An Australian research firm will be on a one-year project to analyze the smell of urine of dingoes, a threatened wild dog species, to manage the pest animal's activities in farms and villages.

According to researchers, dogs mark their territories with urine and the chemicals in the urine contain messages that other dogs understand.

“The research aims to isolate those chemicals and work out which odour is responsible for sending the ‘no trespassing’ message,” senior scientist Dr Alan Robley at Victoria-based Department of Sustainability and Environment’s (DSE) said in a statement on Thursday.

It is estimated that wild dogs roughly cause damage to livestock worth $64 million annually throughout Australia.

DSE aims to develop artificial urine with similar chemical composition and odour that could be used as a non-lethal barrier to wild dogs entering areas such as farms or suburbs.

“The analysis involves separating out fragments of chemicals in the dingo urine and then determining which fragments are dominant. So far the dominant smells in the urine have been identified as resembling a mixture of strawberries and cardboard,” a researcher said.

The project is being seen as an effective way to control wild dog activities as, if successful, it will improve “existing control measures, such as baiting, trapping and shooting programs.”


A wild dog, also known as a dingo, is seen caught in a trap in the Namadgi National Park, located south of Canberra, in this handout photo taken December 2004. Dingoes are part dog, part wolf, a last remnant of Asia's ancestor to modern dogs. PHOTO: REUTERS