African Painted Dogs

  • Status

    Endangered Species

  • Threat

    Human conflict

  • Distribution

    African savanna

  • Diet


Step foot into Painted Dog territory! These African savanna grasslands and woodlands are the perfect habitat for wild hunting dogs to prowl.

Painted Dogs are playful pack-orientated animals. Their reserve has a variety of habitats for them to explore. The dogs will often dig their own dens and shelter in the naturalistic caves found around the watering hole. Painted Dogs live in packs led by a lead (alpha) female and male. Although there is a hierarchy, there is generally little aggression amongst the pack.

Where in the park?

Take a stroll through the Woodland Trail and see what incredible animals snuffle and swing within this forest dwelling.


Visit Explore Woodland Trail


In 2016 and 2019 we welcomed litters of painted dog puppies. The births were particularly significant after a sharp decline in Painted Dog numbers in the wild. In the past decade, wild populations have dropped from 500,000 to 5,000.


Painted Dogs are the second most endangered carnivore in Africa. In the 1900’s, more than 500,000 dogs roamed Africa across 39 counties. Today, less than 5,000 Painted Dogs remain in just a few territories. 


In 2016 and 2019 we welcomed litters of Painted Dog puppies. The births were particularly significant after a sharp decline in Painted Dog numbers in the wild. 


In the past decade, wild populations of Painted Dogs have dropped from 500,000 to only 5,000! People kill Painted Dogs as they are seen as a threat to farm animals, they are also caught in snares which are set for antelope. Through these actions, humans have managed to reduce Africa’s Painted Dog population to 1% of what it used to be.

Bonds between pack individuals are so strong that the fittest pack members will often hunt and provide food for other sick and elderly members. Painted Dogs rely on cooperation to survive. Cooperation enables them to be one of the most successful predators in the world. On average they can catch their prey 80% of the time. These dogs are cursorial hunters meaning they pursue their prey in a long, open chase.

They are cunning and stealthy hunters but rely on their incredible vision to locate prey such as wildebeest, impala or zebra. During the hunt dogs will communicate with each other using high pitched yapping calls.

Painted Dog (1)

What's on today

Daily programme

Daily programme at Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Time Event Location
2:30 PM Daily Carnivore Feed See on arrival

Nearby? Also look out for…

Amur Tiger Eyes

Carnivore Experience

Have you ever wanted to go behind the scenes at YWP, learn more about the animals, and get up close and personal with some of the most powerful and fascinating animals on the planet? The Carnivore Experience is just for you!

Find out more


Get the latest news & offers from Yorkshire Wildlife Park!

See our privacy policy here