Unusual features/differences from similar
Every wild dog has a unique pattern like a human iris or fingerprint. No dew claws
exist on the front legs
Males are slightly bigger than females.
Very wide ranging. Only very large protected areas can maintain viable
wild dog populations.
Open grasslands and open woodland. The threat of predation by lions keeps wild dogs out of
Main prey is antelope in the 15-50 kg range,
such as impala; kudu, as well as smaller prey like
hares, warthogs and
bat-eared foxes. Wild dogs do not hunt adult
wildebeest and zebra
because they stand their ground against the wild dogs. Very rarely scavenges.
Only the dominant pair of the pack breeds, but a second female
can give birth to litters with more than one father.
Litters of 12-21 pups are born in May-June after a gestation of 70 days. Eats
regurgitated meat at 2-3 weeks and are weaned at 5-10 weeks. When prey is
abundant wild dog populations can increase quickly.
Behavior and Habits
Packs normally hunt by day and also sometimes in moonlight
but are are most active in the early morning and evening.They use roads in game
reserves to gain
advantage over prey. The prey animal is chased for over 4 km (most chases are
1-3 km) and are killed by disembowelment and dismembering. Pack members
separated from the pack find their way back to it by smell.
alpha pair dominate the pack and only they mark their areas with urine. Packs have home ranges
of 400-1100 km. Pups are born and raised in the underground den. All pack members care for
the pups. Pups start running with the pack at 3 months and join hunts
at 14 months.
A bird-like 'whooo' which carries for 2-3 km, used as a long-range contact call.
Twittering sounds during
social interactions. The alarm call is a
short, deep, growly bark. Puppies whine in distress.
Dung and Field Sign
Dung 7 cm long and very often contains hair.