Here is a nice article on the growing conflicts between urban coyotes and people.
It includes advice on how to avoid coyote attacks. Don’t feed them. Keep dogs on a leash. Don’t leave pets unattended (especially if they are smaller than the coyote).
But I have one problem with the advice given: “Residents are warned…not to yell or throw rocks at coyotes so they associate humans with bad things.”
Actually, the problems with coyotes is that they are associating people with good things– yummy cats and small dogs, pet food, and good hunting grounds for voles and mice.
Wild animals are better living with us if they do associate us with horrible things. A coyote or bear that fears people above all other things is not going to attack people.
Where I grew up coyotes are common, yet they’ve never attacked anyone. They’ve killed scores of free roaming cats and small dogs, but they avoid people and large dogs at all costs. Why?
Because where I grew up, hunting coyotes with packs of hounds is a common activity. A coyote that has been run by a back of foxhounds is going to be very unwilling to come near domestic dogs of that size for any reason.
Further, people do shoot them. At first, shooting coyotes started when people believed (and some still do believe) that coyotes are a mortal danger to people or that coyotes were going to kill all the deer. They soon discovered that coyotes are nearly impossible to call in and shoot. They are easily as challenging as a game species as wild turkeys are, and in my state, there is no limit on how many can be killed or any set hunting season for coyotes.
Despite what that article says, local animal control would be better off putting the fear of humans and domestic dogs into the local coyotes. And we do have a model for doing so.
In Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana, Karelian bear dogs (one of those laika/elkhound types from Finland) are being used to “haze” bears that come too close to human habitation. This hazing teaches the bears that associating humans with food will get them shot with rubber bullets and barked at by annoying black and white dogs that bark really loud.
I don’t see why a similar model couldn’t be applied to urban coyotes.