BLACK BEARS sybils den
 
Welcome to Sybil's Den.  This site is meant for information purposes  on raising  pet exotics animals based on my experience.  There are care sheets for black bears, foxes, raccoons, emus, farm animals and domestic animals.   Also please find a very informative message board with a lot of great members.

For some of the species of animals I have or had information on, You will find their photo gallery.
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 RED FOX FAMILY  CARE  SHEET  
 
This information is directed to the red fox family
(Silver fox, Marble Fox, Glazier Fox, Pearl Fox)


    Darla Jean

Donnie 

Daryl Dee

 
The following information is based on my experience with the Red Fox Family.
My information is NOT guaranteed to work on all foxes or not guaranteed to work at all.

This is only  basic information about raising foxes based on my experience.
 If you have questions, please feel free to join our message board.

If you are considering a fox, please make sure you completely understand foxes and their behavior.

If you currently own a fox, I hope some of the following information will be a little helpful.
 
PLEASE NOTE:  I AM NOT A BREEDER AND DO  NOT SELL FOXES.
The information provided here is only based on my experience and research.
 
Are you Ready for a fox?
Ask yourself these questions if you are considering a fox.
1. Are foxes legal in your state? if so, what are your states requirements?
2. Have you done extensive research?
3. Have you talked with fox owners?
4. Do you have the proper set up for a fox?
5. Do You have experience with other animals?
6. Do you know that foxes will mark?
7. Do you know their urine smells like skunk?
8. If you keep a fox in your house, do you realize your house could smell, unless cleaned frequently?
9. If you do keep your fox in your house, do you also have an outdoor pen for him/her?
10.Do you have the time to dedicate to a fox?
11.Is there a vet nearby that will treat a fox?
12.Do you know you CANNOT leave a fox run loose?
13.Are you willing to give up your vacations?
14.Can you provide the proper care for the next 12-15 years?
15.Do you know foxes are NOT like dogs and do not like to cuddle or petted like a dog?
16.Do you know foxes can be destructive?
 

Buying a Fox


An important factor in buying a fox is to make sure you buy one from a reputable dealer. Some dealers are in it for the money and don't really care about the babies. Other fox breeders care about the fox kits and re-homing them.  Watch out for the breeders that will tell you what you want to hear, only to make a sale.

The good breeders will tell you the truth about their foxes, and what a fox's disposition is.
The good fox breeders may offer you a care sheet, and support for your fox.

DO NOT, buy from an unknown breeder online.  Keep in mind there are many scams online, claiming they have this fox for sale, and require payment in full or deposit. (which the good breeders might require a deposit,  but generally only to hold the fox kit for the buyer) If you find someone selling a fox, or claim to be a breeder. Do research before giving them money.  There is a lot of good information on my message board, feel free to ask there about a breeder in question.
http://sybilsden.com/bb/

The breeder I bought all my foxes from, are very good breeders. I bought them in Mt Hope Swap Meet in Ohio.
There is a exotic swap meet there every May. usually the second  or third week in May. There were many red foxes, gray and others there.   Check their web site for current dates: http://mthopeauction.com.  However, since the Zanesville Ohio incident, Mt Hope Auction or swap meet don't have as many foxes and other exotics as they use to. 

I  do not recommend shipping an older fox or any animals for that matter. This is way too stressful for them and to easy to pick up disease.   However, many have received fox kits and certain type of other exotic animals through shipping, with no problem. A couple members on Sybil's Message board will ship fox kits.

When buying a fox, I don't recommend buying a fox kit older than 5-6 weeks of age. The exception to this, is if the breeder has given the fox kit the proper bonding required with people.

Find out if this fox  has been bottle fed. This can help bonding with humans easier. However, this is not crucial, as long as the kits are pulled from the mother, then sold.  Good breeders will generally pull the cubs several weeks or more prior to selling them.

Most foxes are weaned at 4-5 weeks of age. I personally do not recommend getting a very young fox that  requires a bottle.  Bottle feeding a fox kit can be tricky, and more difficult than feeding a cat or most other animals.  If you are inexperienced with bottle feeding, the outcome could possibility can be bad. 
 

Caring for a Fox


Please keep in mind, foxes are NOT like dogs or cats.  Foxes should NOT be raised like a you would a dog.
Foxes do not understand correction the way a dog or cat would.

