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African Painted Dog

Lycaon pictus


  • Dotted around the middle to southern Africa


  • Savannahs, woodlands and grasslands


  • Warthogs
  • Antelope
  • Rodents
  • Lizards
  • Birds
  • Insects


  • 40-79 lbs


  • 30′-56″


  • 9-13 years

A Family Pack

African painted dogs are an intelligent and social carnivore living in packs of 6-20 individuals. Although led by a breeding pair like wolves, the pack’s structure is defined through posturing and complex submission ceremonies instead of aggression. The old, injured, and pups are cared for by the entire pack, and the youngest always eats first.

Did You Know?

  • Their jaws deliver one of the strongest bite forces on the planet.
  • Mottled coloration blurs their numbers; prey cannot tell how many dogs there are.
  • Their large ears help keep them cool.
  • They are successful on 90% of hunts.

Conservation Status

They have disappeared from 25 of the 39 countries they were found in 50 years ago. Human factors are the #1 cause of this species’ decline. Habitat encroachment, persecution, and introduced disease have made them the second most endangered carnivore in Africa.


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