Title: Dingoes, the ‘missing link’ between wolves and domestic dogs?
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The dingo, a wild living canid endemic to Australia is one of the world’s most controversial animals, and remains a source of significant contradiction. It is considered both a native animal and an invasive pest; a tourist draw card and a dangerous threat; devastating to the agricultural industry yet crucial for a healthy ecosystem; a baby killer and a beloved companion. Some suggest that dingoes are an example of a ‘proto’ dog- one of the earliest living forms of the domestic dog, but the dingoes past remains enigmatic. This presentation explores the fascinating and little known story of the dingo. With the dingo-human relationship as a central theme, it traces the intriguing journey of the dingo from its possible beginnings as a semi domesticated wild dog in Asia, to its current status as a wild animal under threat of extinction. During this time, the dingo has demonstrated an unparalleled intelligence and adaptable nature seen in few species. In this presentation, Dr. Bradley Smith will attempt to define what a dingo is, how it relates to other members of the Canid family in terms of genetics, physiology, cognition and behaviour. As one of the few remaining wild dogs left in the world, he argues how dingoes offer valuable insight into the domestication of wolves and the traditional human–canid relationship.
Sponsor: Etraining for Dogs
Speaker(s): Dr. Bradley Smith, PhD ( Dr. Monique Udell, PhD Moderator)