TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - It's not something you see every day: a wild coyote in the middle of a street playing with a dog in a Tempe neighborhood Sunday morning.

An Arizona's Family viewer captured the encounter on camera as the coyote and her neighbor's Airedale chased each other in the street. The neighborhood is near Price Road and Southern Avenue.

The video showed the coyote wagging its tail and the two seemingly playing together like they are old friends.

[RAW VIDEO: Dog and wild coyote play together in Tempe neighborhood]

The viewer said she was somewhat nervous being close to the coyote, but it seemed more tame than terrifying.

"They were just running around the street, just back and forth playing," said Cassandra Collett, who recorded the moment. "It looked very playful to me." 

However, some viewers messaged Arizona's Family to say they were concerned that the coyote was trying to lure the dog away to kill it. 

So, was that the case? 

We asked the experts at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. 

They say coyotes do attack when they feel threatened or are nursing puppies, and have been known to lure dogs away from their owners.

But Linda Searles, the director of Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, says this instance was pure play. 

"You can see the coyote doing a play bow," Searles said. "He's not showing any aggression at all. He and the dog have formed a relationship, and they're having a good time playing." 

Still, Searles advises all dogs owners to keep their pets on a leash when there might be coyotes nearby because wild animals can be unpredictable. She also says humans should never approach or feed coyotes in the wild. 

"We don't want to encourage them to see humans as friends," Searles said. 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



Recommended for you

(33) comments


This coyote looked very well groomed, clean and well fed. This may have been someone's pet that accidentally got out. The coyote was playing with the dog like my dogs play with me and amongst themselves. I feel bad for the coyote, he should have been transported out of the area, he didn't deserve to die because some stay at home liberal had nothing better to do then video and call the cops. Also, the owner of the Airedale should be fined for allowing their dog run loose in the street. People need to understand this world is over populating with humans and basically taking all wild animals living areas and turning them into subdivisions/parking lots. We must share the land with wildlife. In the end wildlife will prevail, humans will become too weak and die because over population.


These "urban myth" posters are full of it. Go sit on the west side of I17 at Munds Park and watch the coyotes lure pets from the RV Trailer Park into the woods for dinner. Can watch them doing so all summer long. Was this PARTICULAR coyote doing that? Hard to say. Possible. Do coyotes do so? The most certainly DO.

It is also not typical coyote behavior to be this far into the city during day light hours. This particular coyote has some kind of issue. Too friendly? Something. And it needs to be trapped and relocated or shot.

Coyotes don't lure smaller prey is an urban myth.... what a load.

Wuppy Puppy

First of all, for those of us who have, or have had an Airedale- this breed of dog handles itself. If anything, the Coyote needed to watch its @@@. Airedales are not afraid of anything. They will dominate a situation if needed. Having seen my dog go after other animals, I can confirm that they were playing, and it was all good. Having said those things, Airdales are amazing and loyal family companions. Lastly, Coyotes luring dogs to a pack is not true. We were lucky to see this very cool interaction. Save the rumors and drama.


Funny about the Coyote was luring the dog to the Pack but no one saw a Pack Animals have there Nature the 2 animals were playing 1000 year from now there will be only cats and dogs because all the other Animals bother us and we will kill them all


Information about the Coyote Luring Myth. https://coyoteyipps.com/category/coyote-luring-myth/?fbclid=IwAR3A2bz_MqXHGqjkUoaup2W6bJEHIAKT8ybQEsbRRuA99zcH0jRuOuUxN6A


The airedale was trying to get it to leave I think.


What a clueless lady who called the COPS that the coyote was “following her around” and “scaring her” aw poor thing. The wrong creature was put down.


If I had been the one filming this scene I would have clapped my hands and yelled very loudly at this coyote to scare it away. (I did that when I found one walking along the block wall in our backyard.). It is naive to think the coyote was 'playing". Pure and simple, these wild animals are PREDATORS and always looking for their next meal. I do think the coyote was trying to lure the unsuspecting pet dog back to his pack to be killed. More importantly, why is this dog allowed to run off leash on city streets, which is against the law? When it comes to our very sweet and friendly labradoodle, 2 year old Jack, who loves all other dogs and would probably have interacted the same with this coyote, the old adage "do not risk what you can't afford to lose" applies. We would be absolutely heart broken if something happened to him, especially because of our ignorance!


DANGER... this is a common Behavior coyotes use to lure a domestic dog towards a pack waiting nearby. They engage in play as they back up into the direction of the pack. A dog too large to pick up and Shake, will be attacked by a number of coyotes in a group. Had the dog owner known this, they probably could have found the pack of coyotes waiting nearby. Never let your dog interact with coyotes and get familiar or comfortable. Please spread the word to your dog loving friends who are unaware how clever these coyotes are. I have read behaviorist's saying that coyotes do not exhibit this Behavior, but we are surrounded by coyotes in my suburban area. This behavior has been observed numerous times. They are adapting to integrating with cities as they have had to come into during drought to find water for survival. They have also found new ways to find food. This was no game of play for the coyote. He was luring a food source.


Danger. Fake news. This is an urban myth.


Without knowing the specifics of these two specific animals it is impossible to know what exactly was happening.For all we know these 2 animals know each other and all you who assume you know everything would be wrong about luring the dog anywhere. The way the coyote walksed up to the camera person makes me think the coyote has been there before but we do not know so its all just a guess. Amazing how many brilliant people are on their KB but I see nothing but morons around town. Hmmmm.


