Animal Database
Animal Database
Sleeping Dhole.jpg
At Toronto Zoo.
Common Name Asiatic Wild Dog and Indian Wild Dog.
Range South and Southeast Asia.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Canidae
Genus Cuon
Species C. alpinus
Conservation Status

The dhole, or Asian red dog, lives and hunts in small packs. Once widespread, it's numbers and range have declined dramatically - mainly because large areas of its habitat have been cleared to make way for crops. Throughout history, the dhole was viewed as a pest, causing it to be poisoned or shot. It is the only extant member of the genus Cuon, which differs from Canis by the reduced number of molars and greater number of teats. The dholes are classed as endangered by the IUCN, due to ongoing habitat loss, depletion of its prey base, competition from other predators, persecution and possibly diseases from domestic and feral dogs.

The dhole is a highly social animal, living in large clans which occasionally split up into small packs to hunt. It primarily preys on medium-sized ungulates, which it hunts by tiring them out in long chases, and kills by disemboweling them. Unlike most social canids (but similar to African Wild dogs), dholes let their pups eat first at a kill. Though fearful of humans, dhole packs are bold enough to attack large and dangerous animals such as wild boar, water buffalo, and even tigers.

Evolution and Taxonomy


Eastern Dhole, Cuon alpinus alpinus
†Late Pleistocene Dhole, Cuon alpinus europaeus
†Late Middle Pleistocene Dhole, Cuon alpinus fossilis
Western Dhole, Cuon alpinus hesperius
†Early Middle Pleistocene Dhole, Cuon alpinus priscus
Sumatran Dhole, Cuon alpinus sumatrensis