Coyote Shepherd (German Shepherd & Coyote Mix) Info, Facts, Pictures, FAQs & More

Coyote Shepherd German Shepherd Coyote mix in the snow

The Coyote German Shepherd mix is a hybrid between a Coyote and a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) breed.

If it’s your first time hearing about this mix, you might already be puzzled and scratching your head. Moreover, you are probably wondering why an animal related to wild wolves is paired with GSDs.

Are Coyotes and German Shepherds biologically compatible to produce offspring? Where does this mix come from, and what does it look like? Are these hybrids illegal?

All these questions will be answered in this comprehensive guide. We’ll talk about five little-known facts about the German Shepherd Coyote mix, their temperament, history, and a lot more. Let’s get started!

What Is a Coyote German Shepherd Mix?

The Coyote German Shepherd mix is the offspring of a Coyote and a German Shepherd. This mix is no longer considered dogs; instead, they are known as Coydogs or Dogotes. Other names for this hybrid are German Shepherd Coydog, Coyote Shepherd, and German Shepherd Dogote.

Scientifically speaking, Coyotes (prairie wolves) and dogs are different species of the Canidae family.

The species of Coyotes is known as Canis latrans, while the species of dogs is known as Canis lupus familiaris. Simply put, Coyotes and dogs are both canines; however, they belong to different species. 

When you mix a Coyote with a German Shepherd or any dog breed, what you get is called an interspecific hybrid. These hybrids do not occur naturally unless human intervention is involved.

The offspring of a male Coyote crossed with a female dog is known as a Coydog. On the other hand, the offspring of a male dog and a female Coyote is known as a Dogote.

However, in the pet community, “Coydog” is the most used term to refer to this kind of hybrid.

5 Little-Known Facts About the German Shepherd Coyote Mix 

Coydog Shepherds are not very well known in the pet community. The idea of mixing a wild Coyote with a domesticated German Shepherd will sound extremely peculiar to many people. 

However, these hybrids are still very interesting. This is why there are still some who go the extra mile just to experience the company of these creatures.

If you are interested in German Shepherd Coyote mixes, below are five little-known facts about them.

1. The Coyote German Shepherd mix does not occur naturally

One thing that makes the German Shepherd Coyote mix more special than other dogs is that they are a product of artificial breeding even though they belong to the same canine family. Naturally, a domestic dog and a Coyote do not mate! 

However, luckily, Coyotes and dogs are biologically compatible to produce offspring. This means while they don’t naturally occur, it is perfectly safe to breed them.

And, as you will learn in the latter part of this guide, there are advantages in mixing Coyotes with GSDs.

2. Coyote German Shepherd mixes are very active

Because of their Coyote genes, Coyote Shepherds are extremely active animals. On average, they require more intense exercise compared to standard German Shepherds.

This is one of the reasons why they are not recommended for first-time dog owners. 

3. Coyote German Shepherd mixes are big eaters

Due to their very active nature, Coydogs are usually bigger eaters than their standard German Shepherd cousins.

Typically, Coydogs will consume more calories per day than a normal dog. This is especially true after an active exercise session. 

4. Coyote Shepherds come in different coat colors

If you are eyeing a specific look in a domestic dog, you would be pleased to know that Coydogs offer various coat colors. They usually come in black, brown, white, sable, or any combination of these colors. 

5. Coyote Shepherds are very rare

Coyote Shepherds and Coydogs, in general, are rare due to several reasons. The primary reason is that there is not a lot of demand for this hybrid.

Because Coydogs can be unpredictable and harder to train, many people do not bother getting one.

Another reason behind their rarity is the mismatch of the mating cycles of dogs and Coyotes.

Breeding a Coyote Shepherd will require finding a German Shepherd and a Coyote that is both fertile at the same time. Additionally, Coydogs are illegal in some places. 

Coyote German Shepherd Mix History and Origin: Where Does the Coyote Shepherd Come From?

The history of Coyote German Shepherd mixes and other Coydogs, in general, is absent in history books. However, many people believe that Coydogs have been around for a few centuries already.

One claim points to the Teotihuacan people as the earliest breeders of Coydogs. It is said that Coydogs were used for hunting by these early settlers.

The long-gone Teotihuacan tribe is an archeological site situated a few kilometers from what is now Mexico City. 

The Teotihuacan civilization existed between 100 B.C. and A.D. 650. This means there is a good chance that the very first Coydogs also existed around this period. 

However, this is probably not the case for Coyote Shepherds. In fact, German Shepherd Coyote mixes are most likely less than 100 years old!

The reason behind this is that German Shepherds only originated in 1899. Of course, it is possible that close ancestors of these domestic dogs were previously crossed with Coyotes. But, by definition, they are technically not Coyote Shepherds. 

