Coyote or Dog?

Submitted by John on 01/07/2004. ( )

I just inspected a black "coyote". It is frozen in a ball so I can't positively identify it as a coyote. A dozen other hunters have looked at it and all say it's a dog. One trapper looked at it's teeth before it was froze and he claims it's a coyote. I'm having it thawed so I can further inspect(not at my shop). This is a yearling size female pitch black. I have mounted several blacks before but none were this black. Almost no tan/brown/white hair at all. The tail is usually key but it's shorter than normal and it doesn't have the thickness or fluff typical of a coyote. The head does have a light colored ring around the eyes but the head appears blocky and the nose is short. The hunter said he shot it off a gut pile with a couple other coyotes and it's ears looked the same. I should be able to unfold them and tell better later.The feet also look like a coyotes. Any one have any other suggestions?

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This response submitted by Bonnie S. on 01/07/2004. ( )

Would you be able to tell by the color of its irises? I have no experience with dark melanistic yotes but I think all have the yellow eyes, I neveer have seen a dark dog with light color eyes unless it was a breed that has the blue eyes.It sure sounds like a dog though with the blocky head and thin tail hair.

Your's or a customer's?

This response submitted by Marshell on 01/07/2004. ( )

If it's a paying job, it's what ever they want to call it.
sorry I just couldn't help myself.

Guard hairs

This response submitted by Paul Czarnecki on 01/07/2004. ( )

A fairly sure way to tell a coyote from a dog is to pluck a complete guard hair out of the back between the shoulders. A coyote will usually show three distinct color bands on the hair, even on black coyotes, whereas most dogs only have two. If its a coyote, fine but if it isn't, dogs make nice mounts too! LOLOL

Too funny

This response submitted by Wally on 01/07/2004. ( )

Look at the jaw / nose this is a good way other than that raise the price..........

I agree with Paul

This response submitted by Rob on 01/07/2004. ( )

Coyotes do have 3 distinct color bands on their guard hairs, dogs do not.

I went throgh this once

This response submitted by Tenbears on 01/07/2004. ( )

The argument raged on for weeks. Finally we put it to a local wildlife biologist. Here is what he had to say, There has never been a documented case of a true black coyote, although hybrids have been documented, Dark coyotes that appear black from a distance are always just gray with black tips to the hair. If a coyote has black hair. Then it is a coydog. a cross between a ferule dog, and a coyote. you can take that to the bank. You decide for yourself.

What about DNA test

This response submitted by j on 01/07/2004. ( )

Coydogs will have a off color on one or more toe pads, true coyotes will not. DNA is the only true test, but the state will not want to spend any money for the test.

Why Complain? Just mount it and get paid!

This response submitted by Jobber on 01/07/2004. ( )

And the problem is?

Mount the "dog". Get paid for it and have a nice day!

Why Complain? Just mount it and get paid!

This response submitted by Jobber on 01/07/2004. ( )

And the problem is?

Mount the "dog". Get paid for it and have a nice day!

here we go again

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 01/07/2004. ( )

I always wonder why this goes this way. Its always so easy to call em coydogs. I understand the original post being unsure, as the size and other particulars seemed different. But the theory that if its dark, its not a coyote is, well... They have black fox (foxdog?) black woodchucks (chuckdog?) black squirrels, you see my point. Black coyotes are grey with black tips, grey with brown highlights, light grey like a smoke color, silver, dark black with brown or grey underfur, some have white chest crescents, some have a white dot, some have no white. Some have amber eyes, others have pale white/yellow, or reddish brown. Greenish even. Theyre all coyotes. Now, floppy ears, patches of odd colored hair within the solid color, white socks, smooth tube tails, well, thats a possible cross, even though I hate seeing that coydog label used as much as it is. Im saying if hes with other coyotes, and coyotes are already established in that area, hes another coyote. I really have never heard of the three bands vs two bands of hair color, though. I have a couple coyotes handy, Ill look. Ther dog part, Ill need to look more. That would be interesting if it was in fact! Sure would end some arguments with me, anyway!

