African wild dog = painted dog

The African wild dog is also known by other names: for instance, painted dog, painted wolf and African hunting dog. Its scientific name is Lycaon pictus.

A wild dog. Image: Rhett A. Butler

A few facts about the African wild dog

  • Wild dogs are native to grasslands, savannas and arid (dry) habitats of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Each dog has a unique coat pattern.
  • Wild dogs have large, rounded ears and a bushy tail.
  • They live in packs and have strong social bonds.
  • Wild dogs 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.

Wild dogs are endangered – there are fewer than 7000 remaining in the wild.

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