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No, Fergus, a coyote is not a dog.


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My wife takes Fergus out to our nearby park (Stern Grove, San Francisco, CA) around dawn everyday. Fergus plays fetch in the empty tennis court and gets to do his morning constitution. The tennis court is fully enclosed by a 20 foot high cyclone fence and latched "doors".

This AM, 2 coyotes engaged Fergus in a fence chasing session, all 3 running back and forth along the cyclone fence. Fergus doing his best to chase them off by charging the fence, doing the Cairn Shriek and generally making a racket.  Diana got Fergus on his lead and made herself "Big" as they suggest, but the coyotes weren't impressed.

They eventually sauntered off to find easier prey. This was a reminder that coyotes are common in a lot of urban settings and have the potential to make your dog into a happy meal.  Glad that Fergus was in an enclosure, but had he been exposed, even while leashed, I hope he would not have been so bold.  He's barked at few dogs while leashed, in the open, but not like this morning's display.


The Cairn fearlessness seems to be a definite liability.   Wise up, Fergus!



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29 minutes ago, Moto-Rama said:

Cairn fearlessness seems to be a definite liability.   Wise up, Fergus!

Cairns do seem to have an outsized ambition that can be at times ill-advised.  I've been briefly followed by a coyote on a morning walk (fortunately no dog) in our suburban neighborhood that borders a park, wherein coyotes apparently  live, based on the occasional racket. Quite a few posts on Nextdoor reporting cats who have met their last coyote.

Do take care Fergus!

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We have seen coyotes around for years but this morning was the first time I can recall ever having them be so assertive. In fact , they usually seem to be more likely to mind their own business.  

I usually carry a stun gun if I'm walking around late at night,  but they require close contact to be of any use, whether it's for man or beast. I suppose zapping a coyote to save a dog wouldn't be all that easy, but if they're on top of me, giving them a blast is better than giving them my 20lbs of overconfident dog.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have coyotes around, along with fox, but I have never seen one close up (thank goodness). I can't imagine one following me on a walk!! We don't have a fenced in yard, so Atticus is always on a leash. I'm sure he would try to engage one if they were in our yard.

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Cairns seem to have no concept of mortal danger.

At about 9 mos. Fergus charged the 100lb German Shepherd that lives across from us. One whif of that dog still sends him into a Tasmanian Tantrum. I don't get it. 99% of dogs are just fine. But there are 2 or 3 around that trigger something in him.  He was well socialized growing up, and played with other dogs, people,  but as he's matured he's less likely to see other animals or people as friends. 

I have this theory that the great increase in the dog population around here has made him somewhat defensive. 


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oh dear! That is so scary. Many years ago with my first Cairn, Banjo...off leash at a big mud flat off of Boundary Bay in SW Bristish Columbia. Been there many times. Banjo spotted a coyote and the chase was on. I was having a breakdown actually thinking I might loose my dog. He came back..coyote took off. We were so fortunate. Banjo lived a good long life with many adventures. My beautiful boy dog.

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I live in wild open country. When I moved here my neighbors warned me small animals like my cairn  and a JRT I had were potential lunch for coyotes.  Never leave outside unwatched even in a fenced yard which we do not use much up here anyway. The yard is a trap.

However out in the woods and fields no problem. Rarely seen. Coyotes keep to themselves hunting rabbits etc. 

I'm inclined to think urban areas and/ or other crowded spaces stress an animal that needs space. Foxes and racoons seem to adapt just fine. Larger animals not so much.



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  • 2 weeks later...

We have enough Bichon, King Charles and tasty French bulldogs around to keep the wildlife fed.

Cairns seem like a really inconvenient meal,.those teeth.

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