With society’s newfound affinity for wolfdog hybrids, it was only a matter of time before Coydogs came onto the scene. A somewhat less exotic sounding version of a domesticated dog crossed with a coyote, the coydog has found it’s fair share of popularity over the past few years.
Of course, seeing as this dog is a mix between a domesticated animal and what most of America deems as a wild pest, it’s interesting that the Coydog has become such a widespread topic of conversion.
Still, there is so much we don’t know about the Coyote dog mix breed, and if you’re ready to learn more, then keep reading. Today’s article is just for you.
The Coyote Dog Mix – Is There Really Such A Thing?
Coydogs do exist, and while they are majestic in appearance, they can be unpredictable in temperament.
For a long time, the idea of a Coydog was deemed to be a myth or an urban legend. However, thanks to the rise in popularity of wolf-dog hybrids, we now know that wild dogs like coyotes and wolves can mate and reproduce with domesticated dog breeds.
More amazingly, Coydogs and wolf hybrids can even produce fertile offspring, unlike a few other hybrids in the animal kingdom like the Liger (a tiger and lion crossbreed) or the Mule, (a Donkey and horse crossbreed).
That said, this breeding is not likely to happen on it’s own in the wild, especially when it comes to coyotes and domesticated dogs. This is for a few reasons. First, domesticated dogs and coyotes are not inclined to get along. The second reason is because their mating pattern is off when it comes to when domesticated dogs and coyotes are in heat.
In most instances, a Coydog hybrid is produced purposefully and oftentimes artificially by humans.
So, if you were to see a coyote dog mix, what would you be looking at? Let’s take a gander at a brief breed overview.
Common Names: Coyote Dog Mix, Dogote, Coydog
Average Height: 22 to 27 Inches Tall
Average Weight: 60 to 120 Pounds
Average Temperament: Intelligent, Independent, Energetic, Athletic, Standoffish, High-Maintenance
Best Suited For: Experienced Dog Owners, People With Experience With Wild Dogs or Hybrids, Those With Lots Of Land
Average Lifespan: 5 to 15 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Arthritis, Dental Disease
Breed Clubs That Recognize This Mix: None
The Coydog Controversy – What You Should Know About Mixing Wild Dogs With Domesticated Dogs
Wild dogs and domesticated dogs may hail from the same ancestors, but there are centuries of temperamental shifts and genetic changes that divide them.
Crossbreeding dogs is an age-old practice, though it’s relatively controversial in today’s modern society. And we’re just talking about cross breeding domesticated purebreds, not coyotes.
Originally, crossbreeding dogs was done by breeders and experts in an effort to combine certain traits of purebred dogs, most often for working purposes. It takes generations for a crossbreed dog to be perfected and to build a breed standard that is predictable, and even longer for that dog to be registered by most breed clubs and considered an official purebred.
One of the issues with modern day crossbreeding is that the practice is, mostly, no longer done for working purposes. The majority of hybrid dogs are designed by breeders looking to sell their puppies to families for companionship.
This means that first, second and third generation dogs are often sold at a purebred price with very unpredictable traits when it comes to health, temperament and physical appearance.
Of course, there are pros to obtaining a crossbreed dog. Purebreds, for example, have been overbred for generations. This has led to an uptick in certain genetic health issues.
Crossbreeding, in theory, widens the gene pool of dogs and provides them with a lesser chance of inheriting these issues. This is what is known as hybrid vigor.
In the same breath, crossbreeding also widens the list of potential health issues a dog could inherit from both parent breeds, so it’s a double bladed sword.
Another thing you should know about crossbreed dogs is that generation is important. First, second and third generation dogs are typically less predictable when it comes to genetic traits than dogs that have come from generations of other crossbreeds.
For example, a first generation crossbreed would be a dog that is the direct offspring of two different purebred parents. A second generation dog would be a dog that is the offspring of two of the same first generation crossbreed parents. And so on and so forth.
The greater the generation, the more predictable your hybrid dog’s traits are going to be.
Now let’s talk about cross breeding a domesticated dog with a wild canid like a coyote or a wolf.
This is doubly controversial for a few reasons. First, dogs have been domesticated for hundreds of thousands of years. They have biologically been designed to have a temperament and relationship with human beings, which is one of the reasons our two species are able to interact so fluidly.
Coyotes, on the other hand, are not domesticated. They are wild animals with a natural wariness of humans. While they are intelligent, they differ from dogs in a multitude of fundamental ways, most of which make them a highly unattractive companion option for anyone looking for a pet.
