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Bowwow Haus

Co-existing with Coyotes

So, it happened. We saw our first coyote of the season this morning - while hiking on our usual trails at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in North Vancouver.

Here are some tips from the Stanley Park Ecology Society on keeping you and your doggie safe:

If a coyote approaches, appear as large and threatening as possible. Make aggressive gestures (moving arms and legs), shout in a low voice, and throw rocks, sticks or objects. Never run or turn away; coyotes, like most canids, like to chase moving objects. Coyotes are naturally timid animals and will flee when confronted with aggression.

"Coyotes sometimes prey upon small dogs. Small dogs have even been taken directly off the leash. You can ensure your pet's safety by supervising it at all times when outside. Allow your dog off-leash only in enclosed areas. If you encounter a coyote while walking your dog, gather your dog in your arms. If this is not possible, keep it on a short leash as you move toward an area with increased activity. Shout, wave your arms, or throw objects at the coyote.

Large dogs rarely come into conflict with coyotes. Incidents generally occur during the late winter and early spring when coyotes mate and are more territorial. Do not let your dog to play or interact with coyotes.

Some other precautionary measures that can be taken include:

* Keep a whistle handy while walking your dog. The whistle may not scare the coyote directly (coyotes hear the same sirens, car alarms, and horns as we do), but it will alert other pedestrians in the area of your need for help.
* Walk your dog in areas of high pedestrian traffic such as busy streets, jogging and park trails. Walk during times of increased activity such as during daylight hours, around schools at arrival, dismissal, break or lunch periods, along transit routes as the work day begins or ends, and around parks when sporting events (e.g. soccer practice) are being held.
* Walk your dog with friends and family.
* Avoid walking along abandoned properties or densely vegetated areas.
* Make sure your dog is ahead of you and within sight at all times while walking.
* Any dog that is off leash should have an immediate recall response to eliminate potential conflict with coyotes, dogs, and people."



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