Keeping dingoes as pets

You must have a permit to keep protected wildlife in the Northern Territory (NT).

Dingoes can’t be taken from the wild.

You can only purchase a dingo from a legal source, such as a breeder or supplier.

If you move interstate, you must check you can take dingoes there.

It is a condition of your permit that:

  • Parks and Wildlife staff will inspect your property
  • dingoes are desexed.

You may need council approvals.

Only approved permit holders are exempt from desexing for captive breeding purposes only.

Handling

Dingoes are active and inquisitive by nature.

Daily exercise and mental stimulation will help keep them in their enclosures.

Dingoes can bond very well to their family.

They can be aggressive toward other people and animals.

You must ensure that they are always controlled, especially if in a public area.

It is very difficult to re-home dingoes once they have formed bonds with their owners.

If you decide to keep a dingo, you must be able to commit to keeping them for many years.

Housing

You must keep your dingoes in accordance with the NT Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Dingoes are potentially very dangerous animals.

They can exhibit destructive and aggressive behaviours.

With their natural abilities in digging, climbing and jumping, they can escape.

You must meet specific requirements if you keep dingoes as pets

How to build enclosure

Two dingoes can have a minimum area of 30m2.

For every additional dingo, add 10m2.

Before you dig, go to Dial Before You Dig website.

Construction materials

Construct your fence using one of the following:

  • chain mesh with a minimum of 3.15mm wire, or
  • weldmesh with a minimum of 4mm wire with a maximum mesh spacing of 50mm.

Fence height

Your fence height must be one of the following:

  • 3.0 metres high from ground, or
  • minimum of 2.4 metres high.

If you choose to build your fence 2.4 metres high you will also need an:

  • additional 45 degree inward return of at least 400mm in length, or
  • the inward return is a full secure roof.

Prevent digging out

Stop dingoes digging out by fastening fences at the bottom. You can:

  • dig fence 500mm into ground, or
  • fit an inward-facing mesh skirt to fence bottom, at ground level.

The mesh should extend at right angles along the ground on the inside of the enclosure to 1 metre high. Prevent your dingo digging out by:

  • fastening to the ground, or
  • anchoring securely to a cement slab.

Enclosure tips

Position your enclosure so the dingoes have access to sunny and shady areas.

Include a weather proof sleeping area.

Make your enclosure interesting for dingoes by adding large logs and rocks.

Create a high spot in the centre.

They will use this to climb on and observe their surroundings.

All gates must be child proof and suitably locked to prevent escapes.

Feeding

Dingoes are naturally pack animals.

If more than one animal is kept in the same enclosure, a dominant-submissive relationship will develop.

Feed and provide fresh water for your dingo daily.

You must feed animals apart.

Always feed the dominant animal first. This will prevent dominance fights.

What to fed

Fed dingoes a varied diet, similar to what they eat in the wild.

You can feed them any of the following:

  • dried or tinned dog food
  • bones
  • rabbits
  • raw fish and chicken
  • cheese
  • vegetable matter
  • bones, lamb shanks
  • offal
  • rats and day-old chicks.

Don’t feed live animals to dingoes.

Hygiene and disease

Dingoes are susceptible to disease and infection just like common domestic dogs.

You should clean their enclosure daily.

Vaccinate your dingoes against disease, and regularly treat internal and external parasites.

They can catch diseases such as:

  • parvo
  • hookworm
  • tapeworm
  • distemper
  • coccidiosis
  • mange, ticks and lice.

Quarantine any new dingoes.

Last updated: 18 September 2020

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