Protecting Your Dog from Coyotes

Q: I bought a puppy two weeks ago and had her out playing on the grass with my 6-year-old Old English Sheepdog at night with my husband sitting there watching them when all of a sudden two coyotes appeared about 10 feet away. Luckily he saw them and scooped up the pup.

I live on two acres with three quarters of it fenced with a 5-foot chain link. I have not had any problems in the five years I’ve lived here. The coyotes appeared three days ago and we have since taken the puppy out at night only on leash in the yard with both of us out there watching, during the day we let her play on the lawn with close supervision and my sheepdog with her.

This morning we got up and there were 20 droppings all over our patio and right in front of our back door. I’m afraid to even leave the door open with the screen closed for fear they will come through. How do I exercise this puppy and train her without losing her to the coyotes? She has been so good already sits and comes when called. She has only had two potty accidents since we got her; she’s just an angel. How do we protect her? Any help will be appreciated.

A: Those are some bold coyotes! You’d be wise to stay nearby when your pup is outside, even when your adult dog is with her. One Old English Sheepdog would be no match for a whole pack of coyotes (and it takes more than a few coyotes to leave 20 droppings on your patio).

Those coyotes are ignoring your five-foot chain link fence, but they might not ignore it if you added a strand of livestock electric fence wire to both the top and the bottom. Buy a good quality fence charger and string the wire on six-inch plastic insulators facing outward. The top wire should be near the top of the fence to stop them from climbing it, and the bottom wire should be about six inches from the ground to keep them from digging under.

For best results, bait the electrified wire with food (before you turn it on), using inch-wide strips of aluminum foil with liverwurst or cheese rubbed on it. Twist these food-baited “flags” onto the wire, making sure they’re not long enough to touch the chain link. Then turn on your fence charger. The coyotes will be attracted to the foil because of the food smells and will touch it with their moist noses and receive an unpleasant and surprising shock. This will create an aversion to the fence and discourage them from touching it to climb or dig under.

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