Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have a beautiful, wild animal like a coyote for a pet?
In fact, you may be fascinated to know that coyotes are kept as pets from time to time.
In this article we will see can If you legally own a coyote and can you tame one as a Pet.
What are the things you should be aware of, and just how good of an idea it actually is!
Can you Own a Coyote and Keep it as a Pet?
Yes, Coyotes can be kept as pets and it’s legal in most states,some states might require a permit, there are several examples to show that coyotes can live domestically with humans. To have the best chance of succeeding at having a coyote as a pet you would most probably want to find an orphaned coyote pup and start training it.
That being said, there are a few important points worth considering. We will talk about some coyotes that have been kept in houses, and we will find out if coyotes make good pets.
We will also have a look at the legal side of keeping these exotic animals as pets in Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Oregon, and California.
Can Coyotes be Domesticated
Coyotes are social animals, much like dogs. It is possible for humans to take them in as family.
Unlike dogs, however, they have many wild instincts that may clash with our expectations of correct behavior inside a home.
Even once they are habituated to humans, coyotes don’t bond with their “owners” in quite the way we might be used to.
They are neither as dependent as dogs, nor as interested in making a good impression.
Their wild instincts mean that coyotes are extremely alert and not as docile as domestic dogs. So, we can expect coyotes to make less manageable pets in general.
To start with, Can you befriend a wild coyote?
Coyotes in the wild are generally afraid of humans, and they will do their best to avoid us.
Recently, with changes to their environment, coyotes have become braver in approaching humans and the areas we live in.
Food is a key motivator, just as it is for any animal.
When coyotes associate humans with food, they start to be more comfortable around us.
This is a very early stage of the domestication process.
The coyote is still a fully wild animal. It may have changed its perspective on humans, but it has not agreed to a life of captivity.
Unfortunately, conditioning coyotes to feel familiar with humans is dangerous for our families and for the coyotes themselves.
Coyotes may approach homes and attack pets or small children.
At the very least, they may become a nuisance around the property of the person who tried to feed them, and they can also feel confident approaching other homes.
This puts the coyotes at risk, because pest behavior will lead to conflicts with humans.
As a result, the coyotes may be killed or harmed in an effort to drive them away.
Many attempts to domesticate coyotes have led to the semi-habituated animals being permanently chained in a yard.
These coyotes never become the incredible pet their humans hoped for.
So, can coyotes be friendly with humans? It turns out that they can, but not usually by feeding wild coyotes as many have tried before.
We are going to see two examples of coyotes that have become friendly with humans.
Also read: Do Coyotes Bark Like Dogs
Has anyone Ever had a Pet coyote?
Yes, they have. Seth Simpson, in Idaho, keeps a coyote in his house along with his dogs.
The animals all play together, and the coyote is considered part of the household. However, she doesn’t exactly fit the description of “pet”.
Seth has named her Kate, but he explains that she doesn’t seem to recognize her name.
She also doesn’t appear particularly interested in receiving affection, aside from play.
On the other hand, Kate sleeps on Seth’s bed and uses a litter box.
Before Kate, Seth had always wanted a pet coyote. He found Kate on her own in 2016 when she was less than two months old.
It seemed like a perfect opportunity, so he caught her and brought her home.
Importantly, Seth is a dog trainer, so he was able to help Kate adapt to domestic life in her own way, and he understood her difficulties.
Can you Tame a Coyote Pup?
It is possible to bring a coyote pup into the home, and help it adapt to living with humans.
The story of Seth and Kate is a great example of this. We have to keep in mind that Seth is an expert in working with dogs.
Even Seth could not transform a young coyote into a tame animal.
Seth accepts Kate the way she is, and it works well.
She still thinks and behaves like a wild coyote, and she never seems to run out of energy. In fact, Seth says she “doesn’t have any traits similar to a dog … besides the way she looks.”
Also read:Are Coyotes Scared Of Humans
How to Raise a Coyote Pup
The age of the pup seems to make a big difference in how Kate and Wiley adapted to domestic life. They both lost their fear of humans and felt comfortable in a home, although they did not lose their wild instincts.
Wiley adapted to some of the things dogs also do, but he did not truly become a domestic dog.
Raising a coyote pup at any age would take a lot of patience and understanding.
The owner would need to understand that their coyote does not think like a pet and cannot be expected to do things the way a dog would.
While raising a pup might seem like a great idea, there are still risks. Any coyote, including young ones, can come with diseases.
Coyotes that bond with their owners are still prone to fearful behavior around other humans, just out of instinct.
This may cause them to sometimes react defensively.
At least a pup might bring less problems than attempting to adopt an older coyote.
Adults come with a greater likelihood of aggressive behavior toward humans. Fully grown coyotes are also more likely to stir up trouble with other pets in the home.
This may include causing fights with household dogs, where coyotes are likely to win. Coyotes may also kill and eat other pets, such as cats, birds, or smaller dogs.
Beware! Fully grown coyotes can also look almost identical to young wolves of 4-5 months.
