How Do Dingoes Hunt – Alone or In Packs?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 06/03/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Learn more about the ancient wild dogs found in K’gari and most parts of Australia.

Dingoes are Australia’s wild dogs that have been present on Australia’s mainland for at least 3500 years. They are found across Australia from the outback to the rainforest, and even on K’gari (Fraser Island). But how do they survive, and do they prefer to hunt alone or in packs?

Dingoes hunt alone and in packs

These wild dogs can hunt both alone and in packs, depending on the size of the prey they are targeting. Dingoes prefer to hunt larger prey, so you’ll likely see them hunting in packs.
The larger prey they hunt include kangaroos, feral pigs, and even water buffaloes. If these larger animals aren’t around, dingoes will search for rabbits, birds, and lizards.

What time of day do dingoes hunt?   

Dingoes usually hunt at dawn, dusk, and throughout the night. They tend to hunt during these hours, as it’s much cooler compared to during the day. Some parts of Australia can reach temperatures of more than 40 degrees Celsius, so dingoes will shelter away from the heat.

What if I see a dingo?

If you encounter a dingo, it is best to leave them alone and slowly walk away from them while still facing them. Interacting with them will only encourage them to continue returning to the area and possibly harm you or other travelers.

The different types of dingoes

  • Tropical

These ginger and creamy white coated dingoes are known as tropical dingoes. They are found in forests and wetlands in northern and northwestern Australia.

  • Alpine

Aline dingoes are found along eastern Australia. These dingoes can be a range of coat colours from ginger, sable, white/cream, and black and tan. Towards the end of autumn, they grow a thicker second coat, prepping them for the winter months, before shedding it all towards mid spring.

  • Desert

Throughout central Australia, you can spot a desert dingo. These dingoes typically have reddish, sandy, or golden yellow coats.

  • K’gari 

The K’gari dingoes are found on K’gari and have a ginger or golden sandy coat. It’s believed the K’gari dingoes are the purest strain of dingo in Australia. They are also known to hunt for fish.

While you’re visiting K’gari, there is a likelihood you could encounter a dingo in the wild. As mentioned earlier, keep your distance from them and walk away. They are wild animals and can be unpredictable and dangerous to humans.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.