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Coydogs
image Coydogs. Are they real creatures, or just the stuff of urban legend? As the name implies, a coydog would be a cross between a coyote and a dog. But according to Chrissie Henner, a biologist at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, they're an urban legend. She says that "there has never been any physical evidence of a half-dog, half-coyote animal." Not that it would be impossible for the two species to mate and produce an offspring, just very unlikely. Though Henner also points out that the mating cycles of the two species differ: "Coyotes go in to heat between January and March and have pups in May or June, while dogs have their pups in winter." So if animal experts such as Henner are correct that there's no physical evidence of the existence of coydogs, then what exactly is the Sundance Coydogs site selling? Are these coyotes, or dogs that look coyote-like, or real coydogs?
Animals
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 21, 2004
OK, I've read thru this entire post, and it seems to me that really, for the average American consumer, a coyote-cross of ANYTHING is a so-so deal...you MAY end up with something good, or you may end up with Wyle E. Coyote-Dog. (He likes to chase chikens but prairie fowl are too swift).I have kids,and knowing better than to leave them with an unsuperviesed canis familiaris, I can hardly say that i would own a coy-dog (maybe,perhaps sans children)!! Anyway, I love Canis, and honestly, who can dispute that wild ones aren't best left wild...after all, there are so many domestic canis that lend themselves so freely to genetic mainuplation, why seek the wild counterpart? Just for looks and reputation? Who among us has any reccollection of the coyote being anything but a trickster? Tho there may be some individuals who are great pets, most of these crosses will stradle a road few coyotes care to traverse and too wary of humans to bond. What an existance! Really, if you want a dog that mimicks a wolf or something, go for a malamute, sibe or german shep. Seriously....the best family pets are DOGS....for a very good reason. Coyotes are FERAL...beautiful and wild. I'm sure that they can and DO mate with dogs....but, this is not optimal!! Geeze, there are over 150 DOG breeds to choose from...if you can't find one that fits, don't think that a wild animal will be any easier. In my state, you have to obtain a license to house native wildlife. I don't know if that includes crosses, but knowing my @sshole neighbor, I wouldn't even try. He calls zoning on me at the drop of a hat. I don't believe a coyote-dog is a choice I would reccomend to any one....
Posted by kim  in  ohio  on  Mon Jun 19, 2006  at  12:54 AM
if i am correct this must be real coydogs are real. excaim
Posted by Isaiah  on  Sun Jun 25, 2006  at  06:48 PM
Coydogs are definitely real. They are usually mixed with siberian huskys. They make great pets but usually bond to one family member and stick by them no matter what. They are very shy with strangers. Coyotes are not an animal that attacks a human. They are shy. They tend to run from the unknown. But a coydog can be a wonderful pet. I have one.
Posted by JASON  in  TULSA  on  Thu Jun 29, 2006  at  10:38 AM
...just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I was born in Northern British Columbia. My father went to Notre Dame, and had friends that gave him (in 1966) a "lab experiment"...a German german shepard/coyote mix...her name was Maya...and she was the best dog in the world. I still miss her and I'm forty years old!
Posted by Kara  in  minnesota  on  Thu Jul 06, 2006  at  04:11 PM
I live in the southwest and we get all sorts of coyote crossbreeds here. My grandparents had a really weird one. It was a chihuahua/coyote mix. Either one brave ratdog or one desperate coyote. Either way Buck was very loyal and put up with a lot. One of the few cases where breeding a domesticated animal with a wild one usually gets a very mild mannered pet. Since coyotes are more scavengers than pack hunters it makes a difference rather than with canines such as wolf crossbreeds.
Posted by Lounge Lizard  in  El Paso, Tx  on  Sat Jul 08, 2006  at  04:56 PM
hey how much did this chi-yote weigh? how big??
Posted by jay sheckley  in  berkeley ca  on  Sat Jul 08, 2006  at  09:41 PM
Buck was between 6 and 7 lbs and roughly 14 inches at the shoulder.
Posted by Lounge Lizard  in  El Paso, Tx  on  Sun Jul 09, 2006  at  09:33 PM
Too bad you can't post pics here like some forums.
Would love to see what Buck looked like.
Posted by annie  on  Sun Jul 09, 2006  at  10:12 PM
it makes me sick to hear some of the people in here that have never owned a coydog or wolfdog trying to say they make horrible pets lol nothing makes a hoorible pet if you reasearch them and make sure there good for you and as long as you socialize them right. i know a 90 sum percent wolfdog that is very friendly and outgoing
Posted by nick  in  ohio  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  05:54 PM
Your absolutetly right. I had a Coyote-Chow mix that was a great companion. I now own another dog of the same mix. He's even friendlier than the first one. They aren't related. One came from New Mexico, and the other one hails from Las Vegas. The first one lived to the ripe old age of 15, and the one I have now is about 3. The first dog truly looked like a Coyote, but with a slightly shorter snout. After seeing Coyotes in the wild I realized his gate was also identical to that of a Coyote. He was sired by a wild Coyote and his mother was pure bread Chow. The second one looks nothing like a Coyote. His head is more Chow shaped and he is mostly black with some dark brown markings. His mother was a tame Coyote and his father was a Chow. While neither of these dogs resembled each other at all, they both are/were extremely loyal with and endless supply of unconditional love.
Posted by Michael Welch  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  09:11 PM
I have read through all of the posts. Very interesting.

