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Our large dog was attacked by a coyote...

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  • Our large dog was attacked by a coyote...

    Elly- our 80lbs. black lab was attacked by a coyote on Saturday. This happened in our back field, DH was on his tractor tilling 25 yds. away. The coyote charged her, she tried to get away and ran into a tree. DH saw what was happening and reached Elly just before the coyote with teeth bared reached her. It saw him when he was about 15 feet away and turned and trotted off until it reached the end of the field and stopped and watched DH and Elly continue to run at it, and stayed there and watched until they left to run home! DH went back out with his gun, while I checked Elly over, but it had left.
    About a month ago we believe we had one or more coyotes poking around the woods right behind my horse barn while I was doing chores. The dogs and I "ran it off" , I only got a brief glimpse. Stupidly the dogs and I followed it into the swamp (I wanted to know what it was) Elly could catch up to it, but by the time me and my old dog would get close it would move on. Looking back I find my behavior incredibly stupid as I now believe it was trying to lure Elly out into the swamp.
    Has anyone had experiences like this? We have lived here almost 6 yrs with nothing like this happening before. Why now?
    The indecent in the field really bothers me because the coyote was brazen enough to go after a large, healthy dog in broad daylight with a human and running tractor withing 25 yds....

    I should ad that thankfully Elly is no the worse for wear, other than being covered in sap

  • #2
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


    • #3
      Maybe rabies, because I've had a few incidents of coyotes being perfect gentlemen (or ladies?) when my Benji-dog & I have crossed paths with them on hikes, & that's with Benji-dog chasing them & getting up in their faces! The coyotes retreated every time, letting the goof off Scot-free!


      • #4
        I would worry about rabies as well. For a coyote to go after a full-sized dog alone would have me suspicious. When it comes to dogs, a lone coyote is more apt to "play" with the dog while luring it closer to the rest of the pack.
        Rhode Islands are red;
        North Hollands are blue.
        Sorry my thoroughbreds
        Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


        • #5
          Or a coydog? Are you sure it was 100% coyote?


          • #6
            Protecting pups/den?
            I don't think that a rabid animal would retreat, but I would boost my dog if there was any direct contact!
            Last edited by tucktaway; Jun. 4, 2012, 02:46 PM.


            • #7
              seen it....

              I did some research about why otherwise benign coyotes might do this and learned there are 2 scenarios where they will be aggressive like you described: I've experienced these: .
              1. A den with cubs is nearby. The male will come out, pick a fight, growl, and chase after you (me on a horse for 2 miles even) to make sure you leave the area. Female will often go to den or lead cubs off.
              2. He had a fresh kill and felt ya'll were threatening his food.

              It's often this time of year only. Spring/summer until the cubs are big enough to get away. Yes they will jump a big dog. Or try to lure him away or come up to you/tractor/horse and bark/growl. Sometimes both the parents or family pod together will also.
              Do some reading; Knowledge is power and will decrease your anxiety when you understand what's up.


              • #8
                Probably not rabies - a female will try to lure a dog and then when followed the pack will attack it.

                We almost lost our bernese mountain dog this way. They punctured a major artery in his leg but he managed to get home - luckily we were able to save him - $1000 later.

                be very careful.

                We have a great dane now and he is one smart dog - he will chase other dogs but will not chase the coyotes but is very aggressively mad and barking at them - they are afraid of him.


                • #9
                  I have seen coyotes on our farm in the early morning when I was dragging the riding ring - they didn't seem to care about the farm equipment/noise being so close.

                  Have had the same experience with fox - had one that used to come up and watch me work on the landscaping. Had the feeling something was watching me and turned around - there it was just sitting and watching me work - never came any closer and after a while it went away.

                  I have seen rabid animals, they just aren't right and there is usually no question they are sick.


                  • #10
                    Wateryglen's two scenarios are most likely. A friend of mine was walking his large Labrador recently and encountered a coyote who charged at the Lab. As soon as they moved off, the coyote returned from whence it came, and later, other friends spotted coyote pups in the area.

                    Soon the pups will be old enough to move on, and it won't be a problem.

                    It's very unlikely that the coyote was trying to lure you into the swamp. Animals are simply not that smart. You said you ran him off, and that's what happened...you were a threat, and he had nothing worth protecting, so he left.


                    • #11
                      This .pdf from the CT DEP might be useful. If your coyote was protecting a den, they've likely moved it now.



