It's true, many dogs can smell coyotes and react accordingly. From howling to whimpering and sniffing around like crazy, there are numerous tell-tale signs that your dog is aware of the presence of a coyote in the area. Because some dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than others, your dog may not always be aware of a nearby coyote.
Whether you live in the woods or in an urban setting, there's good chance coyotes have been in the area. While coyotes are rarely interested in humans, when you add a dog to the mix it's a whole different story.
Coyotes often view dogs as potential prey, which is why it is imperative you remain vigilant and aware when walking your dog in an area with known coyotes. Your dog very well may tell you there is a coyote nearby, often long before you are aware of its presence. This is why it is important to educate yourself about how dogs react when they sense a coyote, even if this is the furthest thing from your mind!
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Signs a Dog Smells a Coyote
Your dog may start sniffing and looking around for clues or any signs that will tell him where the coyote is. If your dog eventually spots the coyote, they may either give chase or become glued to your side with their ears perked in alertness. It's hard to say exactly how a dog will react when they smell a coyote, but any peculiar behaviors should be your first sign.
- Raise ears
- Heightened Awareness
- Stronger Interest in Surroundings
- Becoming Uneasy
- Searching for Clues
- Digging into the Ground
History of Dogs Smelling Coyotes
Science of Dog's Smelling Coyotes
Dogs possess more than 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, which compares to just six million in humans. Furthermore, the part of a dog's brain that is used to analyze smells is an impressive 40 times greater than ours. It is also important to understand that your dog's nose functions very differently than yours. This goes back to the different paths a dog separates air into. In addition to all this, dogs actually have a secondary olfactory capability that humans do not have. They have an extra organ - the vomeronasal organ or Jacobson's organ - that is located at the bottom of the nasal passage.
All this goes to show that a dog's smelling skills are far beyond ours and what most of us even understand about sense of smell. This is why dogs are able to sense when an intruder - such as a coyote - is in their territory. They can smell much further distances than we can, as well, so the coyote may not necessarily be an imminent danger, but it's there.
Training Your Dog to Smell Coyotes
How to React If Your Dog Senses a Coyote
Stand up tall and assertive.
Maintain eye contact with the coyote.
Do not turn your back and do not run.
Haze the coyote until he leaves the area.
Pick up small dogs.
Safety Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe from Coyotes
Keep your dog on a short leash at all times.
Avoid areas with known coyote activity.
Stay on marked trails.
Avoid areas with thick brush.
Avoid walking your dog at sunrise or sunset.