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Wild Dog Facts
Facts About Wild Dogs

Many people assume that it is an African wild dog fact that they bite or kill many people, but in fact it is the wild dog that is killed by many people…they are an endangered species. It is in their nature to avoid humans unless they are exceptionally hunger and desperate.

It is human hunters (usually farmers who fear the wild dog will attack livestock), accidental snaring (in traps set up for other wild animals), succumbing to disease (rabies and distemper) and being hit by cars that lead to this species being killed off so quickly and now on the brink of extinction.

Where do wild dogs live? They live in East Africa in places that vary from wooded areas to open fields. Some can be found in living in mountain areas or semi-dessert like locations.  They tend to roam and are not territorial.

They are also known as the Cape Hunting dog or the Painted dog.

Average weight is 60 pounds (27 kg).

Average height is 27.5 inches (70 cm) from ground to shoulder.

Life span is 11 years on average with 10-12 years being the expected range. Those in captivity tend to live a bit longer.

Pregnancy lasts for an average of 70 days (1 week longer than domesticated dogs) and litter size will range from 2 to 8.

Side Note: For many years the Dingo was thought to be a wild dog, however they are now known to be feral...This means that they were once domestic dogs who have reverted back to living in the wild.   Dingos cannot be successfully domesticated...Even when they are raised by a human family, when they reach the age of 2 to 3 years old, their instinct to live with their own kind becomes stronger than their desire to remain with the humans that they knew from birth. 

Pup Facts

The dam (mother) feeds the wild dog puppies by regurgitating her food and then offering it to them.

Living in the wild makes newborns and pups very susceptible to disease, which is often fatal.

The dam will keep pups inside of her den until they are 11 weeks old.  After that, they are allowed to follow her, but if they do not keep up they will be left alone to fend for themselves.

They will be mature, adults at the age of 1 year.

Wild Dog Facts Regarding Color and Appearance

All have blotches of color on a base coat.  These may be black, white or a yellowish brown color and are spread over the entire body.

The bottom portion of the face is a deep brown. There is 1 dark stripe that runs down the middle of the forehead.

Tails will have a white tip.

Ears are rounded and relatively large.

It is a scientifically proven wild dog fact that no 2 look exactly alike, each has a unique pattern of markings.

They only have 4 toes on each paw.

info on wild dogsBehavior and Abilities

They can reach running speeds of up to 50 mph, (faster than Greyhounds) most often displayed when hunting.

They have excellent hearing and superb sense of smell.

They do bark as domesticated dogs do, and also yip and make a noise called a twitter.

They live and travel in packs that number between 6 and 20.

Males are the hunters and females stay back to tend to the young.

They hunt in groups….normally 2 will chase after an animal for a long enough time to cause them to zigzag and the others in the group will be positioned to cut them off.

While they tend to roam as a pack for a distance of as much as 900 square miles, they will remain in 1 location when there is a litter of young to tend to.

Diet and Nutritional Needs

What do wild dogs eat? They prey on antelope, gazelle, wildebeest calves, warthogs, rats and birds. They will go so far as to prey on lions if they sense that he or she is older and weak.  This meat will make up 80% of their daily diet. The other 20% will come from grasses and grains.

They, in turn, are prey for wild hyenas.  The hyenas will most often attack the very young or the very old. 

They can go for relatively long period without water.


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