Do Coyote Tails Wag? “Catch Me If You Can!”

Yes, coyote tails do wag, but from what I’ve seen, quite differently than a dogs. When the coyotes wag their tails in excited and anxious anticipation, the tails move very slowly in a back and forth motion. When they greet each other at a rendezvous, the tails seems to be swished around in circles — circles of ecstatic joy! Please note the pure joy displayed in their faces as these two coyotes play with each other. They are totally involved with the play and with each other. Their vision was intensely focused on each other as they played, though a couple of times they looked over at me. They seemed to concentrate on each others faces to anticipate what the other would do. Their play involved inciting the other to chase, chasing, keeping away from the other by running around a bush — sometimes the chaser “jumped” the barrier-bush, waging their tails in anticipation as they waited for the other to react, running together, feinting, testing.

Notice their mouths are open, they are almost smiling. Also, there was crouching with the front part of the body down and back part up in a puppy “invitation to play” fashion. When they reached each other after a chase, their mouths were agape and often their teeth are bared, but they never made tooth contact. They often lay in a sphinx-like posture while waiting. They panted. The play continued for 24 minutes before they ducked into the brush.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Will
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 15:24:55

    I found this blog while trying to confirm what i thought i saw, a coyote gently wagging his tail when comimg nose to nose with his companion. Guess it was a real wag! My dog (without my permission) has engaged and played with coyotes in a manner much like the play in these photos. I was alarmed and try to keep my dog away from coyotes, but i was also very surprised that the play did not turn aggressive. Your blog is cool!


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