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?


Posted on Tue Dec 21, 2004


fyi I still cannot see the facebook pics. Can you provide a link? If she was half coyote she will look it.
Posted by Seijun  on  Tue Aug 31, 2010  at  10:32 PM
As for picts, i just started a facebook a few months ago(i don't even have a pict of myself up!) but my boyfriend has picts of Zoey on his facebook (Ben Saxon) in the hitchhiking '09 album. she is the smaller of the two dogs the other is Huck. i will work on getting better picts.
about the tail spot;the mark is about four inches from the base of zoey's tail. a spot consistantly appears in the same place on all the pups. kinda looks like a stingray..
about huskies; huck is part husky that could account for the tails on the pups but not zoey..
zoey's mother is an outside dog in an area where coyotes are rampent, considered a pest, and shot on sight. i have read that coyotes will mate with dogs or wolfs when no other suitable partener is found.. could a 'shoot on sight' standard effect the number of female coyotes available to breed? i think yes.. but again, no one knows for sure who zoey's father is... this is why the research.
on the matter of coydog experts; do any exist?! the wide variety of information i have found online (which varies from 'coydogs do not exist' to 'we sell coydogs') i am begining to feel like maybe there is no positive expert on the matter. i would also like to point to a study in nebraska in the 70's that suggest coydogs are far more prevalent than one might's the link

so to say "coydogs are rare" i think is a misinformed statement. what seems to be rare is any true insight to the nature of coydogs..
i still don't know if zoey is part coyote or not..
it doesn't matter to me other than to be able to better understand zoey better..
keep the insight coming! i thank all of you for your help in understanding my zoey..
Posted by Zoey's friend  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  08:16 AM
"Both dogs and coys can hold their tail. With huskies, that is actually the akc standard, that they hold their tail strait down behind them when standing at rest."
it's not when she is at rest, when she runs fast she holds her tail pointed straight at the ground bent down right about that precaudal mark. the mark is true black on her and the pups.
Posted by Zoey's friend  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  09:03 AM
If you want to see real coydogs look here.
She is s friend of mine and knows everything
about them...She is sometimes hard to reach since
she is so busy,so any questions you want to ask,
I can do it for you.
Her dogs are a good example of what they look like.
Hers are Siberian husky/coy crosses.
She doesn't breed them anymore...
Posted by michelle  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  09:07 AM
to michelle:
i have been to that site and watched the slide show. beautiful dogs!
so here are my questions:

are any of these things considered coydog traits?
(keep in mind that zoey's mom is a pure german shepherd)

-she holds her ears pointed and out to the side when ever she is at ease
-she runs with her tail pointed sharply downward
-she has 3 and even 4 bands of color on a single gaurd hair, and up to 3 (cream red and black) bands of color on her coat hairs and thick cream colored under coat
-her eyes are brown gold and green (mothers eyes are dark brown)
-her middle two toes are close together with the nails close to center rather than evenly spaced

i am working on getting picts linked

thank you for any compairsons you may be able to draw
Posted by Zoey's friend  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  11:19 AM
I've posted here before about my coy dog. More recently, I acquired a dog from an Indian reservation in north British Columbia. The vet thought she was GDS/shar pei but after he fixed her eyes (the lids folded in and caused irritation - a shar pei trait) she looks like a grey wolf to me. I posted this photo on Flickr:

I also googled grey wolf images and found many like her. This image of grey wolves looks just like her, at least to me:

Both the coy and this (maybe) wolf cross are smart, peaceful dogs except when they work together to catch rabbits and annoy squirrels.
Posted by njoy  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  11:44 AM
@ zoey's friend: My point was that dogs can and do hold their tails strait down, and it does not indicate wild heritage.

