Australian Dingoes

A dingo, which grew up from a puppy with station and cattle and sheepdogs, learned to work sheep but went back to the sheep killer by night.

The pup became the pet of the children and grew up with station pups and dogs.

He was fed and trained like the other dogs, and was bedded down and chained up or left loose at night in the same way.

As the pup grew up, it was taken out into the paddocks with the sheepdogs, to watch and learn how to work sheep.

The dingo took to this work intelligently and became a splendid sheepdog.

It obeyed orders just like the other sheepdogs, and never showed any desire to bite or savage sheep.

The dingo also hunted with the station dogs, caught rabbits and hares with them, and was generally regarded as a fine, living exhibit of the perfectly domesticated and disciplined dingo.

So that when some sheep were found dead in a paddock one morning, it was hard to believe that this well-trained and well-behaved dingo could have been responsible.

Still, the experiment had not terminated—could not end, in fact, for the natural life of the dingo, which had to be suspect.

The dingo was tested by chaining and unchaining him on alternate nights.

It was found, that when the dingo was chained up, no sheep were killed, but when he was unchained, sheep were found dead in the paddocks.

That seemed to point to the apparently tamed and domesticated dingo as the killer, but to make doubly sure, a close watch was set at the station and out in the paddocks on another night, when the dingo had been left off the chain.

That night, when the dingo thought everything was quiet about the homestead, and everyone had gone to bed, it was seen to leave the yard, and move out across the paddocks in the direction of another watcher.

Some minutes later the dingo was found attacking sheep — caught in the act.

The dingo had proved a perfectly tame pet of the children, and a good sheepdog by day, but at night, the beast’s killer instinct got the better of years of domesticated training and discipline, and it went out to kill for killing’s sake.

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