Coyote Tails Guide: From Bushy Charm to Black Tips

The coyote is a member of the canine family which mainly reside in the North American continent. It shows partial resemblance with many other animals like foxes, dogs, and wolves. Some of these animals, also mate and produce hybrid-type animals like coydog, coywolfs, etc. However, the tail of the coyote is one prominent feature that helps in the differentiation between coyotes and these other animals. In this article, we are going to discuss the coyote tails in detail and let you know what kind of tails the coyotes actually have.

Coyote tails: do coyotes have bushy tails
A coyote wandering on a farm road with its tail visible.

What do coyote tails look like?

Coyote has a very soft and tanned type tail which is almost 16 inches in length. The tail of the coyote comes with fantastic fur along with stiff but long guard hairs. The color of the thick fur of the coyote is a mixture of many colors like gray, tan, cream, black and brown. It is being widely utilized for crafting and decorating.

You can use it for the decoration of purses, bags, hats, collars, keychains, motorcycles, etc. Nowadays, it has become a prominent material for saltwater flies. The overall color of the coyote comes in the range of silver gray to reddish or black in color but the coyote’s black tip tail always remains the same.  

Do coyotes have bushy tails?

Yes, the coyote has a bushy tail along with pointed ears and a slender muzzle which shows its close resemblance with a collie or German shepherd. The bushy tail comes with good hair length. It makes it perfect for larger flies like closures and shrimp patterns of mantis. The multi-color fur of the coyote makes it perfect for the mottled bottom.

Comparison of the coyote tail with the tail of other animals

Let’s have a brief look at the comparison between the coyote tail and the tail of other animals.

Fox tails vs coyote tails

There are two main types of foxes. Let’s compare the tail of the coyote with the tails of both of these foxes.

Coyote Tail Vs Red Fox Tail

The overall size of the red fox from head to toe is 18 to 35 inches plus the tail length of 12 to 22 inches. The red fox is highly dispersed and could be found anywhere around the world. Common features of the red foxes are orange-red hair fur along with a white-tipped tail. You can easily identify the prominent red fox markings on their body. The white-tipped tail of the red fox is long enough that it can easily dangle on the ground. That’s why it is easily noticeable from a distance. If we compare the tail of the red fox with the coyote’s tail then can say that the tail of the red fox is longer than the bushier tail of the coyote despite the small size of the red fox.

Coyote tail vs gray fox tail

The gray fox is overall 20 to 30 inches plus a 10 to 16 inches long tail. It has been declared the longest-living canine and weighs around 10 pounds. It shows a lot of resemblance with cats due to their similar size. Like a red fox, it is also very prominent due to its long tail. The tail of the gray fox is almost half the size of its overall body. The fur of the fox is grey in color but the tip of the tail is always black in color. Gray fox also has a bushy tail but it is smaller in size as compared to the size of the coyote.

Coyote tail vs wolf tail

Closeup of a wolf in the wild
Wolf tails are longer but not much longer compared to their bodies.

Wolf is much bigger in size as compared to the size of the coyote. The overall body length of the wolf is almost 65 inches along with 22 inches long tail. The color of the wolf varies from light gray to black. The color of the tail is grey plus black color tipped at the end. The wolf is very much known for its long bushy tail. If we look at the tail of the fox, then we can it is very long and half the size of its overall body and it is also bushy at the same time.

If we look at the tail of the coyote then a coyote with a skinny tail is the same as a dog and also not very lengthy in proportionate to the size of their body. If we look at the tail of the wolf, then we can say it is bushy, well-furred, bottle-brushed, and straight. The tail of the wolf is also not long enough compared to the size of its overall body.

What makes coyote tail fur so awesome?

Coyote tail is very elegant and awesome due to several reasons like its extraordinary durability, variety of natural colors, and thin stiff texture. These things produce life like flies.

What is the difference between the coyote fur and the coyote tail?

There is a difference in terms of their texture, color, and length. The bushy coyote tail is a mixture of many colors like brown, gray, tan, and black. The hairs of the tail are also quite long and fine. On the other hand, coyote fur has very short but soft hair. The color of the fur varies between cream, gray and black. The color of the coyote’s tail also varies between the coyote of one region with the coyote of another region.

How do coyotes react with the help of their tail?

Coyotes lift their tails when aggressive
When aggressive, coyote lift its tail and it becomes more bushy.

Coyotes show different reactions with the help of their tail under different circumstances. Generally, coyote wag, dip, and stand their tail to show their attitude. If the coyote is aggressive, then it will hold its tail horizontally in the air, and it also becomes bushier than under normal circumstances. Coyotes also leave some scent in their glands to show their reactions. The scent gland of the coyote releases a special aroma while the supra caudal gland or violet gland releases musky oil.

Sometimes coyotes rub their tails with trees, rocks, or anything another hard thing. By doing this, they actually give a message to other creatures around them. Similarly, the violent glands of the coyote also release some special musky oil for the sake of communication. You can also witness this type of gland scent in other animals like dogs. In fact, wolves and foxes release very potent scents for the sake of markings.

Frequently asked questions

No, coyotes don’t have a white-tipped tail. It might exist in the hybrid of the coyote but never exist in the pure coyote wild animal.

Yes, coyotes come with a very long tail of almost 16 inches in length. It has a bushy tail with a mixture of many colors at the bottom like gray, tan, brown, etc. The tip of the coyote’s tail is always black. Coyotes also show a resemblance with dogs from the face but the long and fluffy tail helps in the differentiation between dogs and coyotes.


In this article, we have explained in detail the coyote tail. We have also compared the tail of coyotes with other animals like foxes, dogs, bobcats, etc. Moreover, the length of the coyote’s tail as well as other features like the color of the tail was also explained very well. I hope it will clear all your confusion about the coyote tail in your mind.

Izzy foxx on a vet tour in africa

Izzy Foxx

Izzy is an experienced ranch worker who has a passion for exploring nature and getting up close to wildlife. With her connections to various animal organizations, Izzy is well-versed in animal care and rehabilitation.

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