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Discussion Starter #1
I live in a small community west of Toronto. Maybe 30,000 people in the whole area.
Lots of ravines and streams and farm country around, yet minutes to several larger cities of 150,000 - 500,000 but still lots of land between us and them. I have a 6 year old male GSD and now a 7 month old male and we spend a lot of leisure time in the woods with God and nature.

We were on the edge of town with nothing but a few hundred acres of woods and farmer's field, trees and ravines between us and the next city.

Our property is about 5 acres, heavily mature treed, ravine, small creek and natural 20 foot waterfall; Heaven for kids and dogs. Even on the edge of town, we also had plenty of deer, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, the odd skunk .... and coyotes. They have always been in the ravines, you'd see them on golf courses occasionally and hear them in the woods at night.

A few years ago, those 200 acres next door became the beginning of 2000 houses, plazas and apartment buildings....but the ravines and creek and protected "wildlife corridors" remained. We still see the deer and foxes and if you know anything about coyotes, we sure still see them, bold and much more in the open. They adapt quickly to human neighbors and learn to take advantage of dog or cat food left out, garbage at the curb etc. And you need to keep an eye out for your small pets and young kids.

I'll tell you more about my dogs and coyote stories later but what's your experience with GSD and yotes? Wolves, bears, bobcats?

Let's hear your wildlife stories. Don't get me started about skunks!
 

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Snakes ok? As a youngster, Nitro found an eastern brown snake (I'm in Australia) in our back yard when I let him outside. Their venom is ranked as the second most toxic of any land snake in the world. He went in to attack it, thankfully he happened to have his ecollar on at the time. Nitro got 2 highest setting stims. The stims interrupted his attack and saved his life, and the snake got away. He would not have survived the trip to the vet. I hated doing it, but under the circumstances, it was the right thing to do.

In nesting season, we have birds that dive bomb to protect their nest. Nitro has been targeted a lot by masked lapwings, (spur winged plovers), which he now recognises and would like to 'interview' up close and personal.
 

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Bud and Sabs would both challenge any predator, and needed to be watched. Lex was forever trying to run away with the coyotes. Shadow, oddly enough is very spooked by predators and on the occasions they have been in close proximity she is skittish and stays near. Were she to get loose I suspect she would run. The night the coyotes moved in really close, she was frantic and hiccupping all night.
On the outskirts of Calgary, while walking Lex and Sabs, we were targeted by a pack of coyotes, coy dogs and feral dogs .About eight or nine total. For very different reasons it was a struggle to get the girls back to the truck and safety. Lex was very interested in joining them and Sabi was fairly determined to chase them off. By the time we got to the truck they were only about 10 feet away and my yelling was doing nothing. I wrestled both girls into the truck, no small feat and by the time I got Sabi in I realized I would have to crawl over the girls as I no longer had the option of walking around to the drivers side. The one dog was less then 6 feet away.
I was out in a wildlife preserve with Bud, Sabs and Shadow. Sabi went after something and I grabbed her and brought her back. The smell said bear, so not her most intelligent decision and crashing and snorting not very far away at all. I tossed Sabs in the van along with the cooler and the stove, grabbed Shadow and tossed her in and then went for Bud. I always left Sabi loose, and staked Shadow between Bud and the vehicle. He really didn't need much convincing to get in but wouldn't get in before me. Loved that dog. We sat in the van and watched a (thankfully) young Griz investigate the dog tie outs before moving along.
Shadow and I had a close encounter with a bear last year. Fortunately Shadow gave me enough warning that we were able to respect its space and get heck out of there.
In Cochrane I think we encountered a cat, since the growling was up a tree. Shadow was not amused and panicked long before I clued in.
I can say though that oddly she seems most afraid of coyotes, not sure what to make of that.
 

