Coyote vs. Wolf Appearance

Because coyotes and wolves are both in the canine family, they can be hard to tell apart at a distance. However, these are very different animals with several distinguishing characteristics. Wolves are substantially larger and bulkier, weighing 80 to 150 pounds, whereas coyotes are a thin and sleek 15 to 50 pounds. A wolf may also reach up to six and a half feet long from nose to tail, and a coyote tops out at four and a half feet long. Smart and crafty coyotes have adapted to human land development and still thrive all over the U.S. Wolves, widely feared and hunted, are more common to the western half of the country.

Other Differences

Comparing coyote vs. wolf features, howls, and tracks is useful in identification as well. A wolf has a boxy snout, large nose pad, and ears that are small for its head. On the other hand, a coyote has a long, pointed snout, small nose pad, and ears that appear large for its head. Coyote howls are also high-pitched and interspersed with other sounds like yips and barks. Wolf howls are lower-pitched and last longer. Footprints can another telling sign. Wolf tracks are up to five and a half inches long and five inches wide, while coyote tracks are roughly half that size.

Confusion with Other Animals

Coyotes are sometimes mistaken for foxes because of their large ears and bushy tails, though foxes are much smaller. Wolves can also be confused with certain dog breeds. However, dogs have broader chests, front legs set farther apart, and tails that are typically held aloft. Wolf tails always hang downward. Even after settling the coyote vs. wolf debate, property owners often require assistance removing either pest. The professionals at Trutech have the knowledge and experience to protect homes from these animals.