Outdoor Education: Are They Coyote Tracks or Dog Tracks?

Dick Moss, Editor, PE Update.com

 Coyote Tracks
Coyote Tracks
The coyote is a common wild animal in most parts of North America, and one of the really fun things about outdoor trips is pointing out signs of wildlife such as coyote tracks. Unfortunately, a coyote's tracks are similar to those of the everyday dog—here's how to tell the difference.


Coyote Versus Dog Tracks

 Dog Tracks
Dog Tracks
Using a straight stick, make a line along the back of the two front pads of the footprint.

  • A coyote's pads are more widely spaced, so the line won't touch or will barely touch the front of the side/back pads.
  • A dog's pads are closer together. The same line will run through the middle of the side/back pads.

1. Ellis Greenstein & Jackie Jenkins (DVM), “Coyote phobia: In defense of coyotes.” Animals' Voice, Winter 1999.
2. Chandler Sullivan, The Camping Bible Survival Guide, 2011 Edition, Amazon Digital Services, 2011.

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