Lets start with probably the most famous Turkish dog, which is a Turkish Kangal. And be prepared, that most dogs in this list will be very similar to the Kangal Shepherd, as majority of breeds from Turkey are so called Coban Kopegi dogs, which are basically turkish livestock guardian dogs and they only differ slightly from each other.
Kangals are sometimes known as the strongest dog in the world, but there some bigger and stronger dogs in Turkey. But nevertheless the Kangal truly is extremely strong dog capable of defending the livestock against extremely strong predators, like wolf.
Different coban kopegi dogs differ from each other because they were bred in different parts of Turkey. And the Kangal comes from the Sivas province. It is a vigilant, courageous, powerful and always alert dog breed.
Just like the Kangal, even the Akbash is amazing livestock guardian dog used to protect sheep and other livestock, especially on annual transhumance to the high mountains in summer or to low pastures in winter. Akbash is considered to be one of the fastest turkish livestock guardian dog. And what is its size? Typically between 50-85 cm, which is 20-33 inch and weight between 35-65 kg, which is 77-143 lbs. But some individuals can be much larger than this.
3) Tonya Finosu
Most Turkish dogs are strong livestock guardians, but there are few exception. The first one is Tonya Finosu. It is a small, lively, alert and playful spitz like dog with fluffy coat erect ears and tail that is curled over the back and fox like face.
The Tonya Finosu is very good alert watchdog, but also loving and loyal family companion. Due to their small size, they are not good choice for guarding purposes, but their alert and watchful temperament makes them great adepts for watchdogs. They create very strong bond with its owner and with the whole family and the Tonya Finosu is known as a tolerant, friendly, playful, lively and cheerful companion.
4) Boz Shepherd
The Boz Shepherd is one of the oldest livestock guardian dogs, not only in Turkey, but all over the world. They are native to Toros Mountains in Southern Anatolia. They can be used either for livestock protection, which is their original purpose, but also for personal and property protection.
The Turkish Boz is slightly larger than the Kangal Shepherd, they have heavier bone structure, more curled tail than most of other Coban Kopegi dogs. But they are still dogs built for athleticism and agility. They are also calmer and more relaxed than the high energy Kangals.
5) Aksaray Malaklisi
If the Boz Shepherd is built for agility and athleticism, than the Malakli is built more robustly and heavier. The Malakli typically has an extremely heavy to excessive bone structure and skull with a strong stop. The Malakli is also described as more agressive, stubborn and as one-owner dog.
Another exception from the turkish livestock guardians is Turkish Pali. It is a perfect family companion tolerant even to cold and rainy climates. They are still protective dogs, perfect for watchdog duties, but they are very affectionate and playful with its own family and owners.
The Karadeniz Shepherd, also known as Black Sea Shepherd is another Turkish LGD. The Karadeniz is native to the high mountains along the Black Sea coast in northern Turkey, where they evolved over centuries by adapting to local specific conditions, such as harsh mountainous climate, intense rains and higher altitude.
8) Trabzon Zerdava
We will finish the video with three very rare dogs from Turkey. There is not much information about neither of them. The first one is Trabzon Zerdava. They are also livestock and farm protectors, but these dogs were also used as succesfull hog hunters. They are very fast, athletic, patient and quite tolerant.
9) Kars Shepherd
This Coban Kopegi comes from Eastern Turkey, from Kars province. It is very similar to other turkish LGD, it has long and dense coat, protective, brave and alert temperament and large sized body. They should be slightly smaller than majority of other Turkish LGDs.
10) Rize Koyun
The last dog in this list and the last Coban Kopegi in this video is the Rize Koyun. Again, it is extremely similar dog to other turkish LGDs and the differences are only small. This breed comes from the Rize province in the eastern part of the Black Sea Region of Turkey.
The Can de Palleiro is a traditional shepherd dog from northwestern Spain. It is most likely very old breed and the ancestry and exact origin is unknown. It is believed that they evolved from dogs native to Galicia and from dogs that were brought to this region by Galicians during the Palaeolithic era while expanding from the British Isles and European continent. It is more than likely, that the breed share similar ancestry with other European shepherd dogs, such as German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd or Portuguese Castro Laboreiro.
