How Fast Can A Coyote Run: Wolf & Dog Comparison Guide!

how fast can a coyote run
A coyote can run as fast as 43 mph. When injured or disabled, the furthest it can go is 32 miles per hour. So it is no wonder that the coyote is among the fastest animals in North America.

If you have spotted a coyote outside your fence, you may have mistaken it for a stray dog, given the striking similarities.

While we know how fast a typical dog can run, how fast are coyotes? How possible would it be to chase down a coyote, and how high should your fence be for a coyote not to jump over? 

These are some of the common questions we get asked frequently. So, today we will attempt to answer one burning question: how fast can a coyote run, and how high can it jump?

A Quick Overview Of Coyotes

Before we look at how fast coyotes can run, let’s take a quick overview of the Canis latrans.

Coyote, also called Canis latrans, has several names, including the American jackal, little wolf, brush wolf, and prairie wolf.

Coyotes are about 60 centimeters tall. Adult coyotes are 74 to 94 cm long. Also, the average coyote does not have a weight exceeding 16 kilograms.

They may not be the biggest animals in the Canidae family; however, they are the wisest and most adaptable. As a result, you can often encounter them in suburban and urban areas.

Coyotes can live in different habitats, such as deserts, forests, grasslands, foothills, plains, and even urban areas. The habitat choice depends on the availability of food and existing predators.

Coyotes like grasslands where most antelope, bison, deer, elk, and pronghorn are found since coyotes prey on these ungulates the most.

coyote speed

Given that these land animals are so big, it’s hard to imagine a coyote hunting them alone. Coyotes typically work together in groups, which is more advantageous in subduing their prey.

You will find coyotes in most parts of the United States and even Canada and Central America, and some have invaded residential areas in cities.

Coyotes are most common in Alaska, Arizona, California, New York, and Minnesota.

While they avoid interacting with humans, you can occasionally spot them as they hunt for food. 

How Fast Can a Coyote Run?

These wild dogs run up to 43 mph and will jump over structures or fences as high as 8 or 14 feet. That’s because they are good jumpers and climbers.

The secret to this impressive ability is their rear legs, which have a powerful grip to scale them across fences and over house roofs.

What Runs Faster: Coyote Vs. Wolf

Coyotes and wolves come from the same scientific family (Canidae). The coyotes mostly feed on what the wolves leave behind after a successful hunt.

But that doesn’t mean they enjoy each other’s company. On the contrary, wolves pick fights with coyotes at the slightest encounter.

Wolves are larger animals compared to coyotes. But they are also agile and fast creatures.

However, in real life, coyotes have a higher running speed than wolves. However, the gap between their speed isn’t quite wide.

The typical running speed of a wolf is between 32 and 40 mph, whereas a coyote may travel between 34 and 43 mph; it will take some time for the coyote to reach full momentum.

Because of the relatively minor difference in speed between the two animals, a wolf can catch a coyote running in the snow at close range. The coyote needs a safe distance between them before it can scat at high speed, escaping a wolf.

What Runs Faster: Coyote Vs. Dog

Coyotes do not hunt down larger dogs. However, a coyote does not back down in a fight when a dog provokes it. In most cases, the two animals get injured or even killed during these fierce fights.

The average dog runs at a speed of 32 mph, which makes them a no match for coyotes.

However, the Greyhound has an average speed of 45 mph, making it the fastest during a chase.

Do Coyotes Eat Dogs?

Coyotes and dogs don’t have a predator-prey connection. That is based on a study that looked at coyote and dog interactions. 

Some coyotes act as predators when around small dogs. But it’s uncommon for dogs to get aggressive towards coyotes. While there may be times when coyotes and dogs growl or fight at each other, people have spotted them being playful. 

coyote overview

It seems no one can fully understand the relationship between coyotes and dogs. Whether they are friends or not, coyotes shouldn’t get too comfortable around your home – you’ll see why shortly. 

Some coyotes may eat domestic dogs, especially small dogs. However, that rarely happens.

Coyotes are more aggressive around cats because they consider them prey, and dogs are competition.

What to Do if a Coyote Chases You?

Attacks on people by coyotes are uncommon. For example, statistics show that more people are killed by wayward golf balls or flying champagne corks every year compared to people attacked by coyotes.

However, when a coyote chases you, here’s what you should do:

1. Be Aggressive

To prevent it from approaching, raise your hands and wave, stomp your feet, and yell loudly. You want to make a deep voice.

2. Stay Put

You do not want to run. So stay put as you confront the animal. Never try to outrun it because it could mistake you for its prey, chase you, and severely hurt you.

You won’t beat a coyote in a short-distance race.

3. Throw Anything in Its Direction

Let’s get this clear. We do not advise you to hurl anything at coyotes or other wild animals. You should use your best judgment when you throw something in their way.

You want to scare them to make them run off, not necessarily kill them. Think of it as scaring any unwanted guest away from your farm or home.

How to Keep Coyotes Out of Your Home

In most cases, when coyotes have attacked people, it is usually a result of being too friendly with the animals to the point of feeding them.

Coyotes have bitten people while attempting to save their roaming pets from attack. Moreover, there are a few incidents where cornered rabid coyotes bit people.

Perhaps that is because coyotes fear humans. The longer coyotes spend time near people, the more at ease they become. When they get that comfortable, chances are they could attack.  

You can take advantage of the innate dread that coyotes have for humans by maintaining a safe distance from them and preventing them from becoming too comfortable around you.

The Takeaway

As stated earlier, coyotes run at an average speed of 43 mph. That is thanks to their strong hind legs. Among North America’s fastest animals, they are slightly faster than a wolf or the average domestic dog. However, coyotes do not match the Greyhound running at 45 mph.

Remember to keep coyotes off your surroundings for your safety, together with your dogs. When a coyote chases you, remember they fear humans – so use that to your advantage.

Joshua Munoz

Most people’s first instinct when they see a wild skunk is to back away, but not Joshua. He holds a near-obsessive fascination with skunks and their behavior. Although Joshua has never been closer than five feet to a skunk, he has spent countless hours researching them. He knows almost everything there is to know about skunks, from their diet and habitat, to how to humanely trap them. Joshua’s interest in skunks is rooted in his love of animal biology. He fondly remembers topping his finals in biology class while in university. Now, as a writer, he fuses passion and expertise into one by sharing his knowledge about the animal kingdom with others.

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