Can Coyote Jump Fences
- 1 Dog Articles
- 2 Urban Coyotes — Keeping Your Pets Safe
- 3 Keeping coyotes out of neighborhoods requires collaboration to be most effective
- 4 Attacks and bites wounds aren’t the only danger coyotes pose to your cats and dogs
- 5 How To Keep Coyotes Out of Your Yard & Neighborhood
- 6 What To Do If You and Your Dog Are Followed By a Coyote
- 7 How To Decrease Your Chances of Running Into a Coyote While Walking Your Dog
- 8 Facts About Coyotes
- 9 Additional Resources
- 10 Do coyotes jump over fences to attack dogs?
- 11 Can a Coyote Jump an 8-Foot Fence?
- 12 How high a fence can coyotes jump?
- 13 How to Keep Coyotes Away — 5 Tips
- 14 Coyote Repellent Tip #1: It’s All About the Smell
- 15 Coyote Repellent Tip #2: Build a Fence
- 16 Coyote Repellent Tip #3: Coyote Hazing
- 17 Coyote Repellent Tip #4: Keep Critters Close
- 18 Coyote Repellent Tip #5: Use Nite Guard Solar Lights
Urban Coyotes — Keeping Your Pets Safe
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Updated: January 28, 2020
We have had quite a few coyote sightings recently in our neighborhood here in Portland. Just this past week my dog, Wendy, and I were followed by one while out for our early morning stroll.
Fortunately, I knew not to turn and run, and I recalled that it is best to make one’s self “as large and as loud as possible” to scare a coyote away. The coyote did eventually retreat, but not fully, and he continued to watch us while we walked — backwards — to the safety of our home.
That was one bold coyote!
Apparently, this is what happens as coyotes get more comfortable and lose their natural fear of people, and it would appear that it is happening in many parts of the country, even in and around big cities.
This got me thinking, what could or should I have done differently during this encounter? And, most important, what should we and our neighbors be doing to dissuade coyotes from coming onto our street and into our neighborhoods in the first place? I learned some very interesting things during my research — things that I feel all pet owners and parents of small children should know.
Keeping coyotes out of neighborhoods requires collaboration to be most effective
Now, to be fair, coyotes are an important part of the ecosystems they inhabit. After all, amongst other things, they help to keep rodent populations in check and have an indirect role in helping to keep native bird populations flourishing. But when you start seeing them in your yard, on your street, or generally in your neighborhood — and definitely when you are followed by one on a walk or if you have pets or small children — it does make one think about their presence just a little bit more!
Fortunately coyotes aren’t typically known to attack people and larger dogs, though it certainly has and does occur (adults and small children). And coyotes do routinely go after cats and smaller dogs. There are many news stories and Youtube videos depicting these scenarios; many are just too distressing and graphic to share here.
Attacks and bites wounds aren’t the only danger coyotes pose to your cats and dogs
Coyotes are also susceptible to and can carry/transmit certain infectious diseases that your dogs (and cats, in the case of rabies) can catch. The list includes distemper, hepatitis (liver inflammation), parvovirus, rabies, and others. Coyotes can also be a source of mange (mites), fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and other parasites that they can pass along to your pets. As you can see, there really are many reasons why you (and your neighbors) should take steps to keep coyotes from getting comfortable in your neighborhood.
How To Keep Coyotes Out of Your Yard & Neighborhood
- NEVER intentionally feed a coyote.
- Don’t keep pet food outside.
- Clean your grill after using, or store it inside your garage when not in use.
- Securely cover your trash and recycling cans. If possible and practical, put your trash out the morning of pick-up, rather than the evening before.
- Don’t add meat, bones, etc., to your compost pile. Ensure your compost bin is tightly and securely covered.
- If you have fruit trees, pick up fallen fruit so as to not let it rot on the ground. Coyotes are very opportunistic feeders.
- Keep cats indoors. Always is safest, but at least between the dusk and dawn hours (when coyotes tend to be most active).
