Do Coyotes Lure Dogs Away?


It is widely known that coyotes are intelligent and crafty hunters. There’s an age-old myth that coyotes will lead domestic dogs away and into their pack to hunt them.

Not to worry pet parents...while coyotes are savvy creatures, they probably aren’t going to lure your pet into a trap. However, that's not to say that you should be complacent. It's important to take the necessary precautions to keep pets safe from coyotes. This is particularly true for small dogs and cats. 

If a dog comes face-to-face with a coyote pack, it was most likely by accident and there was no planning or luring on the part of the coyotes.

puppy lying on grass - will coyotes lure dogs into their pack

Do Coyotes Lure Dogs Into Their Packs?

Coyotes are wild animals, and there is certainly a risk of them attacking pets. However, they probably aren’t going to lure a dog into a trap before doing so. Since coyotes tend to travel together, it’s commonly mistaken that their encounters with domestic animals are premeditated and carefully planned.

Coyotes are family-oriented animals and will not use their pack member as bait for an attack. They will also protect their pack members, so if a dog ends up in the midst of a coyote pack, they are at risk of attack because the coyotes will defend their families.

Dogs will often chase coyotes who then retreat to their packs, and this is when things can become dicey. Dogs may also hear coyotes howling in the distance and wander off to find them out of curiosity. After all, dogs howl, too! Find out why dogs howl here.

Although it may look as though the coyote lured the dog away, more than likely they were simply trying to lose the dog on their trail, and ended up back with their pack.

dogs running on a beach

Do Dogs and Coyotes Play Together?

There are several documented instances of dogs and coyotes playing together just like two domesticated dogs. Although rare, coyotes are often quite interested in their canine relatives and will instigate play.

It will be very clear if a coyote is playing as they will exhibit very similar behavior to domestic dogs playing. Nevertheless, if you find yourself in this situation do your best to safely call your dog back and leash them before calmly walking away. Carrying citronella spray on a hike is a good idea so you can deter any particularly curious coyotes before anything escalates.

dog walking down a path

Do Coyotes Attack Dogs?

While it is very rare for a coyote to go after a human, they will sometimes go after small to medium-sized, geriatric, or otherwise compromised dogs. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings when hiking with your dog to prevent any tangles with a coyote. Keeping dogs on leash in coyote habitats is a good idea to keep them safe.

If you live in an area with coyotes, make sure you don’t leave any food out that may attract them. Also limit unsupervised outdoor time around dawn and dusk, when coyotes generally hunt. If you're at a pet-friendly campground, ensure that you take the necessary precautions to keep your dog safe from wildlife such as coyotes. 

Protective fencing in your yard that is at least eight feet tall and made with material coyotes can’t climb can help keep your yard safe so your dogs can spend time outside.

If you have a pet door like the Dragon Pet Door, use the locking cover at night so that your dog is safely inside while you are asleep.

dragon pet door locking cover keeps coyotes away

The final verdict: Coyotes aren’t quite crafty enough to lure dogs away for hunting purposes. They are also family-oriented, and will not use a pack member as bait to lure a dog to them. However, it is still important to prevent potential coyote attacks if you have smaller dogs by taking the necessary precautions.

Curious about some of your dog’s behaviors? See why dogs turn in circles here. With the Fourth of July coming up next month check out how to keep your pets safe during fireworks.

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