Coyotes and dogs both belong to the same canine family. They have different characteristics but have certain similar features. The scientific name for coyotes is ‘Canis latrans’ while domesticated dogs are called ‘Canis lupis familiaris.’ Their appearance too is quite similar.
Coyotes are slimmer than dogs, they have a pointed muzzle, flatter foreheads and a bushy tail. However, the breed that appears closest to a coyote is the German shepherd. Dogs are domesticated while coyotes live out in the open.
A coyote may seem taller than a dog, but if examined closely, the elbow joints in dogs are higher than the underline of the chest. Whereas a coyote’s elbow is lower than its line of the sternum, making it appear as though a coyote has longer legs.
They mainly feed on smaller animals like rabbits, shrews, voles, mice, birds, insects, berries and skunks. While dogs have a separate, well-defined diet.
Moving in stride, a coyote’s front and hind paws land in the same position.
Coyotes are normally higher-pitched, their howls are shorter rising and falling in pitch. In between their howls, they also yip, yap and bark.
Just like dogs, they are also known to have a strong sense of smell and a sharp vision. Coyotes can run upto 40 miles an hour. During the winter season, they form packs for better hunting results.
In the spring, female coyotes den and give birth to a litter of three to twelve puppies. Both parents feed and protect them until the upcoming fall when they can hunt on their own.