Can a German Shepherd Kill a Coyote

Can a German Shepherd Kill a Coyote?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

German Shepherd Dogs in adulthood possess a massive body and stronger bite force, which makes them capable of killing coyotes if they're properly trained. The guarding instinct of a GSD will drive him to fight and defend his territory in the event of an intruder such as a coyote.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can a German Shepherd Kill a Coyote?“.

It is true that a German Shepherd can kill a coyote but several factors determine their success. There are several factors to consider including:

Can a German Shepherd Kill a Coyote


When fighting a coyote the age of the German Shepherd can have a significant impact on the outcome.

There is a higher chance that a German Shepherd will kill a young coyote when it squares off against a full-grown male German Shepherd.

Male German Shepherds are typically larger than male coyotes. Hence it would not be able to compete with a young coyote.

However if a young German Shepherd decides to fight a full-grown coyote the coyote might end up killing it. 


In the wild coyotes have gained a great deal of experience.

Families food and territories are all protected by them. As a result they are accustomed to survival. On the other hand dogs have little reason to defend their possessions. 

An altercation between a German Shepherd and a coyote is usually ended by the German Shepherd running to safety. 

The temperament of the German Shepherd also plays a role in this.

It is not uncommon for aggressive Shepherds to fight until the coyote is dead. Those who do not like the way things are going will flee early in the fight.

The fight may last for a considerable amount of time if a German Shepherd keeps fighting.

Which Dog Breed Can Kill a Coyote?

In addition to being a nuisance coyotes can also pose a threat to your home and family.

It is not uncommon for coyotes to kill livestock and pets and they pose a threat to children as well. 

The dogs listed below are perfect for protecting livestock your house and your family from coyotes.

There are some dog breeds that are strong enough to fight off even wolves.

The Šarplaninac 

Originating in the Balkans the arplaninac breed is a Bosnian breed of dog.

Strong large reliable fierce and protective this is an excellent breed for guarding livestock. 

The Illyrian Shepherd dog is also known as the Illyrian Shepherd dog. 

A member of the Arplaninac breed would have almost no problem fending off a coyote.

Despite their size this dog breed is able to defeat wolves.  

In addition to being calm and devoted the arplaninac is also protective of its owner. They are dangerous to wolves and coyotes because of their strong instincts.

These dogs can also be stubborn and independent making them difficult to train.

The Kangal

They are also called Turk Kangals since they are originally Turkish.

Additionally this breed of dog makes an excellent guard dog for livestock. Kangals are intelligent and powerful enough to fight and kill coyotes and other predators. 

In Turkey this breed of dog is quite popular because of its calm and self-controlled nature.

There is still a strong protective instinct in the Kangal making it an excellent guard dog. 

As well as being independent and smart the Kangal is sometimes stubborn as well. 

The Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentinos may not be as large as Kangals or Arplaninacs but they have solid builds.

Despite their dangerous nature and strong instincts coyotes are capable of fighting and even killing them. 

Dogo Argentinos were originally used as hunting dogs in Argentina. Dogo Argentinos were bred to be fast strong and protective.

In order to protect their owners and homes these dogs fear nothing and will jump in at the first sign of danger. 

The Tosa Inu

Originally bred for fighting the Tosa Inu is a large dog from Japan.

In the face of predators such as coyotes this dog has no problem-fighting. 

It is natural for the Tosa Inu to be suspicious and fearless. Also it is aggressive and identifies a coyote as a threat within a short period of time. 

There is a lot of work involved in training a Tosa Inu. They are not allowed in some countries for some reason.

The chances of a coyote surviving a fight against a Tosa Inu are slim.

The Alabai

Often called the Central Asian Shepherd dog the Alabai is a breed of dog native to Central Asia.

In the past the Alabai was used by livestock guards to keep them safe from predators.

In addition to its size strength and protective instincts it makes a great guard dog due to its size strength and protective instincts.

There is no fear in the Central Asian Shepherd Dog. 

There is no hesitation on the part of Alabai when it comes to protecting its home and its owners. Any coyote should avoid them because of this. 

The Mastiff

With its affectionate personality the Mastiff is regarded as a gentle giant among English dogs.

It is also a good family dog because of this personality.

Mastiffs can also be very protective of their owners making them excellent guard dogs. 