The breed was traditionally used by shepherds of Galicia as versatile working dog. As their name, Galician Shepherd, suggest, their primary work was to herd and protect the livestock, but they were also used as courageous farm and property guards. And the breed was excellent for this purpose. They create close bond with the livestock and with the owner, they are very alert, watchful, brave, loyal and they have the much needed athleticism and endurance for this kind of a job.
The breeds name Can de Palleiro has a very specific meaning. It is from Galician language and it translates something like haystack or hayloft dog. And why haystack dog? Well, when these dogs worked on farms, they would usually sleep in the hayloft, hence the name. But the english name, Galician Shepherd, is very well fitting as well.
4) Almost extinct
For centuries, the Galician Shepherd was quite popular working breed in Galicia. That changed in the middle of 20th century with the introduction of foreign shepherd breeds. Local farmers started to prefer these foreign breeds and many pure Galician Shepherds were crossbred with these newcomers. This caused significant reduction of pure Can de Palleiro dogs and this breed almost went extinct. Luckily in 1990s, regional government decided to try to revive the breed and they found few surviving specimen. They also wrote an official breed standard and the official breed club was formed. Since than, the breed is not on the verge of extinction, but it is still pretty rare breed. The Can de Palleiro popularity increased after the breed was shown in TV commercial of a local supermarket chain. After the commercial, many people all around Galicia wanted to buy a Can de Palleiro.
You already know that the Can de Palleiro is excellent working dog, but how do they do as companion pets? Well, just like any other breed, they love to live with people, they are loyal to them and they show great affection towards its family and owners. This is an adaptable breed that is typically protective over their loved ones. The Can de Palleiro tends to be suspicious and distrustful towards strangers, but once they get to know the stranger, they accept it as a friend and have no problem with it. The breed truly is very friendly, playful, affectionate and loyal with people they know. It is also incredibly smart breed, capable of learning all the different tricks and commands quite easily. They can also live with other dogs, pets or kids in the family without problems, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood. But of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
This is pretty big dog breed with athletic and muscular body. The average height is between 22-26 inch, which is 55-66 cm, and weight should be between 60-88 lbs, which is 27-40 kg. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
If the Can de Palleiro is used as a working dog for herding or guarding, they do not need any additional exercise. But if they are kept as companions, they need some kind of a job, some kind of an exercise in their life. These dogs have incredible stamina and they love to go on outdoor walk, hike or jog anytime. They will be ready for any adventure any time you want to. But even though active, they are not hyperactive. With few daily longer walks accompanied with some playtime and fun traning sessions, these dogs will be pretty calm and relaxed when they are at home. Of course, they will prefer, if they will live in a place with big yard, where they can stretch their legs whenever they want to.
8) Coat and color
And what about the coat and color of the Galician Shepherd? They have very thick and dense doublecoat, which is helping the dog withstand bad weather, wind and other nature elements. The coat is pretty harsh to touch and it typically comes in light unicolor, such as beige, chestnut, gray or light brown.
Speaking of the coat, it is important to mention the maintenance and grooming as well and luckily it is nothing hard. These dogs do shed all year long, so be prepared for that. Regular brushing will remove any loose and dead hair and minize the shedding. Regular brushing will also keep the coat clean and it will redistribute natural oils all over it. No other grooming, other than the brushing, is needed. This breed can keep itself pretty clean. Of course, just like with any other breed, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Can de Palleiro closely resembles its relative, the German Shepherd, but luckily, it does not suffer that much from serious health issues such as hip dysplasia. But of course, they can still suffer from it, and from some other health problems, like various musculoskeletal issues, bloating, allergies and infections, but this should be usually very healthy and hardy breed and the health issues should be rather rare. This is very strong and resistant breed. And what about the lifespan? For a big dog, it is pretty good! Around 13 or 14 years.
The Old German Shepherd is most often viewed as a long haired German Shepherd and most often it is considered as a variety of the German Shepherd breed, rather than a separate breed. And indeed, the Altdeutsche Schäferhund is not officially recognized by any national kennel club. So what is the reason for the separation from the German Shepherd? Well, to understand that, we need to look at the origin and history of the breed.
