If you’re looking for a pet dog to add to your family, it can be very difficult to settle on which individual to bring home. This is especially true when you think about the great variety of dog breeds there are in the world.
Now, it might be a bit daunting to get a hybrid for a pet. In fact, anyone would understand if you’re skeptical about it. However, there are some hybrid animals that are domesticated and are perfectly safe and legal to have in the house.
One such example of this is a cross between man’s best friend and another canine that is very much still considered a wild animal - a coyote. As proof of its potential cuteness, this domesticated hybrid comes along with an adorable nickname - it’s called the coydog.
What is a Coydog?
If you’re confused by the name ‘coydog,’ you shouldn’t be. While some of these dogs can be quite shy and may seem coy, that’s not all that they are. ‘Coydog’ is the name given to an animal that is, as mentioned above, the product of breeding a dog with a coyote.
True coydogs are limited to those with one coyote parent and one dog parent. These can be quite rare to obtain, as coyotes have quite a limited breeding season. Things get even more complicated when you factor in the fact that coyotes typically mate before domestic dogs do.
This breed may also be called the dogote, which may or may not cause less confusion than coydog.
Because of the difference in breeding times and the coyote’s dislike of dogs in general, coydogs have been and still are quite rare. However, it has been found that people have tried to create this hybrid as far back as the 20th Century.
In fact, the Teotihuacan people have a tendency to breed coydogs. Because of the reverence they held towards the coyote species in general, they produced both coyote and dog mixes as well as coyote-wolf hybrids. By doing so, a much more resilient animal was produced.
If you’re looking to procure a coydog for a pet, it’s critical that you are aware of its general temperament. Another thing that makes rearing coydogs difficult is the fact that their personalities can vary greatly between individuals.
This is true even when comparing puppies that come from the same litter. Coyotes, unlike dogs, are canines that aren’t pack-oriented. This trait can extend to their mixed offspring as well. That being said, these dogs are not that easily straight-forward or completely predictable.
This is especially true because the term ‘coydog’ can refer to a dog descended from a coyote and any breed of dog. As such, their behavior can vary because of their dog parent as well.
In general, young coydogs are not like the energetic, effervescent puppies we all wish to cuddle and play with. In fact, they are far from being the playful and outgoing puppies of other dog breeds that you might be used to.
In fact, when they are still young, these coydog pups should be socialized well with the humans and any other pets that it is supposed to live with. This is so that your coydog won’t view its housemates as a threat or something similar to that.
Overall, though, coydogs are headstrong animals that won’t be as cooperative as many other dog breeds. It is definitely not the ideal choice for a person who has never owned a dog before. Moreover, these dogs require a lot of attention and care from their owners as well.
Optimally, they should not be placed in a home with more than one pet. However, once it is socialized properly, the coydog can be a loyal and steadfast pet for you. Thanks to its wild coyote parent, coydogs are very unique when compared to other breeds.
Rather than snarling when threatened, a coydog may instead gape like a coyote. Much like a cat, it can also create a hissing sound. Recognizing your coydog’s voice is also an easier endeavor, as they make sounds that can be described as a cross between a howl and a high-pitched bark.
As mentioned, coydogs can have very different temperaments. They could be shy, or sweet and gentle, or anxious and overly fearful. They can be territorial creatures that can go from hiding away shyly from strangers, to aggressively defending themselves and their domain.
Because of the fact that the dog parent can be of any breed at all, coydogs can look very different from each other. Thanks to the genetics involved, many of the physical traits manifesting in a coydog can be very different indeed.
A lot of it depends on how much genetic material the coydog has inherited from its coyote parent. The dog breed its other parent belongs to will also affect how the dog will look as well. However, you can always expect to see several similar traits in all coydogs.
This includes a thick and bushy downward-bent tail, a sable coat color, dark neonatal coat color and a face mask that’s white in color like in coyotes. They also tend to have long triangular ears and a piercing gaze.
Size and Build
Regardless of its dog parent, coydogs generally look quite athletic. Typically, coydogs have a rectangular body and can come in a medium to large build. Moreover, a coydog may range from 22 to 27 inches in terms of height and most of them will weigh in around 60 to 120 lbs.
Just like its temperament and physical build, these dogs will have different kinds of coats based on the level of coyote in the puppy and what breed of dog it is descended from. However, the general rule is that coydogs don’t come in very many colors.
Their faces resemble coyotes and can be described as looking like Husky markings too. That said, coydogs often have a medium double coat. Moreover, their topcoats are typically waterproof, while their undercoats are usually thick.
Grooming Coydogs is not too different from grooming other dogs of similar sizes and hair types. These dogs do not require daily maintenance, although you can check them frequently or even daily so that they will get used to being handled for this purpose.
