You may have heard or seen some recent coyote activity. We have heard them a few times at night the past couple of weeks. Fall has some increased coyote activity, as the more mature pups start to break out to hunt on their own and move away from their family dens.
For the most part, coyotes are fearful of humans. However, they can become habituated with the abundance of food in residential areas and lose some of that fear.
I found these articles from the Humane Society and the CLE Metroparks on how to deal with coyotes in the yard. Generally, the best way to drive them out is a method called "hazing". This is where you use load noises, voices, and noise makers to drive them from your yard. Here is a quick list of hazing options from the Humane Society article:
Yelling and waving your arms while approaching the coyote
Noisemakers: Voice, whistles, air horns, bells, “shaker” cans full of marbles or pennies, pots, lid or pie pans banged together
Projectiles: sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls or rubber balls
Other: hoses, water guns with vinegar water, spray bottles with vinegar water, pepper spray or bear repellent
"Stand tall, wave your arms, and yell at the coyote, approaching them if necessary, until they run away. If a coyote has not been hazed before, they may not immediately run away when you yell at them. If this happens, you may need to walk towards the coyote and increase the intensity of your hazing. The coyote may run away, but then stop after a distance and look at you. It is important to continue to go after the coyote until they completely leave the area. You may need to use different tactics, such as noisemakers, stomping your feet, or spraying the coyote with a hose, to get them to leave."
When walking your dog, you can use some of the same techniques listed above. You can also take the following with you in areas that might have more known activity (Metroparks):
Whistle or small air horn (you can purchase small air horn “necklaces”)
Sticks or other objects to throw towards (but not at) the coyote
Coyotes do provide a service for our ecosystems by keeping prey animal populations in check. But we do need to be vigilant when it comes to the safety of our fur-kids.