Our family has a dog we inherited from a friend when she moved (she had adopted her from a local shelter). She's about 6 years old and we've had her for about 4 years. When we first got her it took about 6 weeks (and the help of another dog leading the way) for us to be able to let her out to go to the bathroom and for her to actually be comfortable enough to come back inside. Several times she was able to jump our fence and escape, luckily, she would end up jumping back into our backyard because we could have never caught her.

She wouldn't even let us touch her at first. It took a long time to develop trust with her, but now I don't think we could get rid of her if we tried. It's been a long standing joke of ours that she's so skittish. She looks like a coyote (except for the purple tongue which screams chow)she is about 21 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 30 lbs. I think she is really intelligent, although sometimes it's hard to prove because she's so scared of things, i.e. I think she would be great at frisbee catching because she's so fast and can jump, but she's afraid of the darn frisbee (so my husband thinks she's really dumb)! She only learned to bark when around our other dog and she has a high pitched bark. She has a bouncy little trot when she walks and though I haven't taken her out to see what her tracks look like when she runs, she does have that "frown" on the pads of his paws that another person referred to.

We've had an ongoing conversation and search with friends and family who always try to guess what kind of dog she is. After reading these posts, I'm pretty sure that she's at least a little bit coyote. Are there any more defining characteristics that I should look for?
Posted by Terre  in  Texas  on  Mon Aug 07, 2006  at  06:07 PM
Terre, Yes there is. Most dogs have a spot on their back that stands up when they are upset or frightened. Coydogs have a strip that goes down their entire back from neck to tail. It stands up and may be a little different color, sometimes darker.
Posted by JOEY  in  TULSA  on  Thu Aug 10, 2006  at  04:34 PM
Thanks Joey....

I'll definitely look, problem is, after 4 years I've never seen her get upset and "bristle up" like you would most normal dogs. She's literally afraid of everything - tail down between her legs with only the little black tip sticking out! The only time I've ever seen her get upset is with our neighbor's dog (100 lb, 6 month old boxer). He wanted to play so badly and was giving her a slobber bath that she wasn't too keen on. That was the only time I have seen her snarl or stick up for herself at all. She still had tail between legs (very different from most dogs showing aggression) and didn't bristle.

I will keep an eye out for this in the future, though. My husband think's I'm nuts for thinking she's coydog because of her "fear" issues!
Posted by Terre  in  Texas  on  Fri Aug 11, 2006  at  11:17 AM
" Most dogs have a spot on their back that stands up when
they are upset or frightened. Coydogs have a strip that goes down their
entire back from neck to tail. "

This statement is very misleading. I have seen pure dogs that when upset, raise the hairline along their entire back. MOST of the time, an upset dog only raises the fur on its shoulders, but not always. If the dog is upset enough the fur along its entire back raises.

There is no one trait that can determine if a dog is part coyote. Basic coyote traits can be shyness, no "doggy barking," a small, slimline figure, and agouti fur, but these traits can all be found in dogs as well. A picture would help us out the best. There are several breeds of dog, such as the border colloe or kelpie, that have much more "coyotish-like" traits than other dogs, and mixes of these dogs can sometimes be mistaken for coydogs.

~Seij
Posted by seijun  on  Fri Aug 11, 2006  at  05:37 PM
Terre,

Sorry if my comment was misleading. To clarify, the stripe that stands up on most dogs when they bristle or get upset, is usually mostly around the neckline. On a coydog, that stripe goes from neck to tail and stands above the rest of his/her hair all the time, not just when they get upset.
I have a male coydog and that stripe stands out at all times and it is very noticeable on photos of him. Not all dogs have that.