Always a world full of experts and opinions on these posts. Here’s an idea..how about the fact that is kinda cute watching them interact? Opinions on calling animal control on the Airedale and how they shouldn’t own a let? Really? Lol
Way to many busy bodies in this world that don’t know how to enjoy each day but instead prefer to tear people down at every opportunity. Sad


Here's the experts info: http://www.sfanimalcare.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Dogs-and-Coyotes-what-you-need-to-know.pdf


Son lives in N. Peoria Terramar area they run wild there also and they jump his backyard wall and got his pug and AGAF said to bad. Waiting for the pack to get a little kid playing ing one of the parks and see what AGAF says then


Got your fame, now put your phone down and do something constructive with your life.




Are you kidding me? Yes they absolutely will lure an animal back to the pack. Have watched it happen on many occasions. They rarely are alone unless injured or separated from their pack mates. Regardless, they are NOT "playing" and it's especially concerning that it had absolutely no fear of the person holding the camera. I understand we're in the natural space but scary!!


No, the Coyote is not "luring" the dog to kill and eat it - urban legend. It isn't wearing it out. Nor is it "playing." This behavior is more consistent with a nearby den with pups. They do lure threats away from the den and pups. It is trying to get both the human and dog to follow it away from its den. It's the reason an animal that normally avoids contact appears to seek it. It views both as a threat to its puppies.


That's an interesting insight. It doesn't appear to be defensive in any way though. Maybe just curious. I doubt that it's tame. It just looks that way, I think.


It's defensive in the same way a bird will fake a broken wing to lure predators away from its nest. They want the predator to follow them but they aren't curious or playing. It's defensive but they aren't looking for a physical encounter.


The Coyote is likely in heat. So yeah, she isn't defensive, but if he follows her home, the pack will be.

JF Conlon

Well damm, and I just thought it was funny (Airedales do have silly moments). Thanks for your comment.

JF Conlon

Ha. For once, the delusional, psychotic dolt was right.


Tim, I'm sorry but you are absolutely wrong. Those of us who live in coyote infested areas observe this behavior all the time. Larger dogs cannot be picked up and shaken to be killed. A single coyote will "play" and lure the unsuspecting dog, by backing up in play we're a package waiting around the the corner of a building. It is a very very common scenario. The behavior may be adapted from trying to lure Predators away from a den of pups. These coyotes are wiley.


First, the owner of the Airdale needs to be cited for a dog-at-large or pick it up & have it re-homed with people that care. Second, coyotes use this technique (sending one out) to lure dogs back to the pack, which is lying in wait for the kill. This is no revelation. People either need to be accountable for their pets, or not bring any home. Period.

Stephanie Dyer

It is a total urban myth (aka Fake news) that coyotes send out one coyote to lure a dog back to the pack


Its still remarkably stupid to allow your domesticated animal to play with a wild predator! Yeah sure, it was cute, but remarkably just as stupid!

Someone has also been feeding that coyote somewhere close by! Which is dumber than allowing your dog to play with a coyote, but I digress! It had zero fear of humans! Which is a dead giveaway to someone feeding it! That's dangerous to ALL of us!

Don't be putting food out for wild animals! YOU invaded THEIR habitat! They don't need you feeding them! They've survived in this desert for centuries w/o your help! You're endangering all of us, when you do that!


True. I tried to post the facts but they see it as spam. Dogs chase coyotes into their pack, and the coyotes act defensively. The coyote’s behavior has nothing to do with a *plan* to *lure* the dog into a trap to kill and eat it.


Where that dogs owner?! If someone came alongb at the wrong speed it could've gotten hit by a car. That coyote could be doing what that previous person commentedn also.

Annnd why is your dog off leash?!! So annoying. Just because your dog is friendly doesn't mean it can't cause problems. So irresponsible.


Wow! I wondered if it had rabies, but after a minute or so, it's clear that it truly is playing. That's quite a sight!


It would be nice if there had been some research on coyote behavior done as this is not playing. The pack sends out one to tire out the dog and lure it back to the den or wherever the rest of the pack is so it's easier to kill. Very misleading story.


Spot on, Mandolin.


In fact, it’s simply an urban myth that coyotes lure dogs to their deaths. But if that’s the case, what actually is occurring for people to fabricate such an idea? Well, it may in fact look like that if you don’t know what’s going on. Whenever there is a void in knowledge, the void is filled in with what there is: speculations, rumors and myths that pop up suddenly or become legendary and grow over time.

So what is actually going on when dogs chase coyotes and eventually they find themselves confronted by more than one coyote?

First of all, dogs chase coyotes all the time. If you keep your dog leashed in coyote areas, or leash and walk the other way the minute you see a coyote, you can minimize the chance that this will happen. Most coyotes are out minding their own business: either foraging, trekking or resting, when they are spotted by a dog. The chase then begins: it’s fun and games for most dogs, but seldom so for the coyote.

The coyote may try to *lose* the dog by wearing it out, or it may head to a hiding place to get away from the dog. But unbeknownst to the dog, and to the human owner, coyote family members are almost always close by. Coyotes travel together, and they rest fairly close to each other, so there’s almost always another coyote or two around.

Once a dog enters into where the coyotes are, it will be treated as any other intruder, be it an outsider coyote or your dog: coyotes will come to the aid of another member of their family. And, if a coyote sees a dog chasing its mate, it will come out to help the coyote drive the dog off. These are defenses to threats, not *lures*.

The coyote’s behavior has nothing to do with a *plan* to *lure* the dog into a trap to kill and eat it.

Please note that “luring” into a trap situation to kill is very different from “leading” a dangerous animal away from pups. Coyotes do lead any threatening animal, including humans, away from very sensitive pupping areas, hoping they will be followed. They have led me away in this manner several times.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.