Looked at your myspace album, there were pics of a joe and sadie that looked like bulldog mixes or possibly pitbull mixes. There was another dark brown and white one called sadie that looked much more coyish, but hard to tell. She could also have been mixed with some sort of herding dog like basenji, kelpie or Australian catttle dog. Breeds like these can sometimes throw some very coyish looking offspring I've noticed, because they already have the small size, large pointed ears, and triangular face that most eople already associate with coyotes--there was a purebred australlian cattle dog I once knew that when seen from afar always fooled me into thinking I was looking at a coyote, he even kept his tail pointed strait down as you mentioned.

The paper you linked to was interesting, but was done in the 1970's and regarding free-ranging/wild dogs, coyotes, and coydogs in only a single state. No genetic testing was done I might add, only visual phenotyping of skulls, which is not an exact science. That aside, even 44 coydogs in a single state over two years is low considering at the time that state probably had thousands of dogs. Pet coydogs ARE extremely rare in comparison to the population of pet dogs. On the other hand, the number of pet dogs that look coyish is very high. 😉

Regarding her precaudal mark: As I mentioned earlier, pure dogs can have both the dark mark on their tail and the actual gland. The dark mark is much more common.

Couldn't find no pics of zoey. Perhaps I have the wrong rebecca schlueter in Petersburg TN. The profile says married and no mention of a "Ben Saxon".

By expert I mean someone who does have a lot of experience with coydogs. Sundance is the only place I know of that breeds (or bred) coydogs. You could also try the yahoo group wdchatter, someone there might also be able to help. It is a wolfdog list but some members have coy experience.
Posted by Seijun  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  12:01 PM
All the traits you mentioned are both dog and coyote traits. The fur is called agoutie and is a dog and coyote color.

Your sharpei mix looks exactly like a sharpei or akita mix. The wolf pictures you are looking at are somewhat misleading since the animals are in their winter coats and it makes them look bulkier. Their chests are actually very narrow, only wide enough for three fingers. They have /extremely/ long legs and muzzles, and small, rounded, furry ears. Their paws are huge. Your sharpei has none of these traits. Try doing google image searches for wolves in their summer coats
Posted by Seijun  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  12:16 PM
to seijun: rebecca is sadie's friend.
i am zoey's friend. sorry for the confusion.. look for penny day on face book and there are a few picts up now, and more later.
Posted by zoey's friend  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  12:27 PM
I'm not the one with zoey. On myspace and facebook my dogs are joe boxer the boxer mix. Sadie mae. She's charpe/ german shepard. And lit sadie who is a sheltie mix. It wasn't just her looks that made me think she was coy but they made me wonder. When she started howling/screaming like a coyote that's when I decided yup she's got some coyote in her. She would usually only do it if my husband or son did it. Or if I left her inside when I was outside and she wanted out.... She was great tho. And I miss her dearly..
Posted by rebecca  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  01:20 PM
"@ zoey's friend: My point was that dogs can and do hold their tails strait down, and it does not indicate wild heritage."
to seijun: i understand their tails hang down while they stand but my question is: are there any dog breeds known for holding their tail pointed to the ground while they run?
link for picts

i took these today, huck and zoey are the mom and dad of the puppy Pi in the pictures
Posted by Zoey's friend  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  05:30 PM
Try and look for how to identify a coydog.
Posted by rebecca  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  07:04 PM
Your points are well taken, seijun. My dog has a very thick coat, maybe even a shar pei "bear coat" but I have never seen one. The photo is her summer coat -- her winter coat is incredibly thick. She is also much stockier than a GSD. Her feet look shar pei, too.

The thing that impressed me about images of wolves on the internet is that many of them had her coloring and exactly her facial expression. She has an intense watchfulness and much calmer nerves than any coy dog I've known (they are usually quite antsy).

I think chances are pretty good that she has some wolf in her. Where we live, there are three wolf packs within nightly howling distance and where she comes from is much deeper into the wilderness. Anyway, it's fun to conjecture.