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Given the opportunity Ziva will chase critters. She will chase deer if allowed. Funny thing is she isn't always very situationally aware. On a leash walk one evening when she maybe 2 in a very suburban area a deer decided to pop out and stroll down the sidewalk behind us. I saw the deer. Ziva did not for a good 100 ft or so. Didn't smell it either as I'm guessing the deer was down wind. When she finally realized we were being followed by a deer she tried to chase it but darn ole me with the leash prevented her from doing so.
Recently Ziva was out in the front yard with my husband. She was laying on the lawn and he was at the end of the drive about 30 away. It was about 5 pm and a red fox was just strolling down the street right past our yard. Ziva never saw it, smelled it or reacted. Maybe 10 minutes later she bolted up and blindly ran full speed out of the yard across our street, thru the neighbors yard, they other neighbors yard to chase a bunny. Like I said no situational awareness.
Coyotes? Never have seen one where we live. I've seen reports of them in wooded parts of the city but not anywhere we go. Not sure what Ziva's reaction would be. I suppose it would depend on if it's daylight or dark.
To be honest I feel like Ziva is a bit night blind. She acts totally different on walks after the sun sets. She stays super close and to me seems a bit scarred. She will bark/ growl at shadowy things on night walks at night. And by shadowy things I mean tree stumps, lawn ornaments and trash bags. Things she would pay no attention to in daylight and all things she has seen many times in the neighborhood. So if she ever met up with a coyote I'm guessing she would be running for home dragging me along the whole way.
 

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Grew up on a farm in North Central Oklahoma. Throughout growing up had all sorts of dogs, there were always three or four running around at a given time. No GSDs, which is another story. Occasionally a coyote would come around, and all the dogs would team up on him. I think it must instinctual somehow, but over the years different sets of dogs would do the same thing when coyotes, skunks, or snakes would come around.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We have no venomous snakes around here at all, now an again we see little harmless Garter snakes and both my dogs like to harass them. We have a cottage where venomous rattlesnakes are around in theory but we see one every 20 years. I am not a fan of snakes at all....

Snakes ok? As a youngster, Nitro found an eastern brown snake (I'm in Australia) in our back yard when I let him outside. Their venom is ranked as the second most toxic of any land snake in the world. He went in to attack it, thankfully he happened to have his ecollar on at the time. Nitro got 2 highest setting stims. The stims interrupted his attack and saved his life, and the snake got away. He would not have survived the trip to the vet. I hated doing it, but under the circumstances, it was the right thing to do.

In nesting season, we have birds that dive bomb to protect their nest. Nitro has been targeted a lot by masked lapwings, (spur winged plovers), which he now recognises and would like to 'interview' up close and personal.
 

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We have coyotes who live in a deep wooded ravine that tracks along the back of the neighborhood. They have taken one small dog and a cat, that I know about. The crazy thing is, our house is close enough to downtown that we can hear fireworks and other noise from the ball stadium when the conditions are right.

While my wife was taking our female pup, then about 7 months, her out for a potty stop before bed, the pup alerted to one in the neighbor's yard. Her hackles went up and she barked like crazy and tugged at her leash trying to get after it. The coyote left the street. There for a while, we were seeing them pretty frequently. With COVID, there is a lot more foot traffic on this rails to trails walking path that crosses their ravine. So whether they have been spooked by more people around, or they finished raising their pups and moved on, or for whatever reason, we are not seeing them around as much lately. But I expect they may still be around, or may return to den when it is mating season.

The version I heard of the little dog being taken was that he was out in his yard, off leash, as he often was, with no fence, either electric or conventional. He apparently chased a coyote down into the ravine, which his own yard backs up toward. His owner heard commotion down in the ravine, and suspects one coyote led him back toward their den where they killed him. She actually went down in the ravine and found his remains. The cat got taken on the opposite side of the same street, one block over from me. We have seen a pair running together in the vicinity, and we have heard what sounded like pups.

Even a big shepherd is not fairly matched against several adult coyotes.So we keep a good hold on the leash when she's taking her last nightly walk.

Other interesting developments--when the coyotes showed up, two foxes we had often seen disappeared. I hope they just bugged out when they detected coyotes.
And we saw far fewer rabbits.

