Dogs vs Coyotes
Both coyotes and dogs belong to the dog family, but while dogs and coyotes are quite different animals, they share some interesting characteristics, like behavior and appearance. Coyotes are also known by their scientific name ‘Canis latrans’, which also means ‘barking dog’. Dogs are known scientifically as ‘Canis lupus familiaris’. Like the coyotes, dogs have a near likeness to wolves. In fact, they are the domesticated form of wolves. Most dogs are kept as domestic dogs, either as pets, or for security purposes, as guard animals to ward off or sniff for threats. They are also used for hunting, companionship and herding. Unlike coyotes, they are very versatile animals.
Coyotes look sleeker than dogs, with a more pointed muzzle, flatter forehead and bushy tail. Coyotes are fond of howling, particularly at twilight. If one coyote hears the howl of another, or indeed a similar noise, it will prick it’s ears up in the air, as if to acknowledge hearing the sound, and will often howl back in reply.
Even though a coyote’s build gives the impression of having longer legs than a dog, it is actually not the case. Rather, its ‘elbow’ is lower than its line of sternum, while a dog’s is higher than its sternum, thus the seeming ‘legginess’ of a coyote.
A typical domestic dog is the German shepherd, and this breed of dog has the closest resemblance to a coyote. At closer inspection, most domestic dogs have ‘elbow’ joints higher than the underline of the chest. Therefore, when the two animals’ builds are closely examined, a dog’s chest will appear proportionally deeper than that of a coyote. Coyotes also have tracks that are more elongated than those of dogs, but because there are big variances in the size of a dog’s tracks, it may sometimes be hard to tell the difference. However, when a coyote moves in stride, its front and rear paws land in the same position, giving a ‘perfect step’.
Like dogs, most coyotes have a natural fear of people, and are generally not aggressive to people, unless provoked. Coyotes mainly feed on small animals, like rabbits, shrews, voles and mice, and occasionally on birds, insects, berries and skunks. They sometimes prey on pets, such as cats, because they can’t differentiate them from their natural prey. Dogs have the ability to survive on a variety of diets, and they consume a big percentage of vegetarian food in their diet.
1. Dogs are usually domesticated animals (living with humans), while coyotes live in the wild, near natural places.
2. Coyotes look sleeker than dogs, with a more pointed muzzle and flatter forehead.
3. A dog’s chest appears deeper than a coyote’s, giving the impression that a coyote has longer legs than a dog.
4. Coyote have more elongated tracks than dogs.