All you have to do is brush their mid- or long-length coat whenever you see fit. Remember to trim their nails when they start to get a little too long - about once a month - and check for signs of redness, skin irritation, or eruptions.
The best way to keep your Coydogs comfortable during grooming sessions is by familiarizing them with the process starting from when they were puppies.
Where possible, do expend a large living space for your Coydog so that it can exercise. With a tendency to wander around and use their energy as much as they can, it is better to keep Coydogs in rural homes with a backyard or some land, rather than keeping them locked up in an apartment.
Having a backyard with a garden would be the best choice for these dogs, since they have a habit of sleeping in big holes that they dig around. If you stay in apartments or other smaller areas, be sure that you provide them with enough exercise regimes.
Possible Health Problems
Coydogs are generally quite hardy, so there are little health issues that you need to worry about. However, the dog parent’s pedigree can affect your Coydog’s susceptibility to certain health problems, making it crucial for you to know which other breed your Coydog is born from.
That said, these are some health issues that Coydogs are more susceptible to having:
This condition manifests as an abnormal development of the hip socket, which if severe, can cause your Coydog to be crippled, lame, or pained from the affected joints’ arthritis.
To explain, this condition mainly arises from how a femur bone is incorrectly fitted into the pelvic socket, causing the femur head to fit loosely or partially.
To add on, the femur head - otherwise known as the caput - should be rounded to fit into the pelvic sockets, but in this case, you will find that the caput is misshapen. This will cause your Coydog to have additional friction and increased wear and tear when moving with that joint.
Signs of Hip Dysplasia
This condition will further lead to an inflammation of the joint if not noticed early, causing pain in your Coydog’s movements. The more it moves, the more it will hurt for your dog. Hence, the limping actions that you might notice when your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia.
In fact, this is one of the primary symptoms of hip dysplasia. While having this condition is not the same as having hip arthritis, it can certainly lead to it if left untreated in the long run.
Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia refers to the abnormal development of your Coydog’s elbow joints. This could stem from abnormal growth and development of cells, tissues, or bones in this area and can cause your canine’s elbow to appear malformed or worse, degenerate.
Your Coydog might not show much symptoms if it is affected while young, but the condition can affect an elderly dog very quickly and suddenly once it has settled into the advanced stages.
Signs of Elbow Dysplasia:
As you might expect, elbow dysplasia will be terribly painful for your dog and in some cases, may cause their forelimbs to be lame. One of the best signs for you to watch out for in regards to elbow dysplasia is how your Coydog might hold the affected limb away from its body.
Further inspection could lead you to notice some built up fluids in this affected joint, along with a narrower motion range. In advanced degenerative stages, your Coydog might even show some bone and joint grating with its movements.
This is one of the most common conditions in dogs which is also the most difficult to manage. As the elastic joints become stiff, calcium build-ups can appear around the area, causing pain signals to be sent up to your Coydog’s brain.
As this condition worsens, its joint degeneration worsens, causing your canine friend’s movement range to decrease day by day, as it tries to limit the usage of the affected joint.
Signs of Arthritis:
You might notice your Coydog moving quite slowly as compared to before and it might appear much more careful in small movements such as lying down and getting up. You won’t quite be able to notice your Coydog being in pain and it might not limp as much as you expect from canine arthritis.
However, in general, count on the careful, calculated movements as indicators of this condition. Other smaller signs such as less interest in playtime, sudden weight gain, or sleeping more than usual could be small behavioral signs as well.
With their high energy levels, you will need to walk your Coydog more than some other breeds. You will need to spare about two to three hours a day to walk your pet. In fact, they enjoy their exercises a lot.
It is best if you allow your Coydog to exercise without a leash. Moreover, you will need to occupy them with activities, objects and toys that can engage with their brain, letting them think and solve problems.
Without proper exercise regimes, your Coydog could turn aggressive, or start displaying worrying destructive behavior.
Coydogs need plenty of proteins and fats in their daily meals to make up for the energy they lose. While they do thrive just fine on normal dry dog foods, Coydogs are best taken care of by feeding them with raw diets - bones and raw meat, as an example.
You will need to feed your Coydog about two or three times a day and ensure that there are large bones accessible to it throughout its day, along with water supply.
You might immediately notice that coydogs are extremely intelligent and thus, can learn quickly. However, since their coyote parts can be a little wild and independent at most times, expect them to be a little hard to train.
You will need to be firm when training them, but refrain from being harsh in correcting them at the same time. Ideally, you need to introduce them to short training sessions from when they are puppies, so that they will get used to this activity.
The training sessions should take between 5 to 10 minutes each time and not more than that. This is so that your Coydog does not get bored of these sessions.
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