Four years ago, Paul Mott was walking his poodle, Buffy, when a coyote snatched the dog from right in front of him. He tried to intervene, but there was nothing he could do. The animal grabbed Buffy by the neck, shook her to death, and then took off running. Mott couldn’t catch up, and he never saw his fur-baby ever again.
The loss still haunts Mott, who has spent the intervening years, along with his wife Pamela, making sure other pet owners don’t suffer a similar trauma.
Their solution was to create a series of studded and spiked dog collars, harnesses, and vests — which are inspired by the quills of a porcupine — to prevent coyotes (or big birds and larger dogs, for that matter) from getting too close.
Mott’s devotion to the mission is such that he even ordered a coyote skull off eBay to make sure that the distribution of studs/spikes was enough to deter a coyote from getting a good grip. In case it does, there’s also an option with an electric zapper intended to shock the predator into dropping the dog. The product line also includes spiked collars and harnesses; there’s even a version for cats.
Since launching in 2015, CoyoteVests have become a hit among small dog owners, who relish this extra protection, just like the Motts intended. After he donned his new dog vest, a Jack Russell name Jazz easily survived an attack by a larger dog at an off-leash park. Now a pair of Havanese named Maverick and Sierra rock studded vests on daily walks around their coyote-infested neighborhood. Three years after losing her canine sibling Chewbacca to a brazen coyote attack in front of her entire family, Kupcake dons a coyote vest for her daily walk.
If you worry about protecting your small dog from coyotes, bigger dogs, and birds of prey, this clever product is a great way to keep your pet safe. Regardless, this punk rock style is a great way to make your small dog actually as tough as he already thinks he is!
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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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