Coyote-Safe Checklist


Hazing Basics




Watch our latest Zoom presentation, Living With Coyotes in Los Angeles, to learn how to keep coyotes out and away from your yard, how to keep small pets safe, and best practices when walking dogs.



Services we offer:

  • Animal Removal, eviction and exclusion, deterrents
  • Coyote-proof fencing, barriers, pet enclosures
  • Support and training for community leaders
  • Municipal Coyote Response Plans
  • Aversion conditioning, humane hazing
  • Educational presentations (in-person and Zoom)

Coyotes do not consider humans prey.

Unprovoked bites are extremely rare.

Important coyote facts

→ Our Western Coyote weighs ~ 20-35 lbs.

→ Coyotes can live solitary lives or be a part of a Family Group.

→ Family Groups usually consist or 2 - 5 adults.

→ Coyotes are monogamous - until death do they part. ♥

→ Only the family leaders - the "king" and "queen" - reproduce.

→ Fertility in subordinate females is behaviorally suppressed.

→ A coyote pair will defend a territory, keeping other coyotes OUT!

→ Urban territories can be as small as 2-5 sq mi.

→ Coyotes are opportunistic omnivores.


Coyote encounters in the urban landscape

It's not unusual to see or hear a coyote during the day.

If a coyote is loitering in an area, that can indicate a nearby source of food, or, that pups are nearby.

Coyotes have a natural fear of humans and are easily chased off. However, they can learn to tolerate proximity to humans when "rewarded" with food from humans - when the juice is worth the squeeze.

Food conditioning happens when a coyote finds a reliable source of food in, for example, a neighborhood. The coyote will still be very shy of humans.

Coyotes can become conditioned to humans after repeated encounters that result in food "rewards" - directly or indirectly. They learn to associate humans with food - like a vending machine. They might follow or approach a for food.

Human conditioned coyotes may even try to nip to acquire food. This "demand" behavior is similar to the jackals in Africa that will follow lions because they have learned lions lead to food.

Food and or human conditioning is reversible!


Aversion Conditioning

Aversion conditioning, which includes humane hazing, is a suite of techniques and tools used to maintain healthy boundaries between humans and wildlife. If you have ever protected your dinner plate from your canine companion, you have effectively hazed a canid.

We recommend reading this paper on humane hazing, HERE, and then check out our aversion conditioning best practices, HERE.

It may also be helpful to watch this instructional video, HERE.

Hazing Props:

  • Large garbage bag
  • Scare Stick (stick with mylar flashing at the tip)
  • Penny Can or other loud noisemaker
  • Small air horn
  • Umbrella
  • Survival whistle


Territoriality and Protectiveness

Coyotes are not cannibals - they do not see dogs as prey but as competition for food resources and a threat to their family and pups.

In spring and early summer, expect coyotes to be protective of their pups. In an attempt to chase off any domestic dog they feel is a threat, you may observe a coyote "escorting" your dog out of the area.

If you're walking in an area where there are coyotes and you notice a coyote locking eyes with your dog - keep your dog on a close leash (minimum 6') - pick up small dogs - and move out of the area.

Be aware, a coyote may not scare off easily if a dog is present. Please read our aversion conditioning best practices thoroughly, HERE.

  • Walk dogs on a short leash no longer than 6'.
  • Never leave small dogs outside unattended - EVER!
  • When taking small dogs outside, make you presence know first.



There are some who believe if they can rid their neighborhood of coyotes, they'll be "safe" - but that's not the case. When coyotes are removed, new individuals from the surrounding area quickly fill the vacancy. One minus one equals one.

This strategy, sometimes considered by municipalities in an attempt to answer concerns by their constituents and promoted by conventional wildlife control tradesmen ($$$$), delivers a false sense of security at taxpayer expense.

Removal can be counterproductive, with an increase in coyotes when one or both of the pack leaders are killed. The subsequent dissolution of the pack's social structure results in a cascade of negative impacts. Without the male and female - the "king" and "queen" - to defend their territory, new coyotes can move in. Oestrus in subordinate females will no longer be suppressed, which could potentially result in more litters the following spring, depending on how the territory is divided.

Bottom line, removal of coyotes in an attempt to reduce their population or presence has never been effective.

Check out this video explaining why, HERE.


What DOES work?

Research has proven, reducing anthropogenic food resources in a community can result in a decrease of coyote sightings and fewer coyotes overall. Read more about the work conducted by Narragansett Bay Coyote Study (NBCS), HERE. Read a recent article, HERE.

In addition to reducing food attractants, aversive conditioning can establish and maintain healthy boundaries between people and coyotes.

Ultimately, it will be the people who will keep coyotes out of neighborhoods by not welcoming their presence. By each individual doing their part.

Start HERE, with our Canid-Safe Checklist.

For communities with a high presence of coyotes, we recommend instituting a Canid Response Plan. Check out our video that explains what a response plan includes, HERE.


What about cats?

If you're concerned about the welfare of free-roaming pet cats, community cats and feral cat colonies, please visit our web page, dedicated to exploring options for keeping them safe, HERE.


Preventing pet and livestock losses

Responsible custodianship is key to preventing injury and loss of pets and livestock. The onus is on small pet owners and livestock produces to protect their animals, just as they would (or should) protect their animals from the weather.

If you have recently lost an animal to a coyote or are finding it difficult to protect your animals, you may qualify for free assistance. Find out more about the Coyote Challenge, HERE.


When the song-dog sings

When most people hear a group of coyotes howling and yipping, it can sound like there are six or more individuals, when really it might just a couple. This phenomenon is called the “beau geste” effect.

Read and learn more about coyote vocalizations HERE.


Interspecific interactions

Coyotes are very curious and very playful - and impartial about whom or what is willing to engage in play.

HERE's the famous video of a coyote and badger heading out for a jaunt.

HERE, a wild coyote and airedale play in the streets. In this video, HERE, a wild coyote engages playfully with a hound. HERE's a lovely video of a coyote making a connection with a human, and HERE, another playful greeting.

Coyote expert Janet Kessler (Coyote Yipps) describes the body language:

They don’t quite want to flee due to curiosity, and they don’t quite want to approach any closer due to fear: they are caught between the two, so their energy causes them to bounce up and down a little — it’s charming and endearing.


More resources:

Coyote Watch Canada

Eastern Coyote Research

Urban Coyote Research Project

Coyote America, by Dan Flores.