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I live in Southern California where houses are typically built around canyons, and in the canyons dwell lots of coyotes. I live on a canyon and my GSD Summit and I hear coyotes nightly, and recently saw a pack of 7. We generally take a stroll twice a day out on a knoll that separates a split in the canyon, but only during the day because I've seen lots of coyotes patrolling the area mornings and evenings. Until today...

Today I looked out just to make sure, and didn't see or hear any wildlife and we walked down the slope like we do every other day. Within seconds my dog ran full speed in to the brush (I still didn't see anything) and less than a minute later he was 2 football fields away down the canyon. I ran down a coyote trail in to the brush as fast as I could, but limited by two legs could not catch him! A few seconds later I heard a coyote bark, yip, then bark, yip, etc. I started screaming at my dog to come back, which he finally did. Now I am standing in a drainage ditch at the bottom of the canyon holding my dog by the collar and there is one coyote still barking at me about 75 feet away to the left, another walking straight toward me at about 20 feet, and a third disappeared in to the bushes to the right about 40 feet up the hill (I was a little worried about that one circling around behind me). I hollered at them and waved my one free hand over my head. They would back off a little then come toward me again. I snarled. Yep, I GROWLED at the coyote! I was afraid if I let go of the dog to pick up something to throw Summit would engage them again so I just kept hollering and baring my teeth until they finally left. Whew! Adrenaline rush.

I wasn't afraid for myself, I was afraid they would gang up on the dog, so I dragged him back through the brush up the hill and behind the "safety" of the 4 ft. high chain linked fence. The thing that struck me as odd later was that my dog did not bark or growl at them once! Sure he's used to seeing them and hearing them, but you'd think when I started yelling at the coyotes he would pick up on my tension and help out a little! But no such luck, I was on my own.

Learned a few lessons... 1) coyote packs do come out in the middle of the day, 2) my dog can run a helluva lot faster than I thought!, 3) the coyotes are curious enough about my dog that they are hard to scare away even when I'm yelling at them, and 4) my dog does not seem to care to protect me when I am in trouble. LOL! That last one is rather disappointing.

Thought I would share my story so others could learn from my ignorance. :eek:
 

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Great story!!!!

Glad it all worked out.

As far as your point #4.... I might wonder since you stated "I wasn't afraid for myself" if your dog even felt the need to protect you since you were not giving off the vibe or aura of being scared. I might also suggest that your dog may have viewed you in this situation as the protector rather than needing to be protected. The body posture and growling you exhibited probably signaled to your pooch that you were anything except scared.

"Me thinks" you run the pack and until you truly are in danger or in need of "protection" your dog will pick up on that vibe and be at your side protecting you. Just my opinion but I wouldn't sell your dog's protection and loyalty abilities down the river because of this interesting story and event with the coyotes.

$5 says...if you truly were scared, both the coyotes and your dog would have acted differently.

Have you ever had to deal with any rattlesnakes in these canyons ?? And if so, how does the dog respond to them ?.....just curious.

Take care,

SuperG
 

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SuperG, I think you are right, I wasn't really putting off the vibe that I was scared of the coyotes so maybe my dog didn't pick up on anything. Plus he's a fearful dog and definitely looks to me as the protector!

As far as snakes go, I have had Summit snake-trained and he's already shown me that the training paid off, so I don't really worry about it. He can be running through grass and pick up the scent of a rattlesnake and he'll hightail it back to me. This is where his timidity pays off! :)

Glad you enjoyed my story. No more canyon for us until pupping season is over!
 

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I agree with superG. The dog thought you were doing fine job all by yourself and being the packleader, seen no need to interject. After all, you ran all the way to the bottom of a canyon for him.:D I would bet if those coyotes attacked, you would have seen a different dog all together. I'm glad they didn't.

Thing is, everyone needs to understand anytime you get off the beaten path, you have just entered the foodchain. Is a big reason I won't venture into the ocean unless necessary. I would be towards the bottom of the foodchain there. Anyways, there is always a risk when venturing out into the woods or canyon terrain or any wild or semi wild area.

I can tell you, living in California would have me concerned more in the way of Pumas than coyotes. I would carry a nice big can of bear repellent, if I lived in an area where preditors are previlant. I would go for a walk without it. It may not come in handy with Pumas but in your situation, it may have helped with coyotes.

I'm glad you and your handsome Summit are well and safe, just be prepaired next time for the worse. Always be prepaired!

PS, if you do get bear repellant, please use wisely. It's very easy to get yourself, but is one of the most effective pepper spray devices you can get. Just be aware of where your dog is at and the wind directions before discharging.
 

