Is having a big dog such as rottweiler, shepherd, etc. a detterent to coyotes?


I live on 20 acres and frequently take my 2 small dogs off leash hiking on a path. This afternoon my husband yelled for me to come look at a coyote on our property. This is the first one that we’ve ever seen.

I would still like going on hikes (that’s why we bought so much land) but I’m afraid for my dogs. Would having a big dog make
a difference?

My dogs are never outside alone except in their fenced in area but they won’t be ever again after this coyote siting.

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12 Responses to “Is having a big dog such as rottweiler, shepherd, etc. a detterent to coyotes?”

  1. Bob says:

    Coyotes don’t hunt in packs. They are lone hunters and will easily be deterred by a Rott, GSD or Beauceron(look it up).

  2. Tyler Peck says:

    Yes large dogs are a deterrent for coyotes, unless we are talking a pack of coyotes. Generally coyotes are loners, and they run like hell from the average farm dog like a border collie. A neighbor’s Australian Shepered recently killed a coyote. I have heard of rare instances of a pack of coyotes attacking a large dog, but for the most part any dog significantly larger than a coyote will fight it off, if not seriously injure of kill it, unless it’s very old or injured.

  3. danelover says:

    I live on five acres of land and have 3 Great Danes. Every night the coyotes are still outside howling up a storm, and getting my dogs going. So I would have to definetly say no they don’t care if there are big dogs.

    P.S. My dogs sleep in my room with me so when them coyotes get my dogs going in the middle of the night yes I would love to be able to go out and shoot them.

  4. D says:

    No. Coyotes hunt in packs. All it takes is for one to grab your small dog in his mouth and he could run. Even a big dog can be attacked by several coyotes and mauled.

    I wouldn’t leave any animal alone outside since you now know you have this problem. And don’t rely on fencing. Coyotes routinely walk right up to houses in suburbia in Los Angeles and last week one attacked a 3-year old child who was outside sitting on the grass. Fortunately there was a plucky 11-year old girl who ran up to scare the coyote away. It didn’t scare, so she then threw her skateboard at the coyote which finally got him to run away. It was on the news. The 3-year old was taken to the hospital because she had deep bite marks on her face and head.

    A big dog might alert you to the coyote presence, MAYBE, but I certainly wouldn’t rely on something like that. What if one day the dog is asleep? Or out riding in the car or at the vet’s?

    Why not take your little dogs "off leash" at a dog park? They’d probably enjoy socializing with other dogs. Some dog parks even have small and big dog fenced areas so the little ones can play without being roughed up by a well-meaning but clumsy large dog.

  5. abbie says:

    what is a coyoty?

  6. strawb3rry_kiwi says:

    Where I live, there are coyotes all over the place. However, I have found, through people, reading etc, that coyotes won’t attack people unless they feel that they are at a disadvantage.

    For example, a big dog that has a confident stance will usually scare off the coyote. Coyotes don’t generally attack adults unless they are hurt or so on. Coyotes have been reported attacking little dogs and little kids. I would be careful, because it was only last week that a coyote carried off my neighbour’s cat.

    The farms around here usually have large dogs, but then again, it depends on the dog. Some dogs get scared, some will run straight for the coyote, some thinks its a friend and so on. I know german shepherds generally will protect their owners from anything, and coyotes are pretty much afraid of a dog that size with that strength. (I have friends with german shepherds that have encountered a coyote).

    I hope that helps!

  7. The wolf runner says:

    Yes usually but a young dog or puppy would be just as vulnerable. The argument would be that yes a large breed would less likely to be attacked but one dog would be NO match for a family pack and there have been instances of a group attack on one dog. So if you do plan to get a larger dog to protect or deter the coyotes, please rescue a dog physically capable of doing the work. Dont expect the dog to be a miracle worker. In fact, any sheeprancher will tell that a group of coyotes will work together to distract the protector while other members of the pack continue the attack.
    Working at an animal hospital in the 80’s I once pitched in to sew up a Dalmatian that a group of coyotes attacked while its owner was hiking in the hills with it. The dog fought them off but it took 180 stitches to close all of his wounds.
    Oh and by the way, when Iread that last part about you not leaving your small dogs outside in the fenced area. You should know that coyotes are EXCELLENT climbers and I have personally witnessed a a coyote climb a 6ft wire fence, jump and scale a 6 foot brick wall, and DIG under a dog run that was built on the lawn that didnt have any concrete poured around it and had a neighbor whose dog was killed and eaten INSIDE its UNROOFED dog run because the owner underestimated coyotes tenacity and ability to climb.
    To tell the truth, with 20 acres, you would be better off with a llama or donkey as a protector, many sheep/livestock rancher
    have used them with great success. There are many rescue organizations that would be glad to help you procur and teach you how to care for either.
    Think about it.