Oh yeah, and she treed a good sized bear, recently. The coy stayed the heck out of the way.
Posted by njoy  on  Wed Sep 01, 2010  at  09:53 PM
Yes, Seijun....
I have a Sibe/Kelpie cross and she is mistaken for having coyote in her quite often.
Posted by michelle  on  Thu Sep 02, 2010  at  06:41 PM

Here's a site on coyotes in TN. First one I found that mentioned diseases..
Posted by rebecca  on  Fri Sep 03, 2010  at  08:29 PM
I live in Tx and I got a """ full blooded"" Border Collie from north Tx,, This lil guy had issues from day one, MY vet would tell me I dont think he is full blooded, well his blue eyes went to a gold yellow over night I went back to the Vet , He has a fowl smell from his back side like musk,, well the Vet looked and said I have waited many years to see this, Rowdy is a Coydog, I looked at him like what are you talking about, he said he is half Coyote, well I contacted the breeders and told them , the lady didnt seem to surprised living on the ranch and the female was a working dog she would stay out all night,, well there ya go,, but hey he is smart and beautiful people love him and he is great with people too,, and yeah he got his mothers working dog spirit and his fathers lover boy ways,, he thinks he is a lap dog... I hope I helped clear up any questions..
Posted by Angela  on  Mon Sep 06, 2010  at  05:53 PM

this is an article from july of this year about a coydog caught in alabama, my zoey's homestate..

i have been researching coyotes and coydogs (during my limited time on the web) and what i have found is: mostly either people who have no experience with coyotes saying coydogs don't exist or are very rare.. or the opposite side of the story which is hunters and animal control people who say coydogs do exist and should be exterminated much like coyotes..

somewhere in the middle are all of those people who think they have a coydog.. (like myself) and very little info about coydogs.. real facts, not opinion about coydogs..
this frustrating research continues..
any help with it is still very appreciated!
Posted by Zoey's friend  on  Sun Sep 19, 2010  at  12:59 PM
It doesn't really matter that female dogs and female coyotes go into heat different times of the year... That doesn't make male dogs or male coyotes much less inclined to mate... They'll do it whenever their fellow canine female is in heat.

We had some close family friends a while back who had a female German Shepherd (named Sheba, and golly was she gorgeous), and they kept her in a pen outside at night. The pen had extremely high fences, but it was meant mostly to keep her IN... It hadn't much occurred to them that they might need to keep anything OUT. So when, one morning, they looked out the window to see a male coyote lying in the pen, they first thought, Oh my God, my dog killed a coyote. Then they thought, Oh my God, that coyote killed my dog. When they got outside and saw that both animals were unharmed and seemed tolerant of each other... they figured it out.
Sheba had a full litter of pups, it was either six or eight, and all but one of the pups was put in a new home. The last pup was named Cassie. She had pale blue almost lavender eyes, she was a good deal smaller than her mum, and she loved to try to sit on laps. She was extremely energetic, loving, and adventurous, though somewhat shy around new people. I used to go on walks with her out in the hills (without a leash, because she didn't really need one), and I'll admit she was a good deal wilder than any dog I've known. I felt more like she was leading me out into the wilderness than anything else, but she was more or less domesticated, and a great dog.
Posted by Laii  on  Wed Sep 29, 2010  at  10:53 PM
This is not fiction:

A. My Aussie cattle dogs heat twice a year
B. I found my bitch and a lower desert coyote stuck together in a moment of "passion". we shall say.
C. She had pups... Was only outta the house to pee, and once I saw that then she was let out in fenced area.