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If your dog was afraid he would not have chased the coyote. Google "calling coyotes with dogs" it might help your understanding of domesticated dogs vs wild dogs. I have hunted coyotes for years including with dogs, ( Labs and GSD), Coyotes are indeed less fearful of humans when a dog is around, hence the usefullness of bringing a dog while hunting coyote. I doubt seriously they would have attacked your dog, he outweighs them by 50 lbs or better, although it could happen. Downing your dog is a mistake as he deserves praise. He knew the two of you were alpha in the bush thus his reasoning for not being afraid to chase them. You have watched too many "Lassie" movies if you think he would growl and try to protect you when you are his master. Frankly, he probably did not understand your wild behaviour and could have thought you might try to hurt him, afterall you did yell at him. I would suggest remaining perfectly silent if this happens again and simply lead him away. You will look much more in control to him rather than acting scared yourself. A coyote is not going to attack you. Espcially if your dog is with you.
 

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There are cougars in the region but they mostly travel along mountain ridges and streams. I don't think they would bother with a small canyon that's not linked up to vast expanse of open space unless it was a young male looking for a territory. In any case I haven't seen any cougar tracks or scat here...seen plenty at work 20 miles north though, on the beaches and in the floodplain.

Oh I forgot to mention that I'm a wildlife biologist so that may be why the coyotes didn't scare me, I've seen plenty and am probably more curious than they are.

No bear spray, it's too heavy! I do carry a knife and sometime pepper-spray when I hike and backpack, but not when I'm in my jammies hauling butt down the canyon after my dog! LOL!
 

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Chip I am REALLY familiar wqith coyote behavior, I am a wildlife biologist. I didn't "down" the dog, I held on to his collar to keep him from running after them again. There's no doubt in my mind that he can take on one coyote, but I saws three right in front of me and given that I've seen a pack of 7 recently I wasn't confident that there weren't more lurking around - I was in some pretty thick brush where visibility was poor. I have to say that I really don't like to hear that you hunt coyotes, it seems a waste of valuable life.
 

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What a scary experience. I am glad you both are ok.
 

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My grandfather had a rottie mixed dog and he would go out and run with the coyotes at night. He does not live in a housing track. He lives up in the hills on 5 acres. I would not allow it, but other than getting bit by a snake his dog never got hurt.
 

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Icanhike, you should know I was refering to in this forum as to giving him more credit.

Also, I do not enjoy harvesting coyotes myself. I enjoy the challenge of the hunt and the unavoidable end is apart of it.
 

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So glad both you and your dog are okay. I to also believe if you had actually been scared you dog would have acted different. Maybe carry a fog horn I dont know if that would help. Just glad nothing bad happened
 

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glad you and your dog made it. why don't you arm yourself
since you know the coyotes are near. your dog probably
didn't sense anything to protect you from and he probably
felt safe because you were doing such a good job at protecting
both of you. lol.

I live in Southern California where houses are typically built around canyons, and in the canyons dwell lots of coyotes. I live on a canyon and my GSD Summit and I hear coyotes nightly, and recently saw a pack of 7. We generally take a stroll twice a day out on a knoll that separates a split in the canyon, but only during the day because I've seen lots of coyotes patrolling the area mornings and evenings. Until today...

Today I looked out just to make sure, and didn't see or hear any wildlife and we walked down the slope like we do every other day. Within seconds my dog ran full speed in to the brush (I still didn't see anything) and less than a minute later he was 2 football fields away down the canyon. I ran down a coyote trail in to the brush as fast as I could, but limited by two legs could not catch him! A few seconds later I heard a coyote bark, yip, then bark, yip, etc. I started screaming at my dog to come back, which he finally did. Now I am standing in a drainage ditch at the bottom of the canyon holding my dog by the collar and there is one coyote still barking at me about 75 feet away to the left, another walking straight toward me at about 20 feet, and a third disappeared in to the bushes to the right about 40 feet up the hill (I was a little worried about that one circling around behind me). I hollered at them and waved my one free hand over my head. They would back off a little then come toward me again. I snarled. Yep, I GROWLED at the coyote! I was afraid if I let go of the dog to pick up something to throw Summit would engage them again so I just kept hollering and baring my teeth until they finally left. Whew! Adrenaline rush.

I wasn't afraid for myself, I was afraid they would gang up on the dog, so I dragged him back through the brush up the hill and behind the "safety" of the 4 ft. high chain linked fence. The thing that struck me as odd later was that my dog did not bark or growl at them once! Sure he's used to seeing them and hearing them, but you'd think when I started yelling at the coyotes he would pick up on my tension and help out a little! But no such luck, I was on my own.

Learned a few lessons... 1) coyote packs do come out in the middle of the day, 2) my dog can run a helluva lot faster than I thought!, 3) the coyotes are curious enough about my dog that they are hard to scare away even when I'm yelling at them, and

>>>>> 4) my dog does not seem to care to protect me when I am in trouble.<<<<<

LOL! That last one is rather disappointing.

