12 Dog Breeds That Can Kill a Coyote and Defend Your Home


Coyotes can be an annoyance, but they can also be a danger to your family and your home. They can harm or kill pets and livestock, which is something we can live with, but they can also pose a serious danger to children, which is not something we can tolerate.

And even though I’m against killing coyotes and believe that scaring them away and fencing your home should be enough for protection, you should still know if your dog can fight them off and have the upper hand in the fight.

So, without further ado, here they are:

12 dog breeds that can kill a coyote:

  1. The Šarplaninac 
  2. The Kangal
  3. The Dogo Argentino
  4. The Tosa Inu
  5. The Irish Wolfhound
  6. The Alabai
  7. The Mastiff
  8. The Pit Bull
  9. The Akbash
  10. The Komondor 
  11. The Great Pyrenees
  12. Cane Corso

Let’s get to know each of these superb dogs and know what makes them able to take on Coyotes and keep your house and family protected.

The 12 Dog Breeds That Can Kill Coyotes

Image of coyote up close to illustrate what dogs breeds can kill a coyote

I love my goldens and labs, but they are not the best dogs for keeping my house and family protected. I have learned that while Labradors can fight a coyote (learn more about that here), they are definitely not the best dogs for keeping your house protected.

I have also lived in a rural area before and know what an annoyance – I’m sorry, I mean jerks – coyotes can be. They are sneaky, very quick, and quite dangerous. They can sneak up on you in seconds and cause serious harm.

If you are looking for a dog that can protect your house, family, and livestock from coyotes, any dog on this list will do an excellent job of that. Some of these dogs are even dangerous enough to fight wolves.

Let’s get to know these dogs.

The Šarplaninac 

Credit: Wikipedia

Weight: Male: 35–45 kg, Female: 30–40 kg

Height: Male: 56–62 cm, Female: 54–60 cm

The Šarplaninac is a dog breed that excels in guarding livestock. It’s a very large dog and a very strong one as well. They are fierce, protective, and reliable.

Originally from the Balkans and formerly known as the Illyrian Shepherd dog, the Šarplaninac can easily fight off coyotes and is one of the very few dog breeds that can also take one wolves and can actually come out victorious in a one-to-one fight with a wolf.

The Šarplaninac is a devoted dog that is usually calm but they have very strong protective instincts that makes them a danger on coyotes and wolves.

If you are looking to get one you should know that this is a very intelligent dog which also means they can be quite independent and stubborn, making them more difficult to train.

The Kangal

Weight: Female: 41–54 kg, Male: 50–66 kg

Height:  Female: 72–77 cm, Male: 77–86 cm

Also known as the Turk Kangal because of their Turkish origins, the Kangal is another excellent livestock guardian dog that has the power and smarts to fight off and kill coyotes and other predators.

The Kangal is actually still quite a popular dog in Turkey thanks to their calm and self-controlled temperament, but they still have strong protective instincts that makes them excellent guardian dogs.

Similar to the Šarplaninac, the Kangal is a smart, independent, and sometimes even stubborn dog.

The bad news is that you will not be able to get one in the US easily, as Turkey has actually banned exporting dogs of the breed to reserve its pedigree. They still exist in the US, but they are quite rare.

The Dogo Argentino

Weight: Female: 35–40 kg, Male: 40–45 kg

Height: Female: 60–65 cm, Male: 60–68 cm

Although not quite as large as the Šarplaninac and the Kangal, the Dogo Argentino’s muscular build with their strong protective instincts and their courageous nature makes them more than capable of fighting off coyotes and even killing them if it comes to it.

As the name implies, the Dogo Argentino originated in Argentina as a hunting dog and was bred to be a fast, strong, and protective dog.

What makes them quite special is that these dogs pretty much fear nothing and will rush to protect their owners and their homes in a heartbeat and will give the attackers hell.

The Tosa Inu

Weight: 36 – 61 kg

Height: 62 – 82 cm 

This is a large dog that was literally bred to fight in Japan – the country of the Samurai, so you know they will have no problem getting into battle with coyotes and other predatory.

The Tosa Inu is also fearless, suspicious by nature, and quite aggressive, so they will not take long to decide that the coyote is a threat and going to fight them.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to get one though because training them is very difficult and they are even prohibited in some countries, and some states law also make it illegal to own this dog.

