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It rained pretty hard last night so we decided to walk the dogs along a paved path instead of the soggy trails this morning. The path we went on goes for a ways between a very busy road and a housing development. It has trees on both sides separating the path from the road and houses. Then the path turns and goes along a smaller road with a golf course on the far side.

We were walking along with the dogs off leash when just behind us a small coyote popped out of the bushes and started barking and shrieking at us. We thought it was probably an adolescent. It was only about 25-30 pounds, much smaller than the usual ones around here.

We leashed the dogs and kept walking. The coyote followed us, still continuously barking and shrieking. It followed us across a wooden bridge and around the corner onto the part of the path that runs right along the street. Whenever a car came by it would duck into the woods between us and the golf course, but then it would get back onto the path behind us.

The only thing we could think of was that it was a young one that had lost it's mother and was following our dogs. The poor thing looked and sounded so pitiful.

It kept getting closer to us until it was finally only lagging about 25 feet behind us, still barking and crying.

That was a little too close for our comfort. And it was making the dogs crazy. Both of them were pulling at the leashes and barking and whining at it. So we turned around to head back to the car.

We'd walked back a short ways when one of the groundskeepers for the golf course came rolling up to us in his golf cart to warn us about a coyote in the area. The coyote wasn't an adolescent. It was a mother coyote with a pup still in the area. She'd attacked his dog, an Aussie, a couple of times.

Well, that changed the whole story for us from "Aw, poor thing" to a scary predator.

As we walked back, we lost sight of her for a few minutes, which made us even more nervous. Finally we spotted her sitting in the woods by the path. She didn't follow us anymore. She just sat there quietly. We figured that her den was probably right there and we'd interrupted her hunting as we came through. For a while I think we were between her and her pup and that's why she followed us.

Whatever the reason she followed us, it made for a much more exciting walk than we'd planned on. I think we're probably going to avoid that path for a while.
 

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I encounter coyotes often. I also am a nuisance wildlife trapper and have removed coyotes for years and years. (they don't trap well most are removed by other methods)

Over the years I find that coyotes will at times follow you in the woods, especially if you have a dog with you. I tend to think they do this out of curiosity, being territorial, or hoping to catch an easy meal unaware.

This is not a hard fast rule but I feel that generally any dog in good physical condition that is at least as large as the coyotes has little to fear from them.
Smaller dogs are definately on the menu.

Coyotes are not dumb. They are predators and rely on taking the weak and small prey. A dog of equal or near equal size poses too much risk.


My thoughts in hearing this coyote took on an Aussie, is that she had a den nearby. But I doubt she would be stupid enough to take on a pair of Rough Collies.
 

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Hi
That sounds like typical behavior from one of a denned up pair except for the fact of the size. It used to happen to me a lot with my last dog an Akita. We had a large undeveloped tract of land that we would bush whack around in. We would find Den's every spring sooner or later. One would lure the dog with that kind of behavior, it was really cool. It would get up real close and circle around and bark and cry. My Akita, Kesha, would freak. She was very animal agressieve but lazy. She had no chance of catching it so would only chase it a bit. The first time it happened I thought Rabies and I was freaked, leashed the dog and tried to get away. We must of walked towards the den because it got right up to us within 15' or so. If I would of had a gun I might of shot it that time. Glad I didn't. I like and admire them, but they are predators and dog, cat, farm animals are on the menu.

Another time Kesha gave a have hearted run over a hill and came running back with 3 or 4 of them chasing her, pretty funny, the only other time she was so scared was once when my daughter was walking her and she gave here tough girl act to a Rottie and it turned into 3. It must of been a family group with last years pup's?

They will usally move the Den.

Mike
 

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We had a large undeveloped tract of land that we would bush whack around in. We would find Den's every spring sooner or later. One would lure the dog with that kind of behavior, it was really cool. It would get up real close and circle around and bark and cry.
Do you mean they want to provoke the dog to either play/get aggressive iwth them in hopes of getting them to chase them back to where they can ambush the dog? Wow, that's really smart on their case (I've heard of how smart coyotes are, I find it kinda admirable).

But, scarey for me cause my dog would totally fall for it (she loves playing with other dogs and has no clue when a dog has bad intentions. A dog could be barking and rushing at her and she'll think he/she wants to play until the dog is right up next to her. And if the dog is smalelr than her she never clues in the dog isn't friendly and thinks it's playing).
 

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yeah, thats a classic coyote move, to have one come out and lure the dogs away into a waiting group who will attack it.

Early this morning, around 4 maybe, my 3 dogs ran up to the open window (2nd story, with a screen) and started growling and barking. I heard something similar returning from outside. I looked out and there were a few coyotes in the yard. They had probably stopped to drink from the pond. Julie saw them too, so now I have a witness! People keep thinking I'm crazy when I tell them there are coyotes here (we live in the suburbs).
 

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>Do you mean they want to provoke the dog to either play/get aggressive >iwth them in hopes of getting them to chase them back to where they can >ambush the dog? Wow, that's really smart on their case (I've heard of how >smart coyotes are, I find it kinda admirable).

I think that they were trying to just lure her away from the den like birds do with the fake can't fly routine. I don't think they were trying to catch/eat Kesha but I don't really know, maybe. If I had to guess I would think the male led her away and into last year’s pups and they all chased her back. It looked more like a ritual than an attack. But then Lions and Hyenas have an almost ritualistic inteaction around kills but it could get deadly quick. I would have laughed had someone said that a Coyote was a threat to a large healthy dog, but I'm not so sure now. I wouldn't want my dogs lost around them especially in winter. They will eat small or medium dogs in a minute. They take them right off tie outs or off pourches.

Coyotes seem to be evolving, when I moved to NH 30 yrs ago all that I knew about them was from out west. They were just moving in around here. I called fish and game the first time I saw one and they didn't seem to believe me. I used to see them every day in CA and weekly in CO. so I know what I saw. They are all over now and I have been told that they are acting more like wolves in that they pack up. They are a lot bigger around here. Taller, and I have heard of 40, 50 lbs. in weight.

Pretty interesting, I read what I can about them. Some say they have Timber wolve blood in them from going up around the great lakes through Canada. I also read that some folks think that the Coyote and the Red Wolf are the same animal?

Mike
 

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Coyotes have also been known on occasion to mate with wolves, though this is less common than with dogs due to the wolf's hostility to the coyote. The offspring, known as a coywolf, is generally intermediate in size to both parents, being larger than a pure coyote, but smaller than a pure wolf. A study showed that of 100 coyotes collected in Maine, 22 had half or more wolf ancestry, and one was 89 percent wolf. A theory has been proposed that the large eastern coyotes in Canada are actually hybrids of the smaller western coyotes and wolves that met and mated decades ago as the coyotes moved toward New England from their earlier western ranges.[19] The Red Wolf is thought by certain scientists to be in fact a wolf/coyote hybrid rather than a unique species. Strong evidence for hybridization was found through genetic testing which showed that red wolves have only 5% of their alleles unique from either Gray Wolves or coyotes. Genetic distance calculations have indicated that red wolves are intermediate between coyotes and Gray Wolves, and that they bear great similarity to wolf/coyote hybrids in southern Quebec and Minnesota. Analyses of mitochondrial DNA showed that existing Red Wolf populations are predominantly coyote in origin.[25]

from wikipedia
 
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