Cartoon Coyote-Dog mix.

Coydog: When Coyote Meets Domestic Dog (Quick Guide)

What is a Coydog?

A Coydog is a mix between a male coyote and a female dog. These two canids, belonging to different species (Canis latrans and Canis lupus familiaris), create a unique canid hybrid.

Two Coydogs standing on a log in the woods.
Two beautiful Coydogs (photo: kineticcanine).

A unique aspect of this pairing is that both sexes are fertile. This means they can be successfully bred for future generations. This sets Coydogs apart from many other hybrid animals that are often sterile or face fertility issues.

The mix between female coyotes and male dogs are called a dogote. Often, the combination between a coyote and a dog, regardless of the sex, is a Coydog.

Coydogs exhibit a mix of physical and behavioral traits from their coyote and dog parents. Their captivating appearance and unique behaviors genuinely represent the best of both worlds.

So, if you ever get a chance to encounter a true Coydog, you’ll be witnessing the magnificent result of nature’s blend of coyote and dog species at work!

CharacteristicDescriptionVariable Depending on Dog Breed?
SizeMedium to Large, 30-70 lbs, 20-27 inches tallYes
ColorVaries, often a mix of tan, grey, white, and blackYes
Coat TypeGenerally short to medium-length, may be denseYes
Life ExpectancyAround 10-14 yearsYes
TemperamentAlert, Intelligent, Resourceful, CautiousYes
Energy LevelModerate to HighYes
TrainabilityModerately trainable but can be independentYes
Social SkillsCautious around strangers, may be sociable with proper socializationPartially
Exercise NeedsHigh, requires both mental and physical stimulationPartially
Ideal Living SituationRural settings with space to roam, securely fenced areasPartially
Common Health IssuesFew known, may inherit issues from dog parentYes
Unique AbilitiesExceptional agility and survival instinctsNo

Breed Summary

Coydog breed traits and characteristics.

Brief History of Coyotes

The coyote, scientifically known as Canis latrans, has a long and complex history stretching back over a million years.

Originating in North America, fossil evidence indicates that early coyotes coexisted with large prehistoric mammals like the mammoth and saber-toothed tiger.

A coyote is standing on top of a rock.

As these large mammals went extinct, the coyote adapted to a more diverse diet and a more comprehensive range of habitats, demonstrating remarkable resilience and adaptability.

Coyotes are part of the Canidae family, closely related to wolves, dogs, and foxes. Native American cultures held the coyote in various lights, often attributing it with cunning and cleverness; it frequently appears in folklore and myths as a trickster figure.

The coyote’s relationship with humans grew increasingly complicated with European settlement in North America.

As forests were cleared and wolves were exterminated, coyotes found new opportunities, expanding their range and adapting to altered landscapes, including agricultural and urban areas.

In the past, the eastern border of their territory was marked by the Appalachian Mountains. However, the coyote population has exploded throughout the United States and Canada.

Today, the coyote’s range extends from Central America to the Arctic regions of Canada, encompassing various environments from deserts to forests to urban areas.

Despite ongoing conflicts with human activities—such as livestock predation and the occasional threat to pets—coyotes have managed to survive and thrive in an ever-changing world.

They’ve become the subject of ecological studies for their adaptability and role in controlling smaller pest populations.

The coyote’s evolutionary success story is often cited as a remarkable example of adaptability and resilience in changing ecosystems and human encroachment.

This expansion led to the emergence of some unique hybrids that captured the attention of both the public and the scientific community.

One such captivating hybrid is the eastern coyote. This clever creature goes by many names, including Coydog, trickster, brush wolf, and tweed wolf.

Though eastern coyotes are still classified as Canis latrans, some experts argue they merit being a separate species entirely due to their distinct genetic makeup.

The term “coywolf” has been proposed as a more fitting name, as it highlights their blend of coyote and, potentially, dog or wolf genes.

A coyote walking on a dirt path.

Evident from its less-than-100-year history of being recognized as a unique creature, the eastern coyote, or coywolf, has rapidly evolved into an agile and intelligent member of the Canidae family.

It is the spark behind the Coydog, the mix between a coyote and a domestic dog.

Brief History of Domestic Dogs

The domestic dog, known scientifically as Canis lupus familiaris, has a history intertwined with human civilization for thousands of years.

Archaeological evidence suggests that dogs were first domesticated from wolves between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago, possibly in multiple regions, including Europe and Asia.

The initial domestication likely occurred when wolves began frequenting human camps, drawn by the smell of food. Over time, a mutual relationship developed: wolves provided protection and helped in hunting, while humans shared food.

As human societies evolved, so did the roles that dogs played within them. Early on, dogs were primarily used for hunting and guarding.

