Living with Coyotes on Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet

This week on Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet: When Coyotes Attack, wildlife becomes a challenge for several pet owners, including Dr. Oakley’s family. Living in the Yukon means finding ways to live with wild animals, even the predators that are in your own backyard. This isn’t just a challenge for those who live in remote areas, however. Coyotes are one of the most common predators that may attack pets. And coyotes are found in cities as well as in remote areas.

The Versatile Coyote

The coyote is a member of the genus Canis along with jackals, the gray wolf, the red wolf, and domestic dogs. While coyotes once lived only in prairies and deserts of the western United States and in Mexico, they can now be found across North America. They are an incredibly adaptable species and have been able to extend their range, especially around human habitation.

Coyotes have a varied palate and can survive on a wide variety of food. Mice, voles, rabbits, lizards, fruits, berries, and even insects are acceptable food. Coyotes, when hunting in packs, will also hunt and kill lambs, calves, or other livestock, as well as pets. They aren’t just equal opportunity eaters either; the coyote can adjust its breeding habits and social dynamics in order to survive in a wide variety of habitats.

Coyotes weigh between 20 and 50 pounds (9 to 23 kg). Their keen vision and strong sense of smell makes they formidable hunters. They can also run up to 40 miles (64 kilometers) an hour. In the fall and winter, they form packs for more effective hunting. Biologists believe that the coyote population might be at an all-time high. So it’s important to take steps to protect pets from coyotes if you live in their habitat.

Coyote Precautions

While coyotes can be dangerous and troublesome to domestic animals, they are simply trying to survive as well. Wild animals are opportunists, so if you live in coyote habitat the first precaution should be to remove any potential food from your yard. Don’t leave food outside for pets and make sure your trashcan lids are secure and that coyotes do not have access to them. If coyotes do not have a reason to enter your yard, they may be less likely to wander in and tussle with your pets.

If you know there are coyotes in your area, keep your cats inside. Coyotes are known for predating on housecats and a cat has very little chance against a pack. If you have small dogs, be sure to supervise them when they are outside, especially at night. Make sure all your animals are secure. As Portia’s owner discovered on Dr. Oakley, coyotes will bait a dog, bowing and pretending to want to play, while its packmates remain hidden, waiting to attack.

Securing your yard from coyotes is an excellent idea if you live in an area where coyotes are common. An 8-foot-fence made of material that coyotes can’t climb is best.

Dr. Oakley understands that making peace with predators is a part of living in the wilderness. Unlike in the suburbs and cities, it isn’t always possible to protect the family pets. Nothing brings this home more than finding the family goat, Kate, in critical condition with wounds from a coyote attack. Every day in the Yukon offers new challenges, but also offers triumphs and new life.

Tune to Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet: When Coyotes Attack this Saturday November 15 at 9PM et/pt.





  1. Ernest Lucca
    New York
    November 15, 2014, 10:06 pm

    Very disappointed that you were not able to save the life of your pet goat from the coyote attack. I did not think there was enough knowledge applied to saving the goat with the injuries sustained. More medical training is needed to improve the quality of your practice.

  2. Floyd Williams
    In the woods of East Tx.
    November 16, 2014, 1:12 am

    If you are going to have any kind of livestock a livestock Guardian dog is one of the best ways to prevent heartache and attack on your animals. Coyotes are a big problem like they stated here in the article even in the city they survive and attack. I kept my horses on five acres in a well developed city in So East Texas . At 9:30 AM on Sunday morning as I was going to church as i drive by the pasture a coyote had my horse corned trying to nip at his heals. Several dogs and cats had been lost in this area . Since they coyotes were Iiving in the city we were able o capture some and move them but some had to be destroyed. They kept attacking dogs in he area and also had no significant area to live in.
    When I retired and moved to the woods, I started raising Purebred Nubian Milk Goats I was able to obtain two Pyranese females. They were awesome for taking care of my goats.When the coyotes would start yapping in the evening hours the two girs would head out towards them. I never saw them actually kill coyotes but they brought back several for leg ,rib and hip areas bones. My Uncle was who lived a quarter mile from me while squirrel hunting was surrounded by a pack of 7 coyotes he thought they were after his dog ,we learned later another man had been surrounded while in he same area.. This was about 9 mths before I moved into the area . Pyranese are very good with humans and dogs. They also will do well guarding chickens. Just raise them with what u want them to guard . I bought mine when I knew I would have baby goats to raise them with. They grew up with my goats and Iived in. He pasture with them.
    Coyotes are dangerous and unless you want heartache find a guardian dog to watch your animals when you are not home. My goats were on 40 acres of pasture mixed with wooded areas but also surrounded by thousands of acres. I never lost a goat to predators. These girls did an awesome job caring for them.

  3. Mary Hill
    November 16, 2014, 3:12 pm

    Dr. Oakley episode about her goat attacked by coyotes
    was heart wrenching, but I don’t think it should have been
    aired. The goat was suffering with invasive wounds and
    should have been euthanized. Everyone would like to
    save an animal, but this was over the top. Will not be watching in the future.

  4. C.Costa
    November 19, 2014, 8:56 pm

    That was such as sad episode…it wasn’t entertainment, it was heartache.. So sorry for the loss of Kaite the Goat.

  5. d reed
    November 21, 2014, 8:23 pm

    A pet should’ve been more protected. Should not have been so accessible to coyotes. When the goat was free, someone should’ve been with it. Dr. Oakley even said they’d been seeing coyote footprints on her property. Very disappointed that she and the family left the goat unprotected. I watched the full program the night this aired, thinking the reason they were showing it, that it was maybe going to end happily. May not watch the show anymore.

  6. Roberta
    November 22, 2014, 11:11 pm

    Totally agree with d reed.

  7. robin
    November 30, 2014, 8:00 pm

    Don’t you all think your being a little hard on dr Oakley!
    She did her best for her own pet, don’t be so judgmental!
    You weren’t there. You don’t know the circumstances when her goat was attacked. She does so much good for the animals in the wild. I’d like to see any one of you do what this awesome woman does it take strength, ,brains, but most of all love, that’s why she’s the VET and you’re not. she is wonderful and she probably would’nt even be mad at your comments because thts the kind of woman she is non judgemental ……………….my family love’s us some DR. OAKLEY