The Gray Wolf And Coyote – (Differences & Pictures)

Have you ever got confused between a gray wolf and a coyote? Well, that is normal as they may look similar, but what is the difference between a Wolf and a Coyote?

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For example, gray wolves are larger than coyotes. A gray wolf ranging from 30 inches long and weighing 145 pounds.

On the other side, Coyotes are usually much smaller and can measure up to 40 inches in length while weighing between 30 to 50 lbs. Let’s discover more differences between a wolf and a coyote, so next time you won’t be confused.

6 Key Differences between a Gray Wolf and a Coyote. 

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Coyote vs Wolf: Size and Height

The gray wolf is usually larger than a coyote in size and height.  An average height of a gray wolf is 26 to 32 inches at the shoulder. 

Whereas a coyote has a height of 58 to 68 cm at the shoulder. The two species also have different body shapes, with gray wolves having muscular bodies and coyotes having more slender, and skinnier body.

Gray Wolf Vs. Coyote: Behavior

 Gray Wolves or Canis lupus tend to be highly social, living in packs of up to 10 members. Additionally, wolves hunt in packs, and pack members help in raising wolf pups. But a coyote lives a more lonely lifestyle, coming together only to mate.

Moreover, wolves are bigger and bolder than coyotes, often competing with them for access to food sources. 

Wolves tend to hunt larger animals such as deer, while coyotes prefer smaller prey such as rodents, but they also hunt larger animals sometimes.

Coyotes are more vocal than wolves, producing yips and howls that can be heard 3 miles away in open places. Both species are scavengers, but wolves are more likely to hunt other animals.

Gray Wolf Vs. Coyote: Face

Coyotes and gray wolves have notable differences in their faces. A coyote has a foxlike nose, and a wolf has a dark larger nose pad. Moreover, a coyote has pointed ears, while a wolf has rounded ears. 

Gray wolves typically have darker fur around their eyes and muzzle. Additionally, coyotes are also skinnier and have a black tail tip compared to the thick-furred, and shorter tails of wolves.

Gray Wolf Vs. Coyote: Weight

Gray wolves typically weigh 70-145 pounds while coyotes weigh only 20-50 pounds. This makes the average gray wolf more than double the size of an average coyote. 

Gray Wolf Vs. Coyote: Tracks

Each animal has its own unique paw size and shape. But measuring the exact size is a complex thing to do. 

However, measuring a track or a pawprint left behind makes it easy to determine the size of a paw.

For example, a coyote track is 2.25 to 2.75 inches long and 1.75 to 2.5 inches wide. But a footprint of a wolf is larger as compared to a coyote. As it is 4 to 5.5 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide. 

Gray Wolf Vs. Coyote: Location

Coyotes prefer open landscapes such as deserts, grasslands, and suburban areas, while Gray wolves tend to inhabit forests and mountains.

 Moreover, coyotes are found in North, Central America, Canada, the united states, and Mexico. And grey wolves are also found in these countries, but they also live in Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. 

Is a coyote smaller than a Gray wolf?

Coyotes are much smaller than healthy adult wolves and look quite different. The grey wolf can measure up to 6 feet in body length, while a coyote measures an average of only 3-4 feet. Wolves also weigh 60 to 175 pounds, whereas coyotes only weigh between 15-50 pounds.

Do coyotes mate with dogs?

Coyotes and dogs are both members of the canine family, which means they can mate with one another. And the hybrid of a coyote and a dog is known as a coydog.

Do coyotes sound like wolves?

Coyotes produce higher-pitched howls that tend to be shorter than those of wolves. The yips and barks of coyotes are also high-pitched, whereas wolves make lower-pitched and longer howls. 

What is more dangerous: a coyote or a wolf?

Both animals have striking differences in size, behavior, and predatory habits. The gray wolf is generally larger than a coyote with males weighing between 60 to 145 pounds, compared to a coyote’s 15-50 pound range. 

Coyotes typically hunt smaller prey than wolves, from rabbits to insects and small birds. Wolves typically hunt larger prey such as deer, elk, or moose. Despite their size difference, both animals can pose a threat if encountered near humans.


There is a notable difference between a coyote and a gray wolf. A wolf weighs around 145  lbs, whereas a coyote weighs around 50 lbs. Moreover, A wolf has a muscular lean narrow chest and a coyote has slender legs, fox-like ears, and a snout. 

Additionally,  a coyote can mate with a dog, and their hybrid is called a coydog. With this, a coyote and a wolf both are dangerous wild animals.  Check out the video given below to learn the difference between a coyote, and a wolf.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are coyotes a type of gray wolf?

Coyote, (Canis latrans), also called prairie wolf or brush wolf.

Is A wolf stronger than a coyote?

A wolf is larger and stronger than a coyote. 

Can a coyote be a wolf?

The coyote is categorized as Canis latrans.

How big is a wolf compared to a coyote?

Wolves are generally bigger than coyotes.

Olivia Kepner