What to Do if You See Coyotes While Walking Your Dog

Ever seen a dog you thought was lost but turned out to be an actual coyote upon closer inspection? People living near forests or wildlife reserves are likely to encounter coyotes. 


We must now be more aware of the increasing co-existence between humans and animals in urban areas, whether we are walking alone or with pets. It is crucial that we make the right choices about how to coexist with coyotes. They are an incredibly valuable part of our natural ecosystem. Coyotes, omnivores and top predators in cities, are also known as "nature’s clean-up crew", reducing rodent populations and scavenging for dead animals.

՚՚The Eastern Coyote, North America's "Song Dog" shares common DNA with the Algonquin Wolf. When left unhindered to thrive on their own, coyotes mate for life and have significant family bonds. Each family of coyotes maintains and defends a territory or home range that averages between 5 and 28 square kilometers (3 to 18 square miles), depending on food availability. They are skillful foragers who make use of a range of natural and human discarded food and waste.՚՚

Do You Need to Be Afraid of Your Dog Barking At Coyotes?

Dogs can sense and communicate with other animals including coyotes by howling, barking and sniffing. Although barking can be a way to get a coyote interested, it's more likely to make it leave if they see a human around. If your dog is eager to interact with wildlife, distract it by giving treats or changing direction. This will reduce the likelihood of further aggression.

Coyotes can see chasing differently than dogs, so it is important to ensure your dog doesn't chase them. It is important to keep a distance between your dog and the coyote, as this will reduce the possibility of communication and make negative interactions more difficult.

What to do if a coyote approaches you and your dog

Keep calm and keep your eyes open. Slowly move away from the area while remaining calm. Avoid running from a coyote. It may provoke its predatory instinct and chase you. Use any personal alarm devices, such as a bell, whistle or phone alarm to threaten or scare the coyotes.

  • Stop and Stand Still
  • Make Yourself BIG
  • Be Loud and Assertive
  • Slowly Back Away
  • NEVER turn your back and run

Standing tall and making yourself appear large, wave your arms and shout but not screaming as you walk in the direction the coyotes run towards. You can use a variety of noisemakers, such as your voice, an airhorn, a whistle,  jingling keys and the like. All of these noisemakers can be extremely effective.

Always keep a safe distance. It may be necessary to use more than one of these deterrents for coyotes who are used to them.

If the coyote displays aggressive behavior, you can make yourself appear larger by shaking your jacket, raising your hands and shouting " Go Away!".

If the coyote approaches you again, be prepared to throw rocks or sticks at it. But, don't hit them! Use sticks, clumps or tennis balls. Remember to pick them up into your arms: small dogs or children. To give the coyote less reason to keep coming, grab them into your arms.

Each animal that is placed on the earth plays an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems and the cycle of life humans depend on. We need them just as much as they need us. Coyotes are an integral part of our urban community and they will continue to be so. We have the chance to restructure our relationships with these urban canines while promoting a companionate co-existence.


You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post