Can a German Shepherd Kill a Coyote: Fighting Off the Biggest Threat

Can a German Shepherd Kill a Coyote

German Shepherds and coyotes are members of the Canidae family. These canines have a close resemblance in their physical features and are slightly similar in their behaviors.

German shepherds are among the top popular dog breeds with high protective instincts and strong jaws. And their guarding instincts are no match. When it comes to the coyote, he is no lightweight. This canine is medium-sized with wolf-like features; its stamina and agility make it one of the top predators in the ecosystem.

So, what would happen when these two canines who stay in different backgrounds collide? Who will be the champ? And can a German shepherd kill a coyote, or will the coyote charge and attack a German shepherd?

Let’s dive in to learn more.

Can A German Shepherd Kill A Coyote?

A German shepherd can kill a coyote, and vice versa is true; a coyote can attack and kill a German shepherd. As you can see, we don’t have a definitive answer to this question. The reason being, some factors will determine who will become the champion when both the German shepherd and a coyote clash.

Here are the factors that will determine whether a German shepherd dog will kill a coyote.

Age Of Each Animal

A German shepherd in his prime will kill a young coyote with ease. Such a coyote will find it hard to fight and kill a fully grown German shepherd. Also, a fully grown coyote can attack and kill a puppy German shepherd.

Size Of Both Animals

Coyotes can, at times, become bigger than GSD’s; however, it’s rare. When a coyote collides with a small-sized GSD, he can become the winner when a fight ensues.

What Is The Experience Of Each Animal?

When these two canines are a match when it comes to size and age, the next factor determining who becomes the winner is the experience.

Comparatively, a coyote has much experience when it comes to fighting. At this point, the coyote has learned the art of protecting his territory with his life, unlike the GSD.

At this point, your GSD may become overpowered due to the zeal and experience found in the coyote.

The Number

How many coyotes is your German shepherd’s dog attacking? If it is a single coyote, then your German shepherd has a chance to kill a coyote. However, tables will be turned In case your German shepherd is fighting a pack of coyotes. Even though coyotes walk in pairs, sometimes they may work in packs when they want to overpower a much larger prey. If your GSD comes across them, the only thing we can hope is that your dog has the speed and agility to outrun them. Unless otherwise, he may get a beating he will never forget.

The Drive

Sometimes it’s the drive to determine who becomes victorious when a German shepherd and a coyote clash. If the coyote is so hungry, and your GSD is the only way through, he may decide to risk all he has to get food. The GSD may find it hard to kill this motivated opponent.

Also, if the GSD is coming near a den of coyotes with puppies, then the motherly nature of the coyote will not let him back down when it comes to protecting her lineage. Thus, such a coyote may be hard to kill when attacked by a German shepherd.

German Shepherd Vs Coyotes

In this section, we shall reveal the differences and similarities between these two species. We shall discuss each animal’s height, weight, speed, stamina, and bite strength.

Can A German Shepherd Beat A Coyote

German Shepherd

The German shepherd is an agile, intelligent, and hardworking canine who has been roaming in man’s backyard for the last 100 years. This dog was originally a herding dog—herding flocks of sheep in Germany.

With some modification by one cavalry captain, this dog has become a popular dog breed in the police and military department. Other people have adopted this dog in their homes as more of a companion and a guard dog.

Would A German Shepherd Kill A Coyote

The Coyote

Also known as prairie wolf. The coyote, a wild animal, is a medium-sized canine with wolf-like features. This canine is much smaller than a GSD.

Coyotes are scavengers, and if need be, they can also hunt for their food, which they do more so at night. Additionally, this canine is predominant in the USA, where its prime habitat is in the fields, plains, and grass yards, where it feeds on small animals and birds. The coyote is also a vocal canine who uses yipes, barks, growls, and howls to communicate.

Last, the geographic location of a coyote determines its coat colors. For example, coyotes living in highlands tend to have dark gray coat shade, whereas coyotes living in the desert have a brighter coat.

How do you tell the difference between a coyote, a wolf, or a dog? Look at the tail, especially when running. A coyote will run with his tail down. A wolf runs with the tail straight, whereas a dog runs with its tail up.

Comparing a German shepherd and a coyote –


A German shepherd stands between 21-24 inches – whereas a coyote’s height is 32-37 inches, head to the body, and tail is 15 inches.

When threatened, coyotes will not be intimidated by a German shepherd’s height. A coyote will tend to buff and huff for it to appear bigger than usual. Such a survival tactic is more important to scare away its threat.


When it comes to weight, coyotes are not heftier than German shepherds. Coyotes weigh between 20-50 pounds, whereas German shepherds have a weight advantage, having an average weight of 50-90 pounds. When both of them clash, the German shepherd may overpower and kill a coyote.


Even though German Shepherds are superior in terms of overall size, the coyotes overpower them when it comes to speed. A coyote can run at a speed of 40 mph, whereas a GSD trails behind with a speed of 30 mph. When a German shepherd comes charging, the coyote will outrun him with ease. Besides their top speed, coyotes are cheeky animals who tend to dart side to side to tire and frustrate any animal chasing it.

Also, if a pack of coyotes chases your GSD, he may not outrun these top speed stars.

Territorial Nature

A German shepherd can attack a coyote who is trespassing his compound. As a protective animal, the GSD will do all in his power to protect what is his.

However, coyotes also don’t love interlopers. These coyotes hate trespassers, and if your GSD happens to be in their kingdom, they may attack or even kill your shepherd dog.

If nothing seems to separate these two heavyweights, then the bite force will.

