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The Wild Dog

The African wild dog, also called the hunting dog, is a a highly intelligent and social animal. Like most predators, it plays an important role in eliminating sick and weak animals, thereby helping maintain a natural balance and ultimately improving prey species.

About The African Wild Dog

Parks Where Found

Physical Characteristic

  • It has a colorful, patchy coat,
  • Large bat-like ears and
  • Its bushy tail has a white tip that may serve as a flag to keep the pack in contact while hunting.

Natural Environment

Wild dogs live mostly in arid zones and in the savanna. They also are found in woodland and montane habitats where their prey lives.


African wild dogs live in packs of 6 - 20. The aggression exhibited towards prey is completely nonexistent between members of the pack and there is little intimidation among the social hierarchy.

Their large range of vocalizations includes a short bark of alarm, a rallying howl and a bell-like contact call that can be heard over long distances. Elaborate greeting rituals are accompanied by twittering and whining. The entire pack is involved in the welfare of the pups, which are born in thick brush or in a den.


Wild dogs prey on gazelles and other antelopes, warthogs, wildebeest calves, rats and birds. They have a peculiar, playful ceremony that initiates each hunt: they circulate among themselves, vocalizing and touching until they get excited. When prey is targeted, some of the dogs run close to the animal, while others follow behind, taking over when the leaders tire.

Predators and Threats

Wild dogs have been shot and poisoned by farmers & hunters.

Facts for Fun

  • No two wild dogs are marked exactly the same, making it easy to identify different individuals.
  • Wild dogs are usually on the move over a very large range.



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