How Fast Can Coyotes Run at Top Speed?

Generally, we can easily mistake a coyote for a dog, have you ever thought if you can outrun them? Or how high will your fence be to keep coyotes outside your compound? After all, they know our presence means meal opportunities.

They can invade the garbage or attack the unprotected pets in our compounds, which begs the question, “How fast can coyotes run?”

How Fast Can a Coyote Run?

Like the popular animation character Wile E coyote, real coyotes are agile and fast runners. Coyotes are capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 to 45 miles per hour (64 to 72 kilometers per hour) for short bursts. 

However, their sustained running speed over longer distances is typically slower, around 20 to 25 miles per hour (32 to 40 kilometers per hour). 

This speed allows them to chase down prey and cover a considerable distance while hunting. Coyotes are known for their adaptability and hunting skills, including speed and stealth. 

BC Thompson confirmed in 1976 that crippled coyotes can attain a speed of just below 32 mph. Thompson used three coyotes that had been captured by steel traps, which means that they couldn’t use one of their feet properly. 

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are believed to have evolved around 1 to 2 million years ago from their common ancestor with the gray wolf. Therefore, you should expect this North American creature to be faster than most dog breeds and quite dangerous as they can attack our pets. 

They are highly adaptable animals and have been able to expand their range across North America due to their ability to thrive in various environments. The urban coyotes can be found in many parts of the United States, like New York, Canada, Mexico, and Central America.

Top Height a Coyote Can Jump

Coyotes are capable of jumping to a considerable height, especially when they need to navigate obstacles or pursue prey. On average, a coyote can jump vertically to heights of about 3 to 4 feet (approximately 0.9 to 1.2 meters). However, they may be able to clear even higher obstacles if necessary. 

Their jumping ability allows them to scale fences, cross streams, and navigate various types of terrain in their natural habitat. 

Therefore, you can install high fences in your compound, but most importantly, keep your pets indoors. After all, they do prey on the stranded or unprotected pets in the urban areas. 

Plus, they’re exceptional climbers; therefore, they can easily climb most fences. They have been seen climbing 14-foot cyclone fences. So, when propelled by their top speeds, a coyote population can easily jump over your fence.

Coyote’s Top Speed

Generally, an eastern coyote and a western coyote can easily maintain a maximum speed of about 0.4 km. They can maintain a speed of between 15 and 20 mph for a distance of about 2 miles. For any distance over 2 miles, their average speed is usually between 10 and 15 mph.

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Coyote vs. Domestic Dog Breeds

Coyotes are generally faster runners than most domesticated dog breeds. They are naturally adapted for agility and speed, making them efficient hunters and pursuers of prey. As aforementioned, coyotes can reach speeds of up to 40 to 45 miles per hour for short bursts. 

They have good endurance over longer distances, typically running at sustained speeds of 20 to 25 miles per hour.

Several dog breeds are fast runners, such as Greyhounds, Salukis, and Whippets. Some of these dogs can run as fast as coyotes. Unfortunately, the average domestic dog does not possess the same level of speed and endurance as a coyote.

It’s important to note that the speed of a coyote or a dog can vary depending on the individual animal, breed, age, and physical condition. Additionally, in terms of raw speed, some dog breeds may be faster than an average coyote. But coyotes are generally quite agile and skilled runners in the wild.

Some of the top dog breeds that can compete with coyotes include:

  • Italian Greyhounds and Jack Russell Terriers have a maximum speed of about 30 mph.
  • Boxer dogs, Border Collies, and German Shepherds have a top speed of about 30 mph.
  • Deerhounds, Vizslas, and Salukis have a top speed of about 40 mph.
  • Greyhounds have a top speed of about 45 mph.

Greyhound vs. Coyote

Greyhounds are one of the fastest dog breeds and are known for their exceptional speed. In a straight-line sprint, a well-conditioned Greyhound can often outrun a coyote. 

Greyhounds can reach speeds of up to 40 to 45 miles per hour (64 to 72 kilometers per hour), which is comparable to the top speeds of a coyote.

However, whether a Greyhound can outrun a coyote in a real-world scenario depends on several factors. Some of these factors include the individual animal’s fitness, motivation, and the specific circumstances of the chase. 

Coyotes are agile and resourceful predators, often better adapted for endurance and maneuvering in natural environments than domestic dogs. In some situations, a coyote might be able to outmaneuver a Greyhound, especially if it involves a longer chase over varied terrain.

Coyotes vs. Human Beings

Outrunning a coyote on foot can be challenging for most humans. Coyotes are agile and fast runners, capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 to 45 miles per hour (64 to 72 kilometers per hour) for short bursts. While humans can run at relatively high speeds, the average person cannot sustain such speeds over a distance.

If you encounter a coyote while hiking or in a situation where you feel threatened, it’s generally not a good idea to try to outrun it. Instead, follow these guidelines to avoid a coyote attack:

  • Do not run: Running away from a coyote can trigger their predatory instinct, making them more likely to give chase. Stand your ground and maintain a calm demeanor.
  • Make noise: Shout, clap your hands, or use a whistle to make loud noises. This can help deter the coyote and signal that you are not easy prey.
  • Appear larger: Raise your arms to make yourself look bigger. Wave them slowly to make yourself appear more intimidating.
  • Maintain eye contact: Keep your eyes on the coyote and avoid breaking eye contact. This can convey confidence and discourage the animal from approaching.
  • Back away slowly: While maintaining eye contact and making noise, slowly and calmly back away from the coyote. Please do not turn your back on it.


Coyotes can attain a top speed of between 40 and 45 mph in short bursts. But over long distances, their speed averages between 20 and 25 mph. At this speed, they can easily chase their prey, jump over most fences, and attack our pets. 

After all, they can easily jump over 4-foot fences, thanks to their top speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a coyote outrun a wolf?

No, a wolf is faster on straight-line sprints as it’s bigger and can reach a top speed of about 40 mph when covering short distances.

Can a coyote outrun a deer?

No, a coyote cannot outrun a healthy adult deer in a straight-line sprint. Deer are speedy runners that can attain a top speed of about 45 mph.

Can a coyote outrun a German Shepherd?

A coyote is generally faster than a German Shepherd in a straight-line sprint. Coyotes are naturally agile and can run at speeds of up to 40 to 45 miles per hour for short bursts.

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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