Thought I would share my story so others could learn from my ignorance. :eek:
 

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Glad that everything ended up ok!

I used to live in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, east of Albuquerque. I saw coyotes almost every day, during the day, when I walked my gsd, Massie. I saw them alone and in packs. They had bred with feral dogs and were all kinds of interesting colors. We also had packs of feral dogs around.

They were very bold and when in packs were interested in engaging my dog. When I saw a lone coyote s/he would sometimes stop and stare at me and my dog and other times pay no attention. I had friends who lived in the mountains and they told me their dog would go off and play with the coyotes during the day! :shocked:

I also had a friend with a small dog who was grabbed by a coyote but was wearing a sweater and was able to wriggle out of the sweater and get away! :eek:
 

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Pretty cool story, although it did sound like you were in a pretty dangerous situation. thats a good one for the bar accompanied by a shot lol
 

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you don't have to kill them because you hunt them. i have freinds
of mine that deer hunt. when the deer is in their sight they pull the
trigger but there's no bullets in the rifle.

Icanhike, you should know I was refering to in this forum as to giving him more credit.

Also, I do not enjoy harvesting coyotes myself.

>>>>> I enjoy the challenge of the hunt and the unavoidable end is apart of it.<<<<< [/QUOTE]
 

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you don't have to kill them because you hunt them. i have freinds
of mine that deer hunt. when the deer is in their sight they pull the
trigger but there's no bullets in the rifle. [\QUOTE]

LOL! Alright, but half the challenge is hitting them.
 

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Wow that is a scary story. I am glad everything worked out okay.
i live in the suburbs of Philadelphia and I have seen coyote in my neighborhood twice. Both sitings were within a month of each other and both were a couple of years ago. I have no idea what happened to them. The first time Was in my backyard. I walked out of the house and there was this strange doglike thing staring at me from about 30 feet away. At first it didn't register - stray dog? No. Fox? No. Then it hit me, coyote! I had seen them out west and I was sure that was what it was - confirmed it with a google image search. The next time my husband and I saw a couple of coyote run in front of our car to cross the street. This time I had another person (hubby) to confirm it was coyote.

I don't know where the coyote are now. I haven't seen them in a long time. And our deer population is just exploding. Right now I see baby deer (with spots so I know they are really young) all over our neighborhood. They (and their mommas) are completely unafraid of my dogs which leads me to believe that the coyote are gone? That is actually a question for the wildlife biologist.
 

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There are cougars in the region but they mostly travel along mountain ridges and streams. I don't think they would bother with a small canyon that's not linked up to vast expanse of open space unless it was a young male looking for a territory. In any case I haven't seen any cougar tracks or scat here...seen plenty at work 20 miles north though, on the beaches and in the floodplain.

Oh I forgot to mention that I'm a wildlife biologist so that may be why the coyotes didn't scare me, I've seen plenty and am probably more curious than they are.

No bear spray, it's too heavy! I do carry a knife and sometime pepper-spray when I hike and backpack, but not when I'm in my jammies hauling butt down the canyon after my dog! LOL!

LOL! Hey, if you cant spray'm at least you can hit'm with it!

They may not bother with the Canyon, but you never know. I live in Missouri and have had friends see cougars many times for years but the conservation dept. would never acknowledge thier presence for some reason. They just were not suppose to be around here, but they were and are still. Thats the thing, never assume your alone and be vigile. From all the cougar attacks I've heard and read about, the victims never knew they were concerned about them. I'm not saying live in fear just be aware of your surroundings especially when there is cougars or the like around.

But hey your a biologist in your area, so you don't need my lecturing. By the way, there was a black bear sighting not 10 miles from my house recently. Missouri is in the middle of a black bear restoration. I live in the mid-western part of the state and they stocked the bears in the southern part of the state. It's quite a distance. It just gives you an idea how far they range. It also is a good sign the population may be doing well too.

Oh, if that white Shepherd in your avi is Summit, he is one handsome GSD!
 

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Whoops, I realize my post seems somewhat unrelated to the original post. I was just trying to tell the original poster that we even have coyote i. The suburban northeast - thought they might be interested although as a wildlife biologist I am sure they already know that.
 

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I've had similar encounters, probably in same area as you. The first time, Maggie detected the pack long before I could see them and tried to chase them but I recalled her back.
Second time there was a single coyote (which means the rest of the pack were hiding close by) and maggie and the coyote went nose to nose. The coyote was trying to get maggie to follow her into the bushes, probably where the rest of the pack were waiting. Again I recalled her and we went on our way.
 
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