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.

      I’ll ask a behaviorist if there are other solutions. Janet


    • 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. I’ll get back to you when/if I hear from another behaviorist. 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,

      Coyotes will always be curious about other canids. Most likely, they are rubbing against the fence to scent-mark it as a territorial boundary. They are essential trying to communicate with your dogs. My concern would be one or all three of your dogs jumping over the fence to chase the coyotes and getting lost or getting hit by a car.

      Your dogs are not in any danger – besides they can outrun a coyote quite easily. The coyotes are wary of your dogs, and they are ‘checking out’ the situation, whether the dogs can be a potential threat to them and their young.


      Keep your dogs in a barn or indoors for a week, until the coyotes lose interest and move on. During that time, Supervise the dogs when they are let out to go to the ‘bathroom.’ If the coyotes approach the fence while you are there with the dogs (they are interested in the dogs, not you), then clap your hands loudly, yell and shoo them away – they will understand that their presence is not welcome. Do not allow your dogs to get aggressive with them when you are doing this. After a week, you can let your dogs out again – please let me know how things work out.


      Mary A. Paglieri
      Executive Director
      Human-Animal Conflict Consultant
      Behavioural Ecologist

      P.S. I should have elaborated that this is the time of year that coyotes have pups with them – this is why they are more vigilant about ‘checking out’ your dogs to determine whether they could be a threat to their young.

  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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s