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Difference Between Dog and Coyote

dog-breedDogs 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.

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  1. this is dum this is not even true info

  2. In other words,
    There really isn’t a difference, just another breed of dog. Most dog breeds look different.

  3. This thread is ancient, but I had a coydog for a time, so here’s the differences I noticed.. Yes, the shoulders are different, the track (footprint) is elongated. But there so much more..
    First off, the pup changed dramatically from 6 weeks to 4 months.. When I took my “puppy home, it looked like its mother (a cattle dog) and somewhat like a bulldog. Brown patches on white, with a wide muzzle. By 4 months, this pet was about the height and length of its mother.. but slender, with short orange on white fur, with black line going all across the back, down to the bushy tail, with black and white tip, huge ears standing straight up, long skinny muzzle and had teeth almost 1 1/2 inches long. She could grind a thick pork bone to powder in minutes (the kind of bone most 3 or 4 month old puppies would be chewing on for a week. She almost never barked. She “cackled” at night to show her displeasure in her crate.. and hissed during playtime, with her mouth gaping.. She pounced like a fox. She very unintentionally played way too rough, felt like she was breaking bones if she got a hold of your hand. She NEVER housetrained, despite our best efforts.. However she was extremely smart, randomly “fetching” items upon the second mention of them, without your asking her to. She bared her teeth once or twice at neighborhood dogs, scaring the dog and its owners.. She was very strange, nothing like any dog I’ve ever had. I didn’t know she was part coyote when I got her. I knew one had been seen in the vicinity a few months before the pups were born.. a family member of the person who gave her to me finally clued me in that the coyote and the mama dog were seen “together”.. We chose to rehome the “dog” when I found out I was pregnant with my last child. We had already bonded with the critter so it was hard. Coydogs are not for everyone. If you live on a large amount of acreage, and you have plenty of time for training, may be a different story. They are affectionate and friendly with whom they consider to be their pack. We did love her, and hated to let her go, but were all in agreement that her energy level was off the charts high, (too much) and temperament wasn’t suitable for a populated neighborhood.. Plus the fact that she ate constantly, and never seemed satiated at all until we began feeding her a diet of home-cooked meat and veggies AND raw meat.. No matter how much dogwood we fed her, no matter how high quality, it was never enough. If you think you’ve accidentally adopted a coymix,think it through.. Its like that crazy puppy stage on steroids.. permanently. I don’t think they ever “settle” into a routine.. or settle down.


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