Jump to content
DogsAndTheMob

Wild dogs and dingos

35 posts in this topic

I have seen wild dogs on three occasions - one wild dog was on my own acreage, making its way around a partially completed sheep-mesh fence. The other two sightings were also in the Hunter Valley. All three dogs looked very much like typical dingos in size, colour, coat, ears and tail. This surprises me, because I would expect wild dogs in this area to be largely descended from domestic dogs. In particular, why were they all ginger coloured? Looking at news reports and photos on the internet, not all wild dogs are ginger, but that colour does seem much more common than it is in domestic dogs. Why? Wolves and coyotes are commonly grey. Is there a selective advantage to the ginger colour in the Australian environment? Any ideas?

 

For those people who are interested, this website maps reports of wild dog sightings and damage. One of the dingos I saw was very close to a reported sighting of 10 wild dogs.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't take very long for phenotype to change over generations, something like only 3 or 4 maybe until you start to breed a standard kind of "type". There's an interesting article I've seen recently about out-crossing for breed betterment and it only took a few generations for the dogs to return to standard.

With regards to colour, fawn, sable or ginger as you've called it is the most common and dominant allele in the agouti series, a^y as it is referred to when talking about genes. The wild type like wolves have is generally a^w. 

I find feral/wild dogs very interesting and would love to study them one day, learn about how long it takes for dogs to become wild, the movement habits and hunting habits, all those sorts of exciting things :D 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gillybob   

I find it interesting as well. I used to see Dingo's inland from Noosa all the time, some where ginger but others were darker, I have seen wild dogs out of town here darker ginger.

I asked a while ago about feral cats and how large they become after a few years. Huge cats.

I also asked about wild dogs and if they settle to a dingo size after generations.

Or is it that only the smaller faster dogs are strong enough to breed, the same with the cats, only the larger cats survive in the wild.

 

Interesting stuff.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RuralPug   

Pure dingoes do come in colours other than ginger, but it is the predominant colour in all of the dingo sub species. The desert dingo has the smallest percentage of non-gingers, the northern dingo the most. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i cannot find it but up in america there's someone on instagram who has been chronicling the changes in the wild dogs in their area. it's about 15+ years of wild dogs where the original ones were abandoned/ditched scent hounds and the like and they're quickly changing to that predominantly brown medium wild dog type. i remember thinking it interesting cause you could still see some houndy variations. they were vocal communicators, a bit heavier in set and quite a few hard large almost-drop ears.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, t a i l s. said:

With regards to colour, fawn, sable or ginger as you've called it is the most common and dominant allele in the agouti series, a^y as it is referred to when talking about genes. The wild type like wolves have is generally a^w. 

I guess that means that any dog that carries the a^y allele, in association with any other allele, will be ginger. In the absence of Inbreeding or selective breeding for colour, a lot of dogs would be a^y/a^?  

 

4 hours ago, gillybob said:

 

Or is it that only the smaller faster dogs are strong enough to breed, the same with the cats, only the larger cats survive in the wild.

 

Interesting stuff.

I imagine there might be a trade-off between strength, speed and stamina, with size and weight affecting all of these.

 

1 hour ago, Thistle the dog said:

i cannot find it but up in america there's someone on instagram who has been chronicling the changes in the wild dogs in their area. it's about 15+ years of wild dogs where the original ones were abandoned/ditched scent hounds and the like and they're quickly changing to that predominantly brown medium wild dog type. i remember thinking it interesting cause you could still see some houndy variations. they were vocal communicators, a bit heavier in set and quite a few hard large almost-drop ears.

I would really like to see that study. How much interbreeding between wolves, coyotes and dogs occurs in the wild?

 

Do wild dogs bark? My parents had two pure-bred dingos when I was a child, and they didn’t bark. I have heard that there are no purebred dingos in NSW, but it would be interesting to know what percentage of dingo genes are circulating in the wild dog population.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RuralPug said:

Pure dingoes do come in colours other than ginger, but it is the predominant colour in all of the dingo sub species. The desert dingo has the smallest percentage of non-gingers, the northern dingo the most. 

I have a photo of my mother playing with a white dingo at a zoo, teaching it to retrieve.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found it. It's not a study, it's a dude taking photos of the local feral/wild dogs near their farm and commenting on their lives. Think it's super interesting to see how coonhounds and beagles left to roam change and revert to the "average wild dog type", but the drop ears so far remain pretty predominant:

 

One of this year’s feral pups. They’re getting so lanky and narrow now. My step family lives in a rural area where feral dogs are common and have been present for many years. They all descend from beagle and coonhound strays originally. Now they’re...

 

I finally seen one of the feral males! For the first time in months, he’s not been seen. I had to stake out on my relative’s porch at evening to watch him come out of the woods and down the road a bit. I got a video of him too, which is to be posted...

 

Pulled up to a feral dog conference. Also, found out someone collared the older male the other day, but they don’t really keep him. My step aunt talked to the person who managed to catch him and they said they really don’t have a place for him, they...

