A dog walker on the North Shore fought off a coyote attacking another person's dog – by punching it in the face.

Denise Baker-Grant says she “didn’t think, just went for it” when she heard screams on a Grouse Mountain trail on Wednesday, rounded a corner, and saw a Shih Tzu in the coyote’s jaws.

“I went running up, and I grabbed the back of its neck and I punched it right where the dog’s jaws meet in the back. Its mouth popped open. I threw the dog at the lady and I threw the coyote over there and I kicked and screamed and it ran away,” Baker-Grant told CTV News.

Her hand is bruised and sore. The Shih Tzu was punctured a few times and went to the vet. And the coyote disappeared into the wild.

“He was really skinny though. Didn’t look healthy at all,” Baker-Grant said.

It was the second attack this week in the Lower Mainland. In Burnaby, three-year-old Ayden was mauled outside the family home, and needed over 100 stitches.

Conservation officers tracked down an animal that fit its description and destroyed it.

Coyotes are naturally fearful of people and generally don’t attack. Often when they do it’s because they’ve lost that fear.

One way to lose that fear is to get fed by people, said Greg Hart of the Stanley Park Ecology Society.

“Most of the incidents can be traced back to someone deliberately feeding them. That food reward. That’s why it’s super important never to feed a coyote,” Hart said.

Ayden’s mom, Amanda Dycke, thinks neighbours feeding the coyote is one thing that attracted it to her complex.

“It could happen to anybody. Especially when people are feeding wildlife and they shouldn’t be,” she said.