Impossible? Then who's pups are they?
Posted by Disturbio  on  Fri Nov 19, 2010  at  01:38 AM
People who say coydogs don't exist are just crazy. I had one and I loved her soo much she was great!!!!, she passed. Borke my heart. There's pics of her on my facebook-rebecca ann decker-schlueter she's little sadie or just sadie on there she's the grey dog. I have one named sadie mae too. Some ppl say their breeding cycles aren't at the same time. That's bull. I haven't ever seen a discriminating male. I had a neutered foster dog that got stuck together with my beagle twice trying to get frisky!!
Posted by rebecca  on  Fri Nov 19, 2010  at  06:47 AM
well to all the people who think coydogs dont exist i have to tell you your wrong. i have a half coyote half alaskan husky and she is the most beautiful and well mannered dogs i have had the joys of sharing my life with. she does all sorts of tricks just by hand signals and is a very quick learning. from a simple snap of my finger and a wave of the hand she will sit, lay down, sit pretty, stay, shake a paw high fives, tell me stories and i evan trust her enough to put a dog treat in my teeth and let her take it from my mouth. she was an abandoned pup and i got her at 6 weeks off the reserve in whitehorse.

every vet i have taken her to has said she is half coyote half husky. she does get weird around some people but like any dog i have had its like they have an intuition of people just like we do. being part coyote she is a bit sneeky when it comes to dinner time. she keeps her distance but has to watch. during a movie if were eating pop corn you can quite litterly drop a piece during the loudest parts and she still hears it. lol she is like a crack head for human food.

we also have a half chihuahua courgy and they play all day long. she is so gentle with him and the cat. honestly this has been the smartest dog i have ever had. unfortunately shes a bit to smart.

for being half coyote she isnt really intimidated by new people as when she was a pup i made damn sure to socialize her with lots of other animals and people. the way the dog is raised has tons to do with behavioral issues. if you have a dog and you let him or her get use to lots of new people by walks and going to the park allows them to realize that people and other pets are a good thing then they react that way.

