Dholes are fascinating mammals resembling foxes and are technically wild dogs. While Dholes are wild dogs, they differ significantly from our familiar, domesticated canine friend. They belong to the Canidae family, with foxes, wolves, and coyotes. Their behavior is very similar to a regular dog, such as their social nature, and their common names include Asiatic wild dog, red dog, and whistling dog. Though we colloquially refer to Dholes as dogs, these wild animals lead an entirely different life. They hunt and live in packs, with unique mating and breeding habits.
Read the article below to learn more about Dholes.
|Scientific name:||Cuon alpinus|
|Average size:||3 feet long|
|Average weight:||26 to 44 pounds|
|Life span in the wild:||10 years|
|Life span in captivity:||16 years|
|Habitat:||Mountains, forests, steppes|
A Dhole is a large wild dog, around 3 feet long and weighing between 26 and 44 pounds. Their coat is thick and short, usually in a mixture of charcoal gray and sandy beige with reddish shades. Their tail is long and bushy, with a black tip resembling a fox’s. Their underside, including their feet and chest, is white. Their ears are big and rounded with white hairs on the inside.
A Dhole has a diverse diet, although most feed on hoofed mammals, such as wild goats, wild pigs, deer, and buffalos. Depending on their habitat, they will match their dietary choices to what they can find. In Siberia, Dholes can feed on deer, wild sheep, and even reindeer, while in Southeast Asia, they will feed on gaur, deer, and banteng. Dholes tend to hunt in packs when searching for larger prey, while they may prefer hunting alone when searching for smaller food, such as rabbits, insects, lizards, and berries. The diet of Dholes consists of around 70% meat since they are hypercarnivores.1
Dholes typically breed twice a year, and the breeding habits of Dholes are a bit strange since there is only one dominant monogamous pair in the pack. This pair will breed while the rest of the group will feed the litter by regurgitating it after a hunt. When the pups reach 6 months old, they can follow their parents in hunts. Once the pups mature at 3 years old, the females leave their current pack to join another one.
A Dhole is a wild dog native to Asia, most genetically similar to an African wild dog. This canine is similar to a Border Collie or a German Shepard in size. They are incredibly adaptable to many environments, such as shrublands, high mountain steppes, and forests. These creatures are exceptionally social, living in packs of various sizes.
Dholes are considered an endangered species,2 with only between 949 and 2,215 mature dholes left worldwide. Dholes are threatened mainly through human impact, from developing palm and other plantations and infrastructure, isolating them further. While Dholes have little in common with the canines we live with, they belong to the dog-like family Canidae, along with wolves, foxes, coyotes, and jackals. Colloquially, we refer to Dholes and other animals of the same family as dogs because of their genetic resemblance.
Dholes are incredibly fascinating creatures with many skills and intriguing behavior.
After reading about Dholes, you’ll learn that while they are canines that belong in the same family as wolves, they have vast differences from domesticated dogs. They are wild dogs native to Asia that are superb hunters and resemble a fox with their rusty red coats. Besides being social creatures, they have bizarre behavior habits in their packs that make this animal similar to dogs, yet also very different.
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