Quiet Coyote Hand Signal

Quiet Coyote Hand Signal: What it signifies and How to use it!

Quiet Coyote hand signal – the good, the bad and the ugly! Flow with me as I take you through everything you need to know about quiet coyote, their meaning, what they signifies, the origin and how to use them. I shall also be taking you through the psychology behind the quiet coyote hand signal and how it affects you as a parent while trying to raise up your children.


Video of Quiet Coyote Hand Signal, and how it is used by Shanaiah Franklin

Loud noises can be frightening to young children and can interfere with their development. Parents should be aware that yelling might have a negative impact on the development of their child, such as his or her capacity to learn, communicate, and develop appropriately. Instead of yelling at young children to quiet down, the quiet coyote hand signal is an excellent way to help young children to relax and stay calm.

Using the hand signal “quiet coyote” is a common way to get children to pay attention. Elementary school teachers, for example, are particularly prone to it because of their enormous numbers of young pupils.

It’s easy to use the quiet coyote hand signal to quiet down a child in a complicated situation. Simply touch your thumb with your two middle fingers to form the hand signal for “quiet coyote.” You’re essentially creating “ears” with your pointer and pinky fingers when you do this. Create a “closed mouth coyote” gesture using your middle and thumb. The hand gesture informs the youngster that it is time to be quiet and calm down and helps to draw their attention to the situation.

As seen in the Disney film Soul, the quiet coyote signal may be an extremely efficient way of silencing a large number of children in a pleasant and uplifting way. Even yet, the hand signal has a negative connotation due to its similarity to other salutations and motions.

The quiet coyote sign has a fascinating history, as well as some interesting psychological underpinnings, so keep reading if you’re concerned about using it around your children.

What is Quiet Coyote?

Quiet Coyote is a hand gesture that adults can utilize to capture the attention of kids.

As reported by M. Ohland of the Eastern Washington University 1 – The quiet coyote sign is made by resting your middle and ring fingers on your thumb, then tip your forefinger and pinky finger up in the air. The middle fingers and thumb represent Coyote’s closed mouth, while the pointed fingers depict its pricked-up ears.

The quiet coyote technique is usually employed by elementary school instructors and summer camp counselors before addressing a group of students; however, parents can utilize the quiet Coyote to signal to their children that the noise level needs to be reduced or stopped.

What Does Quiet Coyote Hand Signal Mean?

Quiet Coyote Hand sign
Image by Eastern Washington University (EWU)

The quiet coyote technique means that the kids should remain quiet and attentive at all times in the same way that the animal (Coyote) is silent. Most parents and teachers use this signal when their children are behaving in an unruly manner or if they aren’t paying attention. It just means taking a seat and paying attention to what is being said.

There are two ways to play the “closed mouth coyote” and the “open mouth coyote”:

  • To signal a moment for peace and quiet, or with the latter
  • To indicate that youngsters are being too loud

Whenever the noise level in the classroom becomes unbearable, the teacher can raise his or her hand to signal to the silent pupils that they need their attention.

Closing one’s mouth and listening with one’s ears is what the quiet coyote signal is intended to teach children how to do when the signal is done.

Origin of Quiet Coyote Signal

Nobody knows or can tell for sure the true origin of the quiet coyote hand sign. But history has it that people from the North America are accustomed to seeing an animal called the quiet coyote; therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that this sign originated there as well.

The quiet coyote hand signal may have just garnered notoriety due to its inclusion in the Disney film Soul, which was released back in 2020. However, teachers have been using the quiet coyote hand signal for many years before this.

Despite the fact that it is unknown who initially utilized it in the classroom, the ritual has been passed down among educators around the world.

Other creatures, such as the Silent Fox, are also utilized with the Quiet Coyote in other continents. There are several more names for the quiet coyote signal, including but not limited to:

  • Focus fox
  • Silent fox
  • Silent serval
  • Quiet llama
  • Whisper wolf

What is The Psychology behind Quiet Coyote Hand Signal

Kids can be quieted down with the help of a quiet coyote’s gesture, and it is better than spoken instruction in certain cases, which the youngsters can regard as being “told off” because it is less intimidating.

