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African Wild Dog Pictures


The images of African wild dogs displayed here were taken in Botswana's Northern Tuli Game Reserve, in the remote eastern corner of the country.

In November 2007 a pack of 18 wild dogs (also known as Painted Dogs) was re-introduced into the Tuli area with the aim of establishing a viable pack of this endangered species in the Limpopo Valley region of Botswana.

The pack subsequently bred and prospered, making sightings of these elusive animals possible once more.

Wild Dog close-up, Sabi Sand, South Africa
African Wild Dog Portrait

Click on any picture to enlarge
African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) showing its sharp teeth Group of African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) relaxing Pair of African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) at rest
African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) on the move Trio of African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) lying on rocky ground African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) walking
African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) on banks of river African Wild Dog group (Lycaon pictus) drinking from river Young Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) at play
African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) lying down African Wild Dog trio (Lycaon pictus) off on a mission African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) checking interesting scent
wildlife reference photos
African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) yawning African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) feeding on impala kill African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) group lying asleep in dry riverbed
African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) close-up African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) on the move African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) sniffing at old bone
African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) sitting on its haunches African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) on the move African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) standing in long grass
Specialized Pack System
African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) have evolved a highly specialized pack system that allows them to hunt more efficiently. As a result they're usually sighted in a group - whether at rest, at play, or setting off on a hunt - rather than individually.

This social system works for and against getting good photographs of wild dogs. Because they stay in packs and can travel quickly over great distances, when they move off they all go and disappear totally. But if they're in your area and there's enough prey to feed them, then there should be good photo opportunities.

This is especially so if the alpha female has produced a litter of pups that are too young to travel with the pack, as the whole pack will then operate from a fixed base

It's nevertheless a challenge to capture out-of-the-ordinary wild dog images. When at rest, the dogs literally flop down as if drugged so there's little movement.

Confusing Mix of Colors
Yet when they're up and about, they tend to dart around quickly, interacting with each other, mock fighting, playing, and generally presenting a confusing mix of colors and movement against the surrounding vegetation.

Whenever I've been lucky enough to see wild dogs, they've appeared unphased by people in game drive vehicles and generally ignore us, so it's possible to get quite close to them.

In most cases a medium telephoto zoom lens like a 70-200mm or 70-300mm will provide enough flexibility to allow both close-up and group photos of the wild dogs.

Fast Shutter Speed
The best time to get wild dog (painted dog) photographs is in the early morning and late afternoon, so you'll need a higher ISO (400 or above) to allow fast enough shutter speeds to freeze subject movement and minimize camera shake. Later in the day, when the dogs are resting, they'll usually be lying in deep shade, but there will be very little movement, so one can get away with slower shutter speeds.

See also: Wild Dog Information, Wild Dog Society, and Wild Dogs - Efficient Hunters, for more on these amazing animals.

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