Foxes should NEVER be left on an outdoor chain. Foxes should NEVER be left to run loose. Chances are good, your fox will run away.  I have seen and heard it happen.


FOXES IN YOUR HOUSE
Most foxes DO NOT do well, being in your house 24/7. Foxes love the outdoors, but also love being with their owners.   I highly recommend an outside pen for him/her. of course you can still keep him/her in your house, but, they also like the outside. When your fox is in your house, plan on the fox marking your carpet, furniture, blankets, cloths.  If this urine is left un-cleaned, your house will eventually smell like skunk.  I personally removed all my carpets. I find it easier to clean tile floor.

I keep blankets on my furniture.  My foxes are not in my house 24/7. They are in the house with me 4-8 hours a day. But, even though they have access in my house, they still like being in their pen, so they don't always come in the house when their door is open.  My foxes have their own room with a doggie door that goes into their pen.  This set up is very convenient, especially when I am not home.

FOX PEN
Foxes like straw, hay or dirt and a place to hide. You can put straw or wood chips. (I like the wood chips better) but, you can use both.  Foxes do like to play or bury their cache  in straw/hay/dirt.

When building your pen, if possible, dig a few feet, put cement or chain link fence or some type of fence that won't wear or rot away. However, if you do dig a few feet, make sure you bring the bottom fence up to meet the exterior fence.  once this is done, then fill in the dirt. Then begin your exterior fence.  It is not crucial that you dig a few feet, you can always just throw dirt over the bottom fence.

I recommend chain link fence or some type of fence that is durable.  However, keep in mind, that
putting a young fox kit in it's pen unsupervised, is not a good idea. They can get their head stuck through the fence. However, once the fox is full grown, that should no longer be a threat.
However, with a fox kit, you should keep him/her in the house with you for bonding and security.

If you have loose chickens, or kittens or anything that can get through a chain link fence,
then put a layer of chicken fence over the chain link fence.  This should close up the holes, so no small animals can get in, or a chicken sticking it's head through the chain link. (This actually happened to me, prior to putting the chicken fence over the chain link fence.)

As for a roof (a must), you can put fence on the roof, or corrugated panels, or any type of slant roof.
Keep in mind, you still want to keep litter pans in their pen, so they continue to understand that is where they do their business at.  If you have an open pen with no solid roof or partial roof, the litter will get wet when it rains or snows.  This will only shy the fox away from using their litter pan.  if you don't keep a litter pan in their pen, then the pen will smell bad, and require more pen cleanup and more odor. 

If you don't add any type of protective roof on the pen, the fox should then have some type of places to go for shade. as for a litter box, you can put the litter pan in some type of  large wooden box.

I don't recommend keeping an adult fox in a small cage. That is just asking for problems.  The fox will get bored, destructive and possibly wild. 
it is also very cruel to keep an adult fox in a cage or small enclosure. 
 
This is a picture of my pen. it is 10x20. they have a doggie door that goes into another room. That room is about 12ft. x16ft which is loaded with hiding places. I have a door from their room that allows them in house when I open it. I also have a camera in their room, I can watch what they are doing.

The picture to the left is their tower, which is accessible from their pen.  They really love the tower. Some foxes like being up high.fox in towerfox pen

FOX KITS
The more you handle your fox, the more he/she will be friendly, this also applies for others to handle your fox if possible.  Foxes are generally born in April.   I would highly recommend getting a very young fox,  this will give your fox a better chance to bond with you.

When raising a kit (young fox) The first 6 months are the most crucial time to bond.
There are several different options to try. I raised 4 foxes and have learned different approaches.

You can start them out in a large cage. but, make it large enough that you can put a small litter box in it.  If you have an extra room, that would be better after you have the fox for a week or so.  The hard part is, trying to keep them friendly with you, but at the same time, litter train them and to let them release some of their energy.
I do not recommend keeping the fox kit in a cage for long periods. It is crucial for the fox to bond with you.

When I raised my first fox, she was not litter trained. she was friendly though.
(Sadly, I no longer have her, she slipped out of the house, and one of the neighbors shot her, where she is now sitting in some jerks trophy room)

My second fox (Daryl), is 100% liter trained (except for periodically marking)
He was not friendly the first 2 years. After trying a different approach with him, he now is very friendly. (not like a dog)

My third fox (Darla) is about 95% liter trained. she will sometimes go by beside the litter box. She is semi-friendly, on her terms. She seems to be getting better with age.  One thing I did notice, if the first fox is litter trained, and if you get a second fox a year or so later, and have a hard time litter training her/him.  sometimes, the second fox will pick up on the litter habits of the first fox.