My female pup also treed a raccoon one morning. No poisonous snakes around here either, supposedly. Copperheads and some rattlesnakes live in other parts of the state, but I've not seen any around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We have coyotes who live in a deep wooded ravine that tracks along the back of the neighborhood. They have taken one small dog and a cat, that I know about.
We had a coyote try to grab a small dog that was still on the leash a few years ago. Lady was able to pull her dog away but it was hurt and scared. If she had let go that pup would have been 100 yards down the trail in a flash.

6 years ago I was on a last 11:00 walk down our dead end road towards the only two neighbors with my 12 week old GSD pup (my current older dog). We have no street lights here and it was pitch black, couldn't see a thing. Pup backed up into me and I see the neighbors motion light come on and a coyote was staring right at my puppy no more than 30 feet away. It made me carry a flashlight ever since.
 

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Even a big shepherd is not fairly matched against several adult coyotes.
This I'll disagree with as a generality. Coyotes are small in this area (unless you have coy-dogs) and opportunistic hunters among humans. They don't want any part of a full size Alpha dog even if they outnumber it.

My dog HATES coyotes and it's a natural thing. We can cross deer and fox and rabbit and squirrel tracks and all he does is get interested or excited depending on how fresh they are.

But one whiff of coyote and his hackles go up and he starts growling and tries to run down the scent. I have no problem letting him run forward 50 yards if he's in sight.

We make it a habit when we see them of running them off. As long as I can see them, he can chase it within a reasonable distance. I mentioned before he has excellent recall and will break back on a dime when chasing them or a squirrel or rabbit even if he's close to them or gaining etc.

I think it's important they know who the Alpha is that owns the area around my property (me!) and we protect it. I have followed them for hundreds of yards before with them constantly looking over their shoulders at me as I escort them out of my "hunting range". They are curious and respectful but not afraid of me.

Did I mention, I'm 6' 230 pounds and carry a stout 5' walking stick and a hunting knife on my belt?
;)

Several times my dog has been quite a bit straight in front of me and I'll see 3 coyotes off the trail to the left. They're not looking at me, they're looking at him. When I call him back and he turns around, they bolt every single time.

Coyotes here are more like foxes then wolves. When my 7 month old hits maturity and 100 pounds, I have no fear of a few 50 pound coyotes....skunks are a different animal lol

PS
A friend of mine has two large outside (farm ) GSD. His one has run down and killed at least three coyotes that I know of, one time starting 100 yards behind. Run, catch, barrel roll it, break neck, come back panting and smiling. Those coyotes will still come in skulking around the barn at night.
 

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This I'll disagree with as a generality. Coyotes are small in this area (unless you have coy-dogs) and opportunistic hunters among humans. They don't want any part of a full size Alpha dog even if they outnumber it.

My dog HATES coyotes and it's a natural thing. We can cross deer and fox and rabbit and squirrel tracks and all he does is get interested or excited depending on how fresh they are.
Not always a natural thing to dislike coyotes and a lone GSD against a pack of coyotes is going to be on the losing end of that battle. Plenty of dogs do get lured away by "friendly" coyotes never to get seen again and they aren't always small dogs. I live in Montana in a rural area. I know LGDs and such can kill coyotes but other dogs aren't always so lucky. I've seen 3 foxes group up to chase mule deer once, there was an injured deer in the bunch but so I'm not going to be surprised by a pack of coyotes taking on a lone domestic dog. I know a guy with a good size GSD out in the country, his dog gets put inside when they coyotes start calling and his dog gets interested because he knows the risks.
 