The Old German Shepherd share the same ancestry and origin with the German Shepherd and their origin dates back hundreads of years. Most likely the ancestors of Old German Shepherds lived in the area of todays Germany since as early as the 7th century and their original purpose was to herd livestock, mostly sheep. Before 1890s, any dog used for herding and protecting in Germany was simply called as German Shepherd dog. But that changed in 1890s, with the introduction of the German Shepherd association. This association wrote an official breed standard for the German Shepherd, where the long-haired variety of the German Shepherd was not accepted. That caused decline in popularity of the long-haired German Shepherds, but some breeders started their own breeding programs and started to call their long-haired GSDs as Old German Shepherds, or Altdeutsche Schäferhund. The situation once again changed not so long ago, in 2010, when the German Shepherd association decided to allow the long-haired type in their breed standard once again. Since than, the long-haired type is again bred within the official German Shepherd association, but some owners and breeders still stick with the term Old German Shepherd and with their own breeding lines.
3) Old German Shepherd vs German Shepherd
You already know that the main difference between the Old German Shepherd and „classic“ German Shepherd is their coat length. The Old German Shepherd has much longer coat. But are there any other differences between them? Well, mostly because of the breeding programs, it is said, that the backline of Old German Shepherds is not sloping as much as the normal German Shepherds backline. Their backs are typically much straighter which makes them look healthier. And what about the temparament? I will talk about it later in the video in more details, but many owners claim, that the Old German Shepherd is somewhat calmer, more balanced and more relaxed, especially when they are at home. But overall, the temperament is very very similar.
4) Coat and color
As you already know, the coat of Old German Shepherd is pretty long. It is a beautiful long coat with soft undercoat. The tail and legs are typically more bushy and fluffy than the rest of the body. Some dogs exhibit a mane around the neck. And the breeds come in several colors and color combinations, which are most commonly black-brown, black-grey, black-yellow or all black.
Speaking of the coat it is important to mention the grooming and maintenance as well. And it is slightly harder than with the short-haired GSD, but it not extremely hard grooming routine. The only thing these dogs require is brushing. But it is recommended to brush their coat regularly, few times a week, in order to prevent matting and tangling. The Old German Shepherd also sheds fur all year long and regular brushing will minimize this shedding. You should never shave the coat of the Old German Shepherd, or better to say, you should never shave any doublecoated dog. The doublecoat provides protection in cold, but also in hot temperatures and it provides protection against all kinds of weather. But you can trim some parts of your Old German Shepherds body, such as the area around ears or bottom of their paws, but if you will just brush your dog regularly, you will make good job. These dogs also do not need much bathing. You should bath them only when it is really really necessary and they are dirty. Otherwise there is no reason for bathing them. And of course, just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
The first ancestors of the Old German Shepherds had one main utilization, which was herding and protecting the livestock. But over the time, they found utilization in many other areas and fields. Thanks to their endurance and strength, intelligence, loyalty, incredible work ethic, confidence with nerves of steel and eagerness to please, they are trainable to do almost any task. They can be herding, protecting the livestock, but they can also be property or personal guard dogs, police dogs, military dogs, search and rescue dogs, service dogs or therapy dogs. They can truly do almost any kind of a job and they will excell at it. The one exception is hunting. These dogs are not used for this purpose. The Old German Shepherd can also compete in various dog sports, like Schutzhund, obedience, rally or nosework and tracking. And of course, these dogs can also make incredible companion dogs.
As i mentioned earlier in the video, the Old German Shepherd is considered as slightly calmer, more relaxed and little bit friendlier than the German Shepherd. And these are great benefits for companionship. But remember, that the difference is not really big and the temperaments are very similar. It is a docile, obedient, absolutely loyal, but also affectionate, gentle and playful dog breed. They have very well balanced character. It is a good natured dog, known to show affection towards kids, but of course you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. The Old German Shepherd can also live with other dogs or other pets in the family, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood. This is a reliable companion dog whose playful character brings a lot of life into a family. I can guarantee you that you will never be bored with this breed by your side. Overall, it is an excellent companion pet for active families.
And when i said that they are much better suited for active families, i 100% meant it. These dogs are no coach potatoes. If they are not used for some kind of a work, they definitely need daily longer walks or hikes accompanied with some vigorous playtime, which will exercise their body, but they will also need some fun training session or playtime that will occupy their mind as well. Without enough physical and mental exercise, they will become bored and possibly develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction or excessive barking. You can also try some dog sport with the Old German Shepherd. These dogs will be always ready for any kind of outdoor adventure, and it does not matter if its raining or snowing outside, they are just always ready.