If young kids are instructed to “be quiet” too often, they may lose part of their natural ability to express themselves and confidence. When a frequent reminder to be quiet is required, such as when students are strolling along a corridor in school, the signal is most beneficial.

As opposed to repeatedly saying, “be quiet,” the quiet coyote signal can be held up for an extended amount of time. Hand signals, on the other hand, have significant limitations in a busy classroom.

Since most children are unaware of the presence of the quiet Coyote, they will take their time complying. It may have to wait for about 30 seconds or more for the last students, who are immersed in conversation, to join in with the hand signal, which in general takes time to spread throughout the classroom.

When there is excessive noise in a room, teachers and parents may choose to utter the phrase aloud as well as make the hand gesture to deter their wards from becoming disruptive.

In instances where a regular reminder to be quiet is required, such as when children are going along a corridor at school, the signal can be very effective.

The psychology behind the quiet coyote hand sign is one of the reasons why it has become so popular with hunters. There are numerous advantages to using non-verbal clues, and it also avoids some of the drawbacks associated with utilizing spoken commands with young children.

Who Can Use the Quiet Coyote Hand Sign?

Quiet Coyote Hand Sign
Quiet Coyote Hand Signal used by teacher to bring the children to order without verbal expression

Anyone can use the quiet coyote hand gesture to indicate to children that they should be quieter or cease making noise. Nonverbal cues are easier for young children to pick up on; thus, it’s more common in primary schools. However, several parents and school administrators criticized it for instilling an inappropriate hand signal in children.

Why You Should Consider Using Quiet Coyote

Verbal communication is difficult for young children. The inability to communicate effectively with adults due to a lack of language development might result in tantrums or anxiety.

Young children benefit from nonverbal clues as a means of expressing what they want and need without the distractions of other people. You should consider employing silent Coyote as a result of the following reasons:

Children Will Not Be Embarrassed by It

The embarrassment of calling a child out for being loud among a large group of children can be avoided with a quiet coyote hand signal. Children are more inclined to lash out when they are embarrassed than to calm down.

If this happens frequently, it might have a negative impact on their self-esteem. The loudest child can rapidly feel as if the teacher is picking on them in a noisy classroom. It’s a polite reminder that won’t humiliate them, so it’s a good choice.

Doesn’t Give the Impression That the Child Is in Trouble

It’s common for us adults to instruct our children to keep their mouths shut when we think they’re doing something wrong. Obviously, this isn’t what we mean to be doing as adults, but it is, and it might cause children to feel self-conscious.

Eventually, children stop speaking out of dread of getting in trouble. Children’s reactions to nonverbal cues are different, which is why quiet coyote hand gesture is a better way.

Adults Have an Easier Time With It

Young children are inherently impulsive and occasionally rowdy, particularly when they are overjoyed. As a result, adults may need to repeatedly advise youngsters to be quiet or calm down, and it is easy for adults to get dissatisfied with the situation.

Non-verbal cues, such as the silent coyote signal, are more convenient to utilize than vocal ones. They can be held up for an extended period of time to convey to children that they must be quiet.

It Teaches the Child to Take Responsibility

Instead of asking young children to listen to what they are to do, hand signals empower the child to regulate their behavior because they are aware of the hand signal. This further encourages youngsters to take responsibility for their behavior and holds them accountable for their choices.

It’s Better for Children Who Don’t Like to Listen

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is more common in children who have been traumatized or have a mental disorder. Defiantness is a characteristic of children as they move through the stages of development, and this is merely a way for them to show that they are self-sufficient.

People in an authoritative position, such as an adult, are less likely to get a response from disobedient children.

Consequently, they will begin to quarrel when you advise them to be quiet, and they may become even more obnoxious. It’s as if you’re being held to a higher standard with every order you give.

You can’t use nonverbal directives in that way. Children are more inclined to listen to you if you simply gesture with your hand. In the event of a disagreement, you should keep silent and raise your hand. Before the matter gets out of hand, it acts as a buffer.

You Don’t Have to Yell at a Group of Rowdy Kids

It’s been shown that yelling produces unfavorable outcomes. More than anything else, it stifles and intimidates children. You don’t want to frighten children into reading, and your goal is not to get their respect but rather to get them to listen to you.

