Can a Labrador Retriever Kill a Coyote? 6 Ways to Protect Your Dog From Coyotes

Coyotes are dangerous and their attacks are common in many parts of the country. This makes many dog owners wary of them, and rightly so, coyotes can indeed be a danger on your dog.

So, Can a Labrador Retriever Kill a Coyote? A Labrador Retriever can kill a Coyote if they are forced to, such as in the case of the coyote attacking a family member. However, While Labradors are strong enough to kill a coyote, they are too good-natured to do it unless absolutely forced to.

Let me give you another piece of information; your Labrador retriever shouldn’t, at any point, be forced to face off against a coyote if you have the option to face it. Why? Let’s take a minute to dig deeper.

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Labrador VS Coyote

When it comes to Coyotes, you should really know what you are up against before moving into an area where you know they are common. Coyotes are predators, but they are also jerks and they have some evil tactics and advantages that you need to know.

A Labrador will not offer you the best protection against a coyote, instead, you should get a Pit bull or a Mastiff.

Can A Coyote Attack a Labrador?

It’s unlikely for a Coyote to attack a Labrador as Labradors are large dogs and Coyotes consider large dogs as threats. A Coyote may only attack a Labrador if the Coyote is in a large group and it thinks the group can take on the dog. Coyotes will almost always run away once they see Labs.

A coyote to illustra whether can a labrador retriever kill a coyote

While we may think of Labrador Retrievers are gentle giants, Coyotes don’t know how gentle they are. Labradors can get quite big, bigger than most coyotes, and so Coyotes will see them as threats.

Coyotes are much more likely to attack smaller dogs, and it happens all the time. There are countless videos on YouTube showing the same thing happening, and it’s often at night.

This is no coincidence; Coyotes roam off at night looking for food, and since humans are taking over their natural habitat, they will often wonder in backyards looking for food.

While they prefer chicken and rabbits, it’s becoming increasingly harder for Coyotes to find chicken that is easy to snatch. However, when they find your small dog roaming in the backyard at night or sleeping in their house even, they know they can take it on, so they mark it as dinner and go for it.

Why Coyotes Are Dangerous on Labradors

Coyotes are dangerous on Labradors because they are wild animals and they are used to fighting and brawling on a daily basis as their survival depends on it, while your dog is domesticated and has much less experience fighting.

Coyotes need to hunt for survival, if they can’t catch food, they are going to starve, but this isn’t the case with dogs. Dogs have been domesticated thousands of years ago, and they now depend on us for food and shelter.

This means your dog is not well equipped for a fight with a wild animal like a Coyote, and while Labradors may have the physical strength to take on the Coyotes, they don’t have the fighting tactics to take them on.

Coyotes also live in packs, and it’s not uncommon to find them attacking in groups. In fact, Coyotes are known for gathering around a prey and surrounding it before attacking it from where it’s not paying attention.

Coyotes also know how to identify the weak members of the herd and separating it.

They are also very fast and nimble, which makes them dangerous on large dogs who are slower and heavier. Coyotes can take on larger opponents using their speed and maneuvers easily.

In Short: Coyotes are dangerous on your Labrador because they are faster, nimbler, more used to attacks and brawls, know how to take a larger opponent, and often hunt in packs.

You should also check if Golden retriever can kill a coyote here.

Are Coyotes faster than Labradors?

Coyotes are much faster than Labradors. An Adult Coyote can run with speeds up to 35-42 mph (56-69 kph) while an adult Labrador can only run for speeds up to 20-30 mph (32-48 kph).

Their superior speed is why they are so successful in “snatching” prey and running away.

An Example of an Encounter between a Labrador and a Coyote

An Imaginary example between a Labrador and a Coyote would probably look like this:

  1. The coyote will wander into your backyard
  2. The Coyote will spot your dog
  3. They will stop or move very slowly and sneakily on the dog
  4. At this point, the Coyote is testing the dog, to see if it will run or attack. The Coyote doesn’t want to attack your dog, just spook it so the Coyote can steal some food and run away
  5. The Dog will either run away by this point or turn to face the Coyote and start showing signs of aggression (growling and showing teeth)
  6. The Coyote will either run away or at the exact moment your dog barks
  7. If the Coyote doesn’t run at the barking, they will definitely run when you come out carrying a weapon and pointing it to the Coyote. This can even be a pitchfork or a stick.

