As an animal coordinator for film I am often asked to provide animals that look wild but are also well trained and social enough to enjoy their on set experience. This last couple of months I have been developing several coydog (Coydogs are a mix of coyote and dog) puppies for future work in the industry and…have run into a suprising amount of mis-information about coydogs in general.
“They can’t be trained” people say. Weirdly enough, when asked these people admit they haven’t actually met a live coydog and are only repeating what they have heard other people say. Which leaves me wondering if these “other people” who made the original pronouncement of untrainability had actually met a Coydog either (they are fairly rare).
If we followed this trail of misinformation all the way back to the first person who said “Coydogs can’t be trained” would we actually find someone who owned a coydog and tried training it? Did this person (I wonder) have success training other dogs? Was this possibly apocryphal coydog perhaps not raised with the family and socialized properly? I am not saying that all coydogs are as intelligent, willing and as social as the puppies I have been working with but… I just want to people to question all encompassing statements such as “All Rottweilers are vicious” and “all coydogs are not trainable and/or vicious”.
I chose the music for this video to make a point ( sorry about the tinny quality – I’m just not that techie). I am a very strong believer in positive motivation. As I tell the people who take my classes – you can force an animal to do something using corrections and coercion but… you WILL NOT get an animal that looks like it is happy on film. You can’t fake happy! Watch Loki work in this video and see how into the training she is and how her tail is almost always wagging. She likes to work and she is already working at a fairly advanced level. I think the video speaks for itself – This coydog is trainable – All You Need Is Love.
Many thanks to Liz Werner for her wonderful job as Foster Mom and socialization director for Loki!