Wild Dogs

Where to See Wild Dogs

There are 36 species of Wild Dogs in the world and below we will discuss where to see some of these wild dogs, as well as some of their key physical characteristics and the amazing diversity of the family of Canidae to which they belong.

The family Canidae consists of well-known groups of wild dogs, including wolves, foxes, coyotes, and dogs, such as African wild dogs (Painted Dogs) and Indian wild dogs (Dhole). Generally, they have pointed noses, relatively long legs, padded feet, non-retractable claws – with five toes on the front feet and 4 toes on the back. Although wild dogs are omnivorous, meat is often a major part of their diet and they are renowned as efficient and deadly pack hunters.

Several wild dog species are critically endangered due to their perceived threat to livestock and therefore their persecution by farmers and landowners. Sadly, much of this hunting and killing of wild dogs is legally sanctioned by local governments without looking at the science and understanding their key role in the control of common prey species, such as deer and wild pigs, which can cause far greater financial damage to agricultural land. We encourage those interested to visit the ICUN Red list website for an up to date status on individual species

Where to See Wild Dogs in Africa

Although Africa has the highest number of wild dog species at 12, it is the African wild dog, also sometimes referred to as the Painted Wolf or Painted Dog which garners the most attention from wildlife photographers; closely followed by the rare and stunning Ethiopian Wolf.

African wild dogs are only found in sub-Saharan Africa and the best places to see African wild dogs are National Parks in Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, and South Africa. We have some bespoke private tours in both Botswana and South Africa which will give you a great chance to encounter these highly social and intelligent wild dogs.

Foxes and Jackals are less endangered in Africa and there are a variety of species to be found, including Side-striped Jackal, Golden Jackal, Black-backed Jackal, Red Fox, Fennec Fox, and Bat-eared Fox.

Where to See Wild Dogs in Asia and India

The Indian wild dogs – also known as Dhole – have a remarkable resemblance to the wild dogs of Australia known as Dingoes. We have been lucky enough to see the purest breed of Dingoes found on Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland and the similarity in colouration between them and Dhole is amazing.

Indian wild dogs are not easy to see in the country’s many National Parks as they are highly transient and are outcompeted by larger wild cats, such as tigers and lions. They are also heavily persecuted by local farmers and are at great risk of various dog diseases spread by the enormous population of feral dogs in India. The best National Parks to see Indian wild dogs are Satpura, Nagzira, Kanha, Tadoba and Nagerhole.

Other wild dogs found in Asia, include Golden Jackal, which are as common on the periphery of rural villages, as they are in the National Parks. If you book one of our Snow Leopard safaris in Ladakh or the Spiti Valley in India, you have the chance for both the Arctic and Red Fox on the same trip. A chance to see rarer species, such as the Bengal Fox, or Ruppel’s Fox found in western Pakistan, requires a lot more planning, patience, and an expert local guide to give you the best chance to see and photograph them.

One of the most beautiful and unique wild dogs to see in Asia is the Tibetan Fox, which as well as Tibet, you can find in the high mountains of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and China.

Where to See Wild Dogs in Europe

There are three species of wild dogs in Europe and if you have been lucky, you may have seen the most common one in a town or village near you: that being the beautiful and highly adaptable, Red Fox. The other two are far less common but we have some amazing wild dog safaris which will give you the chance to see and photograph both Arctic Fox and Grey Wolf.

The best chance to see Arctic Fox in Europe is a winter trip to Scandinavia or Iceland. Or you can take an Arctic expedition cruise to Svalbard in the summer months of July and August and see them when you visit the shoreline by Zodiac.

Grey Wolves are one of the most persecuted animals on our planet and it is sad to say that Great Britain – where I am from – lost its wolves centuries ago. Due to the lack of intensive farming in Eastern Europe after the second world war, good populations of the Gray Wolf survive in these former Soviet Union territories. Some of the best places to see wolves in Europe are in Romania, Poland, Belarus, and Finland – on the border with Russia where no hunting is allowed!

Both Spain and Italy managed to hold onto isolated populations of Grey Wolves in the high mountains and as people moved from the country to the cities, these populations recovered relatively quickly as they were no longer hunted by the local farmers. France also now has a substantial wolf population, nearly all of which have come across the border from Italy as part of a natural re-introduction.