A soft type of excoriation is needed for children who don’t hear what you’re saying. Without harming youngsters, nonverbal indicators like the quiet coyote hand gesture accomplish this goal.

Concerns About Quiet Coyote Hand Signal – Negative effect it may portray!

In 2019, the quiet coyote hand gesture was made illegal in Austria, and the same was done the following year in France.

This is due to the fact that the hand gesture formed from the quiet coyote hand signal is virtually identical to the ‘wolf salute.’

Wolf salutes have been used to symbolize The Gray Wolves, a Turkish far-right extremist group, by their supporters. Assaults and murders against minorities have been committed frequently by the gang.

In European countries like Germany, the silent coyote hand gesture was once highly popular. However, due to the sign’s resemblance to the Gray Wolf symbol, many teachers have stopped using it in recent years due to its confusion.

There are some similarities between the quiet coyote sign and other hand signals, some of which you would definitely not want your youngster to employ!

The following are examples of gestures that are quite similar to that of the quiet Coyote:

  • Apana Mudra: A Hindu gesture that is thought to be rejuvenating for the physical body.
  • Corna: It literally translates as ‘horns’ in Italian, and it is the Mediterranean counterpart of knocking on wood to fend off bad luck and ill-fortune.
  • Devil horns: Heavy metal bands made use of this sign in the 1980s.
  • Hook ’em Horns: In use since the 1950s by the Texas Longhorns’ sports teams
  • Horned god: The horned deity is depicted in ceremonies in Paganism and Wicca using this sign.
  • I love you: I Love You has a comparable sign with Quiet Coyote in American Sign Language (ASL).
  • Infidelity: ‘Horned’ is the Latin word for cuckoldry hence the symbol that swivels back and forth denotes this in Latin-speaking countries.
  • Karana Mudra: a Buddhist sign used to ward off evil and drive away demons

It’s possible for people to receive the wrong impression when employing the quiet coyote hand gesture in public.

A protracted discussion ensued because of the different interpretations and whether or not they may be linked to Satanism.

The term “quiet coyote” has no negative connotations in the context of a school or summer camp. When youngsters get older, it’s important to be aware of the issues and debates that have arisen.

RECOMMENDED: 11 major causes of Index finger twitching, and when to consult your Healthcare specialist.

Is the Quiet Coyote Hand Sign Necessary?

There are many people that use this signal, but not everyone can benefit from it. It is prohibited in several nations. It’s possible that others will view this as a waste of time due to the fact that you must ensure that the children are aware of the signal.

Additionally, saying “quiet coyotes” and raising one’s hand can be beneficial in this case. However, it is entirely up to you whether or not this signal is necessary for use.

How to use Quiet Coyote Hand Signal – Guidelines to note!

In order for the quiet Coyote to be helpful in signaling children to remain quiet, it’s critical to test its effectiveness first. It is not sufficient to simply stand in front of children and use this hand signal to communicate, and instead, you’ll have to make use of these suggestions.

Learn About Coyotes First

You should learn everything you can about coyotes before you use the phrase “quiet coyote” because it is a misnomer. Using a different animal will necessitate the inclusion of a lesson about that animal.

A silent fox, for example, would be the subject of a fox-related lecture. Keep the children’s attention by including interesting facts about the animal and explaining how the animal behaves when it is quiet.

Describe the Hand Gesture in Detail

After that, you’ll want to explain the hand motion to the children in question. Children should be reminded that it signifies that they should be quiet when you use that hand signal. Like the Coyote, fox, and other predators, they must maintain silence and pay attention.


It is critical to practice the hand gesture with the children after explaining it to them. Instruct them to begin conversing. Then, raise your hand to communicate to them that they should be silent. Repeat this process two or three times to get some practice with them.

Give Praise

You should give lots of positive praise to the children when they reply correctly to the signal, especially in the beginning.

Make Certain That You Can Be Seen

As a precaution, be sure that you are visible to the entire class before employing this hand signal. You will be unable to be seen by the children if you use the quiet coyote hand gesture while sitting at your desk. Instead, take the initiative and speak in front of the entire class.

