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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if this is a large fox track or a coyote track? Let me know what you guys think?

 

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i too think it's a dog, kinda rounded and the nails give it away more. A little further away pic would also help to put it into perspective and to show it's series of steps.
 

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Right front foot of a male red fox.

That would have to be an itty bitty dog in relation to the size of those twigs.
 

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It's a dog. If you use the "X" theory for ID'ing a dog versus coyote track, on a coyote track you can draw an X through the negative space on the foot. On a domestic dog you can not, the lines will hit the pad.
 

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John-PA said:
It's a dog. If you use the "X" theory for ID'ing a dog versus coyote track, on a coyote track you can draw an X through the negative space on the foot. On a domestic dog you can not, the lines will hit the pad.
John, the "X" theory is for distinguishing between canine tracks and cat tracks.......not between domestic dogs and coyotes. Some domestics have very fat feet and the "X" crowds the heel, but with cats you'll never be able to make the connection.

Besides, you can easily draw an "X" in the track in question.
 

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If I knew how to draw one of those nice red lines over a picture on the computer, I'm sure I could get an "X" to fit through there without touching.
I just looked at my two labs tracks in the little bit of snow that's left and I can get an "X" through everyone of their tracks.
It's easy to make a picture perfect drawing of a coyote print to validate the "X", but rarely is a print that pretty in the snow or mud. Actually foxes are even a bit more round than coyote tracks, so the angles of the "X" can be a little more obtuse than the perfect roman numeral.
Either way, I'll continue to be happy catching the critter that left those tracks....still contending it is the right front foot of a red fox.
Is anybody with me?

http://www.bear-tracker.com/caninevsfeline.html
(There is an excellent download that goes along with this link)
 

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Lots of opinions out there on the subject:

Some Yuppy Website:

Start your search for the eastern coyote in cropland or forested areas. The coyote prefers areas of heavy brush and where farmland meets the forest.


Look at the tracks. Compared to dog prints, the coyote tracks show the two inner toes close together, <span style="color: #990000">and like the dog print, there is an "x" shape between the heel and toes.</span>


From the Audobon Society:


There are four members of Canidae, the dog family, that you may encounter in the Northeast: domestic dog, gray fox, red fox and coyote. All of these canids have four toe pads that register in the substrate. They all have thick, unretractable nails, some of which also usually register. The track they leave is, as a rule, longer than it is wide, creating an oval impression (as opposed to a cat’s roundish track). <span style="color: #990000">In most cases, you can imagine drawing an “X” in the spaces between the toe pads and the large metatarsal, or heel, pad behind them. All members of the dog family share these characteristics, which can make their tracks relatively challenging to distinguish from one another.</span>

There are a few helpful traits for telling a domestic dog, fox and coyote track apart. To begin with, although their ranges do overlap, you often find wild canid tracks on man-made trails and back roads, far from where domestic dogs would tend to travel. A look at the trail that the tracks make will help determine whether it’s a domestic dog or a wild canid. Because they know they don’t have to worry about filling their bellies, dogs are often quite aimless when they are out and about; their tracks tend to be less purposeful and wander all over the place. Foxes and coyotes are intent on finding their next meal, and don’t waste precious energy taking unnecessary steps. Thus, their trails often are less sloppy than domestic dogs’ and much straighter. In addition, foxes and coyotes have a tendency to direct register – place their hind feet exactly where their front feet have been. Dogs sometimes do this, but more often the front and hind foot tracks are not precisely on top of one another. A close look at the details of the track of a dog will show that the toes are splayed out, the nail of each toe pointed in a different direction. The toes of foxes and coyotes are usually tight together, with the inner two pointing straight ahead, and the outer two toes somewhat behind them.

Distinguishing fox from coyote tracks is a bit more difficult. The width of a fox’s trail (straddle) is narrower than that of a coyote, as foxes are considerably smaller. Foxes are very agile, and their tracks often go along fallen logs and stonewalls (gray foxes even climb trees); coyotes tend to be more grounded. Individual fox tracks have a delicate appearance, even in snow. They are small, and there is quite a bit of space between their toe pads and the metatarsal pad. Because they are very hairy, red fox feet do not always reveal this in snow, but in mud and in good winter tracking conditions, it is possible to see the imprint of a raised ridge on the back of the front foot’s metatarsal pad. This ridge can be straight or slightly curved, like a chevron, and can help distinguish the red fox from the gray. Both species of foxes have semiretractable nails, whereas coyotes don’t retract their nails. Consequently, coyote tracks will almost always show at least one or two nail marks – fox tracks may not.
 

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Going by what the OP said, he asked if it was a coyote or fox track. I would guess that means the track is much bigger than a fox track to begin with. Maybe with something in the pic for size comparison it would help us ID it easier, but I am sticking with domestic dog until he shows that it's a much smaller track.

In his post in the predator forum with the same picture it says "the track seems to be bigger than the normal tracks I am coming across". That also leads me to the conclusion of domestic dog.
 

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Haha, that's the worst part about looking at a picture. It would be nice if we could see the size of the stride, or something for comparison to the track. I always set a snuff can next to a track for size comparison.
 
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