Keeping Friendly Coyotes At A Distance

It is the nature of the situation that in an urban park where there are coyotes, the coyotes are going to get used to people and dogs. However, it is not good for them or us if they come in too close. It is best to scare them off if they get too close. We want to keep them wild. The coyotes have never approached people in our parks, but they have approached some of the dogs when the dog and owner have appeared suddenly in its immediate vicinity.

I have only seen coyotes go up to a very calm dog which the coyote senses will not chase it. I’ve seen several friendly dog-coyote “greetings” of this sort — always between a fairly mature dog and a younger coyote.  For the most part, the greeting consists of a brief nose touch, after which dog and coyote return to whatever they had been doing beforehand.

Coyotes who approach do not always do so out of friendliness or curiosity. A mother coyote that I keep track of likes to warn dogs who get too close that they need to stay back: it is usually just a warning message, but she has nipped a few dog buts for emphasis.

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