CO5: African Wild Dog Behaviour

This course is recognised by the ABC SA.

For students who want to learn more about wildlife and wildlife conservation.  Because conservation is something we feel strongly about, COAPE will donate 25% of the course fee for every student enrolled to the EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme for the Wild Dog conservation. Students with no prior experience in this field may also enrol for this course.

Students may enrol at any time.

An Advanced Award for individuals who are interested in learning more about the fascinating African Wild Dog and for students of zoology, wildlife conservation, field guides and other professionals who want to understand more about African Wild Dog conservation.

This course will enable you to understand the subtler aspects of wild dog behaviour and understand some of the reasons why this incredibly social carnivore has been so heavily persecuted over the last century. The knowledge gained can greatly enhance the understanding and pleasure when viewing this species in the wild.

Wildlife Course

African Wild Dog Behaviour
CO5 COAPE Course


In this first unit we develop an understanding of the evolution of carnivores as well as the morphology of canids and the wild dog. The student will be able to explain the scientific classification of wild dog, gray wolf and domestic dog and compare and contrast the individual differences. We will look at differences within the family of Canidae and understand, with examples, the morphological differences of canids and the wild dog.

UNIT 2:  
We look closely at the pack structure of the wild dog, gaining an understanding of their social behaviour as well as breeding and reproductive behaviour. The student will compare differences within the social structure of a large canid pack and a small canid pack.

Unit 3 looks at the hunting behaviour and methods of the wild dog. Long considered by many people as a brutal style of hunting, research has shown the adaptability of co-operative hunting, the prey preferences of the wild dog, as well the communication systems used in co-operative hunting.

UNIT 4: 
Unit 4 demonstrates a deeper understanding of the fragile status of the wild dog in Africa and the need for its conservation. Conservation policies and methods of conservation will be discussed, as well as the distribution of the wild dog throughout Africa. We will examine the reasons for the decline of the wild dog population through human persecution and natural predation, as well as some of the methods to aid wild dog conservation. The student will be introduced to the Wild Dog Metapopulation Plan and evaluate the geographical and ecological features of a metapopulation reserve.

The student will go ‘behind the scenes’ of wild dog research and gain an understanding of how to plan a study of wild dogs. We will examine current methods of monitoring wild dogs with examples of surveying and assessing the distribution of wild dogs. There are limiting factors on the numbers of wild dogs in terms of distribution, ecology and predation and that is why it is important to track and monitor them. We will explore the current technology available for tracking them as well as monitoring disease within a pack of wild dogs.

This final unit goes into finer detail and looks at the life of one wild dog pack and a ten-year research study conducted on them. The students will be able to explain in detail the essential aspects of a management programme as well as the key factors for consideration when planning a metapopulation and wild dog conservation policies.


  • The African Wild Dog Behaviour Course is an excellent interest course for any BSc student or any student who is going into the guiding industry.


Tutor & Marker:
Wendy Collinson-Jonker

Course Type:
Correspondence online.

Course Format:
Each Unit of the course notes is e-mailed out to students as a separate e-Book.

We supply you with a specially designed ‘template’ on-line to assist you in writing your coursework using your own computer and preferred word processing software. Your coursework is submitted to the COAPE offices via the internet, marked and returned back to you the same way.

Course Duration:
The duration of the course is 9 months. You can enrol for this course any time of the year.

Abilities Required for This Course:

  • This course contains practical assessment activities which involve sight, hearing observation and physical interactions/handling skills.
  • Students must be computer literate, have the use of a computer with internet access and be able to operate basic programs such as Microsoft Word.
  • A good command of the English language is essential.

Pricing & Enrolment

Don’t forget to enquire about our affordable monthly payment plans, make your dream course a reality!


Please note that there is a required reading list which you will receive once you have enroled and paid the deposit. The price of the books is NOT INCLUDED in the course fee. It is the student’s responsibility to source and obtain the books. A number of the books are available on Amazon Kindle or E Readers, which may prove more cost effective.

For all COAPE course enquiries, please contact us at [email protected]

For all enquiries contact [email protected]