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Do Coyotes Bark Like Dogs? What Do Coyotes Sound Like?

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

cayote howling

Native to North America, coyotes are part of the canine family. Their closest cousin is the wolf. The coyote’s scientific name is Canis latrans, which translates to “singing dog” or “barking dog,” because coyotes can vocalize in 11 different ways! So, do coyotes bark like dogs?

The short answer is yes, coyotes can bark like dogs, although they typically do so at night, and they usually only bark to communicate, not because they are bored, which is one reason that domesticated dogs might bark. Here is all that you need to know about barking coyotes and the other noises that they make.

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Why Do Coyotes Bark?

Coyotes bark just like dogs do. Their vocalizations may vary, but they don’t use any special skills to make their barking noises. Both dogs and coyotes bark to communicate. The coyote’s reasons for barking are typically different than the reasons that a dog might bark in domestic life, however. Domestic dogs like to bark:

  • To protect their property
  • To show their excitement
  • To get attention
  • Due to fear or anxiety
  • Out of boredom

On the other hand, coyotes may bark:

  • To establish territory
  • To find pack members in the wild
  • To defend a kill that they want to eat later
  • To defend a pack’s den
  • Due to agitation
  • To alert pack members of danger

While both dogs and coyotes may bark to protect their home bases, each type of animal has many different reasons for barking to communicate. It can be tough to figure out why a coyote or a dog might be barking. Body language and environmental conditions can provide a clue, but you have to be close enough to see such variances.

What Does a Coyote Barking Sound Like?

Much of the coyote’s bark sounds like that of a dog. However, a little yipping and howling can be mixed in to customize the communication taking place. Here are a few examples of what a coyote sounds like while barking:

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What Other Sounds Do Coyotes Make?

Coyotes make several different sounds aside from barking. All sounds are made to communicate and they all mean different things. For example, you will likely hear a coyote howl if they want to tell other pack members exactly where they are. A pack of coyotes howling sounds like this:

Sometimes, coyotes yowl, yip, and yelp to establish their territory, warn other coyote packs nearby, and gather pack members to create a safe and defensive place to sleep for the night. Here is what that might sound like:

Coyotes tend to communicate using multiple types of sounds and vocalizations at any given time. Therefore, they likely won’t just bark or yelp randomly. Instead, there will be a mixture of barking, yelping, yipping, and howling. However, one specific type of communication may be more prominent than the others. To the human ear, most of a coyote’s communication is melodic, if not haunting.

Should Coyote Noises Be Concerning?

Coyote noises like barking, howling, yipping, and yelping can be scary, especially when you hear multiple coyotes communicating in unison. However, there is no real danger to worry about when you hear coyotes communicating unless they are physically threatening you or your pet while outdoors. Most of the time, you will hear coyotes communicating at night when it is dark and humans and pets are safely inside.

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A Quick Recap

Coyotes are fascinating animals that communicate in several different ways. They do bark like dogs, which is fun to hear. However, when all the other sounds of the coyote come into play, you can really hear the difference between our domesticated dog companions and coyotes in the wild.

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Featured Image Credit: Warren Metcalf, Shutterstock

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Authored by

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens. She is an artist at heart and loves...Read more

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