Kooky

Do Coyotes Play with Dogs?

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I live in a very woodsy area, with acres of forest behind me and an old farm next to me.  We are no strangers to wild life in and around our yard.  I also have a pretty large dog, 5yr old lab that is 100+lbs, and he is all almost all muscle not a big fat dog.  In years passed when coyotes would come around, more then 1, he would get very anxious and upset as he runs free in yard and woods. He would run to door with his fur up and clearly be agitated but knew he wanted nothing to do with them.  This year something is different, a few weeks ago i saw him running to the woods at edge of yard and went out to see what was going on.  He was nose to nose with a coyote about half his size, but both he and the coyote had tails up and started to jump around and what seemed like 2 dogs playing.  There was no aggression by either animal, but i called him in and he reluctantly came to me. Coyote followed to edge of grass and then went in back yard and started to bark/yip for my dog who mimicked the coyote's bark perfectly as if calling back. Then all my woods lit up with coyotes barking.  Now this has happened several times, and my dog sits on the steps watching the path they come from and sooner or later goes running and there is a coyote again. Same routine they go nose to nose and them kind of romp around.  2 Nights ago, this happened when i was fishing and my wife and son got the dog in and they said as they were calling the dog in the coyotes were barking and yipping at him to come out.

 

So clearly one coyote is not a threat to my dog as just sheer size/strength difference.  But more then one is a different story, and being a lab all he thinks about is eating and playing.  I just cannot figure out if he has actually formed a friendship with one or 2 of the coyotes OR if they are trying to set up him to lure him to where pack is waiting.  Just curious if anyone has had these kind of interactions with their dogs and yotes or general thoughts. I have heard that coyotes only eat other dogs if they are starving, and generally only smaller dogs but i am not sold on anything when it comes to animals trying to survive. During bad winter many years ago i caught a large fisher cat trailing my old dog as is stalking him to attack.

 

 

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I live in Newport and have heard instances of coyotes luring pets to follow them,  Be very careful.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Canine Instincts kicking in... but I would keep your dog AWAY.  If you want  to hear a scary coyote story, watch the movie At Close Range  and listen to Christopher Walken's coyote rant.  Fact or Fiction, I think you will have your answer...

Edited by ChuckDgaf

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We had a presentation from a coyote expert in my town 2 years ago (NH). She said a coyote will not only befriend a dog, they will sometimes even breed with them. Neither of these things should be encouraged, but the concern seemed more out of disease, etc. The luring of dogs off for pack attacks was described as very rare, as despite living in a pack coyotes tend to hunt individually and mostly eat things like mice, etc. Not to say they won't run down a deer, but it's less common than people say. So that's what they told us, they had lots of info about how coyotes limit their pack sizes (I think to 7), etc. They were clear if the coyotes are interacting with dogs get out there and scare it away with banging pans, etc. We have a pack out back I hear every night (they are calling to each other, not celebrating a kill), my dog and cat seem to ignore them mostly. The fisher cats cause me more concern than the coyotes even though we see them less often.

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A friend of mine had a wolf dog mix that got pregnant by  a coyote. That puppy was a lunatic, the town literally forced him to have it put down

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1 hour ago, Kooky said:

I live in a very woodsy area, with acres of forest behind me and an old farm next to me.  We are no strangers to wild life in and around our yard.  I also have a pretty large dog, 5yr old lab that is 100+lbs, and he is all almost all muscle not a big fat dog.  In years passed when coyotes would come around, more then 1, he would get very anxious and upset as he runs free in yard and woods. He would run to door with his fur up and clearly be agitated but knew he wanted nothing to do with them.  This year something is different, a few weeks ago i saw him running to the woods at edge of yard and went out to see what was going on.  He was nose to nose with a coyote about half his size, but both he and the coyote had tails up and started to jump around and what seemed like 2 dogs playing.  There was no aggression by either animal, but i called him in and he reluctantly came to me. Coyote followed to edge of grass and then went in back yard and started to bark/yip for my dog who mimicked the coyote's bark perfectly as if calling back. Then all my woods lit up with coyotes barking.  Now this has happened several times, and my dog sits on the steps watching the path they come from and sooner or later goes running and there is a coyote again. Same routine they go nose to nose and them kind of romp around.  2 Nights ago, this happened when i was fishing and my wife and son got the dog in and they said as they were calling the dog in the coyotes were barking and yipping at him to come out.

 

So clearly one coyote is not a threat to my dog as just sheer size/strength difference.  But more then one is a different story, and being a lab all he thinks about is eating and playing.  I just cannot figure out if he has actually formed a friendship with one or 2 of the coyotes OR if they are trying to set up him to lure him to where pack is waiting.  Just curious if anyone has had these kind of interactions with their dogs and yotes or general thoughts. I have heard that coyotes only eat other dogs if they are starving, and generally only smaller dogs but i am not sold on anything when it comes to animals trying to survive. During bad winter many years ago i caught a large fisher cat trailing my old dog as is stalking him to attack.

 

 

This is a tactic by coyotes that has been observed a lot by folks recently...Coyote pack will have a "bait dog" that will lure your dog to build a trust level with; only to result in an ambush typed attack once your animal is vulnerable. Be very careful allowing your lab to continually greet that solo yote, a few good articles online of peoples dogs being lured and killed by this peculiar technique 

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Very interesting.  Google "Eastern Coyote Research".  The guys name is Jonathan Way.  He lives somewhere in the eastern part of Mass.  He's made a career out of studying coyotes and may be able to share his experience regarding the issue with your dog interacting with coyotes.

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Wouldn't these animals has a leader in the pack (Alpha) that formed a bond with your dog and the other followed and just play with him. Like other mentioned they most likely won't just lure him to the pack to attack him...

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10 mins ago, Schooner Fred said:

The owners of a cranberry bog next to me had a coyote lure his big dog into the woods where a pack of them killed the dog

Thanks, i keep hoping it is a harmless interaction but in the back of my mind it keeps feeling like something is up.  And the fact that consistently there have been several hanging back in the woods makes me more anxious about it.

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3 hours ago, Kooky said:

Thanks, i keep hoping it is a harmless interaction but in the back of my mind it keeps feeling like something is up.  And the fact that consistently there have been several hanging back in the woods makes me more anxious about it.

You should be!

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3 hours ago, Kooky said:

Thanks, i keep hoping it is a harmless interaction but in the back of my mind it keeps feeling like something is up.  And the fact that consistently there have been several hanging back in the woods makes me more anxious about it.

Choot 'em. 

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Coyotes are crafty little bastards. They will go so far as to play dead so a dog comes up to sniff it and is attacked by a pack as well as the "dead one" . They live in every state of the continental US and pretty much every city. That is not an accident. They adapt to life around them including humans as well as roaches and rodents. They have flourished in the face of massive hunting and poisoning campaigns, so doing your friendly fido dirty is nothing to them. No more play dates. It's not likely to end well.

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