These three coyotes were like mirror images of each other this morning. They walked in a single-file together. They sniffed the ground, all in a line, at the exact same time. And then they climbed this ledge which served as a lookout for them. They were all reacting to three large and bulky dogs, tightly leashed, and their fairly large owner. Actually the third dog was not large, but it added to the overall amplitude of the group.
The walker and her dogs hadn’t just walked through the area — that would have been the normal thing to do. Instead, they “hung-out”, as the walker later told me, and this behavior must have alarmed the coyotes somewhat. The dogs and owner walked around off the beaten path and even sat down to watch the coyotes. Being tightly leashed, the group could be seen as a cohesive, and intimidating whole. If this is what impressed me, I’m sure this is what impressed the coyotes.
One of the dogs was an exceedingly large pit-bull, and another was a very large muzzled dog — I was told that the muzzle was because this dog became aggressive when it encountered un-neutered male dogs. The third dog was a small dog, but, as I said, it added to the bulk of the group. All the dogs were very friendly — it was just their visual impact which was daunting.
I did not see the coyotes’ nor the dogs’ reactions to each other: it would have been enlightening to see this. I arrived only in time to see the coyotes very purposefully trot over to where the dogs had been, where they sniffed out the area, and then climbed up the ledge where they stood dead still — all in a row — as they watched the dogs leave the area.