Despite the facts that you can’t really have one in the US, they definitely deserved a spot on this list as coyotes who face off against these dogs are unlikely to live and tell the story.

The Irish Wolfhound

Weight: Male: 140 to 180 pounds – Female: 115 to 140 pounds

Height: Male: 32 to 35 inches – Female: 30-34 inches

The Irish wolfhound is a large and strong dog that has a long history in Ireland. The dog’s distinct appearance made it subject to many stories and myths, but the truth is that this is a very friendly dog if socialized from a young age and can make for excellent family dogs.

Irish wolfhounds also have a history of fighting off predators such as wolves, so they won’t have a problem fighting off Coyotes. Today’s wolfhounds are much friendlier than their ancestors, but they are still plenty strong to fight and kill coyotes.

The Alabai

Weight: 40–65 kg, Male: 50–79 kg

Height: Female: 60–69 cm, Male: 65–78 cm

The Alabai, also known as the Central Asian Shepherd dog, is an ancient dog that was traditionally used to guard livestock and protect against predators.

The large dogs are as strong as they look and have excellent protective instincts that make them superb guardian dogs.

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is also quite bold and doesn’t show any signs of fear, and will always sprint to protect their humans and their property, making them on the “dogs-to-avoid” on any Coyote’s list.

The Mastiff

Weight: 54–77 kg, Male: 73–100 kg

Height: 70–91 cm, Male: 70–91 cm

You are probably already familiar with the Mastiff. The large English dog is a very large dog that is known be a gentle giant thanks to their affectionate personalities.

The Mastiffs are calm and good-natured dogs which makes them good family dogs, and they are also quite protective of their families which means they are also great guard dogs.

The Mastiffs are very strong dogs that don’t back up from a fight despite their generally calm demeanor, and in a one-to-one fight against Coyotes, I would absolutely bet on the large, muscular, and brave Mastiff.

The Pit Bull

Weight: Male: 16 – 30 kg (Adult), Female: 14 – 27 kg (Adult)

Height: Male: 45 – 53 cm, Female: 43 – 50 cm

Of course the Pit Bull had to be on this list, and you are already familiar with Pit Bulls because they definitely need no introductions.

There are so many dogs that are wrongly referred to as “Pit Bulls”, so I just want to make this clear; I’m talking about the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Despite the bad reputation pit bulls have as aggressive dogs, they’re actually very goofy and affectionate dogs. Pit bulls are very intelligent yet obedient dogs that tend to come off as clownish thanks to their goofy personality.

Pit Bulls are also very strong and fiercely loyal and there are just countless stories of pit bulls fighting much larger and more dangerous animals such as bears, crocodiles, and even lions to protect their owners that I don’t even need to tell you that, yes, pit bulls can absolutely fight and even kill Coyotes, especially if they feel that their owners are threatened.

The Akbash

Weight: Male: 41 – 64 kg (Adult), Female: 41 kg (Adult)

Height: Male: 71 – 86 cm (Adult), Female: 69 – 81 cm (Adult)

Although they look very similar to Labradors, the Akabash is actually a very different breed. The large white dog is native to Turkey and has been used as a livestock guardian dog thanks to its strong protective instincts.

The dog is also known to be quite brave and intelligent, allowing it to fight off predators such as coyotes with no problems.

The Akabash is also a very alert dog which will allow them to detect threats such as coyotes quickly. Unfortunately, this is an ancient dog and they are quite rare even in their country of origin, so it will be quite difficult to get your hands on one in the west.

The Komondor 

Weight: Male: 50 – 60 kg, Female: 40 – 50 kg

Height: Female: 64–69 cm, Male: 71–76 cm

Adorable looks and an even more adorable personality is how I like to describe the Komondor dogs, also referred to as the Hungarian sheepdog.

The white, long, and corded coat have earned this dog the nickname “the mop dog”. The Komondor has a long history as a guardian to livestock, and they have found their place in the modern world as loving family dogs.

One surprising fact about them is that they actually don’t shed, and make for an excellent choice for those with allergies.

The Komondor are also loyal, protective, and courageous, which means they can fight off coyotes and other predators to keep your house and family safe.

