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Coyotes in Captivity

Canines not listed on other forums: African Wild Dogs, Coyotes, Dingoes, Jackals, New Guinea Singing Dogs, Raccoon DOGS, ETC..

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Coyotes in Captivity

Postby RabbleFox » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:34 pm

I know coyotes are rarely kept as pets, I suppose there may be a reason for it. Recently, one of the groups I've joined on Facebook has had a full coyote owner posting. The poster is very adament that coyotes make very poor pets, suggesting that foxes are much easier in comparison.

I would love to have a coyote someday but I don't want to get in over my head. Anyone have experience with coyotes in captivity/as pets?
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Re: Coyotes in Captivity

Postby Ash » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:51 pm

Not ever owned one (but highly considering it since the permits are a bit easier for them out here), but worked with one where I interned. She was very loving and affectionate--tail-waggy, whining happy, rolling around for pets, diving into your lap. But she did like to mouth a lot and rough play (shake her head while holding onto your arm with her mouth). She also liked to jump to see your face, but she never tried to bite or anything.

I would never consider owning one as an indoor pet--just like I would never advise someone owning a fox solely as an indoor pet. They are very high energy (a lot like foxes, in that regard), and need space to run. Obviously they need enclosures that are bigger than what a fox requires, and they eat more than a fox does.

This one was fed high quality dog food, rabbits, mice, with some fruits and veggies every now and again. So she had a good diet.

The only reason interns are not allowed to go in with her anymore is because of how hyper she is. She nipped the owner's son out of excitement, and then they put her in their quarantining area (just cuz that's their protocol). She's probably around 4 years old now, and I saw her the last time I visited, but didn't get to go in with her. But she WANTS people SO BAD. She just whines and paws through the bars, wanting attention, howling whenever you howl. Super cute.

She marked a lot, urinating in her water dish, that sort of thing. Kind of what you'd expect from any exotic canine, I guess.

I have heard that it can be a bit deceptive though because they can be very friendly for their first two years, and then when they hit sexual maturity, they may change personality for the worst. I don't know if neutering/spaying would help that or not. But unlike foxes, they do go through a change at around 2 years. Maybe they get more aggressive towards people they don't know, maybe they get more crazy, maybe they settle down some. The one I've talked about above seems exactly like how she was when I got to work with her--and the owners have said they have noticed not change in her personality (whereas, with other coyotes they've had, they did see a change).

A lot of that may also depend on socialization though. The owners did keep QUITE a few other animals too, so didn't dedicate as much time to her like they would if she were an only pet.

My guess is, if you got a coyote, you could curb the hyperactivity a bit, kind of like how we do with foxes. Yes, it'll always be there, but obviously there are ways to distract them from it, divert their attention, get their energy released a different way. The best way to describe the coyote I worked with was "Ifrit in a bigger body." I know that doesn't help much since you haven't met my fox Ifrit, but the coyote just seemed like a giant, more doggy-like fox, if that makes sense. But with different behaviors too. Like it CRAVED attention.

Does the owner you mentioned have previous experience with exotics? They may have jumped into ownership without being all that prepared--but are still committed to their pet. So now that they have her, they may be dedicated to keeping her, but may never suggest owning one to anybody else. That does happen--exotics don't work out for everybody, but that doesn't mean each one that doesn't work out is rehomed. Because some people are just more committed.

If the owner doesn't have an outdoor enclosure for their coyote, I can guarantee you that is the source of their woes, lol.

Foxes, according to Dave, really calm down with age. Foxes and coyotes are canids, yes, but both very different. Maybe a six year old coyote would be more... "chill." But I don't know.

I personally wouldn't get discouraged. Outdoor enclosures make ownership of most animals possible. As long as you know what you're getting into and you're committed with an enclosure and the money to care for it, I imagine you would have a good experience with your coyote. You would have to teach it to play nice though when young, like we do with our foxes, and always remember that this animal isn't going to just be 15 lbs when full grown, like a fox. It's going to be a lot bigger than that, so try to curb undesirable behaviors when they're little.

Both Sarajeku and I have had good experiences with the coyotes we've worked with, if that helps.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: Coyotes in Captivity

Postby RabbleFox » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:12 pm

Thank you for your reply Ash! I would love the opportunity to work with a coyote. You are very lucky!!!

I don't know a ton about the poster's situation. I know the coyote is a rescue (they are permitted to keep her under a license, I think) so she didn't come from ranched stock at all. She runs as a wheel dog in her recreational mushing team which is very cool. I miss having a dog to do mushing. As to whether she has an outdoor enclosure, I don't know. There isn't a ton on coyotes as personal pets in general. No forums or Facebook groups or very many books that I know of. I'd love to volunteer and get some 'yotey experience but I don't of any place that has coyotes in Michigan!

I am still very interested in foxes and will most likely have one (or two!) in the future before getting a coyote. I hear smaller exotics should come first before getting the larger exotics. Coyotes are as big as I'll go most likely. Gah. I'm still quite far away from getting any exotic, but I like to be prepared if anything.

Do you have any pictures of her enclosure? Dimensions? Dig guards and climb guards? I've a rough idea of what I would do but I love to see some other ideas. :)

Once again, thank you! You've allayed some of my fears. I get concerned hearing stuff from those are more experienced, that they would never recommend a coyote as a pet for anyone. Eek!
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Re: Coyotes in Captivity

Postby Cindy23323 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:50 pm

Do you know Desiree Wood that is on Facebook? She has a coyote
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Re: Coyotes in Captivity

Postby RabbleFox » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:59 pm

Cindy23323 wrote:Do you know Desiree Wood that is on Facebook? She has a coyote


I don't, actually. I know of only one person on FB with a coyote. They are the ones who are very against them as pets.
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Re: Coyotes in Captivity

Postby Cindy23323 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:49 pm

Here's a link to her page. She's mostly into wolfdogs, but does own a couple foxes and Mercy the coyote.
https://www.facebook.com/desiree.wood.79

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