Coyotes are in mating season now until March, and that increases the risk of an encounter with your dog, while you’re out walking him in the bush.

Timmins Fur Council president Jodie Russell says dogs don’t do well against coyotes.

He recommends keeping your dog on a leash, because he might be attracted to a female coyote, and her mate might step in to protect her.

“Just like we see with bull moose,” Russell explains, “the males rut and jockey for position for the female.  There is typically that potential type of reaction with a domestic dog.  So you want to eliminate those opportunities and not have any problems with them by being in control of your dog.”

Even though there have been no reported cases in the region… Russell advises you to keep your dog on a leash while you’re walking him in or near the bush.

“It’s more a case of being aware that they’re out there and taking steps to control your animal and be aware so that you don’t have any negative interactions with the animal,” notes Russell.

WEB EXTRA: The complete interview with Jodie Russell.  Why coyotes are more common in these parts, and how valuable they are to farmers and trappers.