Mastiffs are strong and will not back down from a fight despite their calm appearance.

It is likely that the mastiff will win a fight against a coyote. 

The Pit Bull

Although the American Pit Bull Terrier has a reputation for being aggressive it is a very affectionate breed.

Because of their clownish personalities they are obedient and intelligent dogs. 

There is no denying the strength and fierceness of the Pit Bull. It has been reported that Pit Bulls have gotten into fights with dangerous and large animals in order to protect their owners.

The Pit Bull is capable of fighting and even killing coyotes if they feel threatened by their owners.

The Komondor

Hungarian sheepdogs also known as Komondors have cute appearances and personalities.

The mop dog earned its name because of its long white corded coat. 

Komondors used to guard livestock in the past. Dogs have become popular as family pets in recent years. 

In addition to being courageous and loyal the Komondor is protective as well. In order to protect your family and home they can fend off and kill coyotes and other predators. 

The Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees dogs are also known as Pyrenean Mountain dogs. 

It is often referred to as the gentle giant of dogs due to its patience gentle nature and affection.

There is no fear in the Great Pyrenees because it is a strong intelligent dog. There is a very strong sense of loyalty confidence and protection in this breed. 

If the Great Pyrenees and a coyote get into a fight the coyote will probably run away before the fight begins as it may not survive.

The Cane Corso

Due to its reserved nature trainability and even temper the Cane Corso is one of the best working dogs. The Cane Corso is a calm reliable and stable dog.

They were originally bred for guarding properties and they were excellent at it. 

A Cane Corso that fights with a coyote may cause the coyote severe injuries or even death. 

What Dogs Are Coyotes Afraid Of?

Food is the main reason why coyotes invade their homes.

It is possible to scare them off by keeping a guard dog. Guard dogs are the most effective way to scare off coyotes especially if they are big mean dogs. 

Coyotes can be scared off by large breed dogs like Akitas Rottweilers Kangals Mastiffs German Shepherds or any other large breed dog.

It is important to be cautious of coyotes as they carry diseases like rabies.

Dogs should be kept away from them as much as possible. The last thing you would want is for your dog to get infected by them.

There is no doubt that a pack of determined coyotes will take down any large dog if they choose to. 

You should keep your dog safe if there are a lot of them. You can scare the coyotes off by using safer methods.

During a hike with your German Shepherd you are out in the woods. Suddenly your dog pulls you towards the shrubs almost tripping you. When he starts barking you know its not how he would react with a squirrel or rabbit. When you lean in you see that it is a coyote. Although its pretty certain that your GSD will put itself between you and the coyote in case of an attack its best to stay safe and avoid confrontation. Maybe you have wondered: Can a German Shepherd kill a coyote?

When trained to kill a coyote an adult German Shepherd Dog can kill it with its larger body build and stronger bite force. Because of their guarding instincts GSDs will fight and defend their territory against coyotes deemed to be intruders.

Even though coyotes rarely attack people they are becoming more common in urban areas when they are wild animals. Our goal in this article is to provide you with some information about coyotes so that you can determine if your GSD is capable of defending you against them if things get out of hand.

German Shepherd vs coyote

German Shepherds are generally taller and heavier than coyotes but there are few females. German Shepherds weigh between 50 and 90 pounds and can reach heights of 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

In a chase German Shepherds will undoubtedly be outrun by coyotes due to their body build. However the bite force of a GSD is stronger than that of an average coyote which is similar to the bite force of a medium-sized dog.

German ShepherdsCoyotes
Weight50-90 lbs.20-50 lbs.
Height22–26 inches20-24 inches 
Speed30 mph30-40 mph
Bite force238 psi150-200 psi

It has a bite force of up to 238 psi which can break bones and cause serious physical injuries. There is a possibility of death in extreme cases.

In a one-to-one confrontation your German Shepherd will probably pose a threat to a coyote due to its strength and bite force. 

Where do coyotes appear?

North America is the main habitat of coyotes. It is possible to find them in plains forests mountains deserts and even parks in the country. Depending on their habitat coyotes can behave differently in rural and urban areas.

In todays world coyotes are often spotted in backyards especially when livestock like chickens or goats are nearby – which could make for a tasty meal for them.

What time of the day and the year do coyotes appear?

