African wild dogs are pack animals with strong social structure. A pack may contain as little as two dogs, or as many as 27. They can sometimes gather in temporary packs numbering in the hundreds. They live in desert, forest and grassland habitats.
Some populations of wild dog have been shown to engage in what appears to be voting behavior to determine whether or not to go on a hunt. When more dogs “sneeze”, giving a short breath through their nostrils, there is more likely to be a hunt. Dominant dogs will often begin the sneezing, and if enough join in, then the hunt is all but guaranteed to happen.
African wild dogs hunt mostly antelopes like wildebeest. Unlike other predators including lions and hyenas, wild dogs hunt mostly during the daylight hours. The cheetah is the only other large predator in Africa that does so. The pack will seek out an individual antelope to isolate, and chase it to wear it down until it is too exhausted to continue. Wild dogs can reach speeds of up to 44 miles per hour.
Unlike most other African predators, African wild dogs have a very high success rate in their hunts, sometimes as much as 90%.