What are some defensive tactics I can use if I spot a coyote while walking with my dog?

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Coyotes don’t just live in the woods or mountains anymore. Since they can adapt to any environment, they are just as comfortable living in an urban area as a rural one. They’re also in every state except Hawaii. Therefore, the chances of running into one are pretty good. If you are walking with your dog and come upon one:

• Always keep your pet on a leash when walking them in areas where coyotes are common. It’s also a good idea to carry a walking stick, air horn or a whistle to scare off coyotes in the event that your pet is attacked. Coyotes are timid by nature, and usually run away if challenged, so yell loudly or create some other loud noise.
• If, however, you have encountered a coyote that has lost his fear of man, be sure to alert the authorities. This animal is not only a danger to pets but to humans as well and it’s important to get him out of your neighborhood as soon as possible.
• Never turn your back on a coyote. Most of the time coyotes are afraid of humans but it’s never a good idea to turn your back on one. Instead you need to make as much noise as possible and make yourself look larger by waving your arms over your head.
• IF you can, pick up any small pets around you to protect them from the coyote and move slowly move toward an area with other people or a building.

• Maintain direct eye contact with the animal to show your dominance.

NOTE: It’s pretty important to know how to spot a coyote. They’re about 15 to 30 pounds, scrawny and have triangular ears with long bushy tails with a black tip at the end of it. They can look a little like dogs—a cross between a fox and German shepherd, for instance.

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