How do you tell the difference between cougar and dog tracks?
|Cougar left paw showing "pinky finger" (on right side) and protruding "middle finger." Note 3 lobes on bottom heel pad.|
The first and most significant feature is the heel pad. Regardless of the type of cat (jaguar, bobcat, housecat, etc.) the heel pad will possess three lobes on the posterior (bottom) and two lobes on the anterior (top). The latter is not as common and I only find this feature under perfect conditions in fresh snow or mud. You are far more likely to see the three lobes. Compare this feature with the arched presentation of a canid track and you are on your way to more accurately deciphering whether a feline or canine passed your way.
|Red track cast is cougar. Yellow is wolf.|