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One on one, an adult shepherd easily has the upper hand against coyotes. Coyote hybrids are a different story. Coyotes can be found in packs, usually a breeding pair and done yearlings from the previous breeding season. Together, they can definitely take down a shepherd. Coyotes usually avoid contact with people entirely, but become quit bold around dogs. Dogs don’t hate them naturally. Territorial, dominant, or dog aggressive dogs will be more likely to aggressively confront them. When I was out walking bear one night when he was young, we ran into a coyote. The coyote looked to be trying to lure us away with play bows and such. Bear being a puppy, fell for it hook line and sinker, luckily he was leashed. It followed us as we walked away until I threw a rock at it. After that I carried a BB gun in our late night walks. The sound was enough to keep them away. Older bear is a lot more territorial, so it wouldn’t be as much of an issue if we still lived there. I would see them in our gated apartment complex all the time.
 

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There are coyotes around this agricultural area but in 45 years I've only seen 2...both while bow hunting in a static position.

A few weeks back while continually backing into a swale hole with the brush hog I noticed a smaller coyote at the end of the ditch jumping up and down and doing a play bow. (First glance I thought it was saint) it didn't register; you see saint always keeps me company when I'm out working cutting grass but he mostly lays down in the shade and watches.

It finally dawned on me that this smaller coyote was trying to lure saint into the swamp to ambush him with a bunch of his varmint comrades.

Saint was fortunate he was laying down with the higher uncut grass blocking his sight of the coyote. Anyway I got out of there an returned to the house to think this incident through.

I heard of coyotes killing pet dogs but Saint is a large dog so I was surprised.

Since then I'm more vigilant, yes I still let saint lose off leash to keep me company, he likes it and I enjoy his companionship.
 

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I would agree a large Shepherd probably can get the better of a single coyote, and even two would probably rather not tangle with a GSD sized dog.
But in Ohio, the coyotes run larger than western coyotes I've seen in California, other parts of the west, and "stuffed" in exhibits at sporting goods stores.
Of course I don't get an accurate weight on them, and they might be smaller boned or lighter boned than a GSD, but the ones I've had a pretty good look at are about the size of an average GSD female.

I would not have believed the luring and ambush stories, but there is a youtube of a large male Doberman and several coyotes. I would link to it, but I'm too lazy this AM:D.
Anyway, the Dobe would run one coyote down a trail a ways, then others would pop their heads out of the brush. The owner got his dog to halt, and they had kind off a standoff. The coyotes would not rush the Dobe, but neither did they run away. There seemed to be at least three, and two of them kept maneuvering in and out of the brush. Finally the owner called his dog back. It was offleash, and obviously had pretty good recall. I don't recall every bit of footage, but I think there were a couple of what could be seen as "play bows" to entice the Dobe to chase.

I'd agree the typical adult GSD, especially a male, would be more of a physical specimen than a coyote. Probably half again its weight, or more. But the coyote is wild, used to having to fight and kill things to survive, uninhibited about biting to seriously injure or disable something. I wouldn't want to chance it. Coyote, like a guerrilla who lives and fights in the jungle, can break off the engagement whenever he/she feels threatened. Unless it foolishly squared off with a bigger dog one on one and got pinned, which doesn't seem to happen too often.
I've heard Anatolian Shepherds actually take on not just coyotes but wolves. But I've also heard they might take on any random dog that comes along, and maybe your neighbor too if they took them as a threat to the herd.
 

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Tim S Adams on this site posted a link to a cat in California--yes, a domestic house cat---who stood down several coyotes on his back porch.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Not always a natural thing to dislike coyotes and a lone GSD against a pack of coyotes is going to be on the losing end of that battle. Plenty of dogs do get lured away by "friendly" coyotes never to get seen again and they aren't always small dogs. I live in Montana in a rural area. I know LGDs and such can kill coyotes but other dogs aren't always so lucky. I've seen 3 foxes group up to chase mule deer once, there was an injured deer in the bunch but so I'm not going to be surprised by a pack of coyotes taking on a lone domestic dog. I know a guy with a good size GSD out in the country, his dog gets put inside when they coyotes start calling and his dog gets interested because he knows the risks.
A dog being "lured" away is quite common and I don't leave my dogs outside with them either but that's not what I'm talking about at all. It's often a coyote appearing to be friendly and making playful advances or one in heat that wants to lure a dog into the woods where it can be occasionally accepted into the pack cross breed (or be attacked). My neighbour had one try to "play" with her Siberian Husky last Winter in her year just outside the treeline and that's a totally different situation.

