The key difference between coyote and dog is that coyote is a wild animal while dog is a domesticated animal.
Coyote and dog are members of the same taxonomic family and the same genus, yet there are many differences between them. By the looks of these two, it should not be very difficult to distinguish who is who. However, German shepherd dogs closely resemble coyotes. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to follow the important characteristics of both dogs and coyotes to understand the actual differences between coyote and dog.
What is a Coyote?
Coyote, aka American jackal or prairie wolf, is a canine found throughout North and Central America. Coyote is a canine, i.e., they are members of the Order: Carnivora and Family: Canidae. It belongs to the species Canis latrans, and there are 19 recognized subspecies. Their coat colour varies from greyish-brown to yellowish-grey, but the throat, belly, and undersides are whiter-pale in colour. In addition, their forelegs, side of the head, muzzle, and paw are reddish in colour. The tip of the tail is black, and they have their scent gland located at the dorsal base.
Usually, coyotes shed their fur once a year, which starts in May and ends in July. Their ears are proportionally larger than the head. However, their feet are relatively smaller than the rest of the body. The body length of an averagely-built coyote is about 76 – 86 centimetres and the height at the withers is about 58 – 66 centimetres. They stay as large groups and hunt in pairs. These territorial animals are primarily active in the night, but sometimes they are diurnal, as well. Interestingly, coyotes are mono-oestrus animals. Once they found their partners, the pair bond remains for many years.
What is a Dog
Canis lupus familiaris is the scientific name of the domestic dog. Their ancestors were grey wolves and they became domesticated before 15,000 years. Dogs have been man’s best friend or companion ever since their domestication, and they have been working, hunting, and guarding the humans with great loyalty. Dogs live all over the world and are not native to any particular country. They vary drastically in weights and sizes according to their breeds.
In fact, dogs have the highest diversity in terms of appearance, size, and behaviours than any other domestic animal. They can be surprisingly small as well as considerably large; a Yorkshire terrier is only 6 centimetres tall and 10 centimetres long with a weight of only 110 grams, while a Great Dane could measure more than one metre in height. English mastiff dog is the heaviest dog in the world with a weight of more than 150 kilograms. Moreover, the dog breed decides the coat colour, coat thickness, tail appearance, and their temperaments.
Females become sexually receptive twice a year and, during that time, females communicate through pheromones with males. Males get around the female, trying to show off their dominance over other males with loud barking and sometimes fights. Eventually, she selects the best one for her for that mating. Male dogs do not show any kind of parental care, but the female cares for her pups by providing both food and shelter.
What is the Difference Between Coyote and Dog?
Coyote is a wild animal while dog is a domesticated animal. Moreover, coyotes are more towards eating meat than dogs are. Coyotes are native animals of North and Central America, whereas dogs are distributed throughout the world. Dogs vary significantly in their size, weight, and coat colour depending on the breed and the pedigree. In addition, the denseness on the coat varies greatly across dog breeds. In contrast, coyotes are much similar in their body colour, weight, height, length, and fur texture even within their 19 different subspecies. Dogs are much friendly compared to shy and mean coyotes.
Summary – Coyote vs Dog
The key difference between coyote and dog is that coyote is a wild animal while dog is a domesticated animal. Dogs vary significantly in their size, weight, and coat colour depending on the breed and the pedigree. In addition, the denseness on the coat varies greatly across dog breeds. In contrast, coyotes are much similar in their body colour, weight, height, length, and fur texture even within their 19 different subspecies.
1. “2009-Coyote-Yosemite” By Yathin S Krishnappa – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “German Shepherd – DSC 0346 (10096362833)” By gomagoti – DSC 0346 (10096362833) (CC BY-SA 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia