Coyote Family Playtime for a 3-Month Old Singleton Pup

This tiny family responds to sirens!

She’s an “only pup” — she has no litter mates. An “only pup” is known as a “singleton” pup. But she is not an “only child” because she has an older brother: a yearling born the year before. He was part of a litter of five, and is the only youngster from that litter to remain part of the family. That yearling plays with the pup, as do Mom and Dad, as you’ll see in the video.

Nighttime is when coyote families engage in most of their family activities: the whole family plays together on and off — when adults aren’t off hunting — during the length of the evening. And then they rest or sleep in different locations during the daytime.

The video above is a composite from one of my rarer daylight captures of family play. Note that, after the intense and fun play session above, the “adults”, trickle off, one at a time, in the end leaving the pup alone for the rest of the day. At night, too, they leave her for long extended periods of time when they go off hunting. She knows she must stay home and keep hidden.

After watching them leave, the pup wanders sadly, slowly, and unenthusiastically back — you can tell this by the lack of energy in her pace — to her hiding place. And that’s how the days go by as she is growing up.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MelindaH.
    Aug 05, 2019 @ 17:42:40

    Thank you for doing this video!! It is wonderful—and another example of why I love coyotes!


  2. environmentalhealthpolicy
    Aug 05, 2019 @ 22:31:25

    Wow, you really can see how similar coyotes are to dogs in this video. The play is really similar! We’re staying up in San Rafael right now, and we hear the coyotes howling every night. Now I can imagine what they’re doing during this time!


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Aug 05, 2019 @ 22:49:22

      Hi EHP — When coyotes play, they don’t howl: that’s reserved for bigger events such as response to sirens, or other coyotes in the distance, or even when chased by a dog. However, during play, they’ll emit quiet little squeaks and yips, sometimes barely audible, or soft growls if another coyote family member becomes annoying. :)) Janet

  3. Steven
    Sep 20, 2019 @ 15:12:06

    That is a great video. So dog/canine like. My shepherd plays the same way.


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