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Coyote German Shepherd Mix Appearance: What Does a Coyote Shepherd Look Like?

Coyote German Shepherd mixes do not have a one-size-fits-all standard when it comes to appearance. The physical features of these canine hybrids widely vary.

While some will adopt the more docile appearance of their domestic dog parent — the German Shepherd, others will inherit the wilder look of the Coyote.

That said, there are still some telltale features that are present on most German Shepherd Coyote mixes. 

The first one is a lean, athletic, and rectangular-shaped body. The body of this hybrid canine should have well-defined muscles covered by a double shaggy coat.

Their possible coat colors are black, brown, white, sable, or a combination of these. 

These hybrids will also have a bushy tail that rests downward when stationary. Their muzzles are always long and well-defined. Additionally, they will have pointy ears and their eyes are always dark shades of brown.

In terms of size, Coyote Shepherds are medium-to-large canines. When fully grown, this hybrid will be about the same height as a standard GSD. However, they are typically leaner than German Shepherd Dogs.

Coyote German Shepherd Mix Size, Height and Weight: How Big Will a Coyote Shepherd Get When Fully Grown?

The full-grown size of a German Shepherd Coyote mix is 21 to 25 inches in height and 60 to 100 pounds in weight.

On average, such hybrid canids are about the same height as Coyotes, if not slightly taller. However, German Shepherd Coyote mixes are usually shorter than the average German Shepherd.

One thing to know regarding the size of Coyote Shepherds is that it is not typically linked to gender.

It is possible for female Coyote Shepherds to outgrow their male counterparts. A good way to approximate the full-grown size of these hybrids is by looking at the size of their parents.

READ NEXT: Giant German Shepherd: Is This Oversized Shepherd a Great Companion?

Coyote German Shepherd Mix Temperament: Do Coyote Shepherds Make Good Family Pets?

Unpredictable is the best word to describe the temperament of Coyote German Shepherd mixes.

While some will exhibit similar behavior to their German Shepherd parent, others will surely show the wild nature of the adult Coyote.

Some Coyote Shepherd owners claim that their pets are just as easily trainable as any other dog breed.

On the other hand, some owners are certain that Coydogs are not for the faint of heart. All of these mean one thing, that the temperament of Coyote Shepherds is indeed a mixed bag.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to tell whether a particular German Shepherd Coyote dog breed will be as docile as other dogs.

If its Coyote parent has been in captivity for quite a while, then there’s a decent chance that it will have a manageable temperament. Otherwise, expect its temperament to be unpredictable. 

All things considered, the temperament of a German Shepherd Coyote mix is the main reason it is not recommended for new pet owners.

However, if you have years of experience in training dogs, then taming a Coyote Shepherd will be an exciting challenge for you!

Coyote German Shepherd Mix Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Coyote Shepherds Healthy Dogs?

The average lifespan of a healthy Coyote German Shepherd mix is approximately 10 years.

This is about the same as the life expectancy of a German Shepherd dog. However, this is a few years shorter compared to the average lifespan of a Coyote in captivity — 14 years.

Coyote dog mixes are not known for their health just like other dogs that were crossed with wild animals. In fact, their health is average at best.

These hybrids will be at risk of a few health conditions that are also common to their parent animals throughout their life. Most of these conditions are inherited from both the German Shepherd and Coyote.

Here are the common health issues in Coyote German Shepherd mixes:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a health issue characterized by the misalignment of the ball and socket joint. Similar to German Shepherds, Coyote Shepherds are also prone to this health issue. When left untreated, hip dysplasia in Coydogs will worsen and may cause inactivity.
  • Heartworm: Heartworm is a serious health condition that is caused by a parasitic worm known as Dirofilaria. This parasite is commonly transmitted through a mosquito bite. Unfortunately, there is no approved prevention medicine for heartworms in Coydogs. However, many Coydogs owners use heartworm medicine for dogs.
  • Mange: Sarcoptic mange in dogs is a contagious skin condition. In fact, it can be transmitted from canines to humans or vice versa. Treatment for mange in Coydogs comes in the form of dips and topical creams. A Coydog diagnosed with mange will experience extreme itch on different parts of its body. 
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis: Autoimmune thyroiditis occurs when the immune system of a canine attacks the thyroid gland. Since many German Shepherds are affected by this disease, unfortunately, there is a decent chance it can also occur in Coydogs. Some symptoms of this condition include weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, increased appetite, and heart murmurs. 

The German Shepherd Coyote mix can be unpredictable when it comes to their health. This is mainly due to their peculiar genes that don’t naturally occur in nature.