- Don’t leave dogs tied up outside, especially small dogs. But really any dog of any size, when tied up is no match for a coyote and is enticing to them.
- Don’t become indifferent… if you see a coyote in your yard or neighborhood ALWAYS haze them away. Do so completely, and remind your neighbors of the importance of doing the same.
- Be extra vigilant if you or any of your neighbors keep backyard chickens, as the coyotes will be attracted both to the chickens and to the chicken feed. (And to the rodents that will also be attracted to the chickens and their feed!)
You can buy and install rollers to the top of your yard fences to help keep coyotes* and other animals out, as well as your dogs and (possibly) cats in. Or you can even make yourself some DIY fence-top rollers. *Note that rollers are less likely to help keep coyotes out of your yard if your fence is shorter than 6 feet tall (see factoid below re: coyotes jumping over 6 foot tall fences).
What To Do If You and Your Dog Are Followed By a Coyote
- Do NOT turn your back to the coyote — do NOT run. (Coyotes can run up to 40 mph over short distances… you won’t outrun them.)
- Put your dog on a leash, if they aren’t already. Do NOT turn your dog loose to go after the coyote.
- Unzip your jacket and hold it wide open or raise your hands above your head and wave them, making yourself appear larger and scarier to the coyote.
- Run towards them and make noise to scare or shoo them away — yell “Go Away Coyote,” shake your keys, clap, etc.
How To Decrease Your Chances of Running Into a Coyote While Walking Your Dog
- See list of tips under “How To Keep Coyotes Out Of Your Neighborhood,” above.
- Wait until the sun comes up to walk your dog, walk your dog before the sun sets in the evening.
- Don’t let your dogs out in the yard without observation before sunrise or after sunset.
- Ensure your dog has a SOLID and RELIABLE recall — for the times when they’re off leash.
- Walk your dog with other people and walk in well-trafficked areas.
- Be aware of the times of year when coyotes are typically more active and bold in your area. Typically prior to, during, and right after their mating season — so often Feb-May, or so.
- Spay and neuter your pets, or keep a very close eye and reliable leash on them. (Unless you want a “Coydog” — see interesting tidbit in list below about coyotes and dogs mating — which is NOT a good idea.)
Facts About Coyotes
- The latin name for coyotes is Canis latrans, which translates to “barking dog.”
- They are extremely adaptive in both their diet and their geographical distribution (location) — meaning they can (and will) eat just about anything, and can live in many places (including large urban centers, such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Toronto).
- Coyotes are usually fearful and cautious around people — though as urban habitats grow and people are becoming more indifferent to their presence, some coyotes are becoming habituated to people and losing their natural (and beneficial) fear of them.
- They are typically most active between dusk and dawn, but they can be seen any time of day or night.
- Coyotes have been “clocked” running short distances at speeds of up to 40 MPH (64 km/hr)! By comparison, the fastest human, Usain Bolt, has a top sprint speed of just 28 MPH. The top speed of a domestic cat is approximately 30 MPH, and the top speed of the fastest dog, the Greyhound, is about 43 MPH.
- Most coyotes can easily jump a 6 foot fence. See video and pics of it here (warning: one video shows a coyote jumping over a fence with a cat in its mouth).
- Coyotes typically breed between Feb and March, and then produce their litters between April and May.
- Their gestation — or length of pregnancy — is approximately 60-63 days, the same as for domesticated dogs.
- Coyotes are monogamous.
- Coyotes can successfully mate with dogs — their offspring are called “Coydogs.”
- Coyote Biology
- Coyote Hazing – Guidelines for Discouraging Neighborhood Coyotes (HSUS)
- Coyote Smarts – Raising public awareness of coyotes and promoting effective strategies for keeping pets, families, and communities safe
- Project Coyote – Promoting coexistence between people and wildlife
- If you’ve lost an outdoor cat here’s an article with some resources that will hopefully help get them back home safe
Have you seen coyotes in your neighborhood? Have you ever had a pet injured or stalked by a coyote? Have you yourself ever been followed by or encountered a coyote? Please share your story and any coyote tips in the comments section below.