Joey
Posted by JOEY  in  oklahoma  on  Sun Aug 20, 2006  at  01:07 AM
Hi, I have my second coyote/dog cross. The first one was without a doubt a coyote cross since he had the teeth of a coyote. He was the offspring of a pack of dogs that lived on 2nd Mesa in Hopiland. My vet was astounded when he looked at his teeth and refused to vet him. He lived a long life with me and later with a ranching couple where he took fantastic, loving care of their three year old daughter.
Now, I have what I'm just certain is my second coyote cross. He looks exactly like the picture at the top of this article except that his ears are more floppy. He yipps at me in the morning to wake me up and can leap more than five feet into the air from a sitting position. Oddly and sadly enough, tonight when I took him to the local doggie park, the dogs there seemed to know something was different about him and though normally docile and friendly, they ganged up on him and began to attack him. Weird. I would be very happy to have him tested for this biologist's study if she is willing to pay for it.
Sincerely, Simone Ellis
Posted by Simone Ellis  on  Wed Dec 13, 2006  at  08:20 PM
Coydogs are not urban legends. I have a puppy that is 7 months old and she is half coyote half lab. She has many traits of a coyote like her snout, teeth, paws, build and tail. Although, her fur color is weird. It's snow white. Which I believe is rare in labs and coyotes.
Posted by Tiffany  in  USA  on  Thu Dec 28, 2006  at  10:08 PM
hi all-- Simone and Hopi here (posted just one above this one) this is really an interesting discussion. I'd say that we've pretty much clarified that coyotes and domestic dogs do indeed have litters. I agree that a picture gallery would be cool. Maybe we should set up a Yahoo group site. Anyone else interested? Hopi is doing great, loves people, dogs, cats (though very curious) and is very chill for a 11 mo. puppy. He will soon not have to be on leash at all-- which I think is the number one thing one has to try to achieve with hybrid dogs. Give them as much training as you can so that then they can be free. My first coyote was off leash within a month and never once ran away. Hopi doesn't quite know enough about traffic to let him run, but he's close. I have a question: how much do your coyote dogs weigh? Hopi is 22 lbs. (oh and as far as being trustworth, he's fantastic with my neighbor's two year old who swings at him from time to time and pulls his hair if we aren't watching-- he plays with another neighbor (20 yr old) who likes to rough-house and Hopi never ever bites down even if he uses his mouth in play. By the way, I encourage very little of that kind of play of course. I would do the same for any breed of dog.
all the best, animal lovers
simone ellis
Posted by Simone Ellis  in  Missoula MT  on  Fri Dec 29, 2006  at  12:31 AM
Oh trust me. Coyote-dogs DO exist. They're just rare because of breeding times. I have pictures of my coyote-dog in my gallery at deviantart.
Posted by Coyote-Walker  in  texas  on  Wed Feb 07, 2007  at  10:20 AM
Coydogs are very real and not all that rare. There are 2 that live in the wilds behind me: one is crossed with an Australian Shepherd and the other with a Rottweiler. Both owners of these dogs were disturbingly irresponsible letting their uncut males run loose all the time. Both coydogs have bob tails and their progeny have shorter than average tails. Both coydogs are much larger than the average coyote which is quite small. It's easy to spot the difference when the darn critters are in your yard looking for easy pickin's!!!
Posted by Carol Miller  in  Yorba Linda, CA 92886  on  Fri Mar 30, 2007  at  07:20 PM
I have what I believe is a coydog. I adopted him in NC in 2001. His mom and siblings were strays and I adopted him from a no kill shelter there. His mom was a very small shep/chow mix. He was 3 months old and weighed 3 pounds..he was a tan and steel grey color back then..we thought he was a terrier mix. Now he is tall, thin (48 lbs), huge triangle ears. Wary of strangers, extremely skittish and can be snappy when frightened. He runs with the coyote lope I read about (back feet going where the front were). He has a terrible coat since I adopted him, the vet believes from being malnutritioned at birth...he is mostly tan, with some black and gray..long legs, carries his tail at half mast. Long snout and almond shaped eyes. I love him to death with all of his quirks. He "buries" his toys in blankets so he can dig them out. He can run like the wind. I can't say for sure is he is or not but I wouldn't trade him. He gets along well wth my lab mix and my chow mix but has issues with other dogs.
Posted by Kelly G  in  WIS  on  Sat Apr 21, 2007  at  11:49 PM
Hello all.