                      • Original Poster

                        Thank you all for your responses! Rabies was my first thought- ( I was thinking "Old Yeller"!) Thankfully no direct contact seems to have been made and vaccinations are UTD. We don't *think* it was rabid, it looked very healthy and did retreat although in a surly manner... and if it was the same one that was sneaking around a month ago it should be dead by now. However I have instructed DH to not to take head shot if he gets a shot at it. We've let our neighbors know too.

                        I've heard of odd coyote/dog encounters before, and have actually seen coyotes try and lure our dogs brother (when he was a pup) into the woods. That happened at their hunting camp in a pretty remote area, our encounter happened in an area that we frequent, and DH has been out there a lot tilling and planting in the last few weeks.

                        But I do feel better knowing others have had similar experiences. It just seemed so random and strange!
                        Last edited by red squirrel ridge; Jun. 4, 2012, 11:39 PM.


                        • Original Poster

                          Also, Thank you for the links, they are helpful. And DH is sure it was a coyote, not a coydog. We do have more wolves in the area than we used to, would this cause coyotes to be more aggressive to humans/ dogs?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wateryglen View Post
                            I did some research about why otherwise benign coyotes might do this and learned there are 2 scenarios where they will be aggressive like you described: I've experienced these: .
                            1. A den with cubs is nearby. The male will come out, pick a fight, growl, and chase after you (me on a horse for 2 miles even) to make sure you leave the area. Female will often go to den or lead cubs off.
                            2. He had a fresh kill and felt ya'll were threatening his food.

                            It's often this time of year only. Spring/summer until the cubs are big enough to get away. Yes they will jump a big dog. Or try to lure him away or come up to you/tractor/horse and bark/growl. Sometimes both the parents or family pod together will also.
                            Do some reading; Knowledge is power and will decrease your anxiety when you understand what's up.
                            THIS. Be aware and keep your dog close for now.


                            • #15
                              We have coydogs running in our area. They are huge pains in the backside as they do run in packs. They will send in a decoy to get a dog to folllow them and the pack waits to ambush. More than one neighborhood dog has met its end this way. Cats too seem to be a favorite if they stray far from builds after dark.

                              We also had purebred coyotes that raised a litter of pups in our pastures. They were silent, shy and no problem at all. Even had to "rescue" the male as one AM he was hunting in the back of the pasture. I turned the horses out and they thought it would be big fun to chase the "dog" around the pasture. Headed the horse play off enough that he was able to duck out. We never bothered the den tho we were out there often. They never bothered us.

                              But you should also be aware that in the Greal Lakes area the coyote has crossed with the wolf and is spreading east. And if I recall correctly the coyotes that killed Mitchell Taylor were DNA'ed and confirmed wolf crosses. These are bigger/bolder "coyotes". Able as individuals to take on larger dog breeds and use them as a food source if needs be. Running from these hybrids provokes an attack (behave like prey and you are killed like prey).


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                                THIS. Be aware and keep your dog close for now.
                                Yes, dogs are being kept close and cat is on night time house arrest- he is not very appreciative

                                Guard donkey is on duty and pony/donkey pasture is close to house.

                                Honestly I've never really appreciated that coyotes could be a threat to anything larger than a toy poodle. They are all over around here- we are in a very rural area. We find their scat around the farm etc. but they never bother anyone. I guess there is a first time for everything


                                • #17
                                  I can tell you that suburban / urban coyotes are incredibly aggressive as we have an awful pack here in Bay Saint Louis, MS. We have 2 huge livestock guardian dogs as well as a hound mix and a 180+ lb English mastiff. Our coyotes will circle our perimeter and bark right back at our LGDs, and my house dogs run for their lives instinctively when they hear those coyotes.

                                  Unfortunately, we have not been able to get a clear shot at our problem coyotes, as we are surrounded by swamp and thick brush / woods. Our coyotes have killed and injured pets all around us. If we were not about to move, I would be getting additional livestock guardian dogs due to the aggressiveness of our local pack. We have not lost any stock to predators thanks to the LGDs, but I do not want my LGDs getting hurt either.

                                  It is also important to realize that coy dogs and coy wolf hybrids are large and aggressive; and the propaganda that coyotes and dogs rarely breed and that wolves decrease the coyote population is completely misleading.

