Are Coyotes Smart? Let’s Explore How Smart Are They!

Coyotes are considered the most active and intelligent members of the Canidae family. Owing to their highly adaptable and survival skills, these animals have been able to survive in very severe environments like snowy mountains, desolate deserts, and even in very large urban areas from Panama to Alaska. Throughout the ages, these wild dogs have been declared the most devious, Wiley, sneaky, cunning, and dangerous wild animals. In this article, we are going to find out how smart are coyotes and how their smartness singles them out from other wild animals.

Are coyotes smart?

Are coyotes smart?

Yes, coyotes are very smart and cunning animals for various reasons. Let’s have a look at these factors which makes them smarter than other wild animals.


Coyotes are very good sneakers. You can analyze their sneaking capability from their prey-hunting skills. They hunt their prey in such a way that they sneak, kill and flee without being noticed or giving any sign to anyone.


Coyotes are highly adaptable animals as they have been able to survive in a variety of harsh environments like the extremely cold weather of Alaska, desolate deserts, and highly populated urban areas. These are the common habitats of the coyotes. These dogs are not only surviving in these conditions but also increasing their population.

Coyotes are considered dangerous pests in the North American continent. That’s why these animals are killed, culled, and hunted on a very large scale to keep their numbers in control. Coyotes still have a very good population. Once it was estimated that there are almost 2 million coyotes presently exist in the North American continent.

Outsmarting human beings

Coyote outsmarting human beings
Coyote and human interaction.

Coyotes are very well-known for preying on livestock. That’s why these dogs have been able to be hunted by the ranchers. Sometimes, they have also outsmarted human beings by crossing their very well-designed fences, wires, and other hurdles around their houses to keep the coyotes away from their livestock and pet animals.

Problem-solving capability

Coyotes come with remarkable problem-solving skills. If you put them under any conditions, then they will come out with creative solutions. They can utilize all their instinctive capabilities to resolve any problem or to achieve any goal. For instance, coyotes can keep the latched doors open for their owners. Coyotes are extremely intelligent in analyzing the behavior of their owners.

It has been scientifically proved that coyotes can recognize patterns and different locations in their mind where they have once gone. You can also realize their full potential by providing them with some interesting and stimulating tasks. They are quite excellent in adaptation to daily routines, practices, and activities.

If you provide the coyote’s little bit of training, these animals can unlock their full potential and solve their daily problems in a few seconds. These outstanding things make them the smartest animal alive in the wilderness.

Memory plus retention

Coyotes memory retention is good
Coyotes have a good memory.

Coyotes are also good at retaining and recalling the information they have gained in the past. For instance, they are very sensitive to smells, sounds, and other behaviors of different wild animals. They can also retain their past lessons to apply them in any future situations. However, one thing you must keep in mind is that coyotes can only learn through positive training with love and good affection. If you have been difficult on them then they would rebel and not be able to learn a single thing. Thus, the only way to harness the intelligence of the coyote is through positive training.

Social Intelligence

Coyotes are also perfect in their social interactions. They can easily interact with human beings as well as other animals. They can recognize the vocals of their owners and also communicate with them. You could also make them your loyal friend or partner by giving them some minor training same as other pet dogs. Overall, coyotes are the smartest pet you can own as they can become amazing friends with just little training and socialization.

Coyotes as tricksters

Coyotes have been assigned several names throughout the different eras of history. They have also been declared god-partner, tricksters, and many other ancient names. In this regard, there are both positive and negative associated with them. They have also been declared the Earth maker and co-creator of many other earthly things. Overall, they balance things in such a way that it creates harmony for human beings.

Are coyotes A Threat to dogs?

Coyotes can attack the dogs
Coyotes can attack the dogs, especially in the mating season.

Yes, coyotes have been a major threat to pets like dogs, cats, etc. Being wild animals, they like to prey on small mammals and also big animals like deer sometimes. The fight between coyotes and dogs usually happen over territorial dispute because both of them are territorial animals. Sometimes, they also fight to fulfill their food needs if they are facing starvation.

Coyotes are such vicious animals that they don’t even let the already killed go and eat it as soon as possible. If you think there might be any coyotes near your house, then you must be extra conscious about it and keep your pets and defenseless children inside the house without your surveillance also try to fence your house with good wire. 

Are coyotes smarter than dogs?

Yes, coyotes are the most intelligent and smart members of the canine family. The extraordinary smartness of the coyotes can be easily analyzed from their survival and adaptable skills. They are also good problem solvers in their daily life.

Are coyotes smarter than foxes?

Are coyotes smarter than foxes
Both coyotes and foxes are smart in their own ways.

Foxes are generally considered very smart mammals. They can easily outwit most of their counterparts in their daily life. Sometimes, they have also been able to outwit very large and dangerous animals like cheetahs, lions, etc. Coyotes are also the same as foxes in terms of their cunning and clever capabilities. It is difficult to compare their intelligence as both are smart in their ways and daily life.

Are coyotes smarter than human beings?

Coyotes have been competing with human beings in several ways. That’s why coyotes are being killed on a very large scale by poisoning, shooting, trapping, hunting, etc. Once it was estimated that there are 0.5 million coyotes which are killed every year in the USA. Despite being killed on a very large scale, the population of the coyote is continuously multiplying in every state of the USA.

Overall, the population range of coyotes has increased by about 40% throughout the USA since the 1950s. They have also been able to produce hybrid animals like coywolves and coydogs. Despite doing all these things, wolves but not human beings are the natural predators of the coyotes. Overall, we can say that human beings have failed in controlling the population of coyotes.

The shotgun has been proven to temporary solution only and coyotes have also been not very attractive for the trappers as the pelt of the coyote is not very expensive enough and that’s why no more in demand. Coyotes have also been challenging the fencing and wiring of human beings around their houses to keep the coyotes away from them. Overall, coyotes have proved to be quite challenging for human beings but are not smarter than human beings.

Are coyotes smarter than wolves?

Wolves are the biggest and most natural predators of the coyotes. However, coyotes have resolved this problem to some extent by mating and interbreeding with wolves. The hybrid coyote is good in size and quite difficult to handle by the wolves. Thus, we can say that coyotes are smarter than wolves as they have been able to survive their only natural predator.

YouTube video
Wolves vs Coyotes – Who is more intelligent?

Are coyotes becoming smart?

Yes, coyotes are becoming smart by evolving in various ways. Generally, it is suggested that they have been able to survive and adapt very well in a very challenging environment. But coyotes have been able to survive in such environments and weather that no other wild animals could survive easily. Most of these wild animals have miserably failed to handle these situations. Coyotes are not only very good at surviving and adaptability but also excellent in their problem-solving skills. They have been able to keep up their population size and number as compared to other animals which are continuously declining under the same conditions.

What are the most intelligent ways to deal with coyotes?

Intelligent ways to deal with coyotes
You can scare away a coyote by making noise.

You need to do certain things if you want to avoid encounters with wild coyotes as it could be dangerous for many things. Some of these things which you need to follow are given as:

  • First of all, you need to be extra careful about your pet dogs and cats. Always keep these pets under your close supervision as much as possible. The roaming pets are actually the main targets of the coyotes. Big dogs are not considered very much in danger as they could also be challenging for coyote-like animals.
  • If you leave some food sources near your bird feeders, garbage cans, and other outside keepers, then it could be attractive for the coyotes. Once the coyotes come into your area, they could keep coming back again and again as they are excellent at remembering things and locations.
  • If you witness any coyote near your residence then you must harass them by yelling, stomping feet, and clapping hands. You need to generate a lot of noise for frightening and then chase them off. Wild animals like coyotes are generally afraid of human beings and they will flee as soon as they see human beings coming toward them.
  • If you see any aggressive coyote and you cannot handle it on your own, then you must call 911 and get immediate assistance.


We have tried our best to answer this cliché question that how smart are coyotes. We have covered all the aspects of coyote smartness in the best possible way. The intelligence and smartness of the coyotes have also been compared with other wild animals like wolves, foxes, and dogs. In some aspects, coyotes have also outsmarted human beings. We have also highlighted these things to clear your concept about the smartness of the coyotes.

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