What to do if you and your dog encounter a coyote
1. Leash your dog. Pick up and carry small dogs. It is important to have full control over your dog so that they do not run toward, away from, or otherwise engage the coyote.
2. Stand tall and assertive. Coyotes are wary of humans and your presence is usually enough to drive off a coyote. Maintain eye contact. Do not turn your back on the coyote and do not run. Running away can trigger a coyote’s prey drive and may cause him or her to chase you.
3. Haze the coyote until it leaves the area. This may come easy to some but to others seem abusive or unkind. But every coyote advocate will agree, the kindest thing you can do for a coyote is to scare it away, especially if he or she is overly curious about dogs. Keeping up a coyote’s natural fear of humans is the only way to keep urban coyotes alive, for a coyote that becomes too brazen is sure to end up euthanized.
Outside of pupping season (between the months of August and January) haze the coyote by yelling, stomping your feet, shaking a jacket or noise maker, popping an umbrella, flashing a flashlight, tossing rocks or branches at the ground near the coyote and anything else that will frighten the coyote off. If the coyote freezes, or runs a little way away and turns to watch you again, continue hazing and moving toward the coyote untilhe or she leaves the area entirely. Then calmly and assertively walk out of the area.
If it is breeding and pupping season (between the months of February and July) you may be near a den and considered a threat. It is important not to haze coyotes as normal, because coyotes will defend their den site and you’ll only be escalating a situation, causing undue stress on the coyote and potentially forcing a coyote to act out defensively. During these months, the best thing to do is to slowly and calmly walk away without ever turning your back on the coyote. Stay tall and assertive as you leave the area, even if it means walking backwards. Coyotes will sometimes follow you for a distance to escort you out of their territory, and turning your back may invite them to come in closer to hurry you on your way. Maintaining eye contact and an assertive posture keeps things balanced by letting the coyote know they do not have the upper hand while still respecting the coyotes defense of their den site.
4. Report overly brazen coyotes. If a coyote comes too close, follows you for too long, acts overly assertive or does not respond to hazing, report the coyote to city authorities. The coyote may have become habituated to humans or is being fed by someone, which can result in aggressive behavior. It may be that the coyote can be hazed by city officials to reverse its behavior or, as unfortunately is often the case, may have to be removed.