Coyote Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

The coyote is a unique animal tattoo choice and has several meanings. Coyote tattoos can represent bravery, wisdom, and adaptability. Tattoos of coyotes may also symbolize family, positivity, and healing. 

In this article, we’ll examine the various meanings of a coyote tattoo.

All About Coyotes

Coyotes are a type of canine from the same family as wolves and dogs. They are found in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central America. Coyotes prefer to eat meat such as rabbits, rodents, and fish but will also eat berries and other fruit. 

These animals range in size from 15 to 44 pounds, with females being smaller than males. Their coats can be gray, brown, or red, depending on where they live, and some have white or black mixed in. Coyotes can live in grasslands, deserts, mountain areas, and forests. 

Coyote Tattoos

The majority of coyote tattoos are medium to large in size. Common locations for these tattoos are the chest, back, shoulder, and leg. Many coyote tattoos are done in black and gray ink, especially tribal designs and realistic images. 

Both women and men get coyote tattoos, though the style of design sometimes differs between genders. Coyote tattoos are often realistic illustrations of these animals, sometimes shown with the moon or trees–a very common image shows the animal howling at the moon. Other versions include tribal, geometric, and cartoon designs.


Coyotes are described as brave animals who don’t back down in the face of danger. They will defend their territory or their pack when needed, though they are not unnecessarily aggressive. 

A coyote tattoo can represent a person’s courage and bravery in life. Whether this is a quality that they already possess or one that they are hoping to develop, the tattoo can be a reminder to face up to things that scare them. 


Coyotes are intelligent creatures who are known for their wisdom. They are very curious animals and learn a lot simply by watching what is going on around them, whether this is in the wild or in a more urban area. 

A tattoo of a coyote shows that the person values intelligence and aspires to become wise. These people respect the abilities of coyotes and the tattoo shows that they share a common trait. Someone may get a coyote tattoo to remind them to act from a place of wisdom versus ignorance.


Because coyotes are smaller than some of their canine family members, like wolves, they have learned to be more resourceful. Coyotes can adapt to many different environments and are excellent survivalists. Coyotes will eat whatever food is abundant in their area and they have great hunting skills.

Coyote tattoos can symbolize an individual’s ability to adapt to challenging situations. Perhaps they have faced difficult times in the past and have overcome them–this shows their ability to adapt to their surroundings and make the most of them.


Though coyotes can be solitary creatures, for example, during some hunting activities, overall, they are pack animals. Coyotes are very social and prefer to live among a group of their kin. While they usually live with family, coyotes have also been known to combine with others. Coyotes are known to be very protective of their young.

A person who strongly values family may get a coyote tattoo to represent this. People who have strong ties to their ancestors may choose a tattoo of a coyote to symbolize the importance of their heritage and family history. The coyote tattoo also shows that the person is willing and ready to protect their loved ones from harm.


The coyote is a symbol of positivity in some cultures and parts of the world. For example, in Korea, some people see the coyote as representing goodness and confidence. However, it is only the white coyotes that have this representation, not the dark ones.

Someone who is trying to incorporate positive thinking or a better attitude in their life might choose to get a white coyote tattoo for this reason. A person who would like to attract or manifest more good things in their life may see coyote tattoos as a way to do this.

Native American Culture

There are a few different beliefs about coyotes in different Native American cultures. Some people believe that the coyote is a sacred animal that has healing powers. Others believe that coyotes are magical and have the ability to shapeshift into other beings.

A person who is Native American may choose to get a tattoo of a coyote to represent their heritage. Particularly if they are seeking healing in some aspect of their life, whether this is emotional or physical, a coyote tattoo may be representative of that desire for health and well-being. 


Coyotes, while incredibly resourceful and intelligent animals, are also very playful creatures. Pups, in particular, show a love of play and an enthusiasm for life. They can also be very sneaky–in fact, the animal’s name comes from the Aztec word ‘coyotl,’ which means trickster.

A coyote tattoo might show an individual’s playful nature. It can also be symbolic of trying to find a balance between working hard and having a good time. The coyote tattoo shows the importance of making time for fun and not taking everything so seriously.

Wile E. Coyote

The Looney Tunes animated series featured a character named Wile E. Coyote, who, along with Road Runner, was featured in slapstick comedy cartoons. Someone may get this specific coyote as a tattoo if they are a fan of the show and want to represent their interest in it.

Arizona Coyotes

The National Hockey League (NHL) has a team called the Arizona Coyotes. The name was chosen because coyotes are particularly abundant in that state. Their logo has featured various depictions of a coyote and their mascot is a coyote named Howler. Fans or former players of the Arizona Coyotes might choose to get a coyote tattoo to show their love for the team.

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