Tonight for Cub Scout Pack meeting we went on a night hike around the reservoir. I took the dog too. One of the scout leaders commented that the dog would keep the coyotes away. I'm not sure if she would be coyote repellent, or coyote bait, but either way, we didn't see any coyotes.
This hike was about 2 miles. The path was surprisingly smooth. One of the families brought a stroller for their 3 year old but didn't have much problem pushing it on the path. The moon was full, so we had plenty of light. I thought it would be cold out, but it turned out to be a very mild evening. I had asked my neighbor if she and her kids wanted to come with us, but she was afraid it would be too cold. But it was so nice, I think I might get her to go again with us sometime.
I considered letting the dog off the leash, but I worried she might rouse up a skunk, so I kept her on leash. There were also a lot of cows around, and the signs posted there warn us to keep dogs on leash when there are cows nearby. The first time she saw cows she was off leash and took off toward them barking. One of the bigger cows squared off in front of her and I think she learned really quickly that the cow wasn't going to budge, so she left it alone. Tonight we walked right past a whole herd of cows, and by "right past", I mean approximately 10 feet. She didn't even give them a second look.
I know it might be colder where some of you are than it is here in California, but I really suggest that when your weather permits, you try taking a night hike.