I think I have a little coydog here. Riley & her litter mates were found alone & starving in the outskirts of Lamedeer Montana. The mother dog's owner had left the litter, probably bacause he suspected they were coyote offspring. Riley was the only pup rounded up, because the other pups were too wild to get close to.

She has some of the facial features of a coyote, such as the wild-looking white around her mouth and down her chest. A very whiskery face, largeish ears, a bushy tail, the odd colorings and variations in her fur and her posture, gait and temrament all hint towards "coyote". She's smart, cautious and ever curious. She pounces and digs in her dog run, and she looks just like a coyote trying to catch a mouse.

Her coloring an odd, red-blond, which is actually a naturally occuring (though somewhat rare) color in coyoties. She was born in aprox. March, which I believe would place her as being conceived in late winter, when male coyoties are fertile. The coyote population is strong in the area she was found.

I believe, after viewing all of the evidence, that she is a coydog. I would happily donate some of her DNA for any research studies.
Posted by Megan  in  Wyoming  on  Tue Jul 17, 2007  at  11:12 PM
To Jay and Mark, it could be that your canine companions are part fox which would account for their small stature but seemingly exotic appearance and behavior. Also Mark, the description of the vocalization you gave about your dog fits that of a fox. I recommend looking up info on fox and fox/dog interbreeding if you have not yet done so. To Seij, the info I have read about coyotes doesn't make mention of the male being incapable of breeding throughout the year, only that their sperm count is at it's highest peek during the winter months because that is when female coyotes come into season. However, one must take into account the possibility of domestic female dogs in the area coming into season triggering an increase in the testosterone of the male coyote therefore also causing an increase in sperm production and the instinctive desire to mate. ~T~
Posted by anonymous  on  Fri Oct 26, 2007  at  08:52 AM
HI,just wanted to mentioned there has never been any breeding of fox to dog.They both have a
different set of chromosomes.
The dog having 78 and the fox 38.
But they can with of course wolves,Dingo's
coyotes, and Jackals.All have 78.
Posted by anne  on  Fri Oct 26, 2007  at  12:28 PM
I owned a female coyote rescued from her den as a pup. The den was damaged by a farm tractor plowing in the field near some woods. The mother coyote didnt come back so we raised her as a dog in the house with other dogs and cats around.
we also had chickens and she would not bother them.she eventually bred with one of our male dogs that is half german shepard and half chow.she had 7 pups of which all have made good dogs.we still have one coydog female from this litter and she is a really good pet.
Posted by C VanderHorst  in  N.W. Ohio  on  Sun Nov 04, 2007  at  11:51 AM
i was wondering how you can tell a coydog from a regular dog i mean they look really alike?
Posted by monique  in  massachusetts  on  Mon Dec 10, 2007  at  03:55 PM
I live in a State Forest in West Virginia. We have coyotes all around us. Just last night there was one right across the street in front of my house. My neighbor has a pitt/lab mix dog that is forever having puppies. She has strangely had two litters with a couple of brindle colored pups. I have one that has survived up to 6 months now and she is looking more and more like a coyote...she already acts like one. I spoke with an expert that raises coydogs and she said it's funny she doesn't have the long hair coat. Anyway...she looks and acts like a coyote. She runs like nothing I've ever seen. I take her on horseback rides in the forest with me and eight other dogs. In the woods she looks at me and then turns her head away and leaps through the air like a dear. You can't see her just 10 feet away. She yelps..never barks. She is very timid. She never lets anyone touch her. She will however come to other people for a treat but that is it. She sleeps with me and I've noticed she likes to cuddle up very close to me. I've had her since she was 5 weeks old and I do believe that she is very different. I wish there was a way to know for sure what she is. I know that those ears had to come from something besides a dog. She seems to have the longer paws like a coyote. She sticks her nose straight into the air to smell people when they come in my house. There are so many things she does that sets her apart from the other dogs.
Posted by Rose Mooney  in  Charleston, WV  on  Thu Dec 27, 2007  at  04:06 PM
Yes there are coydogs. Back in the early 70's I was stationed with the 101st Airborn at Fort Campbell Kentucky. I was in my early 20's and had trapped since I was 8 or 9. I had already trapped and called and shot coyotes in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. An Army buddy and I were calling fox one night just outside of Fort Campbell. When leaving the field we were calling in we spotted the shine of eyes in the headlights. Figuring it was a fox we tried running it down. About the time we were close enough for a shot, the "fox" that was blinded by the headlights ran into a woven wire fence. This stopped what we thought was a fox and we both saw it was more of a coyote looking critter. You have to remember folks that there were not any coyotes back East in the early 70's. The next day I called the local game warden and asked if it was legal to kill coyotes in Kentucky. He said I could kill all the coyotes in the state that I wanted, but also had some snide remarks about me thinking I'd seen a coyote the night before. That afternoon while setting traps I saw a coydog that was black and tan and marked like a German shepherd. Two days later I trapped the first coyote ever recorded in Kentucky and had three very concerned game and fish people show up at the house for a look-see with no snide remarks, by the way. This coydog was very much coyote looking but had a blockier head and bigger feet. I also trapped three other coydogs from the same area, one being the black and tan one I had seen the day I was set'n traps. One of the four coydogs had short legs that reminded me of beagle looking. All of these animals were coydogs. Back in the early 70's is when the western coyote started their migration east of the Mississippi. Now I hear of stories of 60-80 pound coyotes of various colors back in New York, Pa., Ohio etc. These coyotes definately have domestic dog in them. When the western coyote migrated to the east, they were stressed for mates. Not being many coyotes, they mated with domestic dogs and so they came out various shapes and colors.

