Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Truth about Dingoes: 2

Most female dingoes become sexually mature at two years but can have pups in their first breeding season. Unlike domestic dogs, dingoes only have pups once a year and it is usually only the dominant pair of each pack will breed successfully and raise pups.

Dens are well hidden and very carefully guarded. The other pack members also help to rear the pups. The social system within packs means that not all pups can survive to adulthood. Usually only two pups will survive to the next breeding season. Generally pups usually become independent at 3–4 months of age, or if in a pack, when the next breeding season begins.

June to August is feeding time for newborn pups.

Once new born pups arrive, their mothers may be aggressive. They need to find food for themselves and their pups. Alpha mothers are very domineering during this stage, even killing another mother’s pups if she has mated with one of the pack. It’s all about survival of the strongest and the alpha pair want their pups to survive.

September to November is when pups are learning to hunt.

December to February is when they are usually learning pack rules.

Pups learn pack rules through play, and showing aggressive behaviour to gain dominance.

Dingo pups usually first venture out from their natal den at three weeks of age. Then by around eight weeks, the natal den is abandoned, and pups occupy various rendezvous dens until fully weaned at 8 weeks. Pups usually roam by themselves within 3 km of these dens, but are accompanied by adults on longer treks. Both the male and female pack members help the mother introduce the pups to whole food (9 to 12 weeks), usually by gorging on a kill then returning to the den to regurgitate food to the pups. The mother waters the pups by regurgitation, as well. Pups become independent at 3-4 months, but often assist in the rearing of younger pups until they reach sexual maturity at around 20 months old.

Information reproduced with permission from http://jennyleeparker3.wixsite.com/aussie-canis-dingo

Understanding dingoes pack behaviour is vital to understanding why often dog attacks on stock rarely diminish regardless of how stringent the control methods are to reduce dingo numbers.

Destruction of the pack structure may mean immature dingoes seeking food and a mate without the guidance, control and training of their elders. That is when young dingoes are likely to go rogue.

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