The Old German Shepherd is a very strong and muscular, but also agile and athletic dog breed. Its height and weight is the same as the size of German Shepherd, but their long coat makes them look little bit bigger and much stockier. When a long-haired and short-haired GSD will stand next to each other, the long-haired type will just look bigger. And what is the average height and weight? Well, the height is typically between 55-65 cm, which is 22-26 inch and weight between 22-40 kg, which is 49-88 lbs. Females are typically slightly smaller than males.
The Old German Shepherd is a big dog, and just like all the large dogs, they have higher chance to suffer from bone and joint problems, such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Other health issues associated with this breed are some eye problems, allergies or muscle atrophy. The list of health issues associated with the Old German Shepherd is similar to the one of classic German Shepherd. The average lifespan of this breed is around 12 years.
1) Not from Australia
The Australian Shepherd is not a dog breed from Australia, as generally perceived. It is most likely the only officially recognized livestock working breed developed in United States of America. The Australian Shepherd was developed in 1800s California for working on farms and ranches with livestock animals. But why are they named Australian and not American? Well, we are not sure on 100%, but the most accepted theory is, that the breeds main ancestor is a Basque Shepherd. The Basque Shepherd is Spanish breed, but they were most likely brought to America from Australia, and thus, the breed got its name Australian Shepherd. The breed is sometimes also nicknamed as Spanish Shepherd, which makes more sense than Australian Shepherd, as Pastor dog, Bob-Tail or Californian Shepherd.
We are not sure on 100% about the breeds ancestry. Generally, it is believed that the Basque Shepherd is one of the main ancestor of this breed, but it is definitely not the only one. Back in 1800s, sheeps from all around the world were imported to California, from places such as France, Spain, New Zealand or Australia. And very often, these sheeps came into California alongside their shepherds and working dogs. Different other Collie type of dogs probably also played a role in the breeds development and it is very likely that the Pyrenean Sheepdog is also one of the ancestor. But eventhough the exact origin is unknown due to lack of documentation, there is no doubt that the Australian Shepherd breed was developed in the western part United States of America.
Australian Shepherds have been used for many purposes and they quickly became popular as farm and ranch working dogs. They are natural workers, they just love to have some kind of a job in their life and they are easy to train. Originally, they were used for herding the livestock and they truly possess strong herding instinct. But mostly because of their devoted and loyal temperament towards their owners and family, they quickly became a favourite companion dogs and they were ideal family farm dogs. In modern times, they found utilization in many other fields as well, such as search and rescue, as service dogs, drug detection dogs, but you can still find them herding on ranches as well. These dogs also excell at various dog sports like agility, rally, tracking, dock diving, disc, flyball and of course herding events. You can do virtually any sport with Australian Shepherd and they will do it very well.
Of course, the Australian Shepherd is not only a working breed as majority of them are living the happy spoiled life of family companions these days. And they are amazing companions, especially for active owners. It is because these dogs are very energetic and they need regular outdoor exercise to stay happy! These dogs tend to be alert and reserved with people they do not know, but once they get to know the person, they are typically very friendly and playful. They are extremely intelligent and loyal. Actually some people describe them as velcro dog, which means they want to be next to the owner all the time and they follow the owner everywhere. Australian Shepherd can live with other dogs in the family, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood and they are typically good playful and tolerant partners for kids, but of course, you should never leave a young child with any dog breed unsupervised. It is also important to say, that many Aussies have strong herding instincts and some of them might want to herd other family pets or even the kids, so be aware of that. But overall, if you want an intelligent dog that will learn any trick you want and energetic dog that will be alway happy to go on a walk or a hike, than the Australian Shepherd might be a perfect dog for you.
5) Eyes and tail
Now lets talk a little bit about the appearance of the Australian Shepherd. And one of the most interesting parts of Aussies body are the eyes and tail. They have almond shape eyes with curious and alert expression that come in many different colors. Most commonly in brown, hazel, green, blue or amber. The Australian Shepherd is one of the few breeds where heterochromia is quite common. This means, that they can have each eye in different color. Some Aussies even display more than one color within the same eye, but this is quite rare. And what about the tail? Most Aussies are born with long tail, but some of them, approximtely one in five, is born with naturally bobbed tail. And ranchers purposely bred Aussies that had these naturally short tails because they are safer when it comes to herding and very often the long tails were docked.