There are times during the day and nights when coyotes come out. Dawn and dusk however are prime times for them to be active. If you want to walk your dog during these times avoid them.

Throughout the year coyotes can be seen. In spring and summer when they feed their cubs most actively you will see them every season. 

During their mating season you will see more coyotes roaming about looking for partners in late winter to early spring.

What do coyotes eat?

It can eat almost anything thanks to its adaptability. It is possible for them to change their diet based on the availability of food in their local area.

Their diet includes insects snakes fruit grass and carrion. As well as rabbits rodents fish frogs and even deer they can hunt rabbits rodents fish and frogs. 

Will coyotes attack humans?

A wild coyote is naturally wary of humans and will usually run and hide when it sees them (unless it feels threatened in which case it will attack). 

As they get used to living with humans in urban areas they become less and less fearful and even aggressive. 

Coyotes can be quite dangerous when they band together to form packs especially for children. The majority of the time they are alone so encounters of this nature are rare.

Will coyotes attack dogs?

Dogs are usually attacked by coyotes because they are smaller than they are. In real-life situations lapdogs like Chihuahuas and Yorkies are more likely to be attacked by coyotes than German Shepherds. 

Since large dogs could make coyotes nervous they would not attack unless they gang up in groups of more than three. 

Heres a video showing a German shepherd saving a chihuahua from a coyote:

When will German Shepherds attack?

A German Shepherds aggression toward other animals or humans is typically caused by fear like that of most dogs. Every dog is different even the same dog can respond differently in different situations.

In many cases fear is caused by a lack of proper socialization past negative experiences physical abuse from previous owners and an inability to follow commands.

It is natural for a dog to attack out of instinct when faced with a life-or-death situation such as a confrontation with a coyote. 

Will a German Shepherd attack a coyote?

It is likely that your German Shepherd will scare off a solitary coyote before it approaches your dog if he is not trained to attack. 

Therefore any fully grown German Shepherd will likely cause it to flee.

Nevertheless coyotes are cunning creatures who have lived in the wild their entire lives so they understand the strength of a GSD will be a threat to them. In pack sizes of three or more their hunting and luring skills may spark a chasing game with your German Shepherd.

It is likely that this mixed breed GSD is exhibiting its basic instinct to attack coyotes on sight despite not being a purebred GSD. 

Every dog is different even within the same breed. A GSD that behaves that way does not necessarily mean all GSDs will do the same. As an owner you are the only one who can accurately predict how your dog will react. 

Can a German Shepherd kill a coyote?

The bite force of an adult German Shepherd Dog is 238 psi which can break the bones of a coyote and kill it. An intruding coyote will be fought and defended by a GSD based on their guarding instinct – no training is required.

It is a fact that a large German Shepherd can easily take down a coyote with its strength assuming the story is true.

To keep your furry friend safe in a park when walking your dog here are a few tips: 

  • Off-leash play is never a good idea for your dog.
  • Walking through densely forested areas or abandoned properties is not recommended.
  • You should walk your dog on park trails with other people.
  • When you’re walking during dust or dawn try to stick to daylight hours as much as possible.
  • Make sure your dog is always within your sight.

Final Thoughts

In general coyotes are not dangerous to people or large dogs such as German Shepherds but they can be dangerous to children and small animals. 

Its important to remember that every dog reacts differently to coyotes in different circumstances even if they are the same breed. 

Further questions

What should I do if I see a coyote near my home or on my property?

  • By shouting and gesturing aggressively you can encourage the coyote to keep moving.
  • Either your yard or the yard of your neighbor probably has a food source.

How to stop a coyote from coming into your yard?

  • Feeding your pets outdoors should be avoided.
  • It is important to store garbage recycling and organic materials properly.
  • Ensure that dense brush and weeds are removed in order to reduce hiding places.

Will my German Shepherd protect me without training?

Dog breeds like German Shepherds are known for their loyalty and protective nature. In case of a threat they will instinctively protect their owners as they consider them to be part of their pack. 

It is their natural behavior to protect not a skill they have learned. Because of this you can rest assured that your German Shepherd will be protective of you and your family even without training.

There are many reasons why German Shepherds are so popular around the world including their invaluable quality.

When will my German Shepherd start being protective of me?

During the first six to twelve months of your GSDs life his or her behavior will begin to change. Seeing someone from a distance may cause them to growl or bark.

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