Painted Dog | Painted Wolf | African Wild Dog - Photograph by Nick

About Painted Dogs

The African painted dog, otherwise known as the painted wolf, cape hunting dogs or African wild dog, is one of the continent’s most enigmatic yet endangered mammals.

A formidable hunter, the painted dog is a pack animal that used to be found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Due to human induced pressures however, they have all but disappeared from this landscape. With complex pack dynamics and unique behaviour patterns, the painted dog communicates intimately with its pack through vocalisation and body language.
Learn more Painted Dog Facts!

Painted Dogs – One of Africa’s most Endangered Mammals

The greatest threats to painted dog populations across Africa are humans and our ever-growing environmental footprint.

Painted dogs are hugely vulnerable to human encroachment and agricultural expansion resulting in habitat fragmentation and increased conflict with human populations. With shrinking habitats and increasingly unsafe protected areas for the painted dog to thrive, population estimates are declining. Only 6,500 Painted Dogs remain across Africa in 39 sub-populations.

Increased exposure to human settlements and domestic animals increases pack susceptibility to viral diseases, such as rabies and canine distemper, which can wipe out whole packs in one go, further threatening the survival of the African painted dog.
Learn more – Why are Painted Dogs Endangered?


“Shrinking landscapes and human-wildlife conflict will ultimately see the extinction of the African painted dog if we do not take action now to save this iconic species.” 
DSWF’s Head of Programmes and Policy Georgina Lamb 


DSWF Working to Protect Painted Dogs

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is helping to protect painted dogs in Zimbabwe. For over 20 years we’ve been funding immersive educational bush camps, alongside anti-poaching and dog protection teams, working on the front line of species protection and community engagement.

Through positive interaction with rural communities and children in Zimbabwe, built on ongoing support from DSWF, the painted dog remains a symbol of strength, unity and perseverance within the area.
Learn more – Painted Dog Conservation and Protection in Zimbabwe


How to Help Painted Dogs

Please help us protect painted dogs: