Coyote vs Dog

Coyote vs Dog: What’s the Difference?

A lot of people think that coyotes and dogs look alike. They might even mistake one animal for another because of their similar appearance. However, it turns out that there are some key differences between these two species. These include things like their size, diet, habitat preferences, and lifespan. If you want to learn more about these animals, read on.

The Canine Genus

There are several different genera within the canine family. One of those groups includes wolves, foxes, jackals, and coyotes. This group is called Carnivora. There are over 200 carnivorous mammals in total. Some of these include cats, bears, raccoons, skunks, and bats. All of these animals fall under the canis genus. You can see that this particular scientific classification contains more than just dogs and coyotes. Coyotes and dogs are part of this particular group.

Habitat Preferences

One of the most obvious differences between coyotes and domestic dogs is their habitat preference. Coyote prefer open spaces while dogs prefer living near humans. When it comes down to it, coyotes live in areas where they can hunt and eat. Dogs don’t need to do that. They can survive off of human food. While coyotes are solitary creatures, dogs tend to form social bonds with each other.


Another difference between coyotes and dogs is their life expectancy. A typical coyote lives around 10 years. On the other hand, dogs can live up to 15 years or longer. As long as they receive proper care and nutrition, dogs can live much longer than coyotes.

Comparing Coyote vs Dog

Coyotes are part of the dog family, closely related to wolves and jackals. They live in packs, usually consisting of one male and several females and their young. Coyotes are omnivores, eating meat, plants, insects, eggs, and even small rodents. They hunt alone or in pairs, chasing down prey and bringing it back to their den.

The coyote is a medium-sized animal, standing about 3 feet tall at the shoulder and weighing 35–60 lbs. Its coat varies widely, depending on the region and season. In winter, it sheds most of its hair, becoming sleek and pale grayish-brown. During summer, it grows a thick undercoat of black guard hairs, giving it a dark appearance. Coat coloration can vary greatly within a single population. Some individuals have white spots or stripes on their coats, while others are solid colored.

Dog breeds are considered domestic animals, bred specifically for human companionship. Most dogs come from working lines, meaning they originally had some purpose. This can include herding sheep, hunting, guarding livestock, or simply being friendly. Dogs are often kept as pets today, though historically they were used for food, work, and war.

A dog’s lifespan depends on its size. Smaller dogs typically reach middle age around 12 years old, while larger ones can live up to 20 years. Large dogs tend to live longer than smaller breeds, due to genetics and diet.

Key Differences Between Coyote vs Dog

Coyotes are often mistaken for dogs because of their similar appearance. However, there are several key differences between coyotes, and some common dog breeds. These include;

Size: While most dogs range anywhere from 70 to 120 pounds, coyotes typically weigh around 150 pounds. This makes them much larger than dogs.

Head Shape: Dogs tend to have broad heads, whereas coyotes have narrower faces. Additionally, coyotes have longer snouts.

Leg Length: Most dogs have legs that are about twice as long as their bodies, while coyotes have shorter legs.

Tail Length: Like head shape, tail length is another distinguishing feature. Coyotes generally have tails that are half the length of their bodies, while dogs usually have tails that are three times as long.

Coloration: Coyotes are brownish gray, while dogs tend to be white, black or tan.

Hair: Coyotes have short hair, while dogs have long coats.

Coyote vs Dog: Genus and Domesticated Status

One of the primary differences between coyotes and dogs is their domesticated status; one belongs to the canis genus and the other belongs to the canis family. While both of these animals are members of the canis genus, the coyote is considered a wild animal, whereas the dog is considered a domesticated animal.

The same can be said for a different member of the canis species, the wolf. Wolves are typically found in packs and they hunt together. They are known to live up to 15 years in the wild and even longer in captivity. However, it is extremely difficult to domesticate wolves because they are naturally territorial and aggressive towards humans. Coyotes, on the other hand, are far easier to tame. This is why we see many coyotes living in cities today.

