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.
IT’S SPRING & COYOTES ARE RAISING THEIR CUBS
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.
COYOTES ARE EVERYWHERE IN THE BAY AREA
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.
YELL & SCREAM
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.
KEEP DOGS ON-LEASH
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.
COYOTES ARE COMMON
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