most cases they are just a trail of dust, getting away from you, as quickly as possible. Night time is a little different, they often tend to be less fearful, under cover of darkness.

On one occasion, in 1965, I was camped at a bore by myself, sleeping on the ground too in my swag, when a dingo called out, maybe 100 yards away. It was about 5.30am, and still dark, and the loudness of the call gave me a bit of a start. Once I got my heart back under 120 beats/minute, I replied with my best dingo howl. Next minute this dingo is about 10 feet way, I sat up in the swag and said: "Go on, get to buggery" and he did a double take, and took off across the gidgea stones.......I could hear him galloping for a couple of minutes after.

Another time, wife, young daughter and I were camped in a 'van, near the Georgina River, building a turkey's nest. Had an old bull terrier boxer cross dog, about 10 years old, bit weary, but still had heaps of attitude. One night after we'd turned off the generator, there was a commotion outside, growling, snarling and odd bark from the old dog. Took rifle outside, with a torch, and 2 dingoes had the Ol' fellar bailed up and were working together. One attacking from the front, while the other was sneaking around the rear, ready to savage his delicate bits.

A couple of shots, the Ol' fellar was safe, and with my poor aim, so were the dingos. :-)

This same dog, in his prime, left some of his genetics in the Police Hole area, in what is now Keep River n/park. Couple of years after I left, the Boss shot a dingo with similar colour and marking to the old bloke, so he "got around" a bit.


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AnswerID: 542736

Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 11:17

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 11:17
I am constantly amazed that humans don't generally credit other animals, particularly wild animals with the level of inteligence, awareness and forward planning that they have.

Mostly because they do not, read, write, use language, or make art like we do.

Sure some domestic breeds of dog may be only marginally smarter than the mess they leave on the lawn.

But animals in particular, non domesticated animals of all sorts can have astonishing levels of inteligence.

I had an argument with a fisheries scientist once...because he believed that catch rates of a particular spicies was reduced solely because of reduced population ( the fact that no one had gone to actually look, was beside the point)...he would not believe that fish where sufficiently inteligent to identify and avoid the activities and fishing tackle of humans.

The expert fishemen will most certainly tell you otherwise...they know that certain spicies in certain locations require absolute stealth, wisely chosen tackle and perfect bait presentation for any level of sucess.

Remember these animals have nothing else to do but be aware of their enviromnent and think about where the next meal is comming from.

They don't consume brain effort, making fancy buildings to live in, making paintings or sculptures or a whole pile of things we occupy our huge brains with......so they can have a lot of spare thinking power where it matters to them.

I have heard it said that an adult pig has approximately the mental faculties of a 2 year old human......the fact that they wallow in mud is not a think to do with inteligence it is just a personall preference.

Consider that a full blood dingo has a larger brain cavity than most other dogs its size and build and its brain is realy not a hell of a lot smaller than ours.

It may not write haiku poetry or howl in iambic pentamiter and it would rather chew the chess pieces than give you a decent game.
But for knowing its business, hunting tactics and being able to steal your sausage before you even know its gone........they are very smart animals.

AnswerID: 542744

Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 12:43

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 12:43
Blue Heeelers are some of the smartest dogs I've encountered.
SIL had a female bluey. SIL would just pick up the car keys or her purse, and the dog would be out the door, and waiting by the car door, in seconds.
Also, when returning home to our minesite in the Southern Goldfields, the bluey would jump up and start getting excited when we were within about 20kms of home - despite all the countryside being relatively featureless heavily-treed bush country.
She obviously recognised the countryside and sections of the road every bit as well as we did, and knew when we were close to home.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 829303

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 17:33

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 17:33
When the handbrake was young and living at home, the family dog, a corgy, could identify the exhaust note of here particular escort turning into the end of the street about 1/2 a Km away.

My brother set one of his blue cattle dogs away to his wifes brothers place to get educated.
Spot was quick on the uptake.
If they didn't chain her up at night, she would rome the district and when they all got up in the morning there where the neibours cattle in the holding yards
Spot sitting there with a smug look on her face.

I undertsand that some of the smarts in blue cattle dogs and kelpies comes from the dingo blood.

