A new piece of protective gear could become the new normal among hunting dogs or even household pets that stray outside in coyote territory.
Recent news suggests the coyotes are getting bolder, or stranger anyway, with more erratic and violent behavior. Coyote populations have also been reported to be growing in many states, and coyote attacks against domestic dogs have been on the increase.
For these reasons, hunters who run dogs in the field might want to avoid repeating one of the tragic scenes from Old Yeller or Where the Red Fern Grows.
Other products, such as bite collars, have existed for a while, but the new CoyoteVest could become standard issue for hunting dogs. The vest is essentially a suit of armor with spiked studs, which on their own turn any heeler, coon hound or even a basset into a warrior.
And yes, a basset is, traditionally, a hunting dog.
The makers of the product say the dog-sized suit of armor is light and allows easy movement, while remaining strong enough to shield against coyote claws and teeth.
The vest looks mean enough, but the jury is out whether it affords enough protection to vital areas, or even whether or not the wiley coyotes will become wise and find a way to get around it.
If classic cartoons can be trusted that scenario is not likely.
Photo credit: Coyote Vest