IUCN Red List status:


For more info on classifications visit www.iucnredlist.org

Animal vulnerability index Animal vulnerability index

Painted dogs are CARNIVORES and highly social animals living in large packs in that hunt together. Their diet consists of impala, kudu, springbok and wildebeest.

African painted dogs, also known as the Cape hunting dog, have a Latin name which means
‘painted wolf’, based on the unique pattern of each individual animal. Their large, round ears can pick up calls from other dogs far away and can also move to indicate directions for other members of the pack.

They communicate to each other using high pitched yaps to coordinate their attacks. Before they hunt the pack has a socially rally which gets the dogs awake, excited and ready! They’ll chase the prey until it tires and then share the meal with the other pack members letting the pups eat first.

Painted dogs live in fission-fusion societies meaning they will move in and out of packs. Pack sizes can range between 2-30 members with a monogamous breeding pair leading the others. These pairs have very large litters so all the pack members help to look after the pups. The pack needs to bring enough food to feed the pups and the mother as she will stay with them in an underground den while they’re suckling. Pack members are known to switch roles and some dogs will stay behind to protect the pups while the others go hunting.

Painted dog numbers have plummeted in the last 100 years and human-wildlife conflict is known to be the main cause.

Pack sizes range between 2 - 30 members
Their long, lean legs help them reach speeds of up to 55mph!
Only 50% of pups survive their first year as opportunistic hyenas, lions and leopards will snatch an unguarded pup

We support the conservation of the endangered painted dog across Africa.

We’re working with our partner in Mkomazi National Park, Tanzania to help painted dog conservation. We’ve been supporting George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust since 2003. Their breeding and translocation program has successfully bred and released over 170 dogs back into the Kilimanjaro grasslands.

We’ve helped to fund vaccinations to protect wild dogs in Zimbabwe. Wildlife Vets International, Painted Dog Conservation group and local community NGOs (non-governmental organisations) have been giving vaccines to domestic dogs.

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