August 26th each year is a day to learn about and celebrate the beautiful African wild dog.

The African wild dog is also known by other names, such as the painted dog, painted wolf, and the African hunting dog, or by its scientific name: Lycaon pictus.

A wild dog. Image: Rhett A. Butler

A few facts about the African wild dog:

  • They are native to grasslands, savannas, and arid (dry) habitats of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Each animal has a unique coat pattern.
  • They have large, rounded ears and a bushy tail.
  • They live in packs and have strong social bonds.
  • They are skilled pack hunters that chase down their prey.
  • They eat a variety of prey, from rodents to medium-sized antelopes like impalas and Thomson’s gazelles.
  • They are endangered – there are fewer than 7000 remaining in the wild today – and they need our attention and protection.

Watch African wild dogs caught on camera trap!

Looking for an art activity?

Create your own, beautifully marked painted dog!

(Click the image)

Click to get a pdf copy!

Conservation in action:

This video is about a conservation project that recently moved a group of wild dogs to the country of Malawi. It is hoped the wild dogs will thrive in their new home.
EDUCATORS: Learn more about African wild dogs at