The dhole or Asiatic Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus) is about the size of a border collie (12-18 kg), but looks quite different. The coat is usually a rusty red colour, but varies regionally from sandy yellow to dark grey. Usually it has a black bushy tail and white patches on its chest, paws and belly. Its ears are rounded, and its hooded amber eyes portray an intelligent nature.
The dhole is a highly social and cooperative animal, living in organised packs of around 10 individuals. Groups often contain more males than females, with usually just one breeding female. Occasionally, large groups of over 40 dogs have been seen, possibly arising from the temporary fusion of neighbouring packs.
Did you know?...
1] The dhole has some extraordinary vocal calls - it can whistle, scream, mew, and even cluck like a chicken.
2] It can urinate while doing a handstand on its front two legs
3] Sometimes it forms temporary packs of over 40 animals.
4] It breeds communally with most pack members helping to feed or guard the pups.
5] When hunting as a pack it can subdue prey over 10 times its own body weight, and can even fend off a tiger!
6] It exploits a variety of habitats from tropical rain forest and dry-deciduous jungle, to cold alpine forest and open plains.
7] It has amazing jumping powers and can reach a vertical height of at least 2.3 metres (7.5 ft).
8] Its dental formula is unique among the dog family.
9] It is a capable swimmer and often drives its prey into water.
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