In a confrontation between a coyote and a Labrador, it is very likely to end in the Coyote running away.

However, in some cases, the Coyote will not run away. This is very likely to happen when you’re near a forest.

In this case, the Coyote will probably try to provoke the dog into chasing it.


Always intervene to stop your dog from chasing the coyote. If the coyote is provoking your dog into chasing it, it’s luring the dog into an ambush where the remainder of his pack are waiting to kill the dog.

Always step in to show your dog that you’ve got this and that you are the one handling things not them. If your dog runs after the coyote, they may get harmed seriously or not come back at all.

What to Do if a Coyote Attacks Your Labrador Retriever?

If you spot a Coyote getting ready to attack your dog, you should try to scare them away. Coyotes will run away if you seem like a serious threat.

You should stay calm, don’t panic, they may not be able to smell fear, but they can definitely see it.

  1. Stand up and straighten your back, make yourself as big as possible
  2. Yell. Loud noises scare Coyotes.
  3. Use a flashlight or even your phone’s flash to scare the Coyote Away
  4. Grab something big, preferably metallic.
  5. Try to stand in front of your dog, showing the dog that you’ve got this.
  6. Try to back up your dog slowly.
  7. Never run, running away will provoke them to attack.

Of course, if you have a firearm at the house, one shot in the air will do the trick.

What to do if your dog is injured?

If your dog is injured in a Coyote attack, you should rush the dog to the vet. Make sure to wear gloves while carrying your dog and handling them to protect against rabies. Don’t try to address the dog’s wounds at home as you may do more harm than good.

If your dog is in pain from his wounds, it’s also likely that they may bite you if you cause them further pain by pressing on their wounds. You have to understand that they are in pain and not get mad or angry. Focus on getting them to the vet where they can handle the situation much better than you.

How to Protect Your Dog from Coyotes?

As we spread out even more in the world, we will always be in the reach of wild animals (as these areas used to be their homes). You should still consider this; you are living on their land, and you need to learn to coexist with them.

Here are 5 ways you can protect your dog against Coyotes.

  1. Get a really good fence for your yard
  2. Don’t let your dog sleep outside (even with the fence)
  3. Make sure your yards are well-lit
  4. Never leave out food or garbage outside your home
  5. Always keep your dog on leash while on walks.

Some notes to consider: Coyotes are really good at getting around fences. They can always find a way to make the fence a non-issue, so don’t relax just because you’ve got a really high fence.

Remember that Coyotes are very smart and if there’s food or prey inside, they will use their brains to find a way to the food or prey.

If you live in an area where Coyotes are likely to be around, always use non-retractable leashes with your dog. Labrador retrievers are big, strong dogs, and you don’t want them breaking away before you can lock the leash.

Related Questions

When are coyotes most dangerous?

Coyotes are most dangerous during the mating season and that’s around February, but they are also dangerous during the months of April to August. During these months, Coyotes give birth to their puppies and start to hunt more actively to bring food to their newborns.

What dog can kill a coyote?

Bulldogs and Pit bulls can kill a Coyote more easily than other dogs if they catch the Coyote. However, most other large dog breeds are strong enough to fight off Coyotes if they have to.

Could a Pit bull Kill a Coyote?

Pit bulls can kill coyotes if they are in a one-to-one fight. However, this fight is very unlikely to happen. If such fight takes place, the pit bull may indeed kill the Coyote but they will suffer some serious injuries that may be fatal to the dog on the short or long run.


Coyote Behavior – Coyote Behavior: Implications for Management – Philip N. LehnerWildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006)Vol. 4, No. 3 (Autumn, 1976), pp. 120-126


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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