Map: African wild dog rangeAfrican Wild Dog Range

Growing up in Africa, I spent many years amongst our pack of bullmastiffs-Boerboels and plenty of wildlife. Lions, giraffes and elephants were always within view as were the shy African wild dogs, who most times kept their distance but could always be heard. These wild dogs are rarely seen in their natural habitat and they are South Africa’s most highly endangered mammal species,thus the need to support  conservation of this great wild dog.Wildlife Wednesday helps to support or fund  research and conservation of  endangered wildlife . So choose a project, your favorite wild animal and help protect it.Tweet every Wednesday and name one favorite wildlife conservation project to your users.Please RT  this tweet.

  • The African wild dog belongs to the family Canidae, the dog family and is a distant cousin of the domesticated dog and the wolf.
  • The wild dog or painted wolf is magnificently colored in black, deep brown, gold and white. Each has a unique pattern.
  • He is long- legged and slender with a deep curiousity and graceful motion.
  • His tail is large and always tipped with white and is used much as a domesticated dog uses his tail, to indicate mood.
  • The wild dog weighs in at between 40-80 pounds and stands about 30 inches at the shoulder.
  • These awesome wild dogs are born to hunt and are well suited for Africa. Their teeth are unique, as they have highly specialized shearing teeth.
  •  They also only have four toes instead of five.
  •  But how is this painted wolf similar to the domesticated dog?
  • Wild dogs will lick at the alpha animal, mimicking their pups’ behavior that caused adults in the pack to regurgitate food. Wild dogs will also lie on their sides in submission and will expose their throats and genitals to the dominant dog.
  • Domesticated dogs will bark and jump up to greet us, as do wild dogs who greet each other at dawn leaping and grunting around.
  • These painted wolves, as they are often called prefer fresh kills. They will kill only for food and prey on large or small prey such as gazelle and zebra and hunt in packs.

Unfortunately, these wild dogs have been driven away by human encroachment and canine diseases like rabies and distemper have taken its toll. Their lifespan is 4-6 years in the wild.

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