The Australian Shepherd is a very athletic, medium sized dog breed with average height between 18-23 inch, which is 46-58 cm and weight between 35-70 lbs, which is 16-32 kg. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males. They should have slightly longer body and the body should be lean, athletic and agile.
7) Smart and energetic
The Aussie is a very energetic and very intelligent dog breed. Which means they need a lot of daily physical and mental stimulation. I would not say that they are completely hyperactive, but they will definitely need daily longer walks, jogs, playtime and fun training sessions to stay healthy and happy. This is not a coach potatoe! Exercise is a must for these dogs. Without enough exercise, they might develop some unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking or destruction. As i already mentioned earlier in the video, a good way how to deal with the Aussies physical and mental exercise needs is through some dog sport like agility, or any other sport actually. And about their intelligence? Well, it cannot be stressed enough that this is a dog with brains to spare. These dogs are fast learners and they can learn almost any trick and command. And most of the time, they will enjoy the training and learning new tricks and you should train them regularly! It is an amazing way how to create a great bond between you and your Aussie.
8) Coat and color
One of the first thing you will definitely notice about the Australian Shepherd is its georgeous coat and coloration. It is a dense doublecoat of medium length, which is weather resistant. The outercoat is typically straight, but there can be little curls as well. The breed standard allows several colors and color combinations, which are blue merle, black, red merle, red all with or without white markings and copper points. White is acceptable on the neck, legs, chest and muzzle underpants. Merles characteristically become darker with increasing age.
Speaking of the coat, it is important to mention the grooming and maintenance as well. It is important to say that the Australian Shepherd does shed all year long, more heavily twice a year during shedding seasons in the spring and autumn, so be prepared for that. To minimize the shedding and to keep the coat in best possible condition, regular brushing is absolute must. Regular brushing is a key to keep the coat shiny, mat and tangle free, to remove any dirt and loose hair and to redistribute natural oils all over the coat. There is no need for trimming or shaving the coat and it is recommended to not shave this breed, or any other doublecoated dog. You can trim some parts of the dogs body, such as feet, tail, legs or ears, but it is not necessary. Just like with any other breed, you should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Australian Shepherd is usually very healthy dog breed with average lifespan somewhere around 14 years. Just like any other breed, they can suffer from some more or less serious health issues, such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, collie eye anomaly or von willebrands disease. It is also important to never breed two merle dogs together, as this can cause deafness and blindness next to some other serious health issues. But serious breeder would never use two merle dogs in breeding program.
The exact ancestry of Cão do Barrocal Algarvio is unknown. The most accepted theory claims, that the first ancestors of this breed got into the southernmost part of Porgual, also known as Algarve, on the boats of Phoenician traders or Berbers. It is very likely, that one of the breeds brought to this area was the Egyptian Greyhound, who was crossed with other dogs that already lived in Portugal, for example the Border Collie and Podenco breeds, such as Portuguese Podengo and you can see some clear similarities between Podencos like Ibizan Podenco, Podenco Andaluz or Portuguese Podengo and the Cão do Barrocal Algarvio. The breed also share notable similarities such as its double suspension gallop with Galgos.
The Cão do Barrocal Algarvio was developed by local hunters as an ultimate hunting dog breed specialized on predominant prey, which were wild rabbits. They had to hunt quick and agile rabbits in sharp and rocky terrain of Algarve and hot Portuguese weather. And indeed, the Barrocal Algarvio is just perfect for this purpose. These dogs love to work, they can hunt all day long, they can withstand hot climate, they have higher prey drive, they have extremely good hearing and vision, they can work independently, but they are very loyal to the hunter and they are very quick, agile and endurant, all very important traits for a succesfull hunting dog. Barrocal Algarvio dogs also have the ability to dig deep holes quickly and easily when they are searching the prey. They have thin paws perfect for digging and thanks to the slim body they can reach bottom of the hole quickly and easily.
3) Almost extinct
For a long time, the Barrocal Algarvio was fairly popular hunting breed in southern Portugal. That started to change with the introduction of foreign hunting breeds. Hunters started to use different Setters and Pointers and forgot about the local breed, the Barrocal Algarvio. The Barrocal Algarvio was often times crossbred with these new breeds, which almost caused the extinction of pure Cão do Barrocal Algarvio dogs. Just compare these numbers. In 1950s, there were around 3500 pure Barrocal Algarvio dogs, but it is believed that already in 1960s, there were only around 30 specimen. Luckily, thanks to a hard work of the breeds enthusiasts and group of hunters, the breed survived. One of the few men credited for saving the breed are José Afonso Correia and Rogério Teixeira. Today, the breed is still considered as rare and you can hardly find it outside the Pyrenean Peninsula, but luckily, it is not on the verge of extinction anymore.
