Can dogs sense Coyotes? A Comprehensive Guide

Can dogs tell the difference between coyotes and dogs?

Dogs can tell the difference, what type of dog is it? Dogs have been kept and wired to protect against wolves and coyotes. It isn’t necessarily bad, my cousins dog is a big shepard mix and now coyotes never come near their house. They will probably learn to stay away after a while.

How Far Can My Dog Smell?

A dog’s nose is much more sensitive than a human’s nose and can smell things from a greater distance. Dogs can also detect things that humans can’t, like pheromones. These are chemicals from other animals that help identify that animal, especially those of the same species. Some experts suggest that a dog can smell an object more than 12 miles away, but several factors can reduce that distance significantly.

Can dogs sense Coyotes?

While every dog has a sense of smell many times better than any human, some breeds have better noses than others. Hound dog breeds, like the Greyhound, Dachshund, and Basset Hound, have the best noses, followed by working dogs like the German Shepherd and the Labrador. Dog breeds with scrunched-in faces, like the Pug and Bulldog, may have more difficulty smelling because the cramped air passages can make it more difficult for a fragrance to get through.

Wind is one of the biggest factors affecting how far away your dog can smell. It can move the scent away from the object, making it hard to determine direction. Heavy winds that continue over time can also wear away dirt and light, sandy gravel, making it more difficult for the dog to follow a scent track over a long distance.

Rain can greatly impact your dog’s ability to smell a coyote. The water can bring down fragrance molecules, reducing the distance that they can travel in the air. A moderate or heavy rain can also deteriorate soil and wash away tracks, making it impossible for your dog to follow.

Can dogs sense Coyotes?

Your dog’s nose can detect a scent better in a humid environment, and they will struggle to detect a fragrance as the air becomes drier, reducing their ability to track a scent over a long distance.

Another thing that can disrupt a dog’s ability to follow a scent is a human or another animal in the way. Automobiles, deodorants, perfume, and even the scent of laundry detergent can be quite strong to a dog, easily overpowering other fragrances. Other animals digging or following a similar path as the first animal can also confuse a dog.

A great way to help your dog detect coyotes is to train them. Scent training can help your dog notice a smell that they might otherwise ignore, so their first encounter with a coyote won’t take them by surprise.

How do dogs react to coyotes?

Dogs have an acute sense of smell and are able to detect the presence of coyotes even when they are far away. When a dog smells a coyote, it will often start barking and trying to get away. If the coyote is close, the dog may even try to attack it.


Coyotes and dogs are similar and have the same ancestors. However, the coyote is a wild animal that spends its entire life scavenging and hunting for food, so it can be quite dangerous to your pet. Most owners notice that their dog starts to act strangely if coyotes are near and wonder how far away the coyotes might be. The short answer is, they may be up to 12 miles away. Keep reading as we explain how far away a dog can smell, as well as the warning signs that a dog might display if a coyote is around.