Standing-Over in Captive Coywolves, Canis latrans × lycaon

Jonathan G. Way


I documented standing-over behavior in a captive Coywolf (Canis latrans × lycaon, Eastern Coyote) pack from April 2002 to October 2003. Standing-over involves an individual positioning its inguinal area over a recumbent (i.e., lying) individual's head. While all five Coywolves in my study pack performed standing-over, the dominant female was responsible for the vast majority. Thus, standing-over appears to be primarily female-oriented, as has previously been reported for Wolves, Canis lupus, and may involve two functions: (1) to advertise the reproductive state of the animal doing the standing-over and (2) to assert dominance via a low-intensity agonistic interaction.


Coywolf; Eastern Coyote; Canis latrans × lycaon; agonistic; aggression; behavior; breeding/dominant female; standing-over

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