Bite Force

Who has the strongest bite force between a German shepherd and a coyote? It is the German shepherd. The coyote has a bite force of 153psi, whereas a German shepherd has a bite force of 238 psi. Such power is enough to break your bones and still tear up a coyote’s muscles and bones with ease. Such shows the shepherd dog has a considerable advantage over the coyote.

When in a fight, and the German shepherd happens to have a good grip of a bite on a coyote, it’s either the coyote comes out dead or with his muscles shredded. Such is the sheer power of the bite force of the German shepherd.


As a scavenger, the coyote is a wild animal with exceptional stamina compared to a German shepherd. Such a canine has learned the art of going long miles while searching for food and mates. And during all these treks, the coyote will come across lots of derailing hurdlers that sharpen his stamina.

When a tame shepherd attacks a coyote, the stamina of whichever canine will determine who bows out first in this fight, and often a coyote may have the strongest stamina withstanding all the battering. However, that doesn’t mean we should undermine a German shepherd’s stamina if he’s a trained working line dog.

Will A Coyote Attack A German Shepherd

What Size Of Dog Will Coyotes Attack And Kill.

There are very many stories of coyotes attacking small dogs like Yorkies, beagles, and poodles. Such dogs with small physiques make them inferior when attacked by coyotes.

Which Other Dogs Can Attack And Kill A Coyote

If you live in an area infested with many coyotes, then we have compiled a list of some no-nonsense dogs who can attack and kill a coyote with ease.

The Kangal Shepherd

Also known as Turkish Kangal, the Kangal is a top dog breed that can attack and kill a coyote. Also, it’s an excellent protection dog.

Did you know the Kangal shepherd has the strongest bite force? This dog’s bite force is 743 psi.

Cane Corso

Another addition to our list of dogs who can attack and kill a coyote is the cane Corso. According to AKC, the Cane Corso is an intelligent, affectionate, but majestic working dog breed.

Tosa Inu

The Tosa is a dog of Japanese origin. This dog is fearless and aggressive towards intruders. And fighting a coyote will be an easy task.

Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino, also known as Argentinian Mastiff, is a dog breed originally bred in Argentina. Breeders breed this dog for big game hunting.

This dog has a masculine body that gives it much power when fighting with any other dog or a coyote.


The sarplaninac is a protective, devoted, and stubborn dog breed that can ward off any intruders with ease.

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

Also known as Great Pyrenees, the Pyrenean mountain dog is a thick-coated dog breed with a masculine physique originally bred to chase away wolves and other predators from stealing sheep in the snowy Pyrenees Mountains. However, at home, these dogs are great family pets.

Will A Coyote Attack a German shepherd?

Coyotes can attack a German shepherd for a host of reasons. One, if the coyote feels threatened, secondly, when searching for food, and lastly, during the mating season.

Worth noting, high incidences of coyote attacks on German shepherds occur in February—unknowingly to many people, February is the mating season for coyotes. So, such attacks on GSDs occur when coyotes on heat roam everywhere, even in human domains searching for mates.

Another season that coyote attacks on German shepherds increase is from April to August. During such a season, Coyotes wander a lot while in search of food for their newborn puppies.

Nevertheless, with us human beings encroaching habitats of the coyotes, be sure coyote attacks on dogs, more so on our German shepherds, will never end.

And such gives us a big obligation to ensure our dogs are well protected from coyote attacks. In the below section, you will learn how you can keep your German shepherd safe from coyote attacks.

How Do You Protect Your German Shepherd From Coyotes?

If you want fewer german shepherd coyote fight encounters, here are ways to do that.

  • Always keep your yard clean – clean all areas where a coyote may hide and attack your playful German shepherd. Thus, ensure there are no overgrown bushes.
  • Build a fence around your yard. Protecting your yard with a fence is the best alternative. And an 8 feet fence is the best alternative to keep coyotes away.
  • While at that, you can use coyote fence rollers- that makes sure a coyote cannot climb over a fence
  • Don’t feed coyotes in your area. The more you entertain coyotes near your area by feeding them, the more they will come in close contact with your dog now and then.

Why Are Coyotes Dangerous To Any Dog?

Coyotes can cause serious injuries to your shepherd dog. They have sharp teeth that can tear your dog’s skin. Besides this danger comes another big one. Wild coyotes carry rabies and may be fatal if they bite your dog. Furthermore, coyotes are core spreaders of zoonotic diseases.

Is It A Good Thing To Hunt Coyotes?

Coyotes are a part of the ecosystem. They help control the population of such small animals. If all coyotes are eliminated, there may be an imbalance in the general ecosystem. Thus, don’t practice coyote hunting for recreation purposes.

Can A German Shepherd Beat A Wolf?

Wolves are more aggressive and dangerous members of the Canidae family. With its big size and masculine nature, a grown-up wolf may overpower and kill a German shepherd.

What Would Be The Possible Result Of Crossbreeding A German Shepherd Dog With A Coyote?

Coyotes and German shepherds can crossbreed; however, such occurs through accidental mating. The shepherd coyote cross is known as a coydog. And such a shepherd coyote cross can have varying temperaments and personalities.

To learn more, here is a coyote German shepherd mix article.

Final Thoughts

I hope we have answered your main question – can a German shepherd kill a coyote? As you can see, there is no definitive answer, as we have quite many variables that will determine the aftermath. If a puppy German shepherd attacks a healthy adult coyote, the odds will be against him. And still on that, if a young inexperienced coyote attacks a German shepherd, luck will not be on her side.

So, what are your thoughts on this topic?

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