I agree with the points @Heather-Boyd made, especially on the background: When the ground is flat, there usually is some sort of gradation and color change around the horizon. So plain black or white (think of a studio setting) would be your best bet here.
The rendering is done well overall. You can easily increase contrast though. Don't hesitate to use even darker and lighter colors!
I really like the feet, nice level of detail. That however makes them another focal point. Do not make anything other than the main focal points (the head) too detailed.
Most critical in my view is this aspect:
The stripes on the tail should be on the back of it, not underneath.
Animals generally have their backs colored differently than their front:
The back tends to be darker or more colorful and has more striking patterns (like you applied already). The front, e.g. belly, is usually lighter.
Pull up some references for this one.
Eager to see the next piece!