In body form and size, the coyote (Canis latrans) resembles a small collie dog, with erect pointed ears, slender muzzle, and a bushy tail. Coyotes are predominantly brownish gray in color with a light gray to cream-colored belly. Color varies greatly, however, from nearly black to red or nearly white in some individuals and local populations. Most have dark or black guard hairs over their back and tail. In western states, typical adult males weigh from 25 to 45 pounds (11 to 16 kg) and females from 22 to 35 pounds (10 to 14 kg). In the East, many coyotes are larger than their western counterparts, with males averaging about 45 pounds (14 kg) and females about 30 pounds (13 kg).
Coyote-dog and coyote-wolf hybrids exist in some areas and may vary greatly from typical coyotes in size, color, and appearance. Also, coyotes in the New England states may differ in color from typical western coyotes. Many are black, and some are reddish. These colorations may partially be due to past hybridization with dogs and wolves. True wolves are also present in some areas of coyote range, particularly in Canada, Alaska, Montana, northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Relatively few wolves remain in the southern United States and Mexico.