The only surefire way to keep it in its best shape is by giving it the right kind of food, exercising it frequently, and taking it on regular vet checkups.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Breeding Coyotes and German Shepherds Together

There are plenty of reasons why interspecific hybrids are bred. Some breeders may be looking for domestic dogs with specific sets of characters.

On the other hand, some breeders may just be pushing the boundaries of breeding.

That said, the goal varies from one breeder to another. However, regardless of why Coyote Shepherds are bred, it is useful to know the advantages and disadvantages of cross-breeding. 

Here are some advantages of breeding Coyotes and German Shepherds together:

  • Unique Look: While it’s not guaranteed, many Coyote Shepherds sport a unique look. This is a good thing if you are looking for a pet with a unique appearance.
  • Possibility for Better Health: In many cases, crossbred puppies exhibit fewer congenital issues and fewer genetic conditions. Crossbreeding is known to minimize or eliminate inheritable diseases from parent canines. 
  • High Work Drive: Coydogs typically have a higher work drive than the average dog. This makes them better suited for some types of work such as hunting. 

And here are some disadvantages of breeding Coyotes and German Shepherds together:

  • Unpredictable Temperament: Coydogs can be very unpredictable when it comes to their temperament. While others will be docile or great guard dogs, some will be naturally stubborn.
  • Hard to Predict Their Size: If you are looking for a particular size in a pet, Coydogs may not be the best option. Crossbreeding Coyotes and GSDs often results in unique-looking canines that vary widely in size.

The important takeaway here is that breeding Coyotes and German Shepherds is safe and ethical. After all, this mix has been around for ages.

However, whether or not you should get a Coyote Shepherd depends entirely on what you need in a pet.

How to Take Care of Your German Shepherd Coyote Mix?

Coyote Shepherds are special pets that require a special kind of care. It is important to realize that most of your experience in caring for a Coyote Shepherd will be unique. 

You will need to experiment a bit from time to time, especially when it comes to their nutrition and exercise.

As always, if you encounter troubles regarding your pet’s health and behavior, consulting a veterinarian is the best thing to do.

Feeding and Diet

The feeding instructions on the backside of dog food packs are designed for every popular dog breed and not for Coydogs.

Since they are more active than most dogs, Coydogs will often require more food intake compared to the average dog. So what should the diet of Coyote Shepherds look like?

While it is safe to give dog food to your Coyote Shepherd, it may not have the complete nutrition they need.

One way to supplement their food is by putting them on a raw meat diet and giving them vegetables every now and then. This will provide them the extra calories they need. 

Cleaning and Grooming

Coyote Shepherds are fairly easy to groom. Their hair is usually straight and manageable, so brushing once every two days will often do the trick.

However, when they are shedding heavily, you should brush their hair daily to minimize cluttered hair fall.

In terms of bathing, it is recommended to bathe your Coyote Shepherd at least once every month. You can also use an organic shampoo with a pleasant scent to keep your dog smelling fresh!

One thing to watch out for is their nails. Coydogs are prone to skin irritations due to their sharp nails. Make sure to check their nail length from time to time and trim as often as necessary.

Training and Exercise

Due to their high work drive and energy level attributed to their wild animal DNA, a Coyote German Shepherd mix will need at least two to three hours of physical activities per day.

These activities can range in intensity since they are medium to large dogs. Low-intensity exercises can consist of walking and doing a bit of dog training.

On the other hand, high-intensity exercises can consist of sprinting, playing catch, hiking, and swimming. You should throw in a few variations of these common exercises to keep your Coydog in tip-top shape! 

Apart from all these, it would be better to start crate training when they are already a few weeks old. This will prevent them from soiling your furniture and other house items.

If you’re wondering how professionals train a Coyote mix, check out this video:

Shepherd/Coyote mix "Zeus" Before and After Video! Dog Trainers in Central Florida

Coyote German Shepherd Mix Puppy Prices & Expenses: How Much Does a Coyote German Shepherd Mix Cost?

Coydogs such as Coyote German Shepherd mixes are relatively rare pooches. If you want one, expect to pay anywhere between $800 and $1,200.

However, depending on the breeder, there are a few cases when Coyote Shepherds are sold for upwards of $1,500. 

Aside from the price of a Coydog Shepherd itself, you should also prepare for a few other expenses. These are things like a crate, toys, feeding bowls, and more.

Here are initial expenses to consider for a German Shepherd Coyote mix:

Type of ExpenseAverage Cost
Feeding Bowls$40
Grooming Brush$30
Nail Clippers$20
Total Initial Cost$355

The expenses listed above are all the things your Coyote Shepherd will need. As you can see, you need a budget of around $355 for all of these initial expenses.

On top of these costs, you should also consider the recurring costs of owning a German Shepherd Coyote mix.

