The canine family known as Canidae consists of some of the strongest and most intelligent species like the dogs, foxes, wolves, and coyotes. So what happens when you take two of them and breed them together? We bring you information about the Coydog, a hybrid of the coyote and dog.
The people of Teotihuacan followed the common practice of breeding coyotes with dogs in order to achieve a strong, more resilient, and loyal, but a temperamental protector.
For time immemorial, people have bred different species together to create a kind that reflected the qualities of both parent breeds but being superior to both. Within the dog family itself, we know of hundreds of breeds that have been crossbred in order to form a unique breed that mirrors its parents. We have the Labrador-Retriever mix, The Shar Pei-Pitbull Mix, and the Catahoula Dog-Bulldog mix, amongst others. But what happens when you take two entirely different species and mate them together?
The result is an unprecedented, almost-mythical creature that gives rise to many legends, surprises many a soul, and raises many an eyebrow. Not to mention entirely questioning their existence. Enter, the Coydog―a hybrid mix between the coyote and the dog. Based on studies, it has been noted that this mix has existed for thousands of years. They are highly common in North America as melanistic coyotes that were likely to have been brought through the Bering Land Bridge 14,000 years ago. Pre-Columbian Mexicans purposefully bred Coydogs, as coyotes were considered sacred. It is hard to find a wild Coydog since the mating cycles of the coyotes is between January and March, whereas dogs tend to give birth in winter.
It is important to note these animals are not recommended as pets. So, what are these magnificent animals like? Read on!
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COYOTE-DOG MIX
Based on the dog breed that it is mixed with, the Coydog will vary in appearance. In general, its biggest mark of identification is the bushy, downward-bent tail, sable coat color, dark neonatal coat color, and the white face mask as that of the coyote parent. It can weigh anywhere between 60-120 lb. It also has long triangular ears and piercing eyes like the coyote parent.
PERSONALITY TRAITS AND TEMPERAMENT
Coydogs are highly intelligent, agile, strong, shy, loyal, aggressive, and energetic―traits that are inherited from their coyote parent. Other behavioral characteristics vary depending on the dog breed with which it is mated. They are also very good hunters. They make a sound much like the coyote’s howl mixed with a high-pitched bark. When threatened, they have a gaping mouth, instead of the bared, snarly teeth that we see in most other dogs.
Genetically, Coydogs prefer the outdoors a lot, and as such, require a large living space where they can expend their energy. Apartments are not advised. They also prefer slightly cooler homes. They like digging big holes and sleeping in them at night, so don’t be surprised to wake up and find one in your backyard!
DIET AND EXERCISE
Coydogs are a big breed and require a proper healthy diet with lots of meat to satisfy them. They require more care than most dogs. They need to get a daily exercise by running around in a large fenced yard, long hikes or walks 2 – 3 times a day.
Coydogs require a lot of training from an early age to get them accustomed to people and other dogs. Socialization is also necessary at an early age because these dogs tend to be shy and other times slightly aggressive towards new people or pets. You need to be patient yet firm and strong-willed with the dog, because Coydogs are one of the hardest to train and handle, and as such, are not recommended as pets. If you plan to adopt one, make sure you set ground rules and proper training routines. Coydogs are pack leaders, and unlike other dogs that respond to the credit system, they tend to understand what your intention is and work against you if you don’t work smartly with them.
Not much is known about the lifespan of this mix breed, since it varies depending on the dog breed with which the coyote was mated. In general, it may range anywhere between 5 – 15 years of age.
Coyote-Dog mixes are very temperamental, and despite their adorable features, they are a very tough breed to domesticate and handle. Regardless of these factors, if you truly want to own one, understanding their needs and differences go a lot towards their proper growth and sustainment.