Social structure

In packs, there are separate male and female hierarchies that will split up if either of the alphas die. In the female group, the oldest will have alpha status over the others, so a mother will retain her alpha status over her daughters. For the males, in contrast the youngest male or the father of the other males will be dominant. When two such loner separate-gender groups meet, if unrelated they can form a pack together. Dominance is established without blood-shed, as most dogs within a group tend to be related to one another in some way, and even when not this can occur.

They have a submission-based hierarchy, instead of a dominance based one. Submission and nonaggression is emphasised heavily, even over food they will beg energetically instead of fight. This is likely because of their manner of raising huge litters of dependant pups, so if one individual is injured the entire pack would not be able to provide as much.

Unrelated African Wild Dogs sometimes join up in packs, but this is usually temporary. Occasionally, instead unrelated African Wild Dogs will attempt hostile takeovers of packs.