Now on my fourth fox (Donnie), I took a  little different approach than I did with the first three.
When I first brought Donnie home, I kept him in a room with my older cat. If you have a calm or older cat, this is fine to keep them together while the fox is still small. It is also good, so that the fox can get use to a cat being around.  However, once the fox grows up, I doubt they will be buddies. I don't recommend keeping a full grown fox with a cat in a room together  unsupervised.  NEVER PUT A KITTEN WITH A FULL GROWN FOX.  Donnie no longer stays in the room with the cat. He runs with the other two foxes. 

When Donnie was smaller, I tried to take him with me to whatever room I was going to be in.
I let him play while I am doing what I needed to do.  I held him as much as I could.  It is good to at least pick the fox kit often, (but, not a lot if they stress over it) even if it is for a few minutes, then put him down. but keep doing this as often as you can, so the fox gets use to being picked up.

I think the key here is to let them release some of their energy, then hold them, pet them.
but, play with the fox as much as possible.  The idea of letting them release some of their energy is so you can hold and pet your fox for longer periods of time and gain more of the attention.  Otherwise, the fox will squirm and want down and/or ignore you.  I also held him sometimes while he is sleeping.  As he grew a little older, he didn't seem to want to be held when he sleeps. As they grow, they sometimes are too big to hold while they are sleeping and become more independent.  Donnie use to sleep on the bed with me most nights, he would snuggle up next to me, (which is unusual for a fox). Unfortunately , Donnie shied away from me. I made the mistake of letting him with the other foxes too soon and too often. Then, I hurt my leg and had a hard time getting around for a few months, so that sure didn't help in the training.  Donnie is now very shy, but, he is coming around a little at a time.
 

AGGRESSIVE FOX KITS:

If you get a fox kit that is older than 4-5 weeks old and find he/she is aggressive.  Most likely this could be due to a new environment and new people.  It is a MUST to let the fox kit settle in and adjust to its new environment.
A scared and stressed fox will be aggressive and will bite.

The older the fox, the longer it will take for the fox to adjust to its new environment and people.

If you have this problem with your fox kit, try the following steps:

1. Leave the fox in a large cage, don't try picking him/her up. (especially the first day)
2. Don't let a lot of different people around your fox kit.
3. Don't attempt any type of training.
4. Don't pick the fox kit up.
5. Let him see you and talk to him in soft voice

It could take a day to a few weeks or more for the fox kit to adjust.  But, even if the fox is left in the cage,
you still need to be near the fox as much as possible, talk to the fox in a low tone. when you are not home, leave a TV on low.

A good cage to use is one of those large dog cage.  put a box or whatever you can find so the fox has somewhere to hide.  keep that in the corner of the crate, then put a sheet or light blanket to cover about 1/4 of the cage. This will help the fox feel secure. If possible, set the cage on a table or something that is about the same height as a table.  This way, the fox won't feel as threatened as it would on the floor. The fox would almost be at the same level as its owner and not feel as threatened as it would be on the floor.

Put a litter pan near the cage door for cleaning.  However, it is doubtful the fox kit will use it, but, it might.
The cage will need cleaned. so, try and limit that as much as possible the first couple days.
once a day might be ok.    The litter box can be small, you can even use a small cardboard box in lieu of a cat litter box. (saves room in the cage)

You can also try putting the food and water dishes as close to the door as you can.

Once the fox kit looks like it is not so stressed and a little more comfortable, you could try hand feeding it a treat. If he/she is still aggressive, don't give him the treat.

Once the kit looks more relaxed and adjusted to its new environment. you could leave the cage door open in one room and see if he comes out.  Again, this is assuming he/she trusts you a little.

The key here is, the fox kit will at least feel safe in his cage, so if he gets scared, he might run back in his cage.

Once the kit comes out and is not as aggressive, you can then SLOWLY work with him.

Keep in mind, a scared fox kit is not always the case.  Usually depends on how the breeder handled the kit.
Either way, it might take a little time of adjustment. some do and some don't.

To continue: see the following:

Training an Older or Full Grown Fox


Adult Foxes:
As the fox gets older, most likely, he will want to do what he wants to do. But, still