However, as agriculture developed, so did specialized roles for dogs, from herding livestock to pulling carts. Various breeds were developed to suit these roles, leading to the immense diversity in dog breeds we see today.

Different dog breeds emerged, each cultivated for specific tasks and environmental conditions. From the noble Saluki, known as the royal dog of Egypt, to the swift, hardy Greyhound, our history is full of diverse and awe-inspiring breeds.

Dogs have been revered, feared, and loved in folklore and mythology, embodying qualities like loyalty, courage, and wisdom across multiple cultures.

In ancient Egypt, dogs were linked with Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the afterlife, while in Greek and Roman mythology, Cerberus is the three-headed dog guarding the gates of Hades.

Throughout history, dogs have also been used in religious and spiritual rituals, appearing frequently in literature and art.

The relationship between dogs and humans continued to evolve through the ages. The Victorian era marked a significant turning point, as dogs began to be bred for companionship, appearance, and utility.

Modern veterinary medicine has also played a role in extending the lifespan and quality of life for dogs. Vaccinations, antiparasitic treatments, and advanced surgical methods have contributed to this, as has a growing understanding of canine nutrition and behavior.

The domestic dog’s journey from wild predator to cherished companion is a fascinating example of domestication, cultural importance, and adaptability.

One of the reasons for the vast diversity in dog breeds comes from selective breeding. Humans encouraged the mating of dogs with specific traits or desirable characteristics, developing various breeds with unique appearances and abilities. It’s incredible to think about the sheer variety of breeds created through this process!

Did you know there are currently around 340 recognized dog breeds?

This number keeps growing as breeders and enthusiasts develop new breeds to meet specific needs and desires.

From tiny Chihuahuas to enormous Great Danes, the world of dogs is filled with a rich and enthralling history that continues to evolve and delight us all.

Today, dogs hold a multitude of roles: they are pets, working animals, therapy animals, and even social media stars.

From pampered pets in plush homes to working dogs that serve vital functions, dogs have adapted to various environments, solidifying their status as “man’s best friend.

Where did the Coydog come from?

It is believed Coydogs were first intentionally bred in pre-Columbian Mexico when coyotes were held in high esteem.

In the ancient city of Teotihuacan, it was common practice to crossbreed coyotes and Mexican wolves with domesticated dogs.

This breeding aimed to create loyal yet temperamental animals that would be excellent guardians for their human companions.

A brown Coydog sitting on a path in the woods.
Coyote-Collie mix (photo: coydog_and_foxdog).

Evidence suggests that people relied on their loyal Coydog companions not only for protection but also for hunting. This robust and tenacious hunter proved to be an invaluable asset in ancient times.

Traditionally, Coydogs have been less common than other canid hybrids like wolfdogs, partly due to differences in mating cycles and social behaviors between coyotes and domestic dogs.

Coydogs have been reported across North America, particularly in rural areas where the two parent species are more likely to come into contact.

Today, there exist many examples of Coydogs. If you search Instagram for Coydogs or #Coydog, you will find a surprising amount of coyote-dog mixes.

Coydog Characteristics

Coydogs are truly fascinating creatures, possessing a mix of traits from both their coyote and dog parents. These canines are unique in size, appearance, and temperament.


Regarding size, Coydogs can vary greatly, depending on the dog breed they are combined with.

However, they generally fall within a medium to large range. Their weight may range from 30-70 pounds.

A Coyote-Chihuahua mix sitting in the yard next to a white fence.
Jasper the Coyote-Chihuahua mix (photo: jasper_the_coydog).


In terms of appearance, the Coydog’s coat is often a stunning blend of colors, including brown, sable, black, and sometimes even white.

This can give them a striking and captivating aesthetic. The distinctive markings on their coat, such as a white face mask and bushy tail, are telltale signs of their coyote lineage.

Also, they will likely inherit the piercing eyes of the coyote.

Behavior and Temperament

Coydogs aren’t all the same. Their behavior depends on many things, like how they were raised, if they hang out with other pets, and what type of dog breed is in their family tree.

So, each Coydog has its own unique mix of traits. If you start training them early, they’ll grow up to be more predictable and easier to handle.

Some Coydogs are friendly and get along excellent with people and other pets. Others might be shy or even a little snappy.

Such diversity in traits underscores the importance of responsible ownership, including comprehensive training and attentive care. A hands-on approach is imperative to ensure a Coydog’s temperament evolves into a manageable and predictable entity.

In short, understanding a Coydog’s behavior is a real adventure and not for everyone. It’s a chance to learn how flexible and different dogs can be.

With the correct information and dedication, you can raise a Coydog with the best parts of a wild coyote and a friendly, loyal dog.

So, if you’re up for the challenge, getting to know a Coydog is a fantastic way to see how wild instincts and friendly behavior can come together. It gives us a peek at how the relationship between humans and dogs is constantly changing and growing.

Breeding of Coydogs

Mating season for coyotes typically occurs between January and March; during this time, a male coyote may encounter a female domesticated dog in heat.

As wolf-like canids, coyotes, dogs, and even jackals can interbreed, creating possible canid hybrids like the Coydog.

A husky-coyote mix dog playing with a tennis ball.
Finnick the Coyote-Husky mix (photo: Finnick).

Breeding Coydogs, however, may not always be straightforward. Domesticated dogs have varied breeding times throughout the year, depending on the breed.

This means that a female dog in heat may not necessarily coincide with the coyote’s mating season – making their opportunity to mate somewhat unpredictable.

When the mating does occur successfully, the resulting Coydog puppies inherit a mix of physical and behavioral traits from both parents.

The appearance and temperaments of these pups may vary widely due to the diverse genetic makeup of their coyote and dog lineage.

Legalities behind Coydog breeding

Despite the excitement surrounding Coydogs, it’s essential to consider the legalities behind breeding.

There are legal considerations regarding breeding dogs with coyotes to produce Coydogs. Laws and regulations vary by country, state, and even local jurisdictions, and they often involve concerns about wildlife protection, animal welfare, and public safety.

In the United States, for example, it may be illegal to own or breed a Coydog without a special permit, depending on the state.

In some areas, coyotes are considered wildlife, and it’s illegal to keep wildlife as pets without a permit. Hybrid animals like Coydogs can sometimes fall into a legal gray area, being neither fully domesticated nor fully wild, which makes their legal status complex.

In Canada, similar regulations exist, varying widely from province to province. European countries also have their own laws concerning the breeding and ownership of hybrid animals.

It’s crucial to thoroughly research the laws in your area when considering owning a Coydog. Failure to comply with local, state, or federal regulations could result in fines, confiscation of the animal, and even criminal charges.

Before making any decisions, it’s advisable to consult with legal experts and local wildlife authorities to understand the full scope of responsibilities and legal limitations.

Given the ethical and welfare considerations of dog breeding a wild animal with a domestic one, it’s also wise to consult with veterinarians and animal behavior experts to ensure the animals’ well-being.

Health Issues

Coydogs are at risk for health problems specific to their dog parent. This means that not all Coydogs will be susceptible to the same diseases. Let’s dive into some common health issues that may affect Coydogs.

Firstly, it’s essential to know that Coydogs can be prone to joint issues like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. These conditions occur when the joints don’t develop correctly, leading to pain, arthritis, and decreased mobility.

You must monitor your Coydog’s physical health and consult a vet if you notice any discomfort or limping.

Another concern for our beloved Coydogs is arthritis. This inflammatory joint disease can decrease their quality of life, making it more difficult for them to move around and enjoy daily activities.

Early detection and proper treatment can help manage this condition, so regular vet visits are necessary!

How To Train a Coydog

Training a Coydog is an exciting challenge due to its intelligence and independence. Here’s how to create a strong bond with your Coydog and ensure a well-behaved companion.

The key to successfully training a Coydog lies in understanding canine psychology.

These brilliant creatures need a firm, confident, consistent approach to learning new commands or tasks. Positive reinforcement, such as treats and praises, motivates them and keeps their spirits high.

Proper exercise is essential for keeping your Coydog in good physical shape and maintaining positive behavior.

With their agile and energetic disposition, engaging them in 2-3 exercise sessions daily is crucial. Brisk walks, jogging, and playtime will help burn off their excess energy, making them more receptive to training.

Consistency is crucial when training a Coydog. Use the same commands and stick to a regular training schedule.

This repetition will significantly enhance your Coydog’s understanding and confidence in learning new skills.

Remember that an excited and positive tone of voice goes a long way in making the training sessions enjoyable for both you and your canine companion.

As you embark on this journey, remember that every Coydog is unique, and achieving excellent results takes time, patience, and perseverance.

With the right approach, love, and dedication, your Coydog will be well on its way to becoming a well-rounded, obedient, and delightful pet.

Diet and Nutrition

Caring for a Coydog’s dietary needs can be an adventure, especially given their unique genetic makeup. Their diet must be protein-rich, ensuring they receive the energy and nutrition they need to thrive!

Coydogs love meat; serving them a healthy mix of raw or cooked meats can make their day.

Remember, adding high-quality dog food to this mix can provide them a balanced and nutritious meal. It’s essential to provide them with an adequate intake of vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Feeding bones to Coydogs should be done with great care. Make sure to monitor them closely to avoid possible choking hazards or internal injuries from sharp bone fragments.