Coyote vs Dog: Physical Appearance and Size

The physical appearance and size of coyotes and dogs vary greatly depending on the species, location, and breed. Although there are hundreds of dog breeds, only about 30 types of coyotes exist. In fact, some scientists believe that there could be up to 10,000 different kinds of coyotes worldwide.

When it comes to size, coyotes tend to be much smaller than dogs. They usually weigh less than 40 pounds and stand anywhere from 18 inches tall to over 4 feet long. On average, they measure 20 inches from nose to tail tip. Dogs, however, can range in height from 13 inches to nearly 70 inches. Some of the largest dogs ever recorded weighed well over 200 pounds.

While both animals have big heads, large ears, and bushy tails, they differ quite dramatically in their facial features. Coyotes have broad faces with wide mouths, pointed noses, and small round ears. Their eyes are typically dark yellow or amber colored. Most of the time, their coats are light to medium brown in color.

On the other hand, dogs have narrow faces, short snouts, and rounded ears. Their noses are generally black or white, and their eyes are usually blue. Their coats are often lighter in color, ranging from white to gray.

Coyote vs Dog: Behavior and Diet

The difference between coyotes and dogs is often overlooked, but there are some important differences between the two animals that make one better suited for certain situations. While both species are omnivores, dogs tend to prefer domesticated foods like chicken and beef over wild meats such as mice and squirrels. On the other hand, coyotes are able to survive off of a wide variety of prey because they don’t require much meat to sustain themselves. They are capable of hunting down small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and even invertebrates.

While dogs are generally social creatures, coyotes do not form tight bonds with each other and can easily live without forming strong relationships with others. This makes it easier for them to adapt to different environments since they aren’t tied down to a specific place. Coyotes can travel long distances in search of food, making it easy for them to move around and find new places to call home. Dogs, however, are usually found in areas where humans reside. Because of this, they must remain close to human settlements to receive proper nutrition.

In terms of diet, coyotes are actually more varied than dogs. They are able to consume a wider range of foods because they don’ t rely on domesticated foods like dogs do. In fact, they can sometimes become picky eaters and refuse to eat certain types of food. For example, they won’t eat dead things that might contain parasites, and they avoid eating carrion unless it’s been cooked.

As far as behaviors go, coyotes are known for being very independent and less territorial than dogs. They are also more likely to roam farther than dogs, especially during mating season. Unlike dogs, coyotes have no fear of strangers and are willing to approach and interact with anyone who approaches them. As a result, they can be seen hanging outside of homes and businesses looking for scraps to eat.

Coyote vs Dog: Preferred Habitat and Geographic Location

Another obvious difference between coyotes (Canis latrans) and dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) lies in their preferred habitat. While both species live in the wild, dogs prefer to live in human environments, whereas coyotes thrive in natural settings. This is because there are many different types of food sources for dogs, such as garbage bins, pet food and leftovers, while coyotes must hunt for themselves.

The second big difference between the two animals is geography. Coyotes are native to North and Central America, where they are found in forests, plains and mountain ranges. However, dogs are found across the globe, including Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Both species are social animals, though coyotes spend most of their lives alone, while dogs form packs and are often seen together.

Coyote vs Dog: Lifespan

The final difference between a coyota and a dog is their overall life expectancy. On average, dogs live much longer than coyotes do. In fact, most dogs live about eight years, while many coyotes live up to ten years. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Some coyotes live even longer than dogs. In fact, some animals actually outlive their species’ lifespan. For example, bears live up to 25 years, while wolves typically die around 12 years old. There are several reasons why coyotes tend to die younger than dogs. First, coyotes are generally considered to be more social creatures than dogs. They often live in packs, where each individual plays a role in helping care for the group. Second, the coyote diet tends to consist of smaller prey items like rabbits and rodents. This means that coyotes must eat frequently throughout the day, which leads to less energy reserves. Third, coyotes spend more time outdoors than dogs do. Because of this, they are exposed to predators such as hawks and mountain lions. All of these factors combine to shorten the life expectancy of a coyote compared to a dog.

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