Where to See Wild Dogs in North America

The vast wilderness areas and huge National Parks which still remain in both Canada and the northern states of America, permit the survival of iconic wild dog species, such as Grey Wolves, Red Wolves, Coyotes, Arctic Fox, and Red Fox. There is also a lesser-known wild dog species found in North America, the Channel Island fox found on 6 islands off the coast of California.

One of the greatest conservation stories of modern times – despite the current bad news – is the reintroduction of Grey Wolves into Yellowstone National Park. A larger Canadian grey wolf that had the pack strength to take down Bison was selected, as this was one of the known characteristics of Yellowstone wolves before they were sadly driven to extinction. Join us on our winter wolf-watching tour at Yellowstone National Park.

Where to See Wild Dogs in Central and South America

We have always said that some of our wildlife holidays in South America are some of the most diverse and spectacular that we offer, so it may come as no surprise that this continent is home to the greatest diversity of wild dogs. There are an incredible 10 species to be found here, including the spectacular Maned Wolf (actually a member of the Fox family), the Bush dog, Darwin’s fox, and the amazing Crab-eating fox. A Brazilian wildlife safari gives you the best chance to see multiple wild dog species in locations like the Pantanal and Cerrado.


Our Clients Say About Us


We went to Alaska, which Wildlife Trails sorted out for us. I chose Wildlife Trails because Allan was more knowledgeable than others I emailed, and more helpful. We went to Anchorage, Seward, er, Nikiski, Kodiak and Katmai. At Nikiski we stayed at Daniels Lake Lodge B&B in a log cabin by the lake. It was an amazing place and was the wildest and most remote of our journey. We saw a black bear and 3 coyote on the road. Had a great day out with Alaska West Air near there. We had bears right beside our boat at Big River Lakes near Wolverine Creek, saw bald eagles and plenty of salmon in the river. They gave us a scenic flight on the way back flying right over double glacier and its ice field - so close we almost landed on it. Really breath-taking. We booked up Juneau Mendenhall Glacier Ice Adventure Tour ourselves through Alaska Shore Excursions - local tour operator was Liquid Alaska Tours. This was excellent. We did canoeing, went in an ice cave under the glacier and used crampons to climb on top of it. A fantastic day out. Would recommend these. Also had a great day out at Brooks Falls watching the bears catching the salmon that were jumping up the waterfall. Well worth the trip. Wouldn't recommend Jayleen's Alaska whale watching trip. We didn't see anything but a lighthouse for most of the morning. Cost us a fortune for 6 hours when we saw more on the 2 hour cruise with Alaska Tales for a fraction of the cost. These are a new company. We didn't have many on the boat so didn't have to fight the crowds to see the whales and they took us straight to them so didn't waste any of our time. To see black bears close up we went to AnAn Bear observatory. A mother and cub came very close to where we were standing on a platform. At the other places we saw brown bears. A great trip all in all. As I stated above Wildlife Trails are very knowledgeable and helpful. They always replied quickly to any emails I sent asking them a lot of questions (some I should have been able to work out myself). When we had problems they were always contactable to help us sort them out. The ferry they booked for us went on strike but Wildlife Trails had sorted us out a flight in its place before we even knew there was a problem, so the holiday ran very smoothly. I would recommend Wildlife Trails to anyone and I have already booked another trip with them next year.

ByDawn and Steve
Fantastic Canadian adventure

We had a two week holiday on Vancouver Island.. we went on a whale watching tour and saw Orcas, Humpbacks, Dahl porpoises, white striped Dolphins, seals and Sea lions. We then did a Grizzly bear r and saw lots of Grizzlies as well as loads of Black Bears. The highlight of the holiday was a three day kayaking trip which was fantastic. Kayaking with Orcas and Humpback whales was incredible Our holiday was completely organised by Wildlife Trails, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.. everything was planned to perfection and they made the entire holiday exactly what we asked for

ByChris and John
Outstanding from planning, throughout the whole trip and home again

We had a 13 day tour to India, mostly wildlife as this was what we wanted and a little element of city & culture. Day in Delhi staying at the Imperial, apart from noisy traffic getting to the el it was an iconic place to be, so much hitory and staff who had been there 30yrs and proud of what they did. then onto 5 days at Ranthambor - 2 incredible Tiger sightings with so many other species, onto Agra and the Taj Mahal and then the Saptura National Park. Great time was taken in the planning, we were given lots of options as to how to make the trip up including time of year and how to maximize wildlife sighting.