When a coyote is frequenting a park that you and your dog also frequent, what can you do to keep them safe? We asked our resident education expert, Dr. Gloria Dorsey, “Is it safe to take my dog to Piedmont Park?”
Fights between a coyote and dog are rare, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. When you’re out with your dog and you see a coyote, your main goal should always be to encourage the coyote to go back to his den. This secret green space keeps the coyote away from humans and away from danger while setting boundaries between wildlife and us.
Things you can do when you see a coyote:
- Toss a tennis ball at him. He’s not going to play fetch with you, but it will scare him away.
- Be loud and big. Make loud noises, be a frightening figure to the coyote.
- Blow your whistle! It will encourage the coyote to head back to where he feels safe – his den.
Do NOT feed the coyote or interact with it. While it’s very unlikely that a coyote will get into a fight with you or your dog, the more people who interact with the coyote, leave food behind for him, or act like they don’t see him instead of scaring him back to his hiding place, the more comfortable he will get with humans and the more we will see him. And, as always, keep your dog on a leash while in the park. Not only is it illegal to not do so, but it also keeps your dog safe from getting up close and personal with the coyote.
Thanks to our friends at WSB for the video footage of the coyote.