That mix-up would bring a whole new set of challenges!
We have now seen a few of the domestic issues involved in turning a coyote into a pet.
Let’s think about the important question of law.
Do Coyotes Make Good Pets?
Besides Kate, here is another coyote that managed to become a tame family member. Wiley the coyote lives with the Hanestad family in Wisconsin.
Wiley walks on a leash, plays fetch, and never shows aggression toward the family’s small children.
That last part sounds risky, but the family puts a lot of confidence in Wiley’s behavior.
They adopted him as an orphaned pup within only two weeks of age.
They found him in 2011 after his mother had been shot. He was so small that his eyes still had no opened when they took him in.
The Hanestad family expected to nurture him for a few months before turning him over to a more suitable lifestyle.
Incredibly, Wiley bonded with his rescuers, and adapted his wild nature to become a fixed member of the family.
Can you Legally own a Coyote
The answer to this question depends on where you live in the United States. Each state has its own laws about ownership, and some of them are rather vague. Let’s see a few examples.
Can you own a coyote in Texas?
Texas lists coyotes as “dangerous animals”, alongside cougars, lions, and baboons, just to name a few. These animals can be owned, but you will need a license.
There are a few specific regulations to be aware of. In Harris County, for example, your coyote can’t be kept within 1,000 feet of a school, a childcare facility, or any residence besides that of the owner.
If the animal has babies, the authorities must be notified within 30 days.
Can you own a coyote in Tennessee?
The official government website concerning unusual pets in Tennessee does not specifically mention coyotes in any way.
However, it does refer to “wolves – all species”, which might include coyotes since they are sometimes listed as a type of wolf.
If this is the case, they would be recognized under Class I, which means they are “inherently dangerous to humans.”
The owner must be over the age of 21 and have at least 2 years of experience in handling wolves, as well as proven knowledge related to their requirements and behavior.
The owner has to be equipped and willing to destroy their pet if it escapes and is too difficult to capture!
Can you own a coyote in Florida?
In Florida, coyotes are listed as Class II animals, meaning they can be kept with a permit.
The applicant needs to be over 18 and show at least a year of experience with the animals, or take an exam.
Authorities have to be notified of all births and deaths.
Coyotes aren’t really seen as pets so much as wildlife in captivity. They are to be kept in uncovered outdoor cages with safety entrances and vertical jump walls of over 8 feet.
Can you own a coyote in Kentucky?
No, you cannot own a coyote here. In fact, even if you are the legal owner of a coyote in a different state, you cannot import or transport your pet through the state of Kentucky.
The law used to be more relaxed toward exotic and dangerous animals here until tightening up in 2005.
Can you own a coyote in Ohio?
Although the Ohio government restricts ownership of many types of exotic animals, it apparently makes no mention of coyotes.
This seems to indicate that coyotes are not listed as dangerous animals in this particular state.
It may be necessary to obtain a permit or advice before adopting from nature, as coyotes are still recognized as local wildlife.
Can you own a coyote in Oregon?
Similarly to Ohio, Oregon law does not specifically name coyotes in its regulations on pets.
It is stated that keeping of wild or exotic animals “may be permitted according to individual city and county laws”.
It is unsure whether coyotes are included in this recommendation.
Can you own a coyote in California?
California categorizes coyotes as “not normally domesticated in this state”. Permits can be issued for ownership, however.
Coyotes are listed as “welfare animals”, according to these regulations. This gives them a focus for protection of wild populations and animal welfare rights.
For more information about the laws on keeping a coyote, you can get visit each state’s website for regulations concerning dangerous, wild, and exotic animals.
Do coyotes mate with dogs?
Yes, they can. In fact, dogs, coyotes and wolves can all interbreed successfully. This is because they are genetically very similar.
Despite the possibility, interbreeding does not happen very often, however.
There are numerous reasons for this, including different mating seasons, and the fact that coyotes and dogs live very different lives.
Coyotes are unlikely to approach human populations except looking for food, and coyotes would generally be expected to attack a dog rather than mate with it.
Are any domestic dogs bred from coyotes?
Yes, and they are not exactly rare. When a coyote mates with a domestic dog, their offspring is called a coydog.
Depending on your perspective, these hybrids tick both boxes for suitability, because they usually make for very alert dogs, but docile coyotes.
Coydogs may or may not be legally owned within a given state.
Once again, it is important to do your research via government websites an seek advice from authorities for the most accurate understanding.
There don’t appear to be any other particular dog breeds resulting from cross-breeding with coyotes.
However, it is not unheard of to discover that dogs with unusual behavior have recent coyote ancestry.
Dogs with possible coyote traits like a skittish and independent personality may be worth DNA testing if they have an unknown lineage and come from areas with wild populations.
Coyotes and humans are learning to tolerate each other more and more in our changing world. Just remember to treat coyotes with respect. Although there have been some inspiring stories of adoption from the wild, we need to remember that these amazing animals don’t really belong with us.