Can You Own A Pet Coyote? Is It Legally Allowed?

Can you own a pet coyote?

You’ve probably wondered if you could own a pet coyote, especially if you like wolf-like animals.

It’s not news that people like having wild animals as pets. It’s usually termed exotic animals or pets. However, one question remains in everybody’s mind, is it safe?

In this blog post, we’ll be talking about coyotes as pets. Even though it sounds dangerous, people do keep coyotes as pets. But how easy and safe is it?

Well, let’s dive into what it takes to get your very own coyote. This will include dangers, safety, legal issues, and whether it is even a good idea or not.

Coyote As A Wild Animal

pet coyote walking
Coyote walking through the woods

The coyote naturally belongs to the wild. However, over time, they’ve been able to live and reproduce in metropolitan cities.

This exotic animal tends to shy away and avoid human contact. Although, when threatened, they respond with aggression.

Can You Have A Coyote As A Pet?

Getting a coyote as a pet is legal in many states in the US. However, in some other states, you’d need some sort of permit. I’ll shed more light on this later.

There’s a host of things to consider when it comes to taming a coyote and we’ll talk about that in a bit. If you’re curious to know if anybody has actually done it before, then read this.

One of the lasting questions remains; can you tame a wild animal such as the coyote?

Can You Tame A Coyote?

Pet coyote playing with a cat

The first thing I’d say is coyotes aren’t dogs. Therefore you shouldn’t expect to deal with an animal with social genes.

Coyotes have been known for their wild and aggressive behavior. Their instincts are purely wild partly due to their genes and partly due to the environment.

Compared to dogs, they aren’t interested in social bonding and can’t be depended on. Coyotes do not really care about their master’s impression of them, their wild instinct pushes them to do what they like.

They are always on the alert and will make a less desirable pet, especially for a first-timer.

Peculiar Characteristics Of A Coyote

face of a coyote
Facial features of the coyote

On appearance, they have a white undercoat overlaid by brown fur on top. Its muzzle is long and narrow with a triangular ear on its head.

Its eyes are yellow, accompanied by a blue nose. The coyote has a bushy but long tail which is what differentiates it from wolves and dogs.

Being vocal is one of the quirks of a coyote. Its vocalization includes howling, yipping, barking, growling, etc.

A coyote howling might signify many things depending on the tone and frequency. It can be to let others know its position or warn them of danger.

Coyotes are known to be tactful, sneaky, intelligent, adventurous, and problem-solving. However, they also possess wild instincts and aggression.

Things To Look Out For

Many people, especially first-timers might think the coyote has the same characteristics as the dog. That’s not true.

While they have similarities in their genetic makeup, their personality and behavior are quite different. The coyote isn’t as docile and obedient as the dog.

So when looking to get one, don’t get your hopes up. You probably will not be getting a well tamed and obedient pet. Just keep that in mind.

Coyotes have been known to escape when kept in a confined place or kill other pets for food. Alternatively, they can drag the carcass of dead animals into your house.

This animal will not show companionship as the domesticated dog does. The coyote sort of lives in its own world without a care for its owner.

Baby Coyote Vs Adult Coyote

baby coyote
Coyote pups

If you’ve not gotten anything so far, you already know that coyotes are sort of wild and aggressive to humans. So how do people keep them as pets?

Well, the answer is a baby coyote. Yep, you heard right. Training a coyote from puppyhood makes it more receptive to command and human interaction. You wouldn’t still compare it to a dog but it’ll be better than training a grown coyote.

With a coyote pup, you get more results from your efforts, and successful training chances are higher. However, keep in mind that a coyote is a wild animal by nature, so wild instinct might never go away.

Can Coyotes Be Domesticated?

The truth is that training a coyote pup is not all that different from dogs. Although you have to consider their different personalities.

This would include teaching them to obey commands, potty training, fun games, etc. And it’s important to incorporate positive reinforcement.

The caveat here is that the probability of reaching through to a coyote is much lower than a dog. So I’d say you shouldn’t get your hopes up when it comes to training a coyote. At best you will have to accept its wildness.

Putting them on-chain or in a confined space isn’t a good idea. This makes a coyote go crazy and wants to escape.

Pet Coyote Breeders

Getting a coyote pup isn’t all that hard. There are several agencies or shelters all over the country that offer exotic pets.

You just have to do your research before committing to getting a baby coyote. Some of such agencies include Frazier farm exotics, exotic animals for sale, etc.

State Laws Concerning Pet Coyotes

coyote walking on bare land
Coyote walking on bare land

Several states in America have different laws when it comes to exotic animals like the coyote. Some states permit you to own a coyote but with a license, some have vague laws concerning it, while others completely ban it.

States like Texas and Florida will allow you to keep a coyote but with a permit or license. You have to be over 18 years and show you have experience with the animal.

Whenever the coyote dies or gives birth, you’re obligated to notify the appropriate authority within a specified amount of time. And in many cases, the coyote has to be kept at least 1000 feet from residential areas besides your house.

Ohio, Oregon, and Tennessee don’t really have a clear-cut law concerning the coyote. They are either lumped in with others as wolves or exotic animals.

In Kentucky, it is illegal to own a coyote. Even if you have a coyote in another state, you can’t bring it into Kentucky. It’s completely illegal.

Risks/Dangers Of Having Coyote As Pet

What do you think are the dangers of having a pet coyote? Well, there are quite a few.

The one you already know is their wildness and aggressiveness. Usually, they are wary and careful of humans, up to the point of even avoiding contact. However, they can attack humans when they feel threatened.

Coyotes are much more unpredictable than dogs and can easily find the weakness of their prey, be it humans or other animals.

Another notable risk that pops up about owning a coyote is disease transmission. They can transmit quite many diseases to humans and even other domestic pets around.

Some of these diseases include rabies and tularemia. Infecting other domestic animals with diseases such as rabies will make them aggressive to their owners.

Highlight Of Important Facts

  • Coyotes are wild in nature but can be tamed to an extent.
  • They are similar to dogs in genetics and appearance but different in personality and behaviour.
  • The best time to get a coyote pet is when it’s still a puppy.
  • Don’t expect the coyote to be receptive to training like a dog.
  • Different states in the US have different laws concerning coyote ownership.
  • There are agencies or shelters that breed coyote pups for sale.


Many people like having exotic animals as pets, especially in the US. The coyote is of interest to many people. However, training has been a thing of controversy.

Many professionals advise against it because of the tendency of the coyote to be aggressive towards you. And that’ll end in a disaster.

Other professionals argue that it can be done. They agree that a coyote can be tamed if training starts from puppyhood.

Whatever the case might be, it doesn’t take away the wild nature of this exotic animal. And that is something to be wary of.

Personally, I wouldn’t advise getting a coyote. There are so many breeds of dogs to get as pets if you need one. So why risk it?

However the decision is yours to make, so make an informed one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do coyotes eat humans?

Human attacks by coyotes are on the increase. Even though the injuries caused by these animals are not deep enough to cause a threat to life.

What is the lifespan of a coyote?

A coyote lives anywhere from 10 to 14 years.

How is coyote different from dogs?

Coyotes are sleeker than dogs and have a more pointed muzzle with a flatter head. Dogs have a deeper chest, with their elbows above their sternal line, unlike coyotes.

Can a coyote impregnate a dog?

It is possible. A male coyote can impregnate a large domestic dog in heat if there are no female coyotes around. This is possible because of the similarity in the genetic makeup of coyotes and dogs. The crossbreed between a coyote and a dog is called a coydog.

What time of the year are coyotes most active?

During coyote mating season, which is around January to March, they are seen more frequently. They are also nocturnal animals, so you see them more at night.