If you live in an area that’s local for a lot of coyotes then you can’t be too careful in keeping your distance.
However, there’s no better feeling than camping or watching the sunset and hearing all of the noises that nature has to offer.
Admiring some of the world’s animals from a distance can be an incredible feeling, with coyotes being no exception to this.
Do coyotes howl? We’ve researched them to learn more about their behavior and why they do what they do.
How Do Coyotes Communicate?
Coyotes are very sociable creatures, much like their domesticated canine cousins that we have in our homes.
Much like domesticated dogs, coyotes tend to communicate with one another in lots of different ways. The most common way for them to talk to one another is by barking.
Much like all canines, coyotes bark at each other when annoyed or excited. But there are lots of ways for them to communicate vocally.
Unlike wolves, coyotes tend to stay in small groups or stray alone when hunting or traveling. However, it’s not uncommon to see the species of canine in family packs, so they need to communicate.
Like dogs, coyotes will use different methods of vocal communication depending on how they’re feeling.
Many will use low grunting or whining when trying to get the attention of another coyote or may whine when confused or inquisitive.
On top of this, they tend to growl and huff when angry or aggressive, which can be used toward each other or toward outside forces that make them feel threatened.
The more common noises that we may hear from the coyotes are considered ‘yipping’ and sound like high-pitched, small barks. Additionally, they howl, which answers the original question.
Do Coyotes Howl?
So to answer this simply – yes, coyotes howl! When a coyote howls, much like any other species of canine, it can be to serve a whole range of functions.
First of all, it’s a great way for coyotes to let others know of their position. Because the canines tend to stick to solitary hunting, or in pairs, they need to let each other know where they are.
With the landscapes that coyotes are used to being so large, this is a useful tactic for them to use.
Another reason that coyotes howl is down to territorial behavior. Similar to the point about letting other coyotes know of their location, this can also serve as a warning.
It can help to warn unfamiliar coyotes and other potential threats know where to steer clear of. Of course, not all animals will adhere to this warning and can often spark conflicts within their animal kingdom.
Scientists and coyote experts believe that howling sounds can travel around 1000 yards.
These howls can be used to express the coyote’s mood, as well as something they may have found, like a target or a potential breach of territory.
By howling, other coyotes will also be able to determine the gender of the animal making the noise.
It’s interesting to see our dogs’ reactions upon hearing a coyote’s howling because they recognize it as communication, despite not being direct relatives with coyotes.
The fact of the matter is, the majority of the Canidae family will howl back at another howl because they have similar roots and similar rules of hierarchy and socialization within their behavior.
How Do Dogs And Coyotes React To Each Other?
A lot of dogs will have mixed reactions upon coming across the presence of a coyote, however, it’s usually the reaction of the coyote that makes the biggest difference.
Coyotes can be a massive threat to dogs, with a lot of people using apps and websites to find out whether there have been coyote sightings in their area.
This can be a huge help for those who wish to walk their dogs without having to worry about a potential confrontation.
A lot of dogs will react differently to coyotes, with some of them chasing after their wild cousins.
Some dog breeds are a lot more territorial than others and a lot bigger in size, meaning that they’d be able to hold their own against threats like coyotes.
However, other dogs, typically smaller breeds’ tend to stay close to their owner and keep away from danger. But as previously stated, coyotes are the more likely to attack out of the two.
There have been known cases in the past where coyotes have gone out of their way to attack smaller breeds of dogs, as they see them as easy prey.
Cats have also fallen victim to coyote attacks because of the size difference between the felines and the wild canines.
It’s usually reported that these attacks have come from a lone coyote or a pair, falling in line with their standard hunting behavior.
What To Do When Spotting A Coyote
If you come across a coyote on your adventures then it’s not always a threat. Some of the four-legged canines are more than happy to carry on with their day and will keep to themselves.
It’s unlikely that you’ll find coyotes walking about during the daytime because of their nocturnal nature, however, it can happen.
If a coyote is near and appears threatening, there are a few things you can do to scare them away.
One of the main things is to make yourself look as big as possible, waving your arms about and yelling loudly to let them know you’re not scared.
It’s important to have something in your hand like a rock, a branch, or a walking stick. If it comes to it, you can use these items as a weapon, as a last resort.
Coyotes can also get scared of loud noises from things such as car horns and air horns. It can be useful to keep an air horn on you in case you ever need it.
Much like other forms of canine in the animal world, coyotes howl very frequently alongside a series of yips and barking.
It’s a great way for them to communicate with each other over long distances due to their hunting and traveling patterns.
Although coyotes are nocturnal, there’s no evidence to suggest that they howl at the moon in particular, they just howl with the moon on display in the night sky.
We recommend not getting too close to coyotes due to their predatory nature, however, they certainly are incredible to admire from afar.