Her neighbor has at least 6 bird feeders (what I call squirrel feeding stations) and coyotes just lay in the long grass waiting for the squirrels to head back to the woods. There's often a dozen squirrels in her yard/on her deck creating a squirrel smorgasbord for predators. Hawks love her yard too!

But from my experience with a lot of coyotes (I see them at least every week) and several different Alpha GSD (mine and friends), no 2-3 coyotes (not sure what you consider a "pack" but I have never seen more than 3 together around here) wants to get anywhere near an 80-100 male Alpha GSD. They run and they run immediately. A Golden Doodle is not an Alpha GSD....

Coyotes are omnivores and want mice, voles, rabbits, berries, squirrels and other opportunistic meals like cats. Even rudimentary research will show you they prefer meals that don't fight back and they don't try to attack something that can kill them. Why would they? Taking down larger prey such as a deer can happen but also is rare(r)

Will they be interested in a soft smaller domestic dog? Sure
Will they normally look at a larger, Alpha GSD as a food source? Not a chance, it's the other way around ;)

PS
I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. I love all wildlife in the area including deer, foxes and coyotes. I just want them to understand who's the top of the chain.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Tim S Adams on this site posted a link to a cat in California--yes, a domestic house cat---who stood down several coyotes on his back porch.
There's all kinds of video of cats staring down raccoons, snakes and bears too.

I'm more concerned of my dog cornering a coon than a coyote, I've seen the damage they can do close up. Still, my dogs tree coons at least every week on our late evening final walk. Tons of trees mean the coon always trees before they can get to him and I think there's a mutual respect.

My dogs interest in coons is similar to cats or squirrels; they lose interest as soon as they tree. Not the same with yotes.
 

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There is a big difference between staring down and fighting off. I guarantee you there are way more cats that don’t make it home because of coyotes than ones that successfully pull that off. A coyote approaching a cat or small dog is in prey. One the keys in canine prey response is movement. An animal that stands its ground and faces off can be pretty successful against canine predators, especially if it can protect its backside. A coyote looking at a medium sized dog or larger isn’t looking at it as prey. It’s seen as another predator, a competitor. This is why the response is vastly different. In a fight, wild or not, I doubt any dog is pulling punches against one. I don’t think that truly factors into who’s winning. Carnivore and herbivore doesn’t imply a diet of strictly one or the other. All canids are carnivores. Not obligate carnivores like cats, but carnivores none the less.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm wondering how many people have ever been close to a truly aggressive GSD, Rottie, Pit or Cane Corso for instance. Not your beautiful, calm, well trained, passive couch surfer .... An Alpha GSD in full on hackles-up-mode.

At least the ones we have around here, a couple coyotes ain't coming even close :LOL: I don't know why anyone would even question that.

Yotes never have to fight what they want to eat because they don't take down predators .... except for a teed off squirrel
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We also live West of the GTA but in very large suburb with a wildlife corridor behind the house. Before we installed the fence, our GSD bolted out the back patio one day as I was watering the plants. At first I thought he was chasing deer then realized it was a coyote! It was so scary. He was chasing it and gave it a few bites. Hunter wasn’t altered at the time and I guess he wasn’t too happy to have anyone invade his territory. Much as he handled it, I was much more careful after as even a smaller coyote could cause injury to a larger GSD. It’s not worth risking injury to the dog to let him off leash if you know there’s coyotes around. Fence went in after and no more issues or worries. We also get more than one travelling together quite often so it’s lucky it was only one. We saw lots while walking on leash but they never bothered us. Just more curious. Owners with small dogs would walk the same path with their dogs off leash. Just crazy IMHO.
 

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@cagal Wasn't out by Burlington or Hamilton a decent-sized doodle type dog mauled and killed on the Bruce Trail a few years ago? Though they're not particularly intimidating dogs, per @WNGD 's point.
 
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