African wild dog: characteristics, behavior, and habitat

African wild dog: characteristics, behavior, and habitat

African wild dog

Behold the African wild dog. Also known as African painted dog, African hunting dog, painted hunting dog, or painted wolf, this animal is found int he Sub-Saharan Africa. As of classification, this wild dog belongs to the same family as our domestic dog.  This is why we thought it would be cool to mention some interesting facts about this cousin.

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Physical characteristics

If you were to look closely at the face of a wild dog, you will notice a certain resemblance to the domestic dog. This dog is bulky and solid. They usually weigh 44 to 55 lb and stand at 24 to 30 in. Females are generally smaller than males. His body is slim and dog ears are unusually large. His head is broader and shorter than the other canids. Their coat has no underfur and it mostly consists of stiff bristle hairs.


This is a strongly social animal so he is rarely found alone. The packs usually consist of 2-27 adults and yearlings. Usually, males tend to outnumber females 3:1 in the packs. East Africa populations do not seem to have any fixed breeding season. However, those located in Southern Africa breed during April-July. The dog gestation period of the wild dog is 69-73 days. The African wild dog usually hunts for medium-sized antelopes. They hunt in packs and, along with the cheetah, they are the only diurnal long African large predators.


You will usually find wild dogs in arid zones and savannas more than in forests. However, they will go through forests and greener lands if it is about chasing prey. In fact, there have been identified wild dogs living in forests, especially in Ethiopia. They have also been spotted in high spots of Zimbabwe.

The African wild dog is definitively one interesting cousin of your pooch. He can fend by himself but your pup probably cannot. Here in Dogalize, we have awesome resources as well as useful tips and tricks on how to best care for your pooch. Visit us and look around to discover everything we can do for you.