Can A Wolf And Coyote Mate? – (With Pictures)

You might be surprised to know that a wolf and coyote can mate, as they belong to the same Canidae family. 

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Some genetic test has shown that the eastern coyotes are a result of a wolf, a coyote, and a dog. The coyote has gray wolf characteristics but is smaller in size and lives alone. They only interact when they have to mate in the breeding season.

There were some reasons that led the coyotes to mate with the grey wolf species, which we will explain in this blog, as well as more about the coywolf species.

Is the Coywolf Real?

Genetically the interbreeding of a coyote and a gray wolf is possible. But there is a mixed ratio of genes found in the coyote species after some DNA tests. 

Likewise, a recent test showed that all eastern coyotes carry wolf and coyote genes. It defines that these species’ genes are mixed to make a coywolf hybrid.

Let’s see why the eastern coyotes interbreed with the gray wolves. 

The Coyote Wolf Mix and Genetics

In 1940, coyotes were seen in Vermont for the first time, and spread throughout eastern North America, arrived from the western region and bred with wild wolves

With this, the DNA showed that around 100 years ago, the coyotes mated with grey wolves, and around 50 years ago, they mated with dogs.

But the question that arises here is why they did this. The reason was the low population of gray wolves in the great lakes

So, they mated with the coyotes, as no other option was left for the female grey wolves.

The Coy-wolf-dog Genetics

The coywolf hybrid you see today in the northeast is diluted. As per DNA testing, they have 60 to 80% coyotes, 8 to 25% eastern wolf, and 8 to 11% dog genes. 


This ratio of genes varies from the southern region to the east. Southern coyotes have a combination of wolf and dog genes.

Additionally, eastern wolves pass genes between coyotes and western wolves by breeding with both in eastern Canada.

However, the Virginian coyotes contain more dog genes than wolves. With this, some tests showed that eastern coyotes have no wolf genes. 

Moreover, a coydog is a term for the interbreed species of coyotes and dogs. And coywolf is used for the species that formed after the interbreeding of coyotes and a wolf.  The coywolves are closely related to the coyote population and have no non-coyote DNA.

Is the Coywolf Real?

The coywolf is nothing. All eastern coyotes present today are proof of the past hybridization that the wolves did with the coyotes due to the decreased population of male wolves. 

Moreover, no sign or evidence has shown coyotes mating with wolves or dogs lately. The coyote, dog, and wolf are three separate species that prefer not to mate with the coyotes. 


A coyote and wolf mate and produce hybrid species. The coywolf is the hybrid of the wolf, and the coyote emerged after the interbreeding between the wolf and the coyote. 

The deforestation, hunting, and poisoning depleted the population numbers of eastern wolves in the breeding season, leading them to interbreed with coyotes.

 After the conservation efforts, the wolf populations were restored. Additionally, the interbreeding of wolves with coyotes took place around 100 years ago, and dogs, they bred around 50 years earlier. 

Nowadays, it has not been seen that wolves interbreed with coyotes or dogs. Moreover, the coywolf present today is from the coyote population with a non-coyote DNA mix. 

It’s unclear which dog and wolf genes have survived natural selection in the present eastern coyote. Don’t miss the video below about a wolf and coyote mating.

Frequently Asked Question

Can coyotes and wolves produce offspring?

Yes, coyotes and wolves can interbreed. 

Can a coyote and a fox mate?

A fox and coyote belong to different genera, so they don’t mate. 

Can coyotes mate with dogs and wolves?

Coyotes, dogs, and wolves are three separate species. They can mate, but they don’t do it.

Can coyotes and red wolves mate?

Yes, coyotes and red wolves can mate together. 

What happens if a wolf mates with a coyote?

If a coyote mates with a wolf, a hybrid coywolf will produce. 

Are coywolves bigger than coyotes?

Coywolves are larger than western coyotes and smaller than wolves. 

How big do coywolves get?

A coywolf’s weight ranges between 35 to 45 pounds. 

Can coyote-wolf hybrids breed?

Yes, a coyote-wolf hybrid can breed.

Where are coywolves found?

Coywolves are found in North America, including Canada and the United States.

How big can a coywolf get?

They’re bigger than coyotes and weigh around 35 to 45 pounds. 

Can coywolves breed with dogs?

All animals of the genus Canis can interbreed with each other as they are genetically closer.

Olivia Kepner