This information was distributed at a health & safety fair here in the city:
PLEASE DO YOUR PART IN PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT WHICH INCLUDES OUR WILD COYOTES!
- ~ coyotes are a natural part of this environment ~
- ~seldom are they aggressive, but they will protect themselves and their territories~
- ~small dogs could be targeted as prey ~
- ~ an ounce of prevention works! Protect both your dog and coyotes ~
- ~first and foremost, always be VIGILANT and AWARE when dog-walking~
- ~ when walking a dog, always practice TOTAL AVOIDANCE ~
1) Prevent close coyote encounters in the first place:
- never feed a coyote or try to tame it
- never walk towards a coyote – give them space
- never let your dog chase or play with a coyote
- leash your dog whenever you see or hear a coyote or know one is in the area and walk away from it
- pick up small dogs and walk away from the coyote
2) Behaviors coyotes use to protect themselves when chased by a dog
- charge-and-retreat sequence
- a long barking episode, often rearing up on their hind legs
- a nipping at the haunches, same as a cattle dog herding, to move the dog away
- “escorting” or following you out of the park (rarely)
3) If this should happen, first and foremost, GET AWAY FROM THE COYOTE by tightening your leash and dragging your dog away with you. Walk, don’t run. The coyote’s entire intention is to move you away — so do it! For those who are so inclined, they may attempt scaring off the coyote by throwing a stone in the coyote’s direction or yelling angrily while clapping, or slapping a newspaper on your thigh, but mainly:
- grab your dog when you can and leave the area, but don’t run which a coyote might read as an invitation to chase you
4) Two coyote behaviors to be aware of — usually between a coyote and a dog who know each other:
- “Chase-Chase” Behavior: the coyote will be traveling in the same direction as a walker and his/her unleashed dog, and will come in close with a little “darting in” and “retreat”. The dog will return the behavior. It is almost a “dare” or “oneupmanship” with no other intention than just this — it verges on play. Some dogs can handle this, some need to be leashed.
- A mother coyote may come to the aid of one of her full-grown pups and the two will work as a team to vex a dog to get it to leave: one coyote will distract the dog, the other will come around to dart in from the other side.
- In both cases, leashing the dog creates a barrier of sorts: it calms down the dog — and this can be seen by the coyote. But also it keeps the dog next to the owner which serves to deter the coyote from coming in. Coyotes do not care to tangle with humans.
*A compilation of more in-depth information and a video can be found at: “FIRST: Coyote Coexistence Guidelines and Safety Information.”
Please read postings on December 12th: “Dog Reactions to Seeing a Coyote”, November 4th: “Some Reactions to Dogs”, November 17th: “ANOTHER Reaction to Dogs”, and December 1: “Significance of a Seemingly Unprovoked Challenge”. “Blatant Visual Message for Newcomer Dog” on 2/8/10. “A short back-and-forth chase: oneupmanship verging on play” 2/4/10.