This mammal is found in open and semi-open habitats, especially grasslands with scattered bushes and trees, in south, central-west and south-eastern Brazil Paraguay, northern Argentina, Bolivia east and north of the Andes and far south-eastern Peru It is very rare in Uruguay, being possibly extirpated. lists it as near threatened while it is considered vulnerable by the Brazilian government . It is the only species in the genus Chrysocyon. It is locally known as aguará guazú or "kalak" by the Toba, lobo de crin, lobo de los esteros or lobo colorado, and as lobo-guará in Brazil. It is also called borochi in Bolivia.The maned wolf bears minor similarities to the red fox, though it should be noted that it belongs to a completely different genus. The adult animal stands 67 to 107 cm tall at the shoulder, averages 125 cm in head-and-body length and weighs 20 to 34.09 kg The maned wolf is the tallest of the wild canids. The long legs are probably an adaptation to the tall grasslands of its native habitat. The tail measures 28 to 45 cm in length. Fur of the maned wolf may be reddish brown to golden orange on the sides with long, black legs and a distinctive black mane. The coat is further marked with a whitish tuft at the tip of the tail and a white "bib" beneath the throat. The mane is erectile, and is typically used to enlarge the wolf's profile when threatened or when displaying aggression.
The maned wolf is also known for its distinctive odor, which has earned it the nickname "skunk wolf."