So, while a coyote dog mix does exist and may be available, most experts would warn seriously against making such a commitment.
Is It Legal To Own A Coyote Dog Mix?
In some regions it is legal to own a coydog. In fact, there are even professional coydog breeders.
Another factor you should consider before considering a coyote dog breed mix would be the legalities.
In most states there are laws regarding ownership of exotic pets. This includes animals like wolf or coyote hybrids.
Before you invest in a coyote dog mix breed, it’s important to look into the laws of your particular region.
For the most part, however, if it is legal to own a wolf hybrid in your area, it is likely that it is also legal for you to own a Coyote dog mix. That said, even if this type of hybrid is legal to own, you must also ask yourself if they are wise to own, as we mentioned above.
While there are some Coyote Mix Dog breeders available, the breeding and selling of these dogs is questionable and controversial practice to say the least.
Which brings us to our next question – is a coyote dog mix safe to own for the traditional American family?
Let’s find out.
The Coyote Dog Mix Temperament – Are These Dogs Safe?
Some coydog owners claim their dogs are docile and sweet, while others have found their temperaments to be unpredictable.
The tricky part about investing in a coyote dog mix is that some might make excellent companions while others can be incredibly high maintenance and even dangerous.
Not only does the problem lie in breeding, which type of domesticated dog breed is in your coyote dog mix’s DNA, and responsible breeding practices, training and lifestyle, but it also depends on the hybrid’s crossbreed generation.
Remember how we discussed the different generations of crossbreeding? When it comes to predicting if a coyote dog mix is going to be a safe hybrid to invest in, it will be difficult to tell unless you have an older generation mix.
If you’re looking for a challenge, and you don’t have children or other pets in home to worry about, and if it’s legal in your area, going with a first generation coyote dog mix breed may be for you.
However, keep in mind that you are more likely to see many of the wild and unpredictable traits of a coyote in this type of generation of hybrid, including wariness of people, resource guarding, aggressive tendencies, a very high prey drive, and independent thinking.
On the flip side, coyote dog mix breeds are said to be highly intelligent. They are clever and can bond closely to their family, especially if they are a third or fourth generation mix and are a mix between a dog like a Golden Retriever and a Coyote, for example.
Some other common temperamental traits of a coyote dog mix include loyalty, protectiveness, high energy, and independence. Of course, these temperamental traits will vary depending on the type of domesticated dog your Coydog is a mix of.
So, to sum it up – is the coyote dog mix safe for the average family looking for a canine companion? Experts would most likely say no, probably not.
Is a coydog safe for you in particular? It’s difficult to say and will depend on your background, commitment level, lifestyle, hometype, and preparedness. And that is the most honest answer we can provide.
How To Train And Socialize A Coyote Dog Mix
Training a Coydog will take patience, time and consistency.
Yes, it is possible to train a coyote dog mix, just as it’s possible to train a purebred domesticated dog. However, like any dog in the canine kingdom, training success will depend on a multitude of factors.
The first factor you’ll need to consider is the type of domesticated dog breed your coyote dog mix is a cross of. Some dogs are more eager to please than others, while some are independent thinkers with a stubborn streak.
Another factor you should consider is your dog’s generation of crossbreed. First generation coyote dog mixes are likely going to be more complicated to train, especially if they inherit more of their coyote parent’s temperamental traits.
Either way, most experts agree that training any dog, even a Coydog, takes time, patience, persistency and lots of positive reinforcement.
The ideal owner and trainer of a coyote dog mix is going to be an owner that is hands-on, firm, patient, repetitive and consistent.
Avoid using punishments or aversive training methods, as this can lead to a breakdown in the bond between you and your Coydog and lead to behavioral issues down the line including fear-based aggression.
Instead, stick with positive reinforcement training techniques utilizing high value treats, praise and play.
PupFord Freeze Dried Chicken Training Treats
We would recommend the PupFord Freeze Dried Training Treats above because they are raw and will tap into your Coydog’s natural palate. They are also super smelly and tasty to dogs, and are healthy to boot.
To ensure these treats are high value and hold your Coydog’s attention, only break them out during training sessions.
Training should begin as early as possible with a coyote dog mix, preferably in puppyhood, and it should continue on throughout your Coydog’s life.
