BLOG May 8, 2017

Interesting Facts About African Wild Dogs: The Leaders Of The Pack

African Wild Dogs are often judged by their appearance, but there’s much more to this endangered animal than meets the eye. Their irregular fur patterns and musky colours can make them seem unclean and unkempt, and their tendency to live and travel in packs can make them appear aggressive and confrontational. However, perception shouldn’t always be believed.

African Wild Dogs are incredibly social animals who are devoted to the friendship and camaraderie of within their pack. They form strong bonds, showing care and support to pack members who may be ill or weak. Intelligent communication helps them through all walks of life, whether it’s hunting for food, understanding family roles or locating safety.

Despite this will to work together and survive, African Wild Dogs are an endangered species. If their population numbers are to improve, they will need support from conservation projects.

In this infographic, we share some interesting facts about African Wild Dogs and explain how you can get involved with supporting their species out in Africa.

African Wild Dogs Facts

View a text based version of the fact file here.

African wild dog facts infographic

View a text based version of the fact file here.

At African Conservation Experience we support worthwhile conservation projects that strive to improve the population numbers of African Hunting Dogs.

If you’d like to learn more about African Wild Dog conservation work in Africa, take a look at some of the projects we have available below:

Mangetti Wild Dog And Elephant Protection

Volunteer with African wild dogs

Along with the African Elephant, the African Wild Dog is an iconic species which sits at the core of a conflict between humans and wildlife. Africa’s population continues to expand and as human settlements encroach on habitat, communities often come into conflict with wildlife.

The Mangetti project focuses on research which identifies the levels and causes of conflict in an effort to devise an effective conservation plan.

Learn more about the Mangetti Wild Dog and Elephant Protection project by clicking the button below.

View Project

Elephant And Predator Study And Okavango Experience

Research and study African wild dog

At the Elephant And Predator Okavango Experience you’ll have the chance to observe predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs.

Learn a range of monitoring techniques, including line transects, camera traps and wildlife surveys, while heading into the Okavango Delta for some incredible wildlife observation hotspots.

Learn more about this project by clicking the button below.

View Project

Read the stats from the infographic below!

Wild Dog Fact File

The African wild dog is one of the world’s most endangered mammals and can be identified by its long legs and irregular fur patterns. Wild dogs live in packs and are extremely social and known to help other members of the pack when weak or ill. The same goes for hunting, with up to 20 working together. Once mature, males stay with their original pack while females generally seek a new group.


Status: Endangered
Population: Estimated 6,600
Scientific Name: Lycaon Pictus
Size (Adult): 30in height, 30-56in length
Weight (Adult): 40-70lbs
Max Speed: Up to 44mph
Habitat: Deserts, forests & grasslands – all parts of the savannah biome


Where can you find African Wild Dogs?

As a nomadic species, African wild dogs have huge territories, with packs in the Serengeti holding an estimated territory range of 900 square miles each. The African Wild Dog can typically be found in:

  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


Did you know?

  1. African wild dog packs have an 80% success rate when hunting, thanks to high levels of communication.
  2. African wild dogs generally live up to the age of 11 when living in the wild.
  3. The African wild dog can run up to 44mph – the same as a greyhound!
  4. The African wild dog has incredible hearing, with muscles allowing its large rounded ears to swivel.
  5. The African wild dog is extremely loyal to its species and habitat, failing to become domesticated by humans.
  6. African wild dogs use abandoned underground warthog and porcupine dens to give birth in.
  7. Pups are given priority over dominant pack members for feeding.
  8. Following a hunt African wild dogs will regurgitate meats for any pups in their litter.


Find me at African Conservation Experience Wild Dog Research & Conservation!

Learn more about wild dog conservation in their natural habitat with an unforgettable ‘on the ground experience’ at African Conservation Experience. Whether you’re setting up camera traps to monitor Wild Dogs, or trekking into the Okavango Delta, African Conservation Experience’s ‘Mangetti Wild Dog & Elephant Protection‘ and ‘Okavango Wilderness‘ projects are a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that really makes a difference.

More African Wild Dog Articles


From Africa to your inbox, hear all the latest news

Get in Touch