Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Coydog is the product of a coyote and a dog, thus making it a canid hybrid. Generally speaking, Coydogs tend to be a mix of coyote and dog characteristics. However, since they are not a breed that has been established by decades and decades of focused effort, the exact mix can be rather unpredictable. Something that interested individuals will want to keep in mind should they ever interact with the Coydog.
Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Coydog:
1. Is a Wolf-Like Canid Hybrid
In further detail, the Coydog is a wolf-like canid hybrid. Wolf-like canid is a term that describes the gray wolf as well as a number of its close relatives, with examples including but not limited to dogs, coyotes, and certain kinds of jackal. Said species are close enough that a great number of them can interbreed with one another without issue, which is why wolf-like canids are more common than what a lot of people would expect.
2. Sometimes Confused for Coywolves
For instance, there are people out there who sometimes confuse the Coydog for the Coywolf. Like its name suggests, the Coywolf is a canid hybrid with descent from both coyotes and gray wolves. Moreover, the Coywolf is common, so much so that there are few North American gray wolf populations that don’t have at least some coyote in them somewhere.
3. Rare in the Wild
Interestingly, while Coywolves are common, Coydogs are not. Such canid hybrids have been found in the wild, but there are a number of reasons that coyote-dog unions don’t happen much out there. For instance, the mating cycles of the two species don’t line up. Furthermore, coyotes don’t get along well with dogs whether they are living in the wild or in captivity.
4. Chances Increase Under Certain Circumstances
Due to this, Coydogs tend to come into existence under certain circumstances. For example, if coyotes can’t find other coyotes to breed with, they might resort to dogs provided that dogs can be found in the local area. With that said, there are serious issues even when coyotes breed with dogs out in the wild, with an excellent example being dogs don’t form pair bonds with coyotes, thus making the rearing of the resulting pups that much more difficult.
5. Predate European Colonization of the Americas
The evidence shows that coyote-dog unions have been happening before the European colonization of the Americans. To be exact, melanistic coyotes is believed to have inherited the color of their pelts from dogs, who were presumably brought over to the Americas by people crossing over on the Bering Land Bridge.
6. Bred in Pre-Columbian Mexico
Interestingly, it is known that some pre-Columbian Mexico bred coyotes with dogs to create Coydogs. For example, it is believed that the city of Teotihuacan bred Coydogs to create guardian animals that were loyal to their masters but more temperamental in nature. Said breeding efforts might have been influenced by local cultural perceptions of the coyote, which were sometimes positive in nature.
7. Bred in Northern Canada
Likewise, it is known that some of the indigenous peoples of Northern Canada were breeding dogs with coyotes to create Coydogs as well. In their case, they did so because the Coydogs were hardier animals than their ancestors, which made them more useful as sled dogs. In fact, it is interesting to note that this practice was being followed until the early 20th century, which would explain why it is so much better-understood.
8. Not as Reliable as Dogs
Generally speaking, the Coydog isn’t considered to be as reliable as dogs. For example, they tend to be less manageable when they are still pups when compared to dog puppies. Likewise, they are not as trustworthy when they are full-grown adults, which is why people who interact with Coydogs need to have a good grasp of their psychology as well as be prepared to make use of that knowledge.
9. Exhibits the Hip Slam
Amusingly, Coydogs exhibit some clear inheritances from their coyote ancestors. One excellent example is how Coydogs will perform the coyote’s hip slam, which is something that they do when they are playing.
10. Can Be Quick to Bite
Often, Coydogs will have shy, nervous, or even fearful personalities. This means that they can be quick to bite when they are spooked, particularly if their owners are unable to maintain the calm, authoritative demeanor needed to ensure the best results when interacting with them.