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Wow! Was that REALLY a coyote chasing my dog?!

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 at 6:39 am in Coyote attacks, coyotes.

Marin Headlands, March9, 2008
Yes it was, and there’s no need to panic. They’ve been around here for hundreds of years.

There’s been a bit of a flap in the Dublin area since last Thursday when a woman who was out walking her dog OFF LEASH in east Dublin reported the dog was chased by a coyote.

That doesn’t surprise me in the least. It’s spring and local coyotes are busy raising their cubs right now. There are coyote dens (aka holes in the ground) all around the area. When a human comes walking by with his or her dog OFF LEASH near one of these dens … one of the coyote parents usually dashes out to warn the dog to stay away from its family.

That’s what was going on when the lady saw the coyote chasing her dog. And yes, if the coyote had caught her dog it would have chewed it up pretty good. Coyotes have this thing about finding dogs wandering around OFF LEASH on their turf.

The same thing happens every spring in the Shell Ridge area of Walnut Creek (near John Muir Hospital) and on Lime Ridge in the Concord/Walnut Creek area. There have been coyote dens in these areas for years, and every spring I get LOTS of e-mails from people who’d been out on walks with their dogs OFF LEASH and had coyotes come dashing out to confront them.

If this happens to you, immediately put your dog BACK on leash. That should solve the problem. The coyote should stand back at a distance, watching you and your dog as you walk away. Sometimes it will follow at a distance to make sure you are leaving the area.

If the coyote gets caught up in the chase after your dog and comes too close … yell and scream at the coyote. Take off your jacket/sweater and wave it around your head to frighten the coyote, or just wave your arms. If that doesn’t work, throw sticks and stones at the coyote. That should do it.

I would NOT walk my dog OFF LEASH in open space areas for at least the next month. This will give the coyotes time to finish raising their cubs. HOWEVER, whenever you see coyotes in a particular area while you’re walking your dog … ALWAYS keep your dog ON leash in that area.

The police sergeant who was quoted in the Times’ story about the Dublin coyote said it was the first time he had heard of a report of a coyote in the area. FACT: coyotes are VERY COMMON in open space areas THROUGHOUT the San Francisco Bay Area (and beyond) … and they are VERY common in the East Bay in ALL open space areas around Mount Diablo … and Dublin.

Be aware … and keep your dog ON leash when walking your dog in open spaces during coyote denning season. /Gary


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2 Responses to “Wow! Was that REALLY a coyote chasing my dog?!”

  1. Laila Says:

    Maybe this is why there is a leash law. It keeps our wild neighbors safe as well as our pets.

  2. Rita Power Says:

    I hike a lot on Lime Ridge off Ygnatio and dogs are not allowed in this open space. Are dogs allowed in Shell Ridge?? Many people dont seem aware that dogs in open space areas disturb the wildlife and that is what the open spaces are for, am I wrong in this?

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