 

Red disappeared for a couple months, and a neighbor of my relatives told me “One of the ferals died recently.” We all thought it was her. Obviously instead, she’s had pups somewhere in the woods. I hope we can find them.

 

be interesting to see what Red's (^) litter looks like. Will they become more prick eared? Does the shape of the ears matter that much in terms of survival and reproduction versus the move away from patterned coats and to shades of brown?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rozzie   

Around here the wild dogs are yellow. Guess they blend in with the terrain pretty well. Someone strung up 10 or so on the main road near couple of sheep properties.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RuralPug   

The wild dog research is interesting about the floppy ears.
In at least one breed that has a choice of floppy or prick ears (Papillon/Phalene) the gene(s) for prick ears are said to be dominant over floppy. Now if this holds true to all dog breeds, and if it is a simple dominant then the wild pack that began with all floppy eared dogs above will not be able to "develop" prick ears unless there is a mutation or (more likely) a prick eared dog joins the pack and adds his/her genes.
On the other hand, some speculate (I lean to this theory) that the carriage of the ear is simply dependent upon it's weight and length - if this is the case, and if there is a survival advantage in prick ears, then you would assume that given enough generations, the smaller ears which the ear cartilage can support upright would be selected for, and the wild pack could end up with prick ears in that fashion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, DogsAndTheMob said:
On 1/7/2018 at 10:43 AM, t a i l s. said:

With regards to colour, fawn, sable or ginger as you've called it is the most common and dominant allele in the agouti series, a^y as it is referred to when talking about genes. The wild type like wolves have is generally a^w. 

I guess that means that any dog that carries the a^y allele, in association with any other allele, will be ginger. In the absence of Inbreeding or selective breeding for colour, a lot of dogs would be a^y/a^?  

Well all alleles are "connected" to each other, so depending on what else the dog may carry will determine what colour it presents as.

Taken from one of my favourite websites -

"Broadly speaking, the agouti series controls which cells produce eumelanin (black pigment, or liver/isabella/blue when modified) and, in the case of the agouti gene itself, when."

 

But yeah, I would say a large portion of dogs will be a^y or a^w.

a^t is traditional tan points and 'a' is recessive black, so usually found by selective breeding and are one of those things that can "pop" up occasionally without there being 'black and tan' for many generations. 

 

Our dingoes have occurred in all the agouti series ('a' allele) as well as with brindle markings and 'irish white' a type of white spotting, don't think i've ever seen a piebald though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tdierikx   

I have 3 of these in my yard at the moment... pure dingoes... only fostering...

 

5a532263c8d2d_24-12-2017-sdr-pups027.thumb.jpg.d34636891c126df9d0d95670a0eed75f.jpg

 

T.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gillybob   

Maybe the reason why Dingos and their cousins around the world are so successful is they hunt by scent, sight and sound.

Look at those lovely ears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the topic of the ears and colour, the basenji x spaniel study the floppy ears were dominant. And even in the second crossing where the genetics became less predictable the floppy ears, shape of muzzle and general body structure were the least changed. I would hazard that the visual coat pattern and length of fur are the quickest to change/generalise (environment pending) because they would be one of the more significant parts of the physiology affecting survival than if the ears are big, or flopped? Not tha the usual prick ears won't have their benefits just that I can see it as less immediately impacty on feral dogs gone wild. Even Black and Tan is less visual than say white with black spots. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wild dogs  around here are mostly dingo type ..sandy, B/T , erect ears .I hesitate to say "Dingo"  for most of them ..bound to be dog in the line somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all, that person I watch posted some updates on their local feral dogs. They found one of the current litter of puppies wandering in a storm and have taken it in. Will be interesting to see how it behaves, being a few generations removed from human handling:

 

tumblr_p558lnkq6n1w5ej4ho1_1280.jpg

 

Here is a recent photo of Red, the dropeared feral I posted earlier:

 

tumblr_p51r7rcc351w5ej4ho2_1280.jpg

 

Here are some of the other puppies that they had stumbled across on a walk.

 

Interesting they are still pretty drop eared:

 

tumblr_p51q5czMpz1w5ej4ho1_1280.jpg

 

in this picture you can see the one who was found in the storm! 

tumblr_p51q5czMpz1w5ej4ho3_1280.jpg

 

I wonder how the white one up back will fare compared to its red and black/tan siblings? (as you can see, the pack had objections to human presence)

tumblr_p51q5czMpz1w5ej4ho2_1280.jpg

 

the older pup up front has slightly raised drop ears, it is copying the adults barking at the people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Thistle the dog said:

Red, the dropeared feral

want.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tdierikx   

OMG! Those pups look pretty good for ferals... cute too... *grin*

 

T.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, tdierikx said:

OMG! Those pups look pretty good for ferals... cute too... *grin*

 

T.

way too cute ....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×