It’s very easy for you to decide to keep coyotes as pets; besides, they’re beautiful creatures and look almost like dogs. But the question that should come to mind is…can coyotes be domesticated? Can you train and keep coyotes as pets?
The simple answer is No! You will find it very hard (and almost impossible) to domesticate the coyotes and keep them in your home as pets since they are wild animals.
This is because coyotes have wild needs and unlike dogs, they lack the right brains to be tamed. They’ve developed natural instincts to function wildly and avoid humans.
Although, there’s been a few situations where people tamed the wild coyote successfully, but it is rare.
That said, let’s now answer the question thoroughly and look at why coyotes cannot be domesticated!
Can Coyotes Be Domesticated?
As I said earlier, coyotes cannot be domesticated and they always try to resist taming. So, it is not a good idea to keep coyotes as pets in your home.
While it may be possible to some extent to tame a coyote pup, coyotes are not like wolves in the sense that they are more timid and less social. In other words, coyotes are known to inherently shy of humans.
Wild coyotes are very good at avoiding humans – and it is important that they maintain their fear of humans in order for them to thrive.
They’ve been some reports about coyote-dog crosses and coyotes kept in captivity, which shows that the animal would likely spend most of its life stressed and terrified.
Why Coyotes Cannot Be Domesticated
First of all, you must understand that coyotes are wild animals. While raising them from birth might make it somewhat submissive, comfortable with people, and slightly dog-like, they will still have their wild instincts, such as the desire to roam for several miles and kill things.
They will also have a higher chance of getting frightened by humans and attacking the moment they feels trapped, which can result in severe injury. And oddly enough, the rabies vaccine that you can give to normal pets isn’t approved for use in coyotes.
I heard a story some years ago about a drywall contractor who once got a baby coyote for $400 and raised it as a pet. Just like a dog, the coyote was fine, until it suddenly went into heat one day.
It was tied outside on a sturdy chain at the time. It broke the chain and disappeared, and never returned.
If you ever come in contact with coyote pups that have lost their mother, the best thing to do is to look for a surrogate in a wildlife refuge, limit interaction with humans, and prepare them for release once they’re ready.
But what if you’ve made up your mind to domesticate a coyote?
How to Domesticate Coyotes (If You Must)
If you really (really) decide to domesticate coyotes, then you will need to start the process and tame them when they are still young. This way, they will end up being receptive and used to humans even when they grow up.
But like I said earlier, no amount of taming and training will make a coyote leave their wild instinct. So, you must have that in mind if you ever choose to take the risk.
Another risk involved in having a coyote as a pet is that it can spread diseases to your other pets, like rabies. Coyotes are incredibly vicious animals even when been kept as pets.
For example, a coyote can end up eating your small pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters, or cats. And if not fed well, they can also feed on your livestock, such as chickens.
It’s also not advisable to keep them around little children as anything can happen. So, you must be vigilant all the time.
Additionally, unlike with dogs, you will find it hard to take your coyote pet for walks around the park.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coyotes
Can you befriend a coyote?
No, coyotes and scared of humans and can be very unpredictable. So, it’s better to give them space as wild animals.
Has anyone ever had a pet coyote?
Many people have tried training coyotes as pets, but the majority of them didn’t succeed at it.
Is it legal to own a coyote as a pet?
No! Coyotes are often regulated as native wildlife. This makes them illegal to own in most, or all states.
Will a coyote attack you?
Coyotes hardly attack humans, even though they can be aggressive. There have been only two recorded cases of humans being killed by coyotes in Canada and the United States.
Are coyotes good for anything?
Yes, coyotes play a significant ecological role in helping to maintain healthy ecosystems and diversity of species.
Furthermore, coyotes are beneficial in many ways including regulating the number of mesocarnivores (such as raccoons, foxes, and skunks) which consequently helps in boosting biodiversity.
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As a general reminder, it’s never a good idea to keep and tame wild animals, including coyotes. Wild animals are very unpredictable, dangerous, and hard to take care of.
While asking the question (can coyotes be domesticated), always have it in mind that coyotes will always be a wild animal even if you keep them in captivity and receptive to the company of humans.
They can be tamed but cannot be domesticated, except for experts who have the necessary skills, resources, and the most suitable traits that would perfectly work for human use in order to domesticate a species.