You already know that the Barrocal Algarvio is excellent rabbit hunter. But it is also a very playful, curious, but also patient, docile and gentle family companion. These dogs are very smart. They most likely have a Border Collie in their lineage which gives them great intelligence, eagerness to please and trainability. These dogs can also happily live with kids in the household and they typically have no problems with other dogs, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood. On the other hand, other smaller household pets, like cats, might be problematic, due to their high prey drive. The Barrocal Algarvio is known for its social, sweet and friendly temperament and it truly makes extraordinary companion pet.
I just told you, that the Cão do Barrocal Algarvio makes amazing companion pet, but, they are not for everyone. It is important to say, that this is highly active breed and they need an active owner, who will provide them with intense exercise. They love to run and you should let them run as they wish every day. But if they have enough exercise, they will be very calm and relaxed indoors. The Barrocal Algarvio will be always ready for any outdoor adventure with you and they truly need plenty of physical exercise. Without enough exercise, they might develop some bad behaviour, such as destruction.
The Barrocal Algarvio is a rustic and athletically built breed, relatively slender, but in reality very strong. The average height of this breed is between 45-58 cm, which is 17-23 inch and weight between 15-25 kg, which is 33-55 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
7) Coat and color
The breed has a very smooth and dense coat in medium length. The coat is very soft to touch and it has no undercoat and the coat is abundant around the neck, thighs, back of the limbs and under the tail. The Barrocal Algarvio dogs come in several color combinations. The most common colors are fawn, yellow, brown, black and gray, unicolor or piebald or piebald whites. The coat should be brushed from time to time to keep it tangle free.
8) Living conditions
The breed was developed in relatively warm climate and it adapts very well to high temperatures and they can stay outside all day long if they are provided with enough water and some shaded shelter. Their medium long coat provides great protection against sunburn. But these dogs will be happiest if they will have access inside the house to be in direct contact with its family.
Today, in 2022, the breed is still not officially recognized by any major kennel club, such as FCI or AKC, but they were already acknowledged by the Portuguese Kennel Club and i would say it is only matter of time before these dogs will gain more international recognition in other foreign kennel clubs as well.
The grooming and maintenance of this breed is not extremely hard. They do shed some deal of fur all year long but it is nothing terrible. As i already mentioned, you should brush them from time to time, lets say weekly, in order to keep the coat tangle and mat free and to allow good ventilation to the skin. No other grooming is required. It is also very clean breed, that always washing itself and they keep the fur in very good condition bythemselves. They also do not drool. Of course, you should exercise the breed regularly and check out their nails, teeth, eyes and ears and clean them or clip them if needed.
1) Painted wolf
The African wild dog is very often named as Painted Wolf and indeed, their scientific name – Lycaon pictus – really translates as painted wolf, which is reffering to the animal's irregular, mottled coat. Other names include painted dog, cape hunting dog and many many other indigenous names.
2) Pack mentality
One of the most interesting fact about these dogs is their social behaviour and pack mentality. The social bonds inside the pack are extremely strong, much stronger than in hyenas for example and it is extremely rare for African wild dogs to live alone. Males and females have separate dominance hierarchies and only the most dominant male and most dominant female can reproduce. The rest of the pack is also important, as they are providing food and they even take care of the offsprings. The hierarchy is not as structured as for example in wolves and there is the one dominant couple and than the rest of the pack is more or less equal. This is definitely one of the most social wild animal in the world and cooperation is the key for African wild dog suvival and reproduction. Typical pack size is somewhere between 5-12 dogs, but there are recorded packs with more than 25 individuals.
3) Females in pack
The African wild dog has interesting pack system, which is preventing interbreeding. It is normal that male puppies are staying with the pack for their whole life. That is not the case for females. Female relatives typically leave the pack and they join pack of the opposite sex. That is how a new pack is form. This pattern is extremely interesting and rare, but similar behaviour can also be found is primates, such as chimpanzees or gorillas.
