So it’s about time for another update on raising Bardou, the coyote pup. He’s 13 weeks old now (time flies!) and quite the explorer. There are no bottles or cute little pups curling up in your lap. He is full of energy with very sharp nails and even sharper teeth. For the first few weeks he was so small he could stay in the bath tub and not climb over the side. Those days are long gone and he now stays outside. He stays in a small enclosure close to the house. When he has grown he will be moved into a much larger space. It’s at this age that hand-raising a wild animal is the most difficult. All he wants to do is play, which can be quite rough. This is how pups learn from one another. It is up to us to fill this role of other coyotes and let him know what the rules are, yet still let him have his fun as a young canine.
|The baby picture, 3 weeks old.|
Twice a day Nigel and I take him out for “playtime”. He gets to run around the yard and interact with us. What we do with this time is very important to his growth. I love just sitting and watching him and Nigel. He is so in tune with his “dad” and they run and run around chasing each other. Sometimes I can’t tell who’s supposed to be chasing who. I always see the biggest smiles on Nigel when he’s interacting with our animals. I love when Bardou finds a bug. He jumps up with all four legs and pounces on it. Then there are the moments where he finds a clump of grass. He spends a great deal of time tossing it in the air chasing it and pouncing on it. He knows exactly where it has landed and always seems to go back to it until it has completely broken apart. The most amazing thing to me is that we have 4 other canines, domesticated canines at that, and none of them fetch. Bardou, the coyote, will fetch. He loves his tennis ball and actually does bring it back. Lately he’s chased after it and then gotten very easily sidetracked on all that’s going on in the yard.
|10 weeks old|
The wild coyote does come out in him. He’s often passed some blackberries and stopped to eat them on his way by, or even a grub or two, even after having had his dinner. He plays rough with a lot of jumping and he can be mouthy. Not that he’s trying to bite but it’s the way he would have played with other pups. His teeth are a bit too sharp for human skin that isn’t covered in fur. He is very different when other people in the yard with us. He does not like strangers and any of the volunteers that want to work with him has to keep up contact with him and get him used to him and the right way to act around him. New people freak him out all-together even though he’s been hand-raised. Which is why there are so many coyotes in the wild yet very few are actually seen. They do their very best to avoid people. At work the doctor and I were told a story where a man was walking his 2 small dogs down the street and a coyote came up and snatched one of the dogs off the leash and killed it. I can tell you that if that story is true it either was a dog of some type or a rabid coyote. I have learned that even a healthy, hand-raised coyote does NOT like confrontation and does not like to go near strange people. It’s been amusing to watch people’s reactions to him that really want him to act like a dog or puppy that just always loves people.
|Me and my boy, 13 weeks old.|
My favorite part about raising Bardou isn’t just about working with a coyote. Nigel and very rarely work on projects together. We just get so very busy with so much to do around here. Training Bardou every night is a project that Nigel and I are working on together. More formal training will come later, but for now we are just learning our “manners”.