Curiously Following a Leashed Dog

This coyote has, twice now, casually, nonchalantly, but curiously and interestedly, followed this dog and walker. I’ve seen this behavior before with other dogs: the coyote seems to actually pick a particular dog and walker, and just saunters along behind — trailing at 50 to 100 feet —  and curiously watching: “What are you doing and where are you going?” When the walker stops or turns around to face the coyote, the coyote freezes in it’s tracks but does not flee, or it heads for some bushes but still watches.  When the walker and dog pick up again, the coyote lingers for a moment, but then carefully follows again. After several hundred feet the exercise peters out and the coyote ducks into the thicket and out of sight.

In this case here, the walker was charmed and amused by the coyote’s curiosity towards him. He had no problem with what was happening, but did keep turning around to make sure the coyote kept a safe distance away.

If you feel intimidated by this particular coyote behavior, or if a coyote gets too close, you need to let it know that you don’t like it around. You need to shoo it off and then keep moving on. The easiest way to shoo off a coyote is to face it and yell at it to go — do this in a manner that conveys that you really mean it.  Whispering “shoo” or waving your arms isn’t going to do a thing. An even better technique is to lean down as if to pick up a pebble — most coyotes know what this means. And if you need to, really pick up a pebble and toss it in the coyote’s direction (but never at the coyote). You have not accomplished anything unless you have caused the coyote to move off, so you need to persist until it does so.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 15:11:47

    I had this exact situation happen yesterday at Mission Trails, I have two Huskies, and a coyote following us up and down a hill. Both dogs were on leash and did not seem concern with the coyote, but I was spooked.


    • yipps
      Apr 20, 2012 @ 16:39:12

      Hi Lisa —

      This is normal coyote behavior. They are known for being curious: “where are you going and what are you doing?” Some people are charmed by this behavior, and others don’t like it. It does not mean it is stalking you. However, right now is denning season. Coyotes are protective of their dens and the territory around them. It’s best to keep walking away from a coyote if you see one — but don’t run, which might be seen as an invitation to be chased!

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