  8. Goldengal says:

    Where I live we have Coyotes here all the time. Rarely do they travel alone. Several more are close by. I have 2 big Golden Retrievers they have barked at them and scared them off but if push came to shove I really dont think my dogs would have a chance. The pack would come running in to save the other coyotes. So No I dont think having bigger dogs would be much of a deterant at all. Usually coyotes will do everything in their power to stay away from humans, but that doesnt mean I’d trust your little dogs out alone in their yard now that you know they are around.

  9. dances_with_unicorns1955 says:

    As long as your dogs are properly vaccinated, they have nothing to fear from a coyote, especially when you are with them. Coyotes are generally shy animals; they prey on small animals like squirrels, mice, voles, etc. An animal as large as a dog isn’t particularly appealing to it.

    Now that you know you have coyotes on your property, it WOULD be a good idea to keep cat or dog food where coyotes can’t get to it; as long as you feed your pets during the day and take it up at night, it shouldn’t be a problem. There are even coyotes here where I live, near Seattle, and I’m not telling anybody about them because I don’t want people to be afraid of them, and call someone to have them removed. They’re very shy.

    By the way – the first answerer is incorrect; coyotes do NOT hunt in packs as wolves do. The only "group" of coyotes you’re likely ever to see is a mother and her pups while she’s teaching them to hunt, and she’s not interested in dogs (or humans!) either. They’ll most likely run the other way; don’t let people who don’t know what they’re talking about lead you to believe that coyotes are wolves in miniature; nothing could be further from the truth, and even WOLVES do not attack humans, contrary to popular mythology.

    I’d say be glad the coyotes are there; they’ll help keep the pest problem in check.

  10. barbara l says:

    no matter the size of the dog you wont scare off the coyotes. they are out hunting food. i think the dog will only attract them to you. but i do have to admit a larger breed will make you feel safer, and it would hold up better if you were attacked by coyotes. i wouldn’t want to be on a hike with out a large dog in the wilderness. a coffee can with marbles, or bearings in it is scary when shaken. something like that might scare them off from your yard. set up a coyote watch, and make noise.

  11. Bozema says:

    No, a big dog is unlikely to be a deterrent. A lone coyote might not attack a big dog but in some cases a pack might. There is always a risk. The coyotes always seemed to come around despite the presence of large dogs.

    My big dogs were always scared of them and stayed inside with us at night when they were around (they are always inside anyway but get very agitated and fearful when coyotes are nearby).

  12. Gentle Spirit says:

    You are right to never let your dogs alone – even in their fenced area – I’ve lived in coyote areas since 1985. Coyotes will climb fences, jump over fences, anything to get your dog -and they can even get your dog if you just turn your head for a second. I had a neighbor with a small white dog who lived in the house only, they took it out to go potty and a coyote got her. They got her away, but she died on the way to the vet. You CANNOT ever let your dogs out of your sight. My friend with the small white dog also had a large malaumte – but the coyote still got the little one. Owls can also get small dogs, usually in the morning or at dusk. You must be very careful. The only way big dogs are a deterrent are because coyotes can’t take the chance of getting hurt – but they still will attack a large dog if there are more than one coyote. Coyotes are also sneaky – they will send out a female in heat and hide, when a male dog is attracted, they will attack, kill and eat him! Your best bet is to keep your dogs on leashes all the time. Or at least on leashes early morning and evening. You should be okay during the day unless there is a drought, then coyotes hunt all day long ’cause they’re hungry. Be careful…..

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