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Can a Coyote Mate with a Dog?

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If you’ve ever seen a coyote before, you might think they are just wild dogs. With their striking resemblance, you may wonder if coyotes can mate with dogs.

Can coyotes mate with dogs? As members of the same taxonomic genus, coyotes and dogs can mate and produce hybrid offspring called coydogs. Coyotes, domestic dogs, and coydogs all look similar, but with some small differences.

This article covers information on if you should allow your dog to mate with a coyote and whether you can raise coydogs domestically along with some other interesting facts about coydogs.

Can Coyotes and Dogs Mate?

A black dog looking at a coyote in a snowy field

It is fully possible for coyotes and dogs to mate. People in Pre-Columbian Mexico bred coyotes and dogs to produce loyal offspring with resistance to their climate and certain diseases. But since coyotes and dogs are not the same type of animal (i.e. species), how is it that they can mate and produce offspring successfully?

How Can Coyotes Mate with Dogs?

Though not the same species, coyotes and dogs are in the same genus. The scientific name of coyotes is Canis latrans while that of dogs is Canis lupus familiaris. As you can see, coyotes and dogs are both in the Canis genus, so they are pretty closely related.

Another fact to consider is that animals mate when they (i.e. the females) are in heat. If your female dog is in heat in the mating season of coyotes and a male coyote is around, they will probably mate if given the chance.

The same thing applies for male domestic dogs and female coyotes (but a male coyote mating with a female domestic dog is more common).

Should You Allow Your Pet Dog to Mate with a Coyote?

It is fully up to you to decide whether you want your dog to mate with a coyote. There are, however, two questions you must ask yourself.

  • What Do the Local Laws Say? If the local laws in your area permit you to allow your dog to mate with a coyote, you can allow it. If, however, the law does not support it, you should obey the law.
  • Are You Ready to Raise Hybrid Pets? Remember that a cross between coyotes and domestic dogs produces hybrid offspring called coydogs. Even though it is possible to raise coydogs, they have different requirements and behavior from regular dogs.

How to Prevent Coyotes from Mating with Your Dog

A coyote standing on dried grass

If you do not want your dog to mate with a coyote, follow the suggestions below:

1. Know the Mating Season of Coyotes in Your Area

The mating season of coyotes is usually from January to March, but it peaks in late February and early March. The first step to prevent your dog from mating with a coyote is to know the best time of the year to pay closer attention to your dog.

You should also know when your dog is on heat. If the estrus period of your dog matches with the breeding season of coyotes, you should pay even closer attention to your dog as she is more likely to allow a coyote to mate with her.

2. Change Your Walking Routine

Coyotes are intelligent enough to know when you walk your dog and they might be stalking your dog. To prevent this, you should change your walking routine. If you usually walk your dog around 7 pm, try walking your dog by 6 pm for some days then switch to a completely different time.

Continue changing your walking routine until the coyote mating season is over.

3. Spay Your Dog

Though not the best idea, you can spay your dog if you really do not want her to mate with coyotes. Remember that spaying your dog also prevents her from mating with regular domestic dogs, so you really have to think this through.

For male dogs, you can neuter them.

Some Facts about Dogs, Coyotes, and Coydogs

Here are some cool facts about coyotes, coydogs, and domestic dogs:

1. Coyotes Have Breeding Seasons, Dogs Do Not

You probably already know the mating season of coyotes that peaks between late February and early March. The coyote period of gestation is around 58 to 63 days. For dogs, however, there is no specific time of the year specified as their mating season.

Dogs on heat can mate any time of the year. Some female dogs have multiple estrus periods (i.e. on heat) annually. This means that even though dogs and coyotes are very similar and related, they are not totally the same.

2. The Estrus Cycle of Female Coydogs is Different from that of Coyotes

A coyote dog in the winter out the field

The estrus cycle of female dogs usually lasts for around 2-4 weeks while that of female coyotes lasts for an average of 10 days. As you can see, according to the estrus cycle of your female dog, she is more likely to mate with a coyote for 14-28 days.

This is why you need to know the mating season of coyotes in your area so that you can plan ahead if you do not want your dog to mate with a coyote.

3. The Males of Dogs and Coydogs Show Very Little to no Parental Care, Coyotes Do

Looking for a caring father who remembers the birthday of his kids? Don’t search for such fathers in dogs or coydogs as male dogs are not the best fathers in the animal kingdom. Coyote males, however, exhibit parental care and help tend to their young coyotes just like the mother.

4. Coydogs Are Not As Fertile As Dogs or Coyotes

You should know that unlike mules (donkey and horse cross) and ligers (lion and tiger cross) which are sterile, coydogs are not sterile and can reproduce.

Even though coydogs aren’t sterile, they can only breed through four generations until the fourth or fifth-generation offspring start developing some unwanted traits and lack of resistance due to inbreeding.

5. The Temperaments of Coydogs Vary

Coydogs are not very calm or wild. Remember that dogs and coyotes have different kinds of personalities, so their coydog offspring would exhibit a combination of the personality traits of their parents.

Related Questions and Answers

1. Can You Raise a Coydog?

You can raise coydogs if you want, but you must know that the personality of coydogs differs and coydogs can be unpredictable. Your coydog can be calm, but become wild in a second. You should think hard about raising a pet that has a wild parent as a family pet.

You should also know that most coydogs are one-person pets. It means that they show more loyalty to and bond to just one person. Some social coydogs, however, can bond with more than one person.

2. Are There Coydogs in the Wild?

“Coydog” as a name refers to the hybrid produced by crossing coyotes with domestic dogs. This means that whether a male or female coyote mates with a female or male dog, their offspring are still called coydogs.

A cute coyote puppy in the wild

When a female coyote mates with your male domestic dog, she raises her offspring (coydogs) in the wild, so there are coydogs in the wild.

3. Should You Feed Coyotes?

You should not feed coyotes. Wild coyotes are carnivorous and can prey on your pets, farm animals, etc. Feeding wild coyotes can attract more coyotes to your home, so you should avoid feeding coyotes.

4. Can Wolves Mate with Dogs?

Wolves and dogs can mate and produce offspring called wolf-dog hybrids. Wolves are wild, so you want to prevent your dog from mating with wolves unless you know what you are doing.

5. Can Foxes and Dogs Mate?

Unlike coyotes and wolves, foxes cannot mate with domestic dogs as they do not share an equal number of chromosomes.

Final Thoughts

Coyotes and domestic dogs can mate. When coyotes mate with the domestic dog, they produce fertile offspring.

It is up to you to decide if you want your dog to mate with a coyote but consider the pros and cons.