Coyote Coexistence & Behavior — an update of what to expect and what to do

This flyer was distributed at the Diamond Heights Health & Safety Fair on October 30th. It reiterates and updates what we know about coyote behavior and how to avoid mishaps between dogs and coyotes in urban settings. It basically expands on the same information in the two posters on Coyote Coexistence Guidelines posted on October 15th, above.

Click on image to enlarge it for easier reading.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meghann
    Jan 01, 2013 @ 22:09:23

    Could you possibly tell me why two coyotes would try to take in a dog. They are perfectly content with her. Bringing food to her and all. I dont like the idea of this and dont let her out when they are in the yard, but iam curious of why they would do this.


    • yipps
      Jan 02, 2013 @ 04:20:17

      Hi Meghann — This is fascinating! Friendship? Mating Season? I’ll see what I can find out. Janet

    • yipps
      Jan 02, 2013 @ 13:40:42

      Hi Meghann —

      We need a little more information to help decipher what is going on. Could you give us the following information?
      1. Is the dog spayed?
      2. What breed is the dog?
      3. Has the dog ever been free to roam around the area?
      4. Depending on these answers, we may have additional questions.

  2. Ellen
    Jun 06, 2013 @ 14:31:25

    I live in a rural area. We are on five acres and surrounded by BLM land on all sides. We’ve lived out here for 12 years and coexisted with all the animals out here. Last year my sister gave us four hens and of course the coyotes want them to eat. I have a bunch of ground squirrels who set off an alarm when the coyotes come and it has helped keep my hens alive. I allow the hens to roam our one-acre “front yard” in the daytime and they are locked up at night. My problem has been that since we have been trying to chase the coyotes off when we see them in our pasture, our young German Shepherd Dog has started going over the fence into the BLM land to chase off the coyotes and I do not want to lose him. One young coyote seems to be “casing the joint” constantly and even trying to get my dog to come out of the yard. I want to coexist but now my husband is talking about getting a gun and shooting the coyotes and I really can’t stand the thought of that, it’s almost as horrible to me as losing my dog. I guess I want to know if we can get a humane trap and catch the young one and relocate it. There is a female coyote who has two pups, I’ve seen her and the pups a couple of times. There are A LOT of coyotes out here but only one seems to be escalating the situation. Is there a government agency that can help me. We are not rich so we can’t afford to make a six foot fence all around the property. For now my dog is on house arrest.


    • yipps
      Jun 06, 2013 @ 17:54:07

      Hi Ellen —

      Most states do not allow coyote relocation for several reasons. One reason is that, if the coyote is a “problem”, the “problem” is what will be relocated. No one wants that. But above and beyond that, coyotes are social, family animals who are tied to the land and their families. Relocation, even if it were possible, is a death sentence to them.

      German Shepherds are large dogs. I don’t think your dog is in danger from the coyotes. In fact, if your dog ends up being nipped by a coyote, your dog will probably stop jumping the fence into their territory.

      I think the issue is the chickens — that’s what the coyotes are interested in. Coyote-proof fences — 8′ high — work in this area. And it’s not the coyotes that get the chickens in my area, it’s the raccoons. Anyway, Donkeys and llamas and guard dogs are the next best protection unless you are going to be out there all the time supervising them.



    • Ellen
      Jun 06, 2013 @ 17:58:40

      I’ve got two donkeys on the property. They will go after my dogs if they get out in the pasture but they let the coyotes roam at will. I did some research on coyote relocating while I was waiting and I do see that is not the answer. I am quite aware the hens are the problem but they are also part of our family now so getting rid of them is not an option. I am now looking into doing some obedience training with my dog since I cannot afford to fence five acres with 8 foot fence. I appreciate your help though.

    • yipps
      Jun 06, 2013 @ 18:11:07

      Hi Ellen —

      Wow, you already have two donkeys! Lucky you! Your dog and the donkeys should be working in tandem. The reason the donkeys are after the dogs may be that they are rowdier than the coyotes, but also, the coyotes may be a substantial distance away. Donkeys start getting edgy when the coyotes get closer, and that’s when they go after them and drive them off.

