Request for Grooming & Tick Removal Denied

He stands in front of her waiting for the routine grooming and tick removal which has become an everyday occurrence between these two. But she is busy grooming herself this time. He stands patiently, but she does not respond — she continues grooming herself. Finally, he lets her know more forcefully by engaging her muzzle — “can’t you see what I want?” Whether she sees it or not, she does not respond. He then plops himself right in front of her — maybe this might get a response? But no, she concentrates on her own grooming. Finally she heads off. He watches, a bit defeated, and then follows her.

I’ve seen this “request” a number of times now in several coyote pairs. More often than not, one ends up grooming the next one. Maybe it involves a request to relieve a particularly bad skin itch or pain. I always wonder why the service is not a mutual one.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gail
    Dec 01, 2012 @ 04:52:44

    Is it generally, then, that the male badgers the female? (hmmmm)
    Wouldn’t you just love to bathe, brush and give a dose of Advantage?!?

    Reply

    • yipps
      Dec 01, 2012 @ 05:18:35

      For these specific two coyotes, it is always the female who grooms. But I’ve seen other coyote pairs where the female requests grooming from the male, and the male complies. So, no, it’s not broken down by male/female status, according to what I’ve seen. However, maybe dominance has something to do with it, but in a way you would not think: so far, I’ve always seen the dominant one doing the grooming! Maybe it’s a way of “taking care of” the other one?

      Reply

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