Wild Coyote Shows His Playful Side As He Plays With An Old Dog Toy He Found In The Snow

Coyotes look very much like dogs. While they differ in their behaviors, they also have a couple of similarities. For one, they are both pretty playful animals. 


These animals are often regarded as being clever because of how adaptive they are. They lived in the desert before, but now you’ll find them in forests, mountains, as well as roaming commercial cities in their numbers. [1]

These members of the Canidae family share similar traits with other members of the family including dogs, wolves, foxes, and jackals. Heck, people who don’t know about them might even mistake them for dogs or wolves. [2]

Dogs vs. coyotes 

These close relatives have regular encounters in the city due to the increased number of coyotes around. They are certainly different animals but they share more than just appearances. 

While dogs are versatile creatures used for hunting, herding, security, and most often as pets, coyotes are a bit more attuned to the wild. Also, while dogs are generally friendly, coyotes are a bit more aggressive and might attack, but only when provoked. [3]

How playful are Coyotes? 

A team of researchers attempted to determine the level of playfulness of dogs and coyotes using YouTube videos. They analyzed 35 clips of wild coyotes and dogs in unplanned interactions. Of all the videos, four showed the coyotes behave in a predatory manner towards the dogs while nine showed them behave playfully.

At the end of the study, they found members of both species behave playfully towards members of their species as well as other species. 

Coyotes as pets 

Coyotes aren’t naturally adapted to being pets. They are wild animals with wild instincts. However, they are pretty cool-headed, only attacking when threatened. They try to stay out of humans’ paths, for instance, they have adapted to be more nocturnal even when they are pretty active in the daytime. Humans are more dangerous to coyotes than coyotes are to them.

According to historian Dan Flores in his book Coyotes America, “Roughly once every minute… someone somewhere is ending the life of a coyote.” [4]

While it is not advisable to use them as pets, it isn’t impossible. They do, however, need to be kept outside in the back as they need a lot of space. If they’re kept in a confined space, they will most likely become destructive. 

To domesticate them, it would be a great idea to begin training them from a very young age when they are still malleable. [5]

While it is possible to keep them as pets, perhaps you should steer clear of them to avoid conflicts between them, your neighbors, and other pets. 

Playful coyote was seen with a dog toy

A coyote was pictured with an old blue dog toy in a rural area of Trenton Falls, New York. Coyotes have lived near humans there for a long time, running around during the day, and howling at night. 

However, on that day, Pamela Underhill Karaz — a photographer living in a 48-acre field in the area — captured a truly fascinating image. She recounted the tale of how the coyote saw the toy which must have been left out by one of her dogs and took a liking to it. 

Our driveway is a quarter-mile long and lined with 45-year-old balsam trees. Being a photographer, I’m always on the lookout for wildlife activity. I spotted the coyote while having our morning coffee.” she said. 

According to her, the coyote “looked around, checked out and sniffed some tracks in our yard and when he was further along he noticed the toy. He made his way over to it, sniffed around it where our dog had rolled, sniffed the toy, picked it up, dropped it, sniffed it again.” 

The incident got her interest piqued so she kept on watching. “Then that’s when the magic happened. [He] picked it up then proceeded to toss it up in the air and play with it, just like a dog would toss a toy around. It lasted perhaps five to 10 minutes, from picking up the toy, tossing it in the air, picking it up again and almost bucking around with it… then he just casually trotted off with it,” she continued. [6]

According to Pamela, the incident serves as a reminder that all animals, wild or domestic, still have personalities and feelings. She also believes they are quite similar to humans. [7]

The pictures Pamela took are lovely

The correct against the snow-white background and then the bright blue toy made for very stunning images. 

Finally, Pamela described the experience as “truly one of my most memorable wildlife experiences.” 

For all the stereotypes about coyotes by people who see them as little more than wild, rusty creatures, they have a whole other side of them that appear to be quiet pure.


  1. Coyote.” National Geographic. Editor. Accessed March 2, 2020.
  2. Coyotes Facts.” Live Science. Alina Bradford. September 26, 2017.
  3. Difference Between Dogs and Coyotes. Difference Between. Editor. Accessed March 2, 2020.
  4. The misunderstood coyote.Humane Society. Nancy Lawson. December 17, 2018 .
  5. DO COYOTES MAKE GOOD PETS?” Wildlife Removal USA. Editor. Accessed March 2, 2020.
  6. Coyote finds old dog toy, acts like a puppy.” MNN. Jaymi Heimbuch. March 6, 2015.
  7. Wild Coyote Finds A Toy And Proves That Wild Animals Are As Playful As Pets.Bored Panda. Viktorija Gabulaitė. Accessed March 2, 2020.
Stacy Robertson
Writer and researcher
Stacy Robertson is a writer and researcher with a B.A and an M.A in English Studies, and a strong will to literally touch all areas of life. Stacy has authored several articles on a range of different.