Do coyotes jump over fences to attack dogs?
Simple answer — YES! Find out more here!
Research has shown that they can scale up to 14 feet and that it’s at the 6 foot mark where they need use leverage to get over. Fences or walls lower than 6 feet risk the Coyote simply jumping over it without ever touching the top. This why we recommend at least a 6ft fence to install your Coyote Rollers.
The «jump» consists of two phases. First, the Coyote jumps to grab hold of the top of the fence with its front paws. It then adds to it vertical momentum by pulling on the top of the fence, this allows him to gain additional height. At the same time he brings his back paws up to the top of the fence, so at that one moment, all four of his paw are in contact with the top of the fence or wall. All of this takes less than 1/2 a second! Next, the coyote then uses his back legs to spring off the fence, while he extends his front paws in preparation for landing. The Coyote Roller interferes with the first part of the jump by making it impossible for the animal to grab the top of the fence.
Coyotes can grab and carry an animal that weighs up to 25lbs over a 6ft fence. They are capable of digging under a fence but they are opportunistic and generally take prey that is the fastest, easiest to secure. I have heard from people that have had Coyotes attack not only small dogs, but also larger dogs! A loose dog (or cat), no matter their size, is at risk for being killed by Coyotes. They will attempt to engage a loose dog in a friendly, sometimes playful manner to get the dog to follow them towards awaiting pack members, to kill them. This is why small pets are at risk inside your yard, and loose dogs of any size are in danger when off your property. Fortunately, if you have Coyote Rollers installed on your fence, this danger is greatly reduced!
Can a Coyote Jump an 8-Foot Fence?
A coyote can jump an 8-foot fence. It is also very adept at climbing. To keep coyotes out of property, it is recommended to erect a wire fence that is at least 6 feet tall and topped with a wire extender set at a 45-degree angle.
Coyotes are also diggers, so any galvanized mesh at the bottom of a fence in a coyote-inhabited area should extend at least 8 inches beneath the ground’s surface and ideally extend out at least a foot from the fence’s base.
Coyotes like protective covering. Removing bushes, shrubs and tall grass on the exterior side of a fence helps to keep them away.
How high a fence can coyotes jump?
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More and more coyotes are being spotted within urban areas of Southern California. Here’s how they might end up in your backyard.
SCALING FENCES: When searching for food in neighborhoods, coyotes are known to scale perimeter walls and fences. Coyotes can easily leap an 8-foot fence or wall. They have been spotted climbing over a 14-foot cyclone fence.
Coyotes are naturally fearful of humans, but they lose caution and fear when they can easily get to human food and garbage, experts say. Keeping trash locked up, pets inside (especially at night), dogs on leash, pet food indoors and fences in good repair are all part of the basics.
The University of California cooperative Extension has created an interactive map where people can enter where and when they have encountered coyotes. The map below shows encounters of different types in the last 30 days around Southern California.
For coyote control, call your county animal control office or the United States Department of Agriculture, California Wildlife Services state office at 916-979-2675 .
How to Keep Coyotes Away — 5 Tips
Have you seen evidence of the local coyote population on your own property? Coyote tracks? Tipped-over trash cans? Is coyote behavior becoming a threat to your sanity? With rural, suburban, and urban coyotes all increasing in numbers, it’s becoming more and more important to take precautions and minimize your likelihood of a coyote encounter.
We’ve got five effective tips for you to keep the coyotes away.
Coyote Repellent Tip #1: It’s All About the Smell
Coyotes will scavenge near and far to find the easiest food source, which includes investigating your backyard for anything interesting they smell. In this case, your best coyote deterrent is not to tempt them in the first place! Keep enticing smells hidden or masked.
Coyotes will eat just about anything, so it’s important to keep your garbage tightly sealed in an animal-proof container that’s not easily accessible. For extra security, store your trash can inside of a garage or shed. If you feed your dog outside, bring in any dog food or water bowls once they’ve finished their meal for the day.
