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Canid vs. Canid: Using Social Media to Understand Coyote-Dog Encounters

Released: 2015
Citation:
Kazanjian, A, E Abelson, EE Boydston, DT Blumstein. 2015. Canid vs. Canid: Using Social Media to Understand Coyote-Dog Encounters. 2015 UCLA Undergraduate Science Research Symposium, Los Angeles, CA. 12 May 2015.

Introduction
• Wild coyotes (Canis latrans) are often perceived by the public to be aggressors in encounters with domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris).
• Prior research does not address interspecies interactions between wild coyotes and domestic dogs.
• Using YouTube videos, we characterize encounters between coyotes and domestic dogs.
• We explore if these encounters support public perception of coyotes being aggressive and the role that human intervention plays.

Methods
• Using search terms relating to coyotes and dogs, we found 1,060 YouTube videos, 46 of which had a coyote-dog encounter.
• We categorized canid behavior for each video.
• Each canid from each encounter was determined to be aggressive or nonaggressive.
• A dog was considered aggressive if it caused injury, bit and/or snarled at the coyote.
• A coyote was considered aggressive if it caused injury, bit and/or snarled at the dog.
 
Conclusions
• Most encounters between dogs and coyotes were non-aggressive (59%).
• When there was aggression exhibited by both animals, dogs were as aggressive as coyotes.
• Human verbal intervention that is encouraging may have an influence on a dog’s aggression or nonaggression when encountering a coyote.
• In the 46 videos, there were no instances of coyotes injuring or killing dogs, but several instances of dogs injuring or killing coyotes. This may be due to people’s bias when filming and posting videos online.
• These data suggest that a variety of interactions among the two canids exist.

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