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Coyote

Coyote

Coyotes aren’t really dogs. That’s the first thing people need to know about them. The second thing they need to know is that Coyotes do not make very good pets—they should be left to live in the wild as nature intended. However, just because people can’t bring them into their homes doesn’t mean that they aren’t fascinating creatures. There is a lot we can learn from these canid cousins of our beloved house pets.

About this Breed

Coyotes aren’t really dogs. That’s the first thing people need to know about them. The second thing they need to know is that Coyotes do not make very good pets—they should be left to live in the wild as nature intended. However, just because people can’t bring them into their homes doesn’t mean that they aren’t fascinating creatures. There is a lot we can learn from these canid cousins of our beloved house pets.

Coyotes are close descendants of wolves. Although they are smaller and wilier—and perhaps a little less majestic than their wolf cousins—they retain many of the same qualities and characteristics.

Coyotes are native to North and Central America and come in a variety of colors and subspecies, which vary by region. They are an ancient animal, dating between 6,000 and 110,000 years ago, and are indigenous to the open plains and forests of the United States, Canada, and Central America. The first record of them dates back to the 1650s, when a Spanish naturalist described them in his book about the New World.

They are omnivores, eating both animals and plants, and generally hunt very small game. While they have good eyesight, they rely on their noses to do the majority of their hunting and have an extremely well-developed olfactory sense. They will occasionally hunt larger animals in packs, though their packs are not as well formed and hierarchal as those of wolves. That being said, they demonstrate remarkable social behavior and tend to form close bonds with their pack members, even showing signs of cooperation and altruistic tendencies (helping one another raise pups, for instance).

Coyotes’ close genetic relationship with domesticated dogs is evidenced by the fact that Coyotes can breed with dogs and produce fertile offspring. These interspecies canine relationships are rarely seen in the wild because they don’t often get along very well. With human intervention, however, the two have bred to create “coydogs,” which were popular with sled dog owners who wanted to create more resilient sled dogs without losing the biddability and friendliness of their husky-like domesticated dogs. The same thing happened in Aztec civilizations. They also would breed coydogs in an attempt to create more powerful animals who were also friendly and trainable.

Coyotes are generally wary of people and don’t like to be approached like our friends the domesticated dog. If seen in the wild, it’s best to appreciate them from afar.

Height

Male: 23-27in

Female: 21-25in

Weight

Male: 18-44lb

Female: 15-40lb

Fun Fact

The bark of a coyote, unlike the wolf, sounds very similar to the bark of a small dog.

Favorite Names

For Males

  1. Kenai
  2. LEGEND
  3. Maverick
  4. Montana
  5. Scooter
  6. Sky
  7. Wylie

For Females

  1. Eris
  2. Frenzi

Common Locations

  1. South Carolina, United States

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