You’ll also want to protect any places where coyote prey (like rodents and birds and fish) might be congregating. Fish ponds are easy targets unless you keep them secured. Bird feeders can also attract a hungry coyote, so store your bird feeder to keep both the food and the birds protected.
Besides hiding good-smell-producers, you can also strategically place stinky scents like wolf urine, ammonia-soaked rags, and moth balls around your yard and garbage cans. It’ll take a lot more maintenance (and funds) to keep the odors pungent, but it’s another layer of precaution if you want to go the extra mile.
Coyote Repellent Tip #2: Build a Fence
Wondering how to keep coyotes out of your yard for good? One strategy is to make it harder for them to get in. If you don’t already have a fence around your property, we highly recommend building one.
But how high can a coyote jump, you wonder? Will a fence really keep them out for good? Well, if you want a fence to be an effective coyote deterrent, taller is definitely better. Coyotes have been known to clear six-foot fences. And even if it’s too tall to easily jump, coyotes have been known to climb fences seven feet tall (their back legs are quite strong).
Besides building a taller fence, you can install coyote rollers on the fence to prevent their back climbing legs from getting a grip. As an extra layer of insurance, install PVC pipe, chicken wire, or barbed wire on top.
Leaping and climbing coyotes aren’t your only concern, however; you’ll also want to make sure the fence is buried deep enough to prevent them from easily digging under. We recommend a fence depth of 12 to 18 inches to quickly dissuade any determined diggers.
Coyote Repellent Tip #3: Coyote Hazing
Yes, we’re actually advising you to haze a coyote if you encounter one.
Every encounter with a coyote should be unpleasant if not frightening, and result in the coyote running away. There are several ways to get on their nerves and encourage them to quickly leave your property and presence.
Coyotes should never feel comfortable being around humans. Making noise is one way to make them cringe. Try screaming, yelling, blowing a whistle, or using an air horn. You can add to the show by waving your arms over your head to make yourself seem like a larger threat.
Spraying coyotes with a hose or by activating an installed sprinkler system is one way to both startle them and make the experience unpleasant. Water guns and spray bottles filled with vinegar water are other spray tactics (assuming the coyote is within spraying range, that is).
The Humane Society’s coyote hazing resource also suggests throwing sticks and small rocks in the coyote’s direction. Read The Humane Society’s complete guide to coyote hazing.
Coyote Repellent Tip #4: Keep Critters Close
If you’ve got small dogs or other small pets, make sure you keep your animals close to home — and close to you. Even guard animals can be in danger if allowed to freely roam. Fences (as mentioned above) are one precaution you can take to help keep your pets close to home and protected from coyote conflict.
In an interview with Dogster, a National Park Service ranger in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area recommended that dog owners always act as if a prowling coyote nearby. Keep your pets leashed and near you while you’re out on walks together so you’re never caught off guard.
Coyote Repellent Tip #5: Use Nite Guard Solar Lights
Dog owners across the country use Nite Guard Solar lights as protection from predators like coyote. The lights are most effective when installed in all four directions at a coyote’s eye level (20-30 inches off the ground). Instead of being motion activated, Nite Guard Solar lights automatically turn on at dusk and continue to flash all night, making sure that coyotes don’t get close.
Will Nite Guard Solar lights actually deter coyotes and prevent coyote attacks? We hear story after story from grateful customers who’ve solved their coyote problems just by using our lights.
Here’s what two once-coyote-bothered customers had to say about Nite Guard Solar Lights:
- “We heard coyotes every night until we put up Nite Guard Solar lights. Now we haven’t heard them for months.” ― Gary Fowler in Georgia
- “Absolutely stops coyotes! My neighbors laughed at me when I bought this product. They are not laughing now because the coyotes are starting to go to their rightful place after I installed Nite Guard Solar lights.” ― J. Fendrick in Windsor, Colorado