While the African wild dog is not as well known in African folklore or culture as other world-famous African carnivores, it remains one of the most respected animals in many hunting communities in Africa and beyond. It is considered to be one of the most important native dogs on the African continent and is the only stick found in the genus Lycaon. The African wild dog has many names such as the painted dog or Cape hunting dog and other local names. This dog breed has been threatened with extinction since 1990 and has been included in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
So in this article, we wanted to provide all information about the African wild dog, but before that, let us know the reality of this dog living now, and that led him to extinction.
How lives the African wild dog now:
The painted dog lives in its native sub-Saharan Africa and its presence is mainly concentrated in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. According to recent estimates, the number of African dogs does not exceed 6,600 adults, including 1,400 mature animals. This number is divided into 39 sub-populations, all of which are at risk of further fragmentation due to human oppression, numerous diseases, and nutritional deficiencies. Knowing that the largest sub-population of African dogs consists of 250 individuals, which is a very dangerous subject that threatens their existence.
The African wild dog represents an important living and animal community that is distinct from other animal societies because it is highly organized, despite the appearance of many diseases among them in recent years, which has caused a certain imbalance. They are considered the second most carnivorous African animal, as they are day hunters who hunt antelopes to exhaustion, the African dog restricts food to its young like other dogs. Its natural enemies are lions and hyenas.
African wild dog facts:
Which dog breeds formed wild dogs?
Just to let you know that all dog breeds that we know today have evolved over time from a wild ancestor, it is very likely that this ancestor was perhaps a wolf or another mammal. After that, humans selectively bred dogs according to their needs and promoted specific desirable traits such as hunting, scent tracking, and protection … this process continues to this day. Therefore, it can be said that the word “breeds” of dogs is a type of dog that humans have developed by genetic patching. As for wild dogs, they develop naturally without interference from humans.
Consequently, African wild dogs cannot be considered as a breed like all other wild dogs, and they were not created from any other breed.
Can African wild dogs be pets?
Usually, domestication occurs over many generations and many years, where a cooperative relationship between humans and animals is created, as happened between a wolf and a prehistoric man, where wolves helped humans hunt and protect them from predators in exchange for food and warm shelter. This cooperative relationship has evolved into what we do today with our companion dogs, which means that the same thing can be done with African wild dogs to get a pet dog.
But according to De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Center, the organization that saved these dogs from extinction, the attempt to breed African dogs will often fail, and desired results will not be achieved. According to the same source, this is due to the fact that these dogs were genetically separated from wolves more than a million years ago, which explains their total difference from dogs that exist today, as they are very predatory dogs and love to sneak up from behind to bite anyone who comes near them even if they want to feed them.
In summary, we can affirm that it is possible that a wild dog can become a pet, but it is very difficult for them to be social and capable of adapting to family life.
Do African wild dogs attack humans?
I would not be contradictory if I told you that the answer is yes and no … In fact, African wild dogs are among the most efficient predators because the success rate to kill their prey varies from 70 to 85%, but this is only true for the prey they feed on and not for humans. Over the years, humans have caused a significant decrease in the number of African wild dogs due to blind and illegal hunting without a convincing reason. These dogs have a bad reputation because of the misconception that they are a danger to livestock or children.
So, we note that African wild dogs leave quickly if they detect the presence of humans because they are sure that this represents a real threat to their lives and those of their young. African wild dogs will never attack a person unless they are being attacked or someone tries to attack their young. They become very aggressive and will madly attack anyone who comes near them, so avoid provoking them to flee their danger. In summary, it can be said that African wild dogs do not attack humans unless they are attacked or assaulted.
How long do African wild dogs live?
In normal conditions, the African wild dog lives in the wild or in captivity for a period of 9 to 11 years, an average of about 10 years.
How do African wild dogs die?
According to the latest statistics, about 85% of African wild dogs die because of humans, either accidentally or deliberately. Most of these animals are killed by traps or due to road accidents, while the rest are deliberately eliminated in order to protect livestock. One reason for the decrease in the number of these dogs is due to the spread of many infectious diseases within the group in which these dogs live, causing a fatal infection.
Do African wild dogs bark?
The African wild dog is one of the few animals to contain several sounds such as a short bark which is usually a warning, a loud howl to mobilize the members of the group when they are exposed to danger, a sound similar to a roar the purpose of this one is to warn as these dogs have a voice dedicated to greeting which is accompanied by tweeting and moaning.
Do wild dogs kill lions?
It is well known that lions and African wild dogs are enemies of antiquity because they live in the same areas and compete for the same types of food. Most lions kill wild dogs, but sometimes African dogs will attack some lions if they find them alone.
Physical description of the African wild dog:
The African wild dog or painted dog is one of the largest and most ferocious types of African dogs that are distinguished by physical characteristics that vary depending on where they live, in what follows we will review some of these characteristics.
COMMON NAME: African wild dogs، painted dog.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lycaon pictus.
GROUP NAME: Pack.
AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: Up to 10 years.
AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN CAPTIVE: Up to 11 years.
SIZE: 29.5 to 43 inches
WEIGHT: 40 to 79 pounds. The average weight of males is 33 kg (72 lbs.) and females weigh an average of 24.5 kg (54 lbs.).
LENGTH OF TAIL: from 29 to 41 cm (11 to 16 in).
Looking at the African dog, we notice that he is tall and relatively thin, its ears are large, its teeth are very sharp and different from those of other dogs by the decay of the last lower molar, it has relatively large premolars in addition to narrow canines.
Best photos of African wild dog:
Below you will find a short video containing many pictures of African wild dogs recently photographed in the wild.
African wild dog life cycle:
African dogs reach sexual maturity between 12 and 18 months, knowing that only dominant males and females are allowed to mate. The average number of puppies per birth is about 10 puppies but can reach up to 20 puppies in rare cases. Puppies weighing about one pound or less are born blind. The mother puts her young puppies in an old boar pit for two months and takes care of them with the help of the rest of the group.
After about three weeks, the puppies open their eyes as their diet is limited to mother’s milk until they are five weeks old when they start eating vomit food. African wild dog puppies are returned to the wild at the age of three months, where they remain under group protection until 12-14 months of age.
Fun facts about African painted dogs :
- These dogs take care of the sick animals in the group, provide them with food, and do not abandon it.
- Only the dominant male and female of the group lift their hind leg when urinating. The rest of the dogs in the same group urinate with all four legs on the ground.
- Male African wild dogs are monogamous for life.
- The African hunting dog is one of the largest types of African dogs that eats a lot of meat.
- African wild dogs are among the most colorful types of dogs, as they contain about 35 colors.
- These dogs differ from wolves and other dogs in that they have 4 toes, while others have 5.