In the video, after sirens sounded, first there was a howling session, then some greeting and hierarchy interactions which included nose touches, dominance displays, body contact, submissive displays and confirmations. And then this! Pestering? Teasing? Demand for attention? Challenging? Provoking??? Or maybe he’s just simply not doing what she wants him to do?

The two coyotes *of interest* are an older mated pair with a family of yearlings and pups. I’ve seen an established routine of antagonism between the two whereby the female snarls, and grunts at *him* and he simply ignores her or turns away after, often, responding with a snarly grimace. She continues to groom him sometimes, but also they tend to walk right past each other as ships in the night without acknowledging the other’s presence. The male is a rather easy going fellow. The female appears to be older than he is — she’s the one doing the prodding. The territory is one in which the male was born and the female then joined him and they’ve been together ever since.

I know another mated pair where there seems to be more antagonism as the pair has aged. The male is much older than the female: he is 8.5 years old and she is 4.5 years old. They’ve raised two pups over the course of three seasons who they keep well hidden. Their relationship began with the male being very solicitous and careful. More recently, and maybe it’s because he’s quite old and in pain, I’ve seen him become grouchy on occasions, even throwing *her* to the ground when she pinches him by mistake while grooming him. She ducks or falls on her back, and then, when his anger is over, she continues grooming him because he apparently demands it by standing next to her: her job is a chore now though it didn’t used to appear that way.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Erin
    Oct 05, 2017 @ 09:44:18


    I do not live in your area, but thought maybe you could still answer a question for me.

    I live on the edge of 500 acres of hunting lands, so it’s heavily wooded. My dogs roam free during the day, and are locked up at night. During the day, they don’t wander far from the house, although I did catch them 2 times in the last year wandering into the woods.

    For the past year I have been hearing coyotes howling and barking all night. Over the last week, I am hearing them all during the day. Is this normal for them to be so active during the day, especially so close to my house/the road? I’m worried about them getting close to my dogs.


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Oct 05, 2017 @ 17:47:17

      Hi Erin —

      Coyotes in fact are diurnal, they are not nocturnal, so you may hear them at any time of day or night. They don’t howl at a *kill*, but rather howl to communicate. They will often respond after fire engine, police, or ambulance sirens sound. They also howl in distress when chased by dogs.

      Coyotes have been moving into urban areas for many years now — this is why they are close to where you live. But also, if you are on the edge of hunting lands, you can be sure that hunters are disrupting their family units. It could be that youngsters are looking for parents who have been killed: they’ll howl for hours on end in hopes that a parent will hear them. Coyotes in most places can be hunted year-round, or after the pups are old enough to fend for themselves, which is now.

      It’s best to supervise your dogs out-of-doors or to build an enclosure with a fence which is 6′ tall and coyote-proof. Visit for a posting on coyote-proof fencing.

      Please let me know if this helps. Janet

  2. Erin
    Oct 06, 2017 @ 22:44:42

    Wow, I always thought they were nocturnal… interesting.

    Thanks for the info!


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