Wednesday, February 2, 2011


The rugged ranges of the ACT, bordered by fine livestock country on the edge of modern day Canberra, have long been both home and killing field for wild dogs. In the 1800's it was the native Dingo wreaking havoc on the flocks and by the 1900's the domestic dog had interbred with the dingo compounding the problem.

From this newspaper clipping stray dogs were also obviously a problem for 1940's inner suburban Canberra. Remembering that this was a time when un-resumed farming leases still butted up to the inner suburban edges the populace's neglect of household dogs would have intensified a long held problem. Even today, the 2000's, recent reports of packs of wild dogs surface from the Namadgi National Park in the ACT. 

I personally have seen packs in the Brindabella Ranges and despair at their numbers and resilience despite consistent attempts to eradicate them. What struck me most was their size and pig-dog like mix of breeds. Also I think this article is interesting because the Broken Hill 'Barrier Miner' thought it important enough to publish it but then I know how much interest there was around the country at the time for 'detrimental' Canberra Stories. In some ways the same sentiment I believe holds true today...

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), - 2 August 1941

National Library of Australia

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  1. Graziers in this area have had a good deal of trouble from ferral dogs over the years. I have even been attacked by ferral dogs, here and in the Territory, but never by dingoes.

  2. Very little dingo in these mongrels Keith. Lost pig dogs and suburban strays have destroyed the gene pool. There have been a few reports locally about dog packs in the mountain reserves and one chap claims to have had to fight some off in Namadgi (at night) recently damaging his telescope which he used in his defense.

    There are baiting programs carried out in the mountains periodically but it never seems to totally get rid of them. Cheers

  3. You cannot destroy a gene pool, you are talking nonsense. If there is "very little dingo" in them then obviously their genes were good enough for survival and can be considered a boon for the dog-population.
    I think the old article interesting in another way:
    Even back then there were people who always babbled about the wild dogs and what a problem they are, just like today, the problem is , if they are such a menace why are there still sheep owners around?

  4. I think it was more in relation to the consistent stock losses Anonymous. And I stand by there being very little dingo if any in the hills around Canberra.


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