John William Cooper is a self-taught dingo wrangler and has spent more than 30 years being fascinated with Australia’s most famous dogs. An expert in dingo ‘lingo’, he could also be termed a dingo whisperer and spends his time rescuing and rearing dingo pups, as well as being Australia’s go-to man on everything dingo related. John has made numerous media appearances, most notably in Dingo Love, a film that aired on ABC in Australia. It was also shown in numerous cinemas and was a finalist at a number of film festivals.
John grew up on Woodford Island in the Clarence River and lived there until he was 14 with his five siblings and parents. He was very sporty when younger and succeeded in amateur boxing. He undertook a range of different jobs including swimming pool attendant and blacksmith, until he settled on a cattle farm in Nymboida. It was here in Nymboida that he spotted his first dingo and it was love at first sight. John was intrigued by the pups that he would see wandering around and used to observe them, occasionally trying to catch one to see if it could be tamed. Six years ago, after finding a littler in a hollow log, his intense relationship with dingoes really began in earnest and he started to see himself as “their human”, rather than “his dingoes”.
Today he spends time travelling around, educating people about dingoes and sharing his experiences. Dingoes can pose a threat, especially to cattle, so John also finds wild pups, trains and rehomes them, in a bid to control dog numbers and maintain cattle populations in key areas.
John still lives in Nymboida on a 750-acre ranch on which he has a herd of cross-bred cattle – and numerous dingoes – most of whom can hear his car coming from two miles away! His three adult children visit regularly and share his passion for conservation and the outdoor life.