What’s the difference between coyotes and wolves?

They look similar, so what is the difference?


There are many differences between the wolf and coyote including their image, hunting traditions and behaviour. Sometimes coyotes are referred to as barking dogs and belong to the dog family, whereas wolves are seen as much larger, stronger and the most dangerous creature of the two. Wolves hunt in packs, while coyotes hunt primarily in pairs. Red wolves are the variety most similar to coyotes, as they’re smaller and more dog-looking than other wolf species. Unlike a wolf, coyotes have thick, bushy tails, which sit low to the ground. Wolves generally have grey, black or white fur and are bigger in size to the coyotes. The legs of a coyote are much thinner than those of a wolf, resulting in a much smaller frame. Another difference is the way both of the species communicate with other members of the pack, wolves howl to speak with one another, while coyotes bark in a much higher pitch than the wolves.


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Photograph: Dennis Matheson