These costs account for food expenses, vet visits, pet insurance, vitamins, and more. The cost of owning a Coyote mix will run you around $1,800 to $2,500 per year. 

RELATED: How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost? (2023 Price Guide)

Places to Find Coyote German Shepherd Mix Puppies for Sale or Adoption

Unfortunately, there are very few breeders breeding the German Shepherd Coyote mix. However, if you are keen on owning one, there are a few services you can use to ease your search.

Below are some places you can find Coyote Shepherd puppies for sale:

  • Frazier Farms Exotics – Frazier Farms Exotics is a Tennessee-based exotic pet breeder. They are licensed to operate, and all of their animals are well cared for. Make sure to check out their listings for a Coyote Shepherd mix from time to time!
  • Greenfield Puppies – Greenfield Puppies is a website where you can find plenty of dog breeders. They have dozens of listings for German Shepherd hybrids on their website. You can check them out occasionally to look for Coydogs.
  • Lancaster Puppies – Lancaster Puppies is another good source for Coyote Shepherds. This website has a couple of German Shepherd mixes for sale, and their prices range from $200 to $2,900. 

RELATED: 10 Best German Shepherd Breeders (2023): Our Top 10 Picks!

As with any domestic dog, you always have the option to either buy or adopt a Coyote mix.

Of course, you will be able to save some money when adopting one; however, you should manage your expectations. Some Coydogs are surrendered because of temperamental or health issues.

Here are some sources where you can find a German Shepherd Coyote mix for adoption:

  • Petfinder – Petfinder is a website that aims to make your pet search easier, whether you are looking for a fur baby or a hybrid canid. This service has many useful features such as location-based filters, filters for coat colors and gender, and a lot more. Luckily, Petfinder has a couple of listings for German Shepherd mixes. So be sure to watch out for a Coyote Shepherd mix!
  • Adopt-a-Pet – Adopt-a-Pet is a famous pet adoption site with hundreds of listings for German Shepherd mixes. You can check out their adoptable GSD hybrids from time to time to see if there are Coyote Shepherd dogs. Luckily, Adopt-a-Pet shows a couple of photos of each dog, making your search for a Coydog a bit easier.
  • Local Shelters and Rescue Organizations – If there is a rescue or local animal shelter near your area that takes in a canid hybrid, you should pay a visit to see if they have any Coydogs. If ever you don’t end up finding one, talk with the staff to see if they can point you in the right direction. It’s worth a try!

Aside from these sources, you can also utilize social media groups to find Coydogs for adoption. Luckily, there are tons of hybrid pet enthusiast groups on Facebook and Reddit!

RELATED: 10 Best German Shepherd Rescues for Adoption (2023): Our Top 10 Picks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Coyote German Shepherd Mixes Illegal?

Coyote German Shepherd mixes are legal in some states but illegal in others. You can refer to the list of exotic animal laws to see if your state allows Coydogs. However, keep in mind that this list is not always accurate. 

A better move is to give your local city office a quick ring to ask if Coyote mixes are on the list of permissible pets in your area.

Some enthusiasts claim that the law is “loose” when it comes to Coydogs, but it is recommended to know more about it before getting yourself a Coyote Shepherd.

Does a Coyote Look Like a German Shepherd?

Not at all! While there are very few exceptions, in general, Coyotes do not look like German Shepherds. One of the most striking differences is in their leg shape. 

The legs of Coyotes are more slender than the legs of GSDs. Also, Coyotes have narrower muzzles compared to German Shepherds.

In terms of size, a Coyote is about the same height as a female German Shepherd but always smaller than a male GSD.

Can a Coyote Hurt a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds are docile canines. These dogs can tolerate the presence of other animals quite well. However, this is not the case for Coyotes. 

Coyotes are very reactive canines; they exhibit a fight or flight response over others. Given that they are wild species, they can definitely do damage to a German Shepherd if left unattended.

Final Thoughts: Is the Coyote German Shepherd Mix the Right Dog for You?

The German Shepherd Coyote mix is a truly peculiar creature. This hybrid is a one-of-a-kind pet that is guaranteed to give its human families a different kind of experience.

While it is not always the case, Coyote Shepherds can be beautiful animals with loyal and protective dispositions.

If you are up for a challenge, and if it is legal to own a wild animal in your city, then this hybrid is worth considering.

However, if you cannot commit to the unpredictable temperament, the common health issues, and the demanding activity levels of a Coydog, then a standard GSD may be the next best option for you. 

1 comment

Chip w. June 23, 2022 - 7:57 am

Our Coyote Shepherd is wonderful. Great with people and dogs. He’s smart and minds well. Only thing is he digs and breaks down the fence sometimes and sheds like crazy, but that can’t be helped.


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