      Yes, it would be great if you could train your dog to be helpful, but it may be a lot of work. Please keep me updated! Janet

  3. Ellen
    Jun 06, 2013 @ 17:59:46

    BTW we do not have raccoons out where we live.


  4. Diane Divin
    Sep 07, 2013 @ 17:10:37

    I live on a street where everyone has 2-4 acres and the homes behind us are mostly 10-20 acres with some heavily wooded areas. About 6 months ago a pack of coyotes 5-6 began coming up to my fenced property (5 ft chain link) at the back and rubbing up against the fence and running back and forth and stirring up my 3 Saluki dogs who then run back and forth also. It is happening now often instead of rarely. What are they doing this for and why? Are our dogs in danger? Will they come over the fence after them? There is no food outside that is attracting them, and no other animals on our property, it is definitely the dogs bringing them to our fence in this large pasture behind us. What can we do to stop this?


    • yipps
      Sep 08, 2013 @ 00:19:24

      Hi Diane,

      I’ve seen coyotes and dogs interact with each other from opposite sides of a fence this way. In one instance it was with two Afghans — those aren’t so different in size or speed from your dogs! In one case it’s been going on for years. Coyotes make an appearance, drawn to the property by the dogs where they know they can get a reaction from the dogs. Dogs and coyotes are each signaling to the other that they are there: evaluating them and even inciting them. Dogs and coyotes don’t generally get along and are antagonistic towards each other; but there’s a fence here which allows each of the canids and canines to feel a bit protected. I know this from my own dog who could bark ferociously at the dalmations who passed by our fence. But take her out of the fence and she behaved differently! Know that coyote families are antagonistic towards each other, too, and do not share their territories.

      It could be that the coyotes are rubbing their scent on the fence, making the fence work as a boundary line for them, too. Humans use fences as boundaries, but coyotes really rely on scent marking to communicate their boundaries. So this is probably what’s going on here.

      Coyotes are unlikely to jump the fence with the dogs there, but if you wanted to have a fail-safe fence, it should be 6’ high, and even have rollers on top. Coyotes can jump anything shorter than that.

      Here is a suggestion: It might be a good idea to try keeping the dogs inside for a few weeks, only letting them out when you can be with them, only for short periods, say to do their pooping, and keeping them inside especially during the times when you know the coyotes will be coming around: I’m assuming there are fairly routine times when they come by? If the coyotes come by WHILE you are out with them, you could try scaring them away with loudly clapping and yells, or even with clanging pots and pans together, though, more than likely, if you are out there, the coyotes may stay away. This idea comes from a colleague who adds that you should not allow your dogs to become aggressive towards the coyotes when doing this. The purpose is to break a routine habit and then let the dogs out again. If this works, great! If not, let’s try something else.

  5. Kim Major
    Aug 22, 2016 @ 07:41:26

    I am so very thankful for this site!While I live in San Francisco I live across the street from a 313 acre park (McLaren Park), where I have encountered coyotes numerous times (while walking my 60lb dog!). One time she got off leash & frolicked w/a coyote pup!A sight to behold. Your site brought up an interesting point: we have encountered coyotes NUMEROUS dog just looks at them and we go on our merry way.But OFTEN the coyotes will follow us when we’re walking, not in a menacing or threatening way at ALL, but…just inquisitiveness about canines? They never act scared, nor does my pooch. this simple curiosity?


    • yipps
      Aug 22, 2016 @ 16:13:31

      Hi Kim —

      So glad you like the blog and find it useful! Yes, following is mostly a curiosity thing: coyotes want to see where you are going and what you are doing. So for the most part, it’s benign curiosity. But it may also include serious business which is related to their territoriality — protecting their turf — and self-protection. So, the following may also involve an aspect of suspicion and may even go as far as escorting you out of the area and away. Know that it is always best to love them at a distance. Kindness to the coyote involves abiding by their needs — keep walking away from them.

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