The Great Pyrenees

Weight: Male: 50–54 kg, Female: 36–41 kg

Height: Male: 70–82 cm, Female: 65–74 cm

The Pyrenean mountain dog, commonly referred to as the great Pyrenees, is a dog that definitely deserves more appreciation than it gets.

This large dog definitely deserves to be called a gentle giant; they’re gentle, affectionate, and patient. This makes them excellent family dogs.

They are also intelligent dogs with a strong will and they have no fear. They are very confident in themselves and very loyal to their owners, which means they do get very protective.

In a confrontation between a coyote and a great pyrenees, my money is on the coyote running away before the dog gets to them. Otherwise, I don’t think the coyote could survive such a confrontation.

The Cane Corso

Weight: Female: 40–45 kg, Male: 45–50 kg

Height: Female: 58–66 cm, Male: 62–70 cm

The Cane Corso is an Italian Mastiff that can’t live without having something to do. The dog is one of the best working dogs around thanks to their trainability, even temper, and reserved nature.

They are also stable and calm dogs that you can depend on and they are extremely reliable. They were originally developed to guard property, and they make for superb guardian dogs.

They are also very expensive and a good Cane Corso could cost you $10,000. In a one-to-one confrontation with a Coyote, the dog would come out victorious every single time.

Why Coyotes Are Dangerous on Any Dog

Coyotes are dangerous on any dog because they are:

  • Fast – they can attack and run away in seconds
  • Hunt and attack in packs
  • Smart – Coyotes are smarter than dogs when it comes to fighting
  • Usually ambush dogs
  • Play dirty (coyotes attack to kill, while dogs attack to defend and scare away)
  • Usually attack in the dark – they can see and move better than dogs in the dark

No matter how strong your dog is, a coyote is still dangerous on them because of their predatory tactics and experience in fighting and taking down larger animals.

Your dog may be able to attack and kill a coyote in a 1-on-1 fight, but chances are they are not getting to this fight. If the coyote knows your dog is dangerous, they will flee immediately or try to lure the dog to an ambush.

That’s why you need to still protect your house from coyotes, and you can learn the most effective ways to protect your house (and dog) from coyotes here.

Why You Shouldn’t Kill Coyotes

Even though Coyotes can indeed be dangerous on livestock and small pets, coyotes are very wary of humans and coyote attacks on humans are very rare.

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t kill a coyote unless you are absolutely forced to:

  • They Were Here First

The land, which we are killing coyotes for, has been their land for literally thousands of years and they have either enjoyed it alone or co-existed with humans peacefully through the ages.

  • They’re smart

Coyotes are very smart and know that humans are bigger, smarter, and much more dangerous thanks to our tools. They know better than to risk their lives by approaching humans.

  • They are scavengers

Despite what you may have been led to believe, coyotes are actually scavengers and their diets include vegetables and fruits.

  • They hunt to eat only

Coyotes don’t hunt for pleasure. They only hunt to eat, which is why they are much more interested in your chicken than in your dog.

  • Wolves are keeping them in check

Even though the population of coyotes is very healthy right now, some even think that their numbers may be at an all-time high, their population is not getting out of line or becoming a danger to us anywhere in the world thanks to our dear friends, the wolves.

Wolves and mountain lions are doing a very good job of keeping the coyote population in check.

  • Don’t disturb the ecosystem

Humans must learn by now that we live on a planet where everything is connected. It’s an eco system and every living being in it plays a role in keeping this eco system healthy. Coyotes play a big role in that.

You don’t want to hunt all the coyotes in your area to only find out you they were keeping snakes or rats in check and now you have a much tougher problem to deal with.

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Related Questions

How big of a dog can a coyote kill?

Coyotes can kill large dogs, even 75-pound dogs or larger can be victims of coyote attacks. Coyotes are quite good at killing larger animals because they attack in packs, use surprise attacks, and use predatory tactics which ensures they can come out victorious.

What animals can kill a coyote

Wolves, mountain lions, hyenas, and other dangerous predators can kill coyotes with ease. While Coyotes are smart and quick, they are no match for the speed and strength of a wolf or the brute force of a mountain lion.

Useful Resources

Searching for the best dog to save livestock — and wildlife

Hunting the Grisly and Other Sketches by Theodore Roosevelt

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