Coyote Blocking A Path; or Feeling Threatened by a Human Who Is Trying To Retrieve Their Dog

I want to describe two coyote behaviors which I was recently told about.  Although I cannot give the exact details because I wasn’t there, I nonetheless want to describe what I was told so that others will be aware of all possibilities when encountering a coyote. The coyote acted “boldly” for self-protective reasons in both instances  — we have to look at the whole picture to know what is going on. Both of these dog walkers handled the situation really well.

1) Condi has a large, nine-year old Weimaranger. She and her dog stay away from coyotes always. However, a few days ago she said that a coyote would not let them by! The coyote stood ahead in the middle of the path which she was on. Condi did not want to approach with her dog. When she went around to another loop in the path, the coyote had gone there! The only thing she could do was to turn back, which is what she did. I asked Condi what she thought might have been going on. She thought the coyote was possibly guarding a food source.

2) Robin realized something was up when her Ridgeback’s hackles went up and the dog headed off the path to sniff. Yes, there was a coyote right there. But the dog had already gotten too close to the coyote by the time Robin realized this. The coyote began its defensive display as Robin tried going in to grab her dog. She felt that the defensive display was also directed at her as she approached her dog which was close to the coyote, so she stood back and was able to call her dog to her. They then walked on without incident. It is never a good idea for a human to walk towards a coyote, especially if the coyote is already acting defensive — the animal might feel pursued or cornered which might cause it to take more desperate measures to defend itself. I actually saw the threesome coyote family right in that same spot that same morning, maybe around 15 minutes after Robin had passed through. Two other walkers saw these three also at about that time. Coyotes do not like to be approached by dogs. If it happens to be a mother coyote, she can be particularly defensive if her family members are in the area, and this is what we all have to be aware of.

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