Safety is necessary when feeding bones; always prioritize your Coydog’s well-being!

Grooming is also an essential aspect of Coydog care. While it may not directly relate to their diet and nutrition, proper grooming habits can impact their overall health.

Regular brushing and the occasional bath can work wonders in keeping their coat clean, reducing the chances of skin infections and fostering a sense of well-being.

In summary, providing a balanced diet filled with quality meat, raw food, and proper bone management is critical to ensuring that your Coydog receives optimal nutrition and care. Don’t forget those grooming habits as well!

Other Hybrids

Coydogs are fascinating animals but are not the only hybrid canines capturing our interest! In the wild, many species of the Canis genus, such as coyotes, wolves, and dogs, are known to interbreed, producing hybrids with unique characteristics and qualities.


One intriguing hybrid is the Dogote. This is a cross between a male domestic dog and a female coyote (Canis latrans), contrasting with the more common Coydog, which has a male coyote as the father.

Dogotes exhibit features of both parents, creating an appearance that distinguishes them from regular canines.


Another captivating hybrid is the Coywolf, also known as Coywolves. These hybrids are a mix between coyotes and gray wolves, blending the traits of both species into a single powerful and adaptable animal.

Coywolves are found throughout North America, and their population is growing due to their extraordinary ability to thrive in various environments, including urban areas.


Let’s not forget the Wolfdog! This canine hybrid is created by mating a domestic dog with a wolf, resulting in an animal that combines the best of both worlds – a dog’s loyalty and intelligence and a wolf’s strength and agility.

Wolfdogs are gaining popularity among pet enthusiasts intrigued by their unique characteristics and wild nature.

Fox hybrids

There have been reports of fox and dog hybrids. However, these cases are exceedingly rare, as foxes belong to a different genus (Vulpes) within the Canidae family, making crossbreeding with domestic dogs and other Canis species highly unlikely.

Despite the excitement surrounding hybrid dogs, it’s essential to remember that they often face challenges adapting to domestic life and require specialized care, training, and supervision to ensure their well-being.

Coydogs Around the World

Coydogs can be found across North America, including some parts of Canada.

In North America, the presence of Coydogs varies across different regions. While they are not as commonly found in the wild as their coyote counterparts, Coydogs still appear throughout the continent.

Moving up to Canada, it is essential to note that the term “Coydog” is sometimes mistakenly used to describe coywolves, which are more prevalent in northeastern parts of the country.

These hybrids between coyotes and wolves differ from the true Coydogs, which only appear occasionally in the wild.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Coydogs aggressive?

Coydogs may have aggressive tendencies, mainly if their coyote parent is more aggressive or dominant. Due to their hybrid nature, they can exhibit a wide range of temperaments.

These behaviors can be managed with consistent training, socialization, and proper supervision. Remember that every Coydog is unique, and each individual will have their own personality traits influenced by genetics and environment.

Can I adopt a Coydog?

Yes, it is possible to adopt a Coydog if you can find one needing a home! Remember that owning a Coydog can present unique challenges due to their mixed ancestry and potential wild instincts.

Be prepared to devote time, patience, and energy to training, exercising, and socializing your Coydog to ensure they become a well-rounded and well-behaved pet.

How do Coydogs differ from Coyotes?

Coydogs are a hybrid of domestic dogs and coyotes, so they have traits from both parents. They can be larger and more muscular than coyotes and may have physical features resembling their dog parent.

Furthermore, Coydogs may have slightly different behaviors and temperaments due to their domestic dog ancestry, making them more adaptable to living with humans than pure coyotes.

What does a Coydog look like?

Coydogs can vary significantly in appearance, depending on their parentage. Generally, they have a size and build similar to a coyote, with a mix of dog-like features, such as a bushy tail, large erect ears, and a lean, muscular body.

Their coat color can range from tawny to gray, with markings and patterns that echo their wild ancestors.

Are Coydogs good pets?

Coydogs can be challenging pets, given their mix of wild coyote instincts and domestic dog traits. They require positive training, socialization, and proper containment to become well-adjusted members of your family.

If you have prior experience with high-energy, intelligent breeds and are prepared to commit time and energy to their care, a Coydog may be a rewarding and unique pet to have.

How to identify a Coydog?

Look for a combination of physical traits, such as a coyote-like body and size, erect ears, and a bushy tail. Additionally, observe their behavior, as Coydogs may exhibit a mix of coyote and domestic dog behaviors.

If in doubt, contact a local wildlife expert or veterinarian who can help you accurately identify a Coydog.

Kevin is a proud Bernedoodle owner and Doodle dog fanatic. Read how a chance encounter with two Bernedoodles spurred a lifelong passion here. If you want to get in contact with Kevin, you can send him a message.