Coyote Collie Mix Ups, by Walkaboutlou

Hi Janet, 

Three years ago a rancher had some issues with a coyote raiding lambs. A few weeks earlier someone had hunted with Staghounds and got 2 male coyote.

Bereft of supporting pack the female had pups. It was a very dry, poor area. Sheep had grazed the land to short grass, so rodents were minimal. Likely she had little choice to supply a litter of pups alone. So took what was available. Lambs.

Unfortunately she was hunted and the rancher was told she was lactating. He felt very upset thinking of pups starving so set out den scouting. After 5 hours..his dogs found 2 pups in a den. 

Lassie and Lobolito were female and male and about 2 weeks. He couldn’t bring himself to destroy them…so he put them in with a week old litter of border collies he had.

They were fully adopted by the mother and 6 other ranch collies. He minimized his contact with them and since he owns 7,000 acres allowed them to start ranging and becoming independent. By 4 months they were living in some woods near ranch. He gave them vaccines and let them become gradually wild.

Lobolito the male by 4 months went independent and scorned anything to do with ranch. Lassie..however…continued visiting the dogs. 

She grew up…wild to all humans except the Rancher and rejects dogs…except his border collies. She “owns” the ranch property but also rejects..other coyote! Now 3, past 2 years she has courted an older collie in January and February. He won’t let them breed because he wisely doesn’t want border collie x coyote crosses all over. Too smart!

Lassie knows his horse and the dogs and will come down to visit when they are out. [One of the dogs actually grooms and tends to her when they visit!]

She chases out ANY coyote very aggressively. She does not bother livestock and there are songbirds now in great number because she clears area of feral cats.

This spring he has border collie pups, and Lassie has several times come in and regurgitated piles of voles and mice to collie litter. Her “sister” is the mother. We suppose Lassie is being a good auntie. 

Just another example that coyote are extremely variable. He competes in sheepdog trials and jokes of bringing Lassie in for competition. 


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jo Thompson
    Jul 05, 2022 @ 11:27:02

    Fascinating story. Thank you, Lou!


  2. Rebecca Dmytryk
    Jul 05, 2022 @ 13:00:08

    Incredible story – thank you for sharing it.


  3. MelindaH
    Jul 05, 2022 @ 14:05:39

    Humans :(( Three dead coyotes and two pups living , but not their chosen lifestyle. The coyotes “adjusted” but were deprived of normal coyote mates, family, pups…


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Jul 05, 2022 @ 14:26:52

      I agree with you, and so does the author, but the story is about coyote adaptability and choices under adverse circumstances. The hunting should never have happened, but it did, and a human provided minimal care — he absented himself for the pups’ benefit while he provided for them — which allowed them to survive. Afterwards, BOTH youngsters continued to survive, each taking different paths by choice. The little female appears to have imprinted on the dog mother who raised her, and she fears other coyotes, I’m sure for a reason. I’m sure she’s chosen what’s best, going forward, for her own survival. These are my thoughts about it.

  4. Gina
    Jul 05, 2022 @ 18:43:22

    Fascinating! I’m guessing that rancher isn’t going to hunt coyote again, so that’s a good thing. Humans are sometimes slow to learn, but we eventually can. Coyotes seem to learn much more quickly!


  5. Bobbie Pyron
    Jul 05, 2022 @ 20:32:01

    What a fascinating story! I love how differently the two siblings chose to live. For 14 years, I had a coyote/blue heeler mix. She had the coat, face and build of a coyote and the blue merl coloring of the heeler. She was, paws down, the smartest dog I’ve ever shared my life with ❤️


  6. yipps:janetkessler
    Jul 05, 2022 @ 20:39:25

    Here’s a similar but different dog/coyote mix up:


Leave a Reply to Bobbie Pyron Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: