Rottweiler vs Coyote

Rottweiler vs Coyote: Is It Best to Be Strong or Fast?

Do you ever try to imagine how your dog would compare to another of a different breed? You know you are not alone because everywhere you look you probably see headlines of different match-ups. There are the toughies like Cane Corso vs. Pit Bull.

Guard dog challenges include German Shepherd vs. Doberman or Rottweiler vs. Belgian Malinois. You can see an endless chain of comparisons including herding dogs, bulldogs, and even many of the fiercer breeds against coyotes or wolves.

There are a few ways to think of Rottweiler vs. coyote. Comparing physical features to speculate which might win a physical battle is largely academic. However, dogs and coyotes do meet occasionally, and the latter fares better in an altercation with Rottweilers.

Although Rotties have a substantial size and strength advantage, they cannot match the coyote’s quickness and athleticism. Extremely fit Rotties prevail sometimes, but they are not hunting dogs nor do they have the specific skills for fighting apex predators that livestock guardians do.

Our main focus is a comparison of the Rottweiler vs. coyote strengths and weaknesses. Some of the contrasts are interesting aspects of each different canid while others may help in a Hypothetical fight between the two.

A beauty contest is tied?

Personal preferences and ingrained ideas about physical beauty make it difficult to pick a clear winner in a contest of looks. A judge who must pick the “Best in Show” from several different breeds faces a similar dilemma.


Rottweilers have a broad head with high-set ears. Triangular in shape, the ears fold over and lie close to the head. Their eyes are dark, almond-shaped, and medium in size. The muzzle to back skull length is about 1:1 for the breed. Jaws are wide and strong and Rotties have high cheekbones.

Coyotes have narrow skulls compared to both domesticated dogs and wolves. You have likely noticed their muzzles are proportionally long and slender concerning their skulls. In fact, a coyote’s muzzle length to width ratio at its widest part is about 2:1.

Coyotes also have powerful jaws and 42 teeth, like the Rottweiler, but the lower jaw is exceptionally narrow. The wild canid’s ears are relatively large, triangular in shape, and upright with pointed tips. Puppies have drop ears.


Rotties have a very broad and deep chest with a muscular body and level back. Their body length to height ratio is 10:9. Because of the depth of its chest, the Rottweiler’s elbows are inches above the sternum.

There is a moderate tuck-up from chest to hips. A Rottie’s feet are large, round, and compact with arched toes. Limbs are visibly strong, and the breed moves with a distinctive springiness at the trot.

Coyotes also are slightly longer than tall with a noticeably light frame that still reveals strength. Coyotes appear long-legged because of the absence of the deep chest of the Rottweiler and other working dogs as well as a longer humerus. The coyote has an efficient gliding gait that makes it appear to float. Its feet are oval.

Coyotes have round eyes, although they appear almond-shaped because they are tilted on a narrow face. The eyes are usually golden brown. A rare mutation has led to blue-eyed coyotes in parts of California.


Even though the tail seems fairly insignificant, it turns out it is a canine’s signature. You would never confuse a Rottweiler for a wolf or coyote, but the tail is helpful to distinguish wolves and their smaller cousins from breeds like the GSD or Siberian Husky.

Rottweilers, if they have a natural tail, carry it in a loose curve when alert, working, or excited. It is not particularly full, but it often has fringes that might resemble light feathering on the lower half. Coyotes have a bushy tail that is never curled.

The most striking difference between canid groups is how they carry their tails when running. Dogs that are not fearful run with their tails up. If you have a breed with a docked tail, then the question may be mute. You will only see a short tail on a wild canid in the rare case of a specific injury.

Rotties in the US often have very short bobtails as docking is still customary in the country. Wolves, similarly to foxes, run holding their tails horizontal to the ground.


Rotties are always black and tan with the brown showing up as rust points above the eyes, on the chest, lower legs, the cheeks, and under the tail.

Coyotes can be reddish-brown, gray, or agouti. Agouti is a common color of wild animals with bands of different shades of gray, brown, and red with black tips and sometimes grizzled. Coyotes often have white on their chests and bellies.

Hybridization between coyotes and domesticated dogs can completely alter looks and behavior, complicating the identification of the animal.

How wily is the coyote?

Rottweilers, ranked among the top 10 dogs in working intelligence, are highly teachable and can make decisions quickly on the job. They react prudently and discerningly to a vast array of stressful situations.

Unlike many livestock guardians and hunting dogs, Rottweilers have a long history of cooperating closely with people. Although they have the capacity for independent thought, they look to their owners for guidance.

Coyotes rely on their instincts and life experiences to survive. Their social nature, albeit not as concrete as that of wolves, makes them particularly dangerous to domesticated dogs. Moreover, they prey on all pets, especially those under 25 pounds.

When hunted or threatened, one coyote can lure a pursuer into a secluded area where three or four of their peers lie in wait. Coyotes also use their agility to weave in and out of vegetation, turn corners on a dime, and blend into the background. Sighthounds that hunt coyotes have the upper hand in open spaces but often find frustration in grasslands or the forest.

Which animal is faster?

While coyotes are not as fast as Greyhounds, which can reach speeds of over 45 miles per hour, they are much faster than Rotties. Coyotes can run 35 to 43 miles per hour. Rottweilers only run about 20 to 25 miles per hour.

Many dog enthusiasts picture Rottweilers barreling towards a target at high speeds and thus dismiss them as sprinters. Rotties are in fact trotting dogs and were designed to move cattle over tremendous distances. They can sustain a slow ground-covering trot for two to three miles.

Coyotes also only maintain top speeds for short bursts. However, they can maintain a steady trot for three or more miles.

Who can jump the furthest?

Coyotes can jump a six-foot fence, scale an eight-foot wall, and leap across four feet of water. Even if they could not stand and fight, they run circles around their domestic counterparts. Rotties can jump three feet. Rottweilers are much more likely to rely on their strength and power than raw speed or agility.

Which swims faster?

Coyotes are much more willing to get into the water and are lighter and thus swim faster than Rotties. Yotes can swim about half a mile. Rotties can swim and some individuals readily take to the water, but they are heavily muscled and dense. Rotties must expend extra energy to stay afloat.

How can each canid take advantage of fight style?

Rottweilers have a reputation as being among the most dangerous dogs. They are No. 2 behind Pit Bull Terriers in the US. Despite their fearlessness, size, and strength, most of the Rottweiler’s bad press stems from the high demand by violent criminals, poor socialization, or misguided training methods.

Rotties are ideal as working dogs in public service, herding trials, and guarding, but they are also popular family companions.

Regardless of their potential for dog aggression, Rottweilers do not make great fighters. They tend to attack the head, throat, and chest in a frontal assault like other members of the Mastiff family.

However, Rotties lack the maneuverability of many of the smaller breeds. They also do not bite the limbs of an adversary as they would a wayward cow.

Coyotes are unbelievably quick and nimble predators and fighters. Their mode of attack of animals larger than a rabbit is to incapacitate them before the killing blow. They often dart in and attack the limbs over and over, weakening their opponent. Their quickness enables them to move in and out before a larger dog, for example, can overwhelm them.

However, coyotes usually try to avoid confrontations. Some big predators like wolves and mountain lions can match their quickness and easily kill them. Livestock guardians like the Great Pyrenees or Anatolian are well-versed in the coyote’s fighting style and can readily dispatch them.

Other dogs, like Greyhounds, can simply run a coyote down unless it can utilize surrounding terrain. On the contrary, there are reports of coyotes killing Rottweilers and the quick American Pit Bull Terrier.

The coyote’s style is a hard counter to the charging attack. Only very fit working Rottweilers might have a chance against a coyote. Most do not have the speed or even desire to outmaneuver the coyote’s agility and cunning.

Rottweilers can overpower coyotes.

There is no denying the size advantage Rotties have over coyotes. Even assuming the coyote is pound-for-pound the stronger animal, male Rottweilers weigh 130 pounds or more compared to the coyote’s maximum 50 pounds.

Female Rotties are smaller but still are at least 75 pounds, and the average coyote is only 25 to 37 pounds. Their heights can illustrate a large gap also with Rotties 22 to 28 inches tall and coyotes 22 to 25 inches high at the shoulders.

Rottweilers have a stronger bite.

The bite force is the amount of pressure an animal, including a human, can exert over a square inch. Many people think of Pit Bulls when they picture strong bites, but Rottweilers have a much higher bite force at 328 PSI compared to 235 PSI.

Estimates of the coyote’s bite force are around 150 to 175 PSI. Putting this in perspective, larger mastiffs have a bite force of 450 to 550 PSI while the Anatolian Shepherd or Kangal may top out at over 740 PSI. Wolves have a bite force of about 400 PSI but can max out at 1,500 PSI when on the attack.

A hippo has the strongest mammal bite at 1800 PSI, according to Field and Stream.

Certain factors can make the Rottweiler vs coyote outcome unpredictable.

Most fights between Rottweilers and coyotes will not occur. Rotties for the most part do not receive training to take down predators and their ancestors had made the split with livestock guardians thousands of years ago. Coyotes tend to avoid people and their preferred dog victims would likely be smaller than themselves. There are always exceptions.

  • Coydog (Coyote-dog) or wolf-coyote hybrids – Will be larger, possibly bolder, and more aggressive than typical coyotes
  • “Game” Rottweiler – Rare but a Rottweiler successfully trained to hunt; Pursuit-trained police and working herding dogs may also be able to take down coyotes
  • If a Rottweiler manages to grab a coyote in her jaws by luck or other means, the Rottie will prevail
  • Increased coyote aggression – Motive unclear but some coyotes target larger dogs in parks; Around mating and denning season coyotes can become more aggressive against larger dogs
  • A pack of coyotes will be bolder and more dangerous
  • Rottweilers guarding property are formidable and they can more successfully guard against rear attacks.


The issue of Rottweiler vs. coyote is usually just an idea to ponder. Few loving owners have the slightest interest in putting their loyal companions at any risk of injury. Even working Rottweilers do not have the training or DNA suitable for hunting dangerous wild animals.

Most encounters between the two species end peacefully. A coyote’s self-preservation usually directs it to avoid predators larger than itself. A coyote does not see larger dogs as prey unless hunting in packs. Rottweilers are territorial but do not typically have the predatory drive to sustain a long chase.

  • A Rottweiler always has a chance to kill a lone coyote
  • A single coyote cannot kill a Rottie most of the time unless the Rottweiler is weak through illness or age – It can cause serious injuries
  • Few dogs have much chance against multiple coyotes
  • Coyotes are less likely to attack your dog in your presence

This is how most Rottweiler vs. coyote encounters would probably go. The coyote ventures on the property and is foraging for food or just curious. A territorial Rottweiler chases the animal away.

Granted, this Rottweiler is well-behaved, but you can see he is no match for the coyote’s speed. Even a fitter Rottweiler will not find much motivation to chase the coyote too far into the forest as he will likely get left far behind pretty quickly.

Note, this coyote is almost as tall as the Rottie but much lighter, even without the bit of excess weight the Rottweiler carries. On the other hand, the coyote also does not feel any desire to return within the property boundaries. The yipping is typical of coyotes, and this one may be warning others. Once it says its piece, it disappears back into the forest, avoiding any physical confrontation

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