Can A Large Dog Kill A Coyote?

Is a large canine a match for a Coyote? If you are a dog owner that lives in a region where there are coyotes, you are probably worried about the safety of your dog. Should you be? In a word, yes.

Can a large dog kill a coyote? A large canine is usually more than capable of killing a coyote. An adult coyote will generally weigh around 60 lbs., which is considerably smaller than many large breeds of dogs. So, a large canine can usually kill a coyote.


But, does that mean that you have nothing to worry about if you own a large dog in an area that is known to have coyotes? No, it doesn’t. There are several reasons you should still be concerned about the safety of your dog, and if your dog is attacked, it is important that you get him medical care immediately.

Will A Coyote Attack A Large Canine?

You may be wondering if a coyote would even attack a large canine. The answer is that while it may not be a normal activity, it can happen, and it does happen. Coyotes are much more likely to attack small dogs than large ones, but that doesn’t mean that you can rest easy if you have a large dog. Dogs are territorial, and coyotes are hunters and scavengers. They roam around at night looking for food, and if they happen to encounter a large dog while they are on the prowl, it can result in a fight.

Coyote with dog

Typically, when a coyote sees a dog, it will treat it as a threat, or possible prey. In either case, it may choose to attack. If you have a large dog, it will be treated as a threat, and depending on the situation, the coyote may attack or run away. During breeding and pupping seasons, coyotes tend to be much more aggressive than usual, making them more dangerous. While a coyote may typically run away from a large dog, if he or she has pups nearby, they will be more likely to attack to protect their young.

What Danger Does A Coyote Pose To A Large Canine?

Does a coyote actually pose a danger to a large canine? A larger dog will usually have an advantage in a fight if he is much bigger and more powerful than a coyote. But you have to remember that coyotes are wild animals that hunt and fight regularly. Your dog, while capable, is domesticated and probably doesn’t have many violent events in his life. With their more considerable experience, a coyote can pose a threat to a dog, even if that dog happens to be much bigger and stronger.

Coyote fight

Another threat you have to be worried about concerning coyotes is the fact that they often hunt in packs. If you have a large dog that runs into a single coyote, that coyote could turn and run. Or, if they do get into a fight, the larger dog has a distinct advantage. But, if there are a pack of coyotes present, then that’s a different story altogether. Not only will a pack of coyotes have an advantage over a single dog, but a pack is also used to hunting as a team. Sadly, even if you have a huge dog, if he encounters a pack of coyotes, it probably will not end well for him.

Another concern with coyotes is the fear of rabies. Rabies is a deadly virus that is unfortunately often fatal for any animal that contracts it. One reason that a coyote might attack a larger dog is if that coyote is rabid. A rabid coyote is very dangerous because it is much more aggressive than a typical coyote. While a healthy coyote may run away from a larger dog, a rabid coyote will usually attack regardless of the disadvantage it has in size.

What Should You Do If A Coyote attacks your Dog?

If a coyote attacks your dog, your first instinct will probably be to help him. If the attack is ongoing getting in the middle of it will probably end up with you being bitten. Instead of trying to stop the fight start yelling, throw things, do anything you can to scare the coyote, short of actually trying to physically break the fight up. Coyotes are naturally very cautious of humans, so if you start yelling at a coyote, it will probably run away. If it doesn’t, then it may be rabid. If that’s the case, then you definitely wouldn’t want to try to break the fight up because the coyote would probably attack you.

After the altercation between your dog and the coyote is over, you should bring your dog inside your home to ensure that there is no further threat. Once in your home, you should inspect your dog and look for any serious injuries. You should treat this situation a lot like you would handle a situation where a person was injured. You look for injuries, apply bandages to anything that is bleeding, and then get your dog to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.

Your dog might be able to show signs of pain, but he can’t tell you what’s wrong. Following a fight with a coyote, your dog will probably behave a little differently than normal. But, how do you know if that behavior is a result of just adrenaline wearing off, or if it’s a sign of an injury you haven’t noticed? You won’t know, that’s why you need to go to the vet. If that means going to an emergency 24-hour clinic, then that’s what you should do if you love your dog.

A veterinarian can examine your dog and spot any injuries that may not be obvious to you. They’ll also quarantine your dog for 7 to 10 days to ensure that he doesn’t have rabies. The last thing you want is to bring your dog home, then have him become rabid. That would make him a threat to you and your family.

How Can You Protect Your Dog from Coyotes?

Given the potential threat that coyotes pose to your dog, your best way of protecting your dog is to help to keep confrontations from happening in the first place. First, make sure that you have a tall fence surrounding your backyard. Will a fence keep every coyote out? No. But it’s a deterrent. Think of it this way, if a coyote is out roaming around looking for food, is he going to try to scale or dig under a fence, or simply go around a fence? If he senses your dog, is a coyote really going to try to get past a fence to get to your dog? Something as simple as a solid fence can prevent virtually all coyote attacks.

Next, avoid letting your dog outside at night for long periods unattended. Coyotes are generally active during the day. But, urban coyotes become nocturnal. If you are going to leave your dog outside so he can do his business, or for exercise, then try to stay nearby. Remember, coyotes are afraid of people, so your presence is a great deterrent.

When you take your dog out for a walk, avoid going at dawn or dusk. These are the times of day that you are going to be most likely to encounter a coyote. When walking your dog always keep him on a leash. A 6-foot long leash is ideal because it’s long enough to give your dog some freedom, but still short enough for you to be able to control him. When walking your dog it’s also a good idea to carry some kind of large walking stick. If you see a coyote approaching you, pull your dog close, start yelling and wave the stick in the air. This will usually get most coyotes to turn and run away.

Lastly, get your dog vaccinated against rabies. Are rabies vaccines 100% effective? No. But they are quite effective most of the time, and that’s better than having no protection at all. If your dog is ever in a fight with a coyote he’ll still need to be quarantined, but probably won’t end up developing rabies.

Coyotes Are A Danger, But They Can Be Managed

Can you teach a coyote not to attack dogs? No, they are wild animals. If you want to protect your dog from coyotes then you need to modify your behavior. Have a large fence put up to keep coyotes out of your yard. Avoid situations where you are likely to encounter coyotes and get your dog vaccinated against rabies. If you do these things, then the odds are pretty good that you won’t have any issues with coyotes attacking your dog. It’s a simple, common-sense approach, that actually works quite well. While coyotes are often thought of as menacing, the truth is that they are very shy animals and won’t make it a point to be aggressive unless they are hunting or protecting themselves. While they are a threat to large dogs, that threat can easily be minimized by taking appropriate precautions.

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