However if you have a dog and don't let em visit people and socialize with other pets the will become very timid and aggressive to them. its so simple. so any one that has any guff about what ive posted you know that im right and thats why your aggitated. so basicly learn to blame your self for not being a strong enough person to spend enough time with your pets.
Posted by Akira  on  Sat Dec 04, 2010  at  11:26 PM
I had a 5 year old 1/2 lab 1/2 coyote, I had to have him put down on 12-2-10, He had cancer, I loved him so much, he was the best dog I had ever had,if Iever get another dog it will be a another coydog..I truely miss him
Posted by Rebecca  on  Sun Dec 05, 2010  at  08:22 PM
I don't know why people are even arguing this. Where i'm from coyotes and dogs interbreed if their together at the right time. My coydog Sadie is a mix between a coyote and a lab mix. Believe me i owned her mother and caught the coyote with Honeybear. Honeybear died last spring but i kept Sadie who, after reading the sundance web page, fits their description to a precise "t". She is a one family dog, doesn't like strangers and is very protective. Sadie is one of the most beautiful dogs i have seen and also is extremly intelligent. with pictures and witnesses and even known reputable breeders why are people still saying they are Urban Legends?
Posted by Rami  on  Thu Dec 30, 2010  at  02:43 PM
We have a dog that we are 99% sure is a coydog. There are five different factors that have brought us to that conclusion. We found him as a 6 month old pup out in NM ranch country running around with a pack of coyotes. He was being fed by a neighbor of my dad's, but she didn't want him as a house pet, just didn't want him to starve, so she put a big bag of dry food for him out in her barn. He made friends with our dog and we decided to keep him. But when we started confining him at night, his coyote friends would come around and howl for him to come out. We'd let him out and he'd be gone until morning. In that area, young dogs are usually eaten by coyotes at night, so his adoption by this pack was unusual. But he was completely comfortable around people, which means he may have been socialized by people and then dumped rather than taken to the pound. The second factor is his looks. He appears to be a red husky mix. But his paws are tiny and spotted, very like a coyote and his canine teeth are huge! More like a wild dog's would be. The third factor how he hunts. I've seen coyotes hunting in the wild. They don't chase down their prey. They stalk like a cat and then jump straight up in the air and come down on the animal with their front paws curved kind of like a preying mantis. This is exactly how our boy, Lobo, hunts. Pure instinct. Fourth is health. A dog intermixed with a wild dog seems like it would be healthier than one of these purebred monstrosities we've created, or even a mix of purebreds. Lobo is 11 and doesn't even have a white whisker on his snout. No arthritis, plays like a puppy. And along those same lines, he is incredibly smart. He had probably never been in a house when we got him. He lifted his leg to pee on something when we got him home and we said "NO", once, and he was housebroken. Forever. He understands everything we say, and if we start spelling things, he learns to spell them. He can be controlled completely by hand gestures without having had any training, just figured it out. Again, I think its from getting away from being overbred. Wild dogs have to be smart to survive. So is he a coydog, I say he is...never going to do DNA testing because owning a coydog is illegal in Virginia...LOL
Posted by J. Trimarchi  on  Sat Jan 22, 2011  at  12:47 PM
Dear Lobo's 'parents,' just want to say that I love your story, and I'm with you, that is a coyote-dog for sure! great story! May Lobo continue to live a long and happy life. Thank you. simone
Posted by Simone  on  Sat Jan 22, 2011  at  05:04 PM
We also have a coydog, she is 1/2 Alaskan husky and 1/2 coyote. Jewel is an extremely smart dog. She is gentle loving a talker too. One thing we've learned the hardest is she cannot be kenneled she freaks if restrained and does quite a bit of damage because she will get out lol. She once broke out of her new kennel, jumped on top the kennel , unlocked the window, opened it and chewed a hole in the screen , she was laying in the driveway when we returned . That was one of her 3 escapes new better kennel bought she ruined it and got out. No more kennels for her. She is a very good girl now that she's 3 1/2 years old, not ad destructive anymore. : ) she is friendly to most people, and dogs unless they start a fight with her then she is wicked if provoked by other dogs. She is about 50-55 pounds and absolutely gorgeous. I have never had such a smart kind beautiful dog as she is. She has dug a den under our deck to lay in. She is tough great jumper very agile, and kills and burys mice and burys her food and treats if she's not hungry for them at the time. She kills birds a partridge, an otter also. Our dog is so awesome I love her to death
Posted by Peg  on  Sat May 21, 2011  at  10:43 AM
coydogs are real i live in ny last june a friend and were sitting at a pond behind our houses it was about 2:00-2:30 in the moring wee by a tikki lamp n my friend sees a coydog go over the bank n grabb a duck,ing he didnt say thing to me though then the coydog goes back in the wood n we hear a cat getting killed my friend looks at me n says get in the f*cking camper he looked out the window n there was three or four coydogs outside they were even at the door. this past year my friend josh was down the bank by the same pond it was about 10 n a coydog came near it just stood there then his dad shined headlight on it n it left n not just that coydogs unburried a dead dog about four feet in the ground in a bag so they are reall :shut:
Posted by heather homfeld  on  Sun Aug 07, 2011  at  08:01 PM
Coyotes go in to heat between January and March and have pups in May or June, while dogs have their pups in winter OMG what kind of statement is that...i have bred dogs since 1982 and have had many spring, summer and fall that statement is totally false which leads me to believe thst person hasn't a clue...I myself am not totally positive there are coydogs but it sure wouldn't surprise me at all...I imagine the plains indians had a few themselves...........
Posted by Lee  on  Thu Jun 14, 2012  at  07:30 PM
I have a beautiful coydog I rescued from a neighbor who mistreated. her we named her tinlerbell because of her beauty and grace I alreadyhad four dogs so I got her with dome reservation All misguided she's basically gentle loving and so smart always on the lookout for tarantulas and snakes she protects me snd my city dogs. She can leap six feet grom a sitting position is colored exactly like a coyote built like one but her ears are not always at attention. Her mother wad apit bull terrier
Don't know what id do without her.
Posted by tonia deur  on  Tue Sep 04, 2012  at  10:30 AM
sorry forgot to send picture of my yellow eyed beauty "tinkerbell" I'll take one this afternoon when I get home.
Posted by tonia  on  Wed Sep 05, 2012  at  09:03 AM
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