Another interesting fact is the size of the litter, which is one of the highest of any canid. The average litter size consists of 10 puppies. It is also interesting, that African wild dogs very often use abandoned underground warthog dens to give birth.
5) Pups first
The pups are extremely protected and valued in the pack. Actually, when the pack hunt some prey, pups are given priority for feeding even over the dominant pack members.
Wild dogs do not hunt like large wild cats. They are not as strong and they do not have that powerful jaws and it would be very hard for them to hunt large animals on their own. That is why they use their intelligence, endurance and pack mentality on the hunt. They use their strong sense of smell, but also seeing and hearing. When they find the prey, they silenty approach it, than follow it, tire it, catch it and kill it. Interesting fact is, that they hunt almost exlusively during the daytime and they rest and sleep at night, which is not that typical for many other hunters.
7) Team work
Even though the African wild dog is not the largest hunter, definitely much smaller than lions or leopards, they have higher success rate on the hunt which is extremely large and it is said, that 80% of their hunts ends sucesfully. It is most likely result of their excellent team work and social behaviour on the hunt. The whole pack work as one team and when they decide to hunt some prey, in most cases it is a death sentence for the prey.
Speaking of the hunting, what is the typical African wild dog prey? Well, probably they most often hunt antelopes, but they can also hunt gazelle, zebra, wildebeest, impala or warthog.
It is also important to say, that the African wild dog is not the king of the jungle, which means, they also have enemies in nature. Their typical natural enemies are lions, leopards and hyenas. They most often kill African wild dog puppies, but lions can easily kill adult African wild dog as well.
10) Conservation status
Once, the wild dogs were found all over the African continent, from deserts to mountains. Sadly, African wild dogs dissappeared from most of the region and for last few decades they are listed as endangered animals and there is only few thousands of these wild dogs alive today.
So where does the remaining African wild dogs live? They can be typically found in different regions of Sub-saharan Africa, where they typically roam the open plains and sparse woodlands. There is a map of African wild dog range and the largest population can be found in countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia or Tanzania.
The main reason why the population of African wild dogs is declining are of course people. We are the biggest threat for these animals. Farmers very often kill and shoot these wild dogs in order to defend their livestock. Habitat loss due to human activity is another big threat. The third largest threat are illnesses such as rabies or distemper.
13) Saving African wild dogs
Of course, there are some groups that are trying to save and preserve the African wild dog as an important part of African wild life ecosystem. These groups and some governments are creating protected wildlife corridors that are helping to connect fragmented habitats. There are also awareness initiatives that are trying to educate farmers and other people to reduce the conflict between people and wild dogs. Many countries are legally and officially protecting the African wild dogs on paper but in reality, there are no punishments for killing these dogs and their population in almost all African countries is declining
One of the main African wild dogs weapon on the hunt is their endurance. They hunt patiently in pack and they are able to catching the prey for hours, until it tires. Thanks to their long legs and large lungs, they are able to run very long distances without tiring.
Not only that the African Wild dog has great stamina, it is also very fast dog. Actually, it is said, that the fastest African Wild dogs can reach speed up to 40 mph, or 65 kmh, which is on similar level of the fastest domesticated dog – the English Greyhound.
16) Large ears
One of the first thing you will notice when looking on African wild dog are the large rounded ears. The large ears serve two main purposes. The first one is hearing and indeed, this dog has excellent hearing. But the ears also help to cool down the dog in hot African climate.
One of the differences between African wild dogs, wolves and domesticated dog breeds is the number of toes. While other dogs and wolves have 5 toes, the African wild dogs only have 4 toes on their paws.
As i already mentioned earlier in the video, the African wild dog is much smaller than lions or leopards, but it is still pretty robust, strong and big animal. Their height is typically between 24-30 inch, which is 60-75 cm and weight between 18-36 kg, which is 40-79 lbs. Females and males have almost identical size and there are no huge differences between them.
The fur of the African wild dog consists stiff bristle-hairs with no undercoat. They gradually loose hair as they are getting older. Coloration of these dogs is very interesting and it is said that no two African wild dogs have the same coat pattern and it probably serve for visual identification. African wild dogs in different parts of Africa has slightly different coloration, but they have musky colored coats.
Just like most of the wild animals, even the African wild dog is very hardy and healthy dog, because only hardy and healthy dogs can survive in nature. Their lifespan is not extremely long and the average is somewhere around 11 years.