Hiking & Trails

After coyotes attack dog in Foothills, officials advise leashing pets on some trails

An off-leash dog was attacked by a pack of coyotes on a popular Boise trail on Tuesday, prompting officials to advise trail users to keep pets leashed in spots where they’re often untethered.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon, Ridge to Rivers said an off-leash dog was attacked off of the Crestline Trail in the Lower Hulls Gulch area. Crestline, like many other trails in the area, is an off-leash trail.

According to the post, the attack involved “a pack that typically roams in the Hulls Gulch and Military Reserve areas.”

“The coyotes are most likely protecting a den of pups and are typically not intimidated by dogs or people,” the post said.

Sara Arkle, Foothills and open space superintendent for the city of Boise, said it’s safest to keep dogs on-leash in the area, at least for the time being.

“If you’re not 100% positive your dog will return to you every time you call it, especially in the springtime when animals are protecting their young, we would recommend you keep them on-leash,” Arkle said in a phone interview Wednesday.

She said that although coyote encounters in the Foothills are far from unusual, the coyotes involved in the attack Tuesday were unusually bold.

“They were able to entice the dog to chase them,” she said, adding that the dog that was bitten is expected to be OK.

To avoid similar encounters, Arkle advised following Ridge to Rivers’ “controlled dog off-leash” rules: Your dog should come back each time it’s called and stay within 30 feet of you. She also urged trail users to stay aware of their surroundings at all times.

“It’s a wild area in the backyard of an urban area,” Arkle said of the Foothills. “The thing that has changed is there are more people in the Foothills than there have been historically.”

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