                                  There is a lot of pro - coyote misinformation out there. I totally agree that wild NON-habituated coyotes should be left alone, but problem animals get worse and teach their young. Some of the best research out there has been done by Robert M. Timm of University of California Research Center. Unfortunately, the full scientific research has been drowned out by groups like Project Coyote who do not believe in lethal control of problem animals.

                                  Here is a link to one of Timm's papers

                                  "Rex Baker first outlined the stages of increasingly troublesome coyote behavior in Baker and Timm (1998); these behavioral stages, in their usual order of occurrence are as follows:
                                  1. An increase in observing coyotes on streets and in yards at night.
                                  2. An increase in coyotes approaching adults and/or taking pets at night.
                                  3. Early morning and late afternoon daylight observance of coyotes on streets and in parks and yards.
                                  4. Daylight observance of coyotes chasing or taking pets.
                                  5. Coyotes attacking and taking pets on leash or in close proximity to their owners; coyotes chasing joggers, bicyclists, and other adults.
                                  6. Coyotes seen in and around children’s play areas, school grounds, and parks in mid-day.
                                  7. Coyotes acting aggressively toward adults during mid-day

                                  This progression of behaviors has been adopted for use in evaluating problem coyote complaints and deciding thresholds for management actions in Texas (see Farrar 2007), New York, and elsewhere. Typically, most management entities consider taking some sort of action to remove the offending coyote(s) or otherwise reduce the risk to human safety once stages 4 or 5 are reached."

                                  My advice is that wild animals that cease to act wild are a problem. I would not wait until step 4 or 5 to get serious; but you are at least #4. At our old place, the coyotes respected our LGDs and stayed away from our farm. There was no trespassing or barking back. If you are interested in learning more about LGDs, please join the Working LGD Yahoo Group. It's a great group with reputable LGD breeders, and rescue dogs actually come up very regularly, too. LGDs are not for everyone, but a team of at least 2 adult (2+ years old) LGDs will keep your stock and family safe.

                                  Good Luck. Please keep your pets and stock close and arm yourself when out and about.
                                  Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing


                                  • #18
                                    Coydogs are a problem here in Texas. Grandfather usually keeps 3-4 Large dogs (Whatever shows up and doesn't kill the calves). We've lost one or two of the dogs as well as a calf or two to them over the years. Currently we have a pair of Catahoulas that roam and keep the coydog's in control. I do not condone the use of the dogs to kill the coyotes however when they are attacking our livestock I am not inclined to be merciful. Especially when I know there is fair game readily available to them. Boldness of the coydogs to go after large livestock and lone dogs is well noted. Most disturbing this year is rumors of a pack of about 6-10 individuals that are doing some pretty hefty damage. One calf every once in a while is one thing, one calf a week is a bit much especially since it doesn't look like they are doing it for food.
                                    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                                    Originally Posted by alicen:
                                    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by leilatigress View Post
                                      Coydogs are a problem here in Texas... I do not condone the use of the dogs to kill the coyotes however when they are attacking our livestock I am not inclined to be merciful.
                                      I have also heard on my LGD group about a horrible, scary pack of feral dogs in TX - confirmed by game camera and then in person as huge pitt / Rottie mixes that were extremely people aggressive. With the economy, I think the feral dog problem has grown quite a bit in some areas.

                                      I also wanted to emphasize that the purpose of livestock guardian dogs is not to hunt down and kill predators. LGDs do everything possible to DETER predators - primarily by barking them off. However, they will protect their stock and families with their lives if they have to. My goal - and the goal of most LGD owners - is to never get close to that point, which is why multiple LGDs are needed when dealing with heavy predator pressure.
                                      Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing


                                      • #20
                                        Another idear!

                                        I've had some luck harassing coyote families until they've moved their dens and left the immediate surroundings of my farm. The key is finding the den.
                                        I find them by watching & mostly listening. When the parents bring food back there's a lot of squealing/barking/whining that is loud and stops suddenly. Happens a coupla times a day especially in evenings/ams. Then go look. Then I come over mounted on my horse and walk around/over and put some smells and stir up the place. Dig some at the opening. By disturbing the den; their security is threatened and often they'll move right away. Then you listen;go & disurb & they move. I moved one family 3 times in 6 wks once. Finally got them off my ridge/bottom. Deer hunters finally picked them off that fall at me & my neighbors requests!!
                                        We have coydogs in this area too. Some of them look like wolves.