In the Wild
African hunting dogs (Lycaon pictus) are most commonly found throughout Africa. However due to conflicts with human activities, disease and habitat fragmentation their populations are declining.
African hunting dogs live in packs ranging from 2 – 30 members and typically work together to run down their prey. They are very effective hunters; with nearly 80 percent of all chases end in a kill. They usually prefer medium-sized grass-eating animals like antelope, but sometimes they will hunt larger prey like zebras, wildebeests, and even ostriches!
Although they are fearsome predators, they also have a gentler side and form strong pack bonds by eating, playing, and sleeping together. Their social hierarchy is based on submissive behaviour rather than aggressive behaviour and therefore they are rarely aggressive with each other.
In the pack only the alpha pair breeds, and the entire pack helps to raise the pups. All of the females in the pack lactate to nurse the pups and all members of the pack, regurgitate food to feed them. Pups are even given precedence after a successful hunt, with adult dogs protecting the kill and the pups from other predators as the pups eat first.