Wild Dog Control

Wild dogs can vary in their appearance depending on the breed of dog they descend from.

Most wild dogs are short haired. Dingoes have distinctive short bristled tails and generally have a ginger coat with white points (on the ears, feet, and tail). Dingoes can also have coats that are cream, black and tan or black and white.

Black dingoes are not widespread in Australia. Other coat colours, such as sable, brindle, patchy ginger and white and patchy black and white indicate domestic or hybrid wild dogs.

Wild dog dingo hybrids can appear very similar to pure dingoes and are often very hard to distinguish from dingoes on external appearance alone.

Wild dogs can differ in size and weight. Dingoes average a weight of 16 kilograms, while hybrids or feral dogs usually weigh between 11 to 24 kilograms. Wild dogs have been known to weigh up to 60 kilograms.

Generally, wild dogs are most active at dawn and dusk however activity can occur day or night. The majority of this activity occurs within the wild dog’s home range.

Two types of wild dog movements have been identified. Intense wild dog activity within a small area is usually associated with hunting; large angular turns are frequent in this behaviour.

Their exploratory movement involves larger areas being covered in a more direct manner by wild dogs. This type of movement has been suggested as a method to maintain communication by the visiting of scent posts.

The average distance covered per day is 15 kilometres and dogs spend 65 percent of a day active and 35 percent of the day taking short rests.

Wild dogs are social animals and when conditions are favourable, can form packs which maintain distinct territories. The main function of forming a pack is to defend resources such as hunting areas. Pack territories may overlap somewhat with other adjoining packs of wild dogs.

Pack members can cooperate to hunt large prey and take part in communal activities such as feeding and raising pups.

Wild dog packs often form sub-groups to operate within the group population.

Individual wild dogs, that are not associated with a pack, tend to have a large range area that may cross over many different territories. These lone dogs may be dispersing from their birth group looking for new territories or a mate.

Wild dogs eat a variety of domestic animals including sheep, cattle, and goats. The main diet of wild dogs consists of kangaroo, rabbit, wallaby, rodents, birds, brushtail possum, common wombat and a variety of other species dependent on location.

The peak breeding season for wild dogs is Autumn to Winter. They breed one to two times per year and the average gestation period is 63 days

Wild dogs may have litters of between 1-10 pups, with a mean litter size of approximately five pups.

Trapping

In many instances, trapping does not have a long-term effect on the wild dog population.

The number of dogs caught and killed during trapping operations can be replaced as quickly as the dogs are removed.

If the food source remains in situ, the culling may act to increase wild dog numbers in a given area above the pre-cull number.

If you decide to implement a trapping program to remove resident wild dogs the source of food must be removed, otherwise, the trapping exercise may be pointless.

Baiting

Licensed pest management technicians use various baiting methods to capture the wild animal.

Shooting

Licensed pest management technicians kill wild dogs with a firearm to reduce wild dog numbers only when necessary. This method of control can be effective where dog numbers are low and other options of control are limited.

Every situation will be assessed by the pest management technician to determine if it’s the only option remaining.