wild dog lesson

There are lots of different
names for these dogs, and
here are some of them:
African Wild Dog, African
Hunting Dog, Cape
Hunting Dog, Painted Dog,
Painted Wolf, Painted
Hunting Dog, Spotted
Dog, and Ornate Wolf.
African wild dogs are the size of medium domestic dogs. Their Latin
name, Lycaon pictus, means "painted wolf-like animal.“
Their coats are mottled in shades of brown, black and beige.
They have large, rounded ears and dark brown circles around their
The dogs differ from wolves and other dogs in that they have four
toes instead of five.
The African Wild Dog a canid ( canid) , just like wolves , foxes , dogs,
jackals and the coyote. That genus
decided to branch off from the
doggy family tree about 3 million
years ago and do its own
thing. And the result is that now
the Wild African Dog has such
different genes that it can't even
mate with a regular wolf or dog. It
can only mate with its own kind.
African Wild Dogs are tall and kind of skinny. They usually weigh
between 40 and 75 pounds, and they are about 30 inches tall at the
The dogs in southern Africa are mostly bigger than the ones in eastern
or western Africa.
They are the only canids with no dew claws, and that's not because
their breeders cut them off when they are puppies!
Every African Wild Dog
has a different pattern of
spots, so it is pretty easy
to tell them apart. These
dogs like to live in packs
because they are very
social animals. And just
like in wolf packs, only the
alpha ( dominant) male
and female make puppies,
but the whole rest of the
pack helps feed and take
care of the pups.
The gestation period of a wild dog is about
70 days, and the litter can be anywhere
between 2 and 19 pups.
When it's time for puppies to be born, the
pack finds a den that was dug by some other
animal, usually an aardvark.
Then when they are 3 months old, they
leave the den and start running with the
pack. They learn to kill small animals by the
time they are 8-11 months old, and they get
really good at hunting by the age of 12-14
The life span for a Wild Dog is about 4-8
The diet of African Wild Dogs is all made up of meat, and their favorite animals to
eat are gazelles, springboks, kudu, and wildebeest calves.
When they are hunting animals like this, they work together as a pack, and they
communicate by making weird little chirping and squeaking sounds.
They don't try to sneak up on their prey. They just find a herd of animals and
make them start running.
Then they pick one animal to kill that is maybe old or sick, and they just keep on
chasing it until it can't run anymore.
Wild Dogs are really good runners. They can go as fast as 35
m.p.h. for 3 miles or maybe more.
Some packs are able to kill bigger, scarier animals such as
zebras or warthogs by using a special strategy.
One dog grabs the tail of the prey, and another one bites its
nose. Then they hang on while the rest of the dogs try to rip
open the animal's tummy.
The African Wild Dog pack hunts at least once a day, usually at
dawn or dusk, because they hunt by sight.
In the middle of the day, they mostly hang out in the shade and
African Wild Dogs are probably the best hunters in the whole
world because they kill almost 80% of the prey they go after.
Everybody thinks that lions are good hunters, but lions only kill
30% of their prey.
There used to be lots and lots of Painted Dogs
in Africa, like about 500,000 in 39
countries. But now there are only between
3,000 and 5,500 in maybe as few as 14
This means the species is ENDANGERED. And
there are several reasons for how they got that
One reason is that the Wild African Dog
needs a really huge hunting range of 150 to
500 square miles.
And because they need so much territory,
they don't fit very well into the African
national parks.
So this means that the packs start running
through ranches and farmland, which makes
people unhappy, and then they want to shoot
the dogs.
Game hunters sometimes also
kill African Wild Dogs, and so
do lions and hyenas.
Also there are diseases that
might kill Wild Dogs, such as
rabies, distemper, and

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