While you should be aware of wild animals in the mountains year round—dog owners need to be particularly aware of a few season: coyote mating season and when bears come out of hibernation and are ravenous.
In the Rocky Mountain Coyote mating season is from mid January through the end of March. Coyotes can be particularly aggressive during this season so be aware —especially if you choose to walk your dog in a non urban area. Coyotes are often cited in town but are even more plentiful in the foothills and trails in the mountains. And while they often prey on smaller animals they can be overly aggressive with larger dogs and feel threatened during mating season.
What Attracts Them To An Urban Environment?
According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife the following can attract Coyotes to a neighborhood:
-availability of garbage/compost
-outdoor pet food & water
-fallen fruit or berries
-thick vegetation, shrubs, old structures that can be used as a den
Make sure you keep an eye on your pets—smaller dogs can become a food source and larger dogs may make the coyote feel threatened—though most of the year that alone causes no issues —however during mating season while Coyotes are aggressive and protective of their young they will strike out at larger dogs.
So keep your dog on a leash, —if off leash in a dog park still keep an eye out for wildlife. If you encounter a Coyote pick ups smaller dogs and keep larger dogs away. Colorado Parks and Wildlife suggests detergents such as loud noise, rocks, vinegar in a water gun, airhorns or repellent spray. To discourage a Coyote who is approaching be as loud as possible, shout in a loud authoritative voice, do not run or turn your back, face the Coyote and back away slowly. Keep your dog safe!