Expressing “Dislike”

A man sat down sat down with his arms around the dog to keep her activity in check — he had just become aware of a coyote but he had no leash or collar.  This was his first visit to this particular park. The coyote, about 150 feet away, sat down to watch this newcomer dog. The dog showed absolutely no interest in the coyote, even though he clearly saw it. After a few minutes, the man decided to release the dog and the dog began playing with a stick. The coyote watched. The dog then moved on to a pine cone which he pounced on and then, rump up, front down, invited the coyote to play. The dog never made any attempt to get any closer to the coyote. The owner, fearing that this might lead to no good, decided to move on, with the dog staying right at his side. Soon they were far down the path and out of sight.

The coyote then hurried over to sniff the spot where the dog hand been playing. He sniffed thoroughly for all clues the dog might have left. I guess there was no interesting information, because he walked on, and began hunting and wandering about. However, about 35 minutes later — it seemed like enough time for the coyote to have forgotten the dog — the coyote returned to that spot either in passing, or on purpose. He definitely remembered the dog. He sniffed the stick again and then left a pile of poop on it — a message left for the dog in case he should return, or just venting his own feelings?!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nature lover
    Dec 08, 2012 @ 04:02:59

    Around noon, I was on a paved trail today and met a coyote while going up. After we briefly both stopped and stared, I moved slowly towards the coyote, thinking it would move off the trail. It didn’t. It moved towards me. Not aggressively or menacingly, but definitely towards me. I waved my hands. It kept walking towards me. When it was too close for comfort, I waved my hands and made menacing noises. It suddenly bolted to the side of the trail and ran by me very scared.
    Is this normal behavior?

    Reply

    • yipps
      Dec 08, 2012 @ 08:54:18

      It sounds like this coyote may be habituated to humans and doesn’t find them particularly scary. This happens in a park settings — he’s just used to seeing people as part of his environment. But when you became menacing he sensed danger and bolted. I’ve seen coyotes come within 30 feet of people. They are not purposefully approaching the person. They just happen to be on the same path, minding their own business. The encounter was happenstance.

      Reply

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