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African wild dogs

While wild dogs have been roaming africa for millions of years, there are few left and they are difficult to spot. 

Power of the pack

Wild dogs deal with the dangers and requirements of the wild by working together.  The pack is everything to wild dogs, with usually only one male and female breed. Every subordinate dog does whatever they can to raise the pubs. Wild dogs have larger litter sizes than any other canine in the world (a mother dog has seven pairs of nipples to feed the large litters with).   However, the pups have a high mortality rate (from predators & disease).

Young dogs

When they are over 2 years old, young dogs decide whether or not to stay with the pack or to wander off and try to start a new pack.  They will look for packs and try to lure away females. They will move close to the pack, leaving scent-marks and leaving it up to the females to decide whether to leave the pack.  They travel up to 200km in search of starting a new pack.  Sometimes the dogs end up returning to their original pack.


Lions, hyenas & leopards are serious enemies of the wild dog.   People often kill wild dogs.  Domestic dogs pose a risk to wild dogs because of the diseases they carry (e.g. rabies).


Each day most of the pack goes out to hunt, and the remainder (the helpers) stay to look after the pups. Once back at the den, every hunter regurgitates food (usually chunks of meat) for the pups & other pack members to eat.  This is very rare, for animals to feed other animals (which are not their pups).  Wild dogs are highly successful hunters catching their targeted prey(usually Impala) more than 50% of the time (allowing for regular meals).  The young dogs eat first.  They gobble up the kill as quickly as they can, so that other animals like hyenas don't steal their kill.

Dogs start to hunt with the pack after they are 3 or 4 months old.


Wild dogs spend most of the day lying in the shade.  Each dog takes a different position in the den, looking out for predators.


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