Coyote vs Coydog

This response submitted by JL on 01/07/2004. ( )

I've been in this theoretic hassel before and don't really want to get into it again.....its a coyote. If you believe the theory of ""you might want to ask the NH Fish & Game Dept. to send you the study of wild canids done by Walter and Helenette Silver.They proved it doesn't happen in the wild. Have fun....JL

Why is it thawing somewhere else?

This response submitted by JOhn C on 01/08/2004. ( )

Now when it slips they will blame it on you!

Mount it call it a yote and get paid. What to know for sure small the assend of it!

I have mounted a lot of so called coydogs, almost every color, none had blue eyes!

Pigmentation on any animal can be different within the breed. Look at WHITE TAIL DEER!

Even within bloodlines of the same subspecies you can have block headed, apple headed and pear headed specimens (look at your Lab. duck dog.)

Now are you going to sit there and say it cannot happen with wild animals? Are you saying that wild animals are of pure bloodline? and the pedigreed domestic animals have more diluted bloodlines?

I am totally amazed at how narrow minds taxidermist can be!

Since most of us are more familier with whitetail deer than coyotes, I used the deer as a reference so others can understand.

NOw if you are thinking I am all wrong, lets look at largemouth bass, some have smallmouths, some have buckets even with the one two or three tooth patches on the tongue, since they are not social animals we can expect this right?

Coyotes establish the packs just like wolves. My suggestion is that each person making a claim as "this will tell you, that will tell you" understand that those wives tails as BS, if not you would look like your daddy and not grandpa.

So once you understand that the black gene is usually the dominate
gene, how come maybe its the only black yote in the pack?

Percentages, normally there will be more than one genetic mutation, i.e. I had two white cats that had all black kittens and the other mutation was six toes on one cluster of kittens, while the other cat set of kittens had pink noses, their noses never changed either.

I have had a chance to study genetics a little bit and many odd specimens have different paternal and maternal percentages.

good luck!

Mount it asap, get your money and be happy.


This response submitted by Billy Brock on 01/08/2004. ( )

Both me and my wife tried to convince him that it was not likely there was one left in the wild he would not take our word for it. It looked to be A chow mixed with a german shephard. After checking with another taxidermist he finally decided we were correct

smell it!

This response submitted by j on 01/08/2004. ( )

smell it , if it smells like a dog it's a dog if it smells like a yote, it's a yote!


This response submitted by JIMBO on 01/08/2004. ( )

Iwas reading the article , i am with george! i think the man is just greedy and trying to get all he can from his sons' adventure, for gods sake let the kid speak and have a good memory on this .. the man should go away let the kid alone!


This response submitted by Bill Yox on 01/08/2004. ( )

You know what? It might be hard getting a red phase red wolf (they have three color phases, including jet black-a wolfdog? hahaha) as theyre protected, in serious decline, and freely interbreed with coyotes. This is thought to be the reason for their future demise, and found in small numbers only in their native Arkansas as well as in a small refuge down that way somewhere. On the other hand, we see red colored coyotes up here alot. They are either blondes with red tips, almost cinnamon, or a true red, thats red haired with white bellies. I have pics of them somewhere. Theyll go over fifty pounds here. Anyone doubting me can ask Roger Martin of McKenzie, Ive sent him carcasses, he will tell ya!

I 2nd yox

This response submitted by trappersteph on 01/08/2004. ( )

Got some big yotes off of the fur buyer who Yox intro'd me to,Lonnie Zehr. 2 were black phase yotes. 1 he sent whole, I could tell the eyes were yellow by the pigment remaining. Now 2 of the red phases had rear dew claws, which makes me think there was some dog in there somewhere in them. But the rest of these animals looked pretty darned coyote to me.Same features as the grey normal colored ones.

I see coyotes without...

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 01/09/2004. ( )

dewclaws, some with, and some with double dew claws. Im honestly not picking on anyone in here when I make these statements, so I hope nobody feels offended. Im just not sure of some of the reference we use to determine what an animal is and isnt. Its still a fun discussion, dont you think?

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