This research evaluates the impact of wild dogs on beef cattle calves in extensive grazing systems. Although annual calf loss caused by wild dogs can be as high as 32%, in most years predation loss could not be detected. Surprisingly, calf predation was higher and occurred more often where baiting had occurred compared to adjoining areas where baiting had not occurred. I speculate that dispersing wild dogs that re-colonise baited areas kill more calves than wild dogs in stable packs because they lack the group hunting skills and group size to efficiently switch to larger (kangaroo) prey when smaller, preferred prey become unavailable (especially during drought). 1080 baiting programs had no detectable short or long-term impact on reptile, bird, feral cat or native carnivore activity. These data show that while wild dogs have significant capacity to prey on beef cattle calves, wild dog control is unnecessary provided alternative prey resources are available and wild dogs are in stable populations. Coordinating control at a regional level to avoid wild dogs re-colonising is only beneficial in years, seasons or situations of low, preferred-prey availability.