Show Respect

Maintain a cool voice and posture, and never raise your voice if the children cannot follow the hand signal through.

Only Resort to a Spoken Command if You Need to

It is not always possible to communicate using a hand signal. If the children are seated at their desks or in a group, this will be the case. However, there will be occasions, such as during recess, when the majority of youngsters will not be able to view the signal. In this situation, it is beneficial to say “quiet coyote” as well as the quiet coyote hand signal to the children to remain quiet.

Alternatives to Quiet Coyote Hand Signals

The use of hand gestures is excellent, but they are not always effective. It’s also not always the case that songs will work. Children who are particularly noisy or who are always running around may not be able to hear or see you if they are not paying attention.

In light of the fact that movements that are very similar to or identical to the silent coyote sign are fraught with unpleasant and improper implications, you may want to explore the following alternatives to the quiet coyote sign instead:

  • Fingers on lips: The students imitate the teacher’s ‘no talking’ sign of placing one finger over one’s lips.
  • Hands on top: In this technique, the teacher lays their hands on their heads and says, ‘hands on top,’ to which the students copy and respond, ‘everyone halt.’
  • Rhythmic clapping: The teacher encourages students to follow along with clapping and drumming.
  • Switch the lights on and off several times: When using this strategy, the teacher will turn off the lights and then turn them back on when everyone has quieted themselves down.

Frequently Asked Questions About Quiet Coyote

Why Are Some People Against Using the Quiet Coyote Hand Gesture?

According to some parents and school administrators, the quiet coyote hand signal is too similar to other hand motions, such as “the finger” and the gray wolf salute.

The origin of the “quiet coyote” sign is unknown; however, some believe that giving youngsters an adult gesture can lead to the development of other detrimental habits.

How Does the Quiet Coyote Signal Increase Kids’ Accountability?

The use of non-verbal hand signals allows children to determine what they need to do for themselves. Giving children this sign rather than having an adult tell them exactly what to do makes it much easier for them to calm down and concentrate.

How Can I Use the Quiet Coyote Gesture to My Advantage?

It is possible to employ the quiet coyote hand gesture as a nonverbal indication to persuade those in your immediate vicinity to be calmer and pay closer attention to you. This is especially beneficial for professors who require their students’ immediate attention.

In the case of attempting to read aloud from a book during a library reading session while youngsters are chattering noisily around you, employ the quiet coyote signal to catch their attention and remain cool.

Do Quiet Coyotes and Grey Wolves Use the Same Signal?

When two gray wolves give each other a salute, they demonstrate their superiority in the pack.

The hand gestures of the quiet Coyote and the grey wolves’ sign are extremely similar, yet they have no significance. The quiet Coyote’s hand signal has no value on its own, whereas that of the grey wolves can be employed as a threat or to signal that you are superior to another.

What Is the Secret to the Quiet Coyote’s Effectiveness?

The non-intrusive quiet coyote hand gesture attracts children’s attention without interfering with their education or growth. Educators frequently employ this hand signal in classrooms full of young students to help maintain a calm environment and reduce distractions. During playdates, parents might utilize the quiet Coyote as an incentive to get their kids to clean up after themselves or simply to be quiet.

Wrapping Up

Young children can acquire self-soothing strategies in complicated situations by mimicking the quiet coyote hand signal. Schools, homes, and other places with a lot of noise can all benefit from the use of these techniques.

In order to avoid disturbing others, use the quiet coyote hand gesture sparingly and with awareness of your surroundings.

There are numerous applications for the quiet coyote hand signal. It is the ideal instrument for relaxing and increasing stillness in situations when children are involved on many occasions.

It is also considered as best practice that teachers should friendly teach their children the good use of Quiet Coyote Hand Sign and what it signifies.

When this is done, the children will always see it as a friendly order to keep calm when used by an elderly in any scenerio.

If you don’t pass the right message to your kids early, they tend to learn it late, but now in a bad way. Protect them while they are still tender and yielding to knowledge.

Verifiable References
  1. Publication made by M. Ohland, a student contributor at Eastern Washington University – EWU Edu portal[]

About The Author

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top