This is number two.... number three on the way...
Posted by P Petry  in  Southwest Wyoming  on  Fri Dec 28, 2007  at  09:22 PM
After leaving Kentucky I moved to Washington state and years later ended up in Wyoming, which, by the way, is the best state in the Union!! I lived on a ranch 11 miles from Atlantic City, Wyoming. I made a goal that I would live for three years without a vehicle so in the summer I'd go by horseback and in the winter I'd go by sled team. I had heard a rumor that an Indian on the Shoshoni Res had bred an Airdale to a coyote. I finally got the guy tracked down and the rumor was true. He had raised a bitch coyote from a pup. He tried breeding this bitch to a wild caught penned dog coyote. Be'n so, the wild caught dog was under too much stress from be'n penned he wouldn't breed the bitch so the guy put the bitch coyote in a kennel with his male Airdale. The Airdale got the job done. I only got to see two of the off spring, one of which he gave me. She was a bitch that was kind of a grizzly color. She very much moved and acted like a coyote with the almond shaped yellow eyes. Her coat also was soft to the touch like a coyote's and not the stiffer hair of an Airdale. Her tail had been bobbed so I couldn't tell about her tail set. Her sister was a very pretty colored typical coyote grey and soft. She carried herself like a coyote with the coyote tail set but she had the Airdale whiskers. Everything about this coydog looked and acted like a coyote except the whiskers. I tried running my Airdale cross with my huskies but it didn't work. She was way too much of a fighter and just never fit in. I don't know if the fighting came from the coyote side or the Airdale side. She was never very personable and had a mind of her own. I bred her to one of my male huskies. Her pups were very coyote like and they were always kind of stand offish. I bred one of these pups to a male husky so ended up with pups that were 1/8 coyote. Only one of these pups was personable like a husky, the other three would just as soon be left to themselves, but all four being only 1/8 coyote still showed heavy coyote traits including the almond shaped eyes and the way they carried themselves. If you think about it this makes a lot of sense. Coyotes have linebred themselves for thousands of years and any domestic dog breed doesn't come close to being bred as long as the coyotes so the coyote genes would naturally be stronger. I believe that 99.9 percent of the coyotes back east have atleast some domestic dog genes in them, but are getting more of the dog genes bred out of them by the year.

Any comments are welcome, even from the bunny huggers!!

Pete

To those of you with coydog websites, more power to you!!!
Posted by P Petry  in  Southwest Wyoming  on  Fri Dec 28, 2007  at  09:26 PM
Hey Pete. I had 2 Husky's and both of them were more like a wolf than any breed I've owned. They are very smart dogs and can survive on their own in the wild. It sure would be nice to have a mix of Husky and Coyote. I bet that makes a beautiful dog. I need at least 8 dogs all the time to keep bear, big cats, coyotes and theives away from my Horse Stable at night. I bet my coydog (if that's what she is) will not be protective like my other dogs are. Can you tell me a bit more about your dogs personalities? I just think my dog will be more of the type of dog that will run if there is danger and will be dangerous if she is backed to the wall.
Posted by Rose Mooney  in  Charleston, WV  on  Mon Dec 31, 2007  at  10:33 AM
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