FollowupID: 829323

Follow Up By: Dingojim - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 21:55

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 21:55
Following up from my earlier post I can assure you that Dingos are far and away smarter than any of our domesticated breeds. It is like comparing good wine to vinegar. The Bantam is spot on as both the Australian Cattle Dog and the Kelpie are Dingo hybrids. During my studies of Dingos in the wild I have noticed a marked increase in the number of mongrel x breeds over the last 8 or so years and some of them are bloody scary animals. I have had a young Dingo x Alsation dog front me and my 3 dogs with a lip curling, snarling demo that was not enjoyable and when he fell over another dog and bitch put on a similar display but from about 40 metres. They were both eventually despatched. It is these mongrel x breeds which are a real threat and it is often very difficult to tell the difference. I have difficulty sometimes and I've has a bit of practise. I can see the evolution of an almost superdog for want of a better word. The signs are apparent already with the bait shy animals becoming very common. Natural genetic superiority will make the mongrel x breed of the future a formidable foe. A very effective way of deterring a threatening dog is a marine smoke flare lobbed at them but not if you're risking starting a wild fire. Out of date flares fill the bill.
FollowupID: 829346

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 22:18

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 22:18
Jim mate can you give us any insight to their music preferences.

I understand that dingoes are actually smart enough to know and can most certainly sing in harmony.

I believe they may be partial to slim dusty and a bit of blues.

FollowupID: 829351

Follow Up By: Dingojim - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 23:08

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 23:08
Bantam my knowledge on this is not good but I have a 15 month old who does a mean rendition of Walzting Matilda although a couple of fellow campers have suggested I make an effort to improve my vocals. Most people get a kick out of her act with a fair few videoing. We could bob up anywhere in the Eastern States. Cheers.
FollowupID: 829356

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 22:55

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 22:55
Her name is Daisy. :)

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AnswerID: 542768

Reply By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 20:23

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 20:23
G'day Arlo..... great thread and lots of info. Mostly correct which is testament to the experience and knowledge of the posters on here.

I'll add my bit. Dingoes in their pure sense are very shy and timid. They are opportunistic hunters are will generally only come into camp while you're asleep or after you've left. There have only been around 200 factually documented dingo attacks since records were kept. In comparison to about 2000 per year for domestic dogs.

Dingoes do cop a lot of bad publicity. It seems whenever someone sees a tan dog with pointy ears it "must be a dingo". The fact is that pure dingoes are extremely rare in the wild with the exception of F.I. which has a very pure and concentrated population. This has put them in competition with each other for the limited food that exists on the island. They have now evolved to the point where they no longer fear humans and sadly, pup season also coincides with the tourist season....see my point?

It's a sad fact that Australia's own top order predator is losing it's identity through the misfortune of their genetic make-up being compatible with the domestic dog hence producing some very undesirable and unpredictable traits. FYI..... Dingoes and Dogs are scientifically classified as two separate species and not related. They have about as much in common as a donkey and a zebra.

I'm lucky enough to have a pure bred dingo in our family. I have three children and she is brilliant with them. Much more than my grumpy Maltese X Poodle. When we have visitors around, she hides under our bed and doesn't come out until the visitors have left. This is representative of their behaviour in the wild. She truly is amazing.

I've travelled Australia's interior and have seen "Dingoes". My advice is don't approach them because their purity must always be in question. Don't feed them and don't leave food scraps around the camp at night. If you do get spooked by one, don't ever run and carry on as they'll see this as though you are an injured animal and are more likely to attack.

They are a beautiful animal and much misunderstood. Watch, observe and learn. Don't be scared of them.....if you respect their space, they'll respect yours.
Have fun and enjoy your trip.
AnswerID: 542813

Follow Up By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 20:54

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 20:54
I forgot to add that they are a very curious breed. Any noise or smell that's not familiar to them will warrant a full investigation by them.

Hence a snorer who's eaten baked beans will generally attract a fair bit of attention during the night.

Dingoes have a far more superior sense of smell and hearing than ole' yellow down the road and their cognitive thought process along with their extreme dexterity means that food sources need to be locked up securely.

Shoes, keys, clothing etc that emits odours are high on their list of desirable things and need to be kept secured at night. We've had plenty of TV remotes destroyed purely because the kids leave sticky finger prints on them which attract Dina.

As a gauge.....unlike domestics where the widest part of their body is the chest, the Dingoes widest point is their head (like a mouse) so if you can keep access points smaller than a Dingoes head, your stuff will be safe-ish. Their double jointed paws and 180 degree plus head rotation is something else to marvel at though.
FollowupID: 829435

Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 21:41

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 21:41
I've seen heaps of dingo's never had an issue with them.

Seen heaps of wild dogs, particularly in the North Western corner of Victoria, all the dogs were hanging on various farmers fences and no longer presented a threat :)

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