African wild dog resting on the ground

African wild dog

African wild dogs form packs of up to 40 members, each with a dominant breeding pair, that remain monogamous for life. These gregarious animals are co-operative hunters, relying on sight rather than smell to pinpoint their prey. Hunts tend to occur at dawn and dusk, but on occasion the dogs will venture out if there is a full moon. They chase until their prey tires, reaching speeds up to 55 kmph, and sometimes disemboweling prey it while it is still running.

Scientific name: Lycaon pictus

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • African hunting dog,
  • Cape hunting dog,
  • Painted hunting dog,
  • Painted wolf,
  • Spotted dog

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Map showing the distribution of the African wild dog taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The African wild dog can be found in a number of locations including: Africa. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the African wild dog distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status


  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Carnivora
  6. Dogs
  7. Lycaon
  8. African wild dog

BBC News about African wild dog

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