Many people are blissfully unaware that coyotes can mate successfully with domesticated dog breeds. While this can occur in the wild, it is unlikely, and most coyote-dog mixes are the result of a breeder crossing intentionally mating a coyote with a dog like a Siberian husky.
Siberian huskies and coyotes are naturally hardy dogs, well equipped to withstand harsh conditions. Together, the two species can combine to create a unique dog breed that maintains its large size, high intelligence, and energetic nature.
Coyote-husky mixed dogs do pose some problems for their owners and special considerations should always be taken if you decide to adopt one of these animals.
If you somehow come across a coyote-husky, keep in mind that they are extremely rare, gorgeous, and require a little extra attention that the typical domesticated dog. The more you know about the unique inter-species animal, the easier you can decide if it is the right option for you or not.
What is a Coydog?
The offspring of a coyote and any breed of domesticated dog is known as a coydog.
When a coyote is bred with a husky, the resulting pups come in a large variety of shape, sizes, and temperaments. Coyote-husky crosses are often referred to as coydogs or canid hybrids.
Coyote-husky hybrid coydogs can vary greatly in their size. They will typically be no smaller than a coyote, at least around 20lbs but usually closer to the 40 pound mark since huskies are much larger on average.
Siberian huskies can weigh up to 60 pounds at adulthood!
Combined, you can expect to see a coyote-husky hybrid weigh in between 20 and 60 pounds at adulthood. They would be considered a medium to large-sized dog, or coydog to be more specific.
The color of a coyote-husky hybrid can vary based on the region the coyote is from and the color of the husky it is bred with. Coyotes usually have a mixed coat of colors including red or grey mixed in with black and shades of white. They do not have a solid coat color.
Huskies, on the other hand, can be solid white, or a combination of black and white, red and white, and gray and white.
They tend to have unique masks, often with a white or lighter color face. A coydog resulting from the breeding of a coyote and husky could have any combination of these colors, but tend to be more brown or coyote-like in color.
Coyotes almost always have golden-brown colored eyes, but rarely they have been spotted with blue eyes. Huskies can have blue, brown, or black eyes.
Coyote-husky hybrid coydogs will probably have brown eyes, although it is entirely possible for them to have blue eyes as well.
A coyote-husky mix’s coat can vary between that of a coyote, a husky, or somewhere in between. Siberian huskies have thick double coats of fur, meaning they have an undercoat that keeps them warm in cold weather and a top coat that keeps them safe from the sun.
A coyote’s coat is not as thick as that of a husky and they have shorter hair with a softer undercoat. Coyote-husky crosses will more than likely have a coat that falls somewhere in the middle.
Coyotes are wild animals and they are not typically controllable, but the Siberian husky is a domesticated canine, so it much easier to handle. When bred together, you get an offspring that is, on average, more skeptical and wild than the average domesticated dog.
It is important to always respect a coydog’s wild heritage and slowly them to new people, dogs, or other animals. They may be shyer than the average dog due to their unique lineage and they may also be more cautious around strangers or new animals.
Each coydog is different, but they do tend to be just a bit more wild and harder to control than a domesticated dog. As with most dogs, he more time they spend with humans and other animals, the better their temperament should be.
Coyote-husky mixes are trainable, but it may take a little more time and patience.
Siberian huskies and coyotes are both extremely intelligent and independent. Training with these coydogs should begin at a young age and should be done regularly.
Coyote-husky crosses that are older but untrained will have a harder time learning to obey their owners, but it is not impossible.
Young husky-bred coydogs can be trained much quicker and will have an easier time completing their training. Regardless of their age, coyote-husky mixes are trainable and can make great well-trained dogs for their humans.
Every husky-based coydog is different, but health considerations from both breeds should be taken into account.
Siberian huskies rarely are affected by hip dysplasia, but they do tend to suffer from medical issues like seizures, cataracts, and canine glaucoma. Gastrointestinal issues are common as well as ulcers.
Wild coyotes medically tend to carry preventable diseases like rabies, mange, or heartworms. Those raised in captivity should not suffer from these since veterinarian treatment is nearby.
Due to their size and potentially thick coats, watch for medical issues such as arthritis, fungal issues, and other possible skin disorders in husky-bred coydogs.
Coyote-husky crosses are not studied often, but they can live up to 14 years depending on their lifestyle, care, and genetics.
Siberian huskies have an average lifespan of 12 to about 14 years, so coyote-husky crosses should be able to make it to 14 years as well. Regardless, they can easily live relatively long lives for a canine.
What to Feed
Coyote-husky cross dogs should be fed a high-energy diet. Since they are larger dogs, choose a dog food brand that is designed for large breed dogs.
You can feed them kibble, a raw diet, a homemade, or a combination of these. If you choose a raw or homemade diet, make sure it is approved by a veterinarian so you know they are getting all the necessary nutrients.
How to Know if a Dog is Truly a Coyote Mix
It can be difficult to know based solely on appearance if a dog is really a coyote mix. You should be able to see noticeable coyote-like features in a coyote-husky cross, but it may not be enough to convince you.
The best way to know for sure is to have a coyote-dog genetic test administered, but beware that not every dog DNA test will check for coyote DNA.
Thankfully, a test developed by the University of California. For a fee, you can follow this link to know for sure if your dog carries coyote DNA or not.
Is It Legal to Own a Coydog?
The laws vary from state to state when it comes to owning coydogs, regardless of if they resulted from breeding a husky to a coyote or not.
In several states, it is illegal to own a canine hybrid of any kind, but some states require a license or have no laws on the subject. Get to know the legal implications for your state so that you do not risk losing a coyote-husky cross that you care about.
Coyote-husky mix dogs are not commonly seen, but they do exist, and it is important to know about them.
They are not that much different that your average Siberian husky, but they can be a little more skittish. With the right training and care, a coyote-husky mix could make a great pet for a well-informed owner.
Learning about coyote-husky cross dogs is not an easy task because they are not a commonly-bred animal. Here are the resources used to write this article.