Socializing a coyote dog mix is also essential, as it can help settle that natural wariness of people and strangers, build confidence, and reduce potentially aggressive tendencies in the future.
When working on socializing a coyote dog mix, begin as early as possible and continue to utilize socialization techniques throughout your dog’s life.
Ensure he is introduced to as many new experiences, people, places, animals and things in puppyhood as possible, and get him used to being handled, played with, fed, and more by a number of people and strangers.
It’s also equally important to help your Coydog associate new experiences with something positive. This means you should avoid forcing your Coyote dog mix into a situation that is clearly frightening for him, and instead allow him to explore things at his own pace using gentle encouragement, praise and treats.
It would also be a good idea to learn some basic canine body language, not only for domesticated dogs but also for wild coyotes.
Remember, these two animals are very different and communicate differently to one another. Learning how your unique dog communicates will help you to build a better bond with him and can make all the difference when it comes to training and socialization down the road.
Common Exercise and Mental Stimulation Needs of A Coyote Dog Mix
The exercise needs of your Coydog will vary depending on his mix, but most Coyote dog mix breeds are energetic and athletic.
Your coyote dog mix is going to require plenty of exercise, regardless of the type of domesticated dog he is a cross between. Coydogs are known for their high energy level, and they are highly intelligent and strong willed.
Ensuring your Coydog is properly exercised is key to ensuring he lives a long, happy and healthy life. Perhaps more importantly, exercising your coyote dog mix breed will ensure he is mentally sound, satisfied, and better behaved.
The best exercise for a coyote dog mix would be two good walks or hikes a day. These walks or hikes could be between 30 minutes to an hour each, depending on which type of mix your Coydog is.
Coydogs mixed with high energy domesticated dogs like Huskies, for example, will need at least two hours of extensive exercise a day as well as plenty of free playtime in a large, well secured backyard with a fence that is reinforced and at least six feet tall.
Very well trained and socialized Coydogs can get along well with other dogs, though a coyote dog mix may not be the best candidate for a dog park.
When walking your coyote dog mix outside, it’s important to have the proper harness. Remember, this is a hybrid with a very high prey drive, and he will be keen to chase after smaller animals he sees when out and about.
Still, it’s important to avoid the use of aversive training equipment like prong collars and choke chains. Instead, stick with products that are proven to work safely and make walking more comfortable and efficient for everyone.
PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness
One of our favorite harnesses for dogs is the PetSafe 3 in 1 Dog Harness listed above. This harness gives you the option to clip both in the front and the back to reduce pulling and gently redirects your dog back to you should he get ahead of himself. These harnesses are ideal for heavy pullers, high-energy dogs, and dogs with a high prey drive.
Just remember to do your measurements and make sure the harness fits properly to ensure your Coyote dog mix can’t get loose or slip out of it.
Along with exercising your coyote dog mix’s body, it’s equally important to exercise his mind. Remember, coydogs are inherently intelligent, and they have a unique desire to think for themselves, especially if they are more like their coyote parent.
Keeping your dog mentally stimulated can include routine training sessions that you carry on throughout the day, as well as teaching your Coydog to help you with chores around the home. Coydogs also have a high prey drive, so they’ll enjoy interactive toys that utilize treats or food and that challenge them and keep them busy.
Toys like KONGS and puzzle toys will also help keep a Coyote dog mix busy and active.
Remember, without proper exercise and mental stimulation, a coyote dog mix can become stressed, depressed, anxious, aggressive and destructive. It’s imperative to ensure you are meeting all of your coyote dog mix’s needs when you bring him into your home, otherwise both his life and your life will be miserable.
Coydog Health Issues and Lifespan
Health issues and lifespan can vary for each individual Coyote Dog mix breed, so it’s a good idea to have your Coydog health screened at an early age.
For the most part, there is very little we know about the Coyote dog mix breeds health. That said, we do know that Coyotes in particular do not have the longest lifespans.
Unfortunately, a Coyote dog mix could live anywhere from a very short 5 years up to a more average lifespan for domesticated dogs of around 15 years. This will all depend on your Coydog’s DNA and which type of dog he is a cross between.
Coyotes in general tend to suffer from some of the same health issues as a few domesticated dogs of the same size, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, arthritis and dental disease.
Other common health issues you might look out for include allergies and, depending on your Coydog’s domesticated parent breed, Bloat.
Since there is very little information we can provide you with regarding the coyote dog mix breeds overall health and life expectancy, the best we can do is provide you with some tips and tricks for ensuring your Coydog lives his longest, healthiest life possible.
Go Through A reputable Source To Obtain Your Coydog
The terms “reputable breeder” and coyote dog mix don’t typically go together, as most reputable breeders will forgo breeding this type of hybrid. However, there are breeders available that work to responsibly breed these dogs to the best of their ability, so it’s important to do your research.
Ensuring you go through responsible sources when looking to obtain any dog helps reduce your chances of winding up with a sick pet down the road.
Consider Early Health Screening
If you go through a certified breeder to get your Coydog, you’ll likely receive paperwork proving your puppy has been screened and cleared of any major health issues. However, many people obtain Coydogs through alternative methods.
If this is the case, we recommend having your dog health screened to give you a better idea of the specific health issues he may be predisposed to.
Keep Up With Routine Vet Visits
Wellness visits are important for any dog. That said, not all vets are created equal, nor do all vets accept furry clients that are coyote mixes. When choosing your veterinarian, we recommend picking a vet with a background in Coydogs or wolf hybrids. This is especially true if your coyote dog mix is a first or second generation mixed breed.
Consider Investing In Pet Health Insurance
The medical costs of caring for a dog can add up, and are often some of the more costly aspects of pet parenthood. If you’re concerned that your Coyote dog mix breed may require lots of care down the road when it comes to health and medical treatments, it would be a good idea to invest in pet insurance.
Keep Your Coyote Dog Mix On A Quality Diet
Diet is one of the most important aspects of ensuring your Coyote dog mix is healthy and happy. Most experts agree that a high quality dog food that is rich in real animal proteine, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, carbs and contains a good source of water is best.
Avoid dog foods with byproducts, additives, fillers, corn, soy, wheat or gluten. We also suggest sticking with dog foods that are specified for your specific Coydog’s age, weight and activity level.
Ensure Your Coydog Is Properly Groomed
Grooming not only helps you ensure your Coydog is looking and feeling his best, but it also helps build a bond between the two of you and allows you to have a hands-on look at your coyote dog mix on a routine basis.
Grooming maintenance will vary depending on your Coydog’s mix and generation, however for the most part your Coydog will need a bath once every few weeks. He will also need to be brushed routinely with proper grooming tools, and his ears should be checked and cleaned often to keep them free of buildup and debris that could lead to infection.
Also, make sure you take care to brush your Coydog’s teeth once a day using a dog safe toothbrush and toothpaste. We also suggest grinding or trimming your Coydog’s nails often to keep them from cracking and splitting during play or exercise.m
Do Your Research
Last but not least, make sure you do plenty of research. Try and have a good understanding of Coyote health overall and the basic health issues and requirements of whichever type of dog your Coydog is a mix of.
What Is The Best Home Type for A Coyote Dog Mix?
The ideal home type for a Coydog is certainly not going to be with a novice dog owner.
As you’ve likely gathered, not every owner is going to be the ideal owner for a Coyote dog mix breed. In fact, the majority of dog lovers and enthusiasts are better off choosing a dog that is free of any wolf or coyote DNA.
However, if you’re keen on investing in a Coydog, experts say the best owner would be someone with lots of land. An experienced dog owner is also ideal, and perhaps someone with a background in working with wild or hybrid dogs at a sanctuary, animal clinic, or through volunteer work.
Homes should also have securely fenced in areas where your Coydog can run and play freely, and an owner who is hands-on, patient, determined and consistent.
Should You Invest In A Coydog? Experts Weigh In
A Coyote Dog mix is not the ideal companion for most people. Before you choose if this is the right dog for you, do plenty of research.
Most experts would agree that a coyote dog mix does not make an ideal companion. This is certainly not the ideal family dog and he takes lots of time, commitment, money and space.
Coydogs may also be banned in a number of regions, so owning one may not even be practical in your specific location.
Before you decide if a Coyote dog mix hybrid is the right dog for you, it’s best to do plenty of research, speak with the experts, and ensure your lifestyle and home environment are conducive to raising such a high maintenance animal.
Alternatively, if you love the idea of a Coydog but are weary of the commitment, remember that there are plenty of other domesticated dogs with strikingly wild appearances that could bring you all the allure of a Coydog hybrid without all of the work.
So, what do you think about the Coyote dog mix breed? Do you have what it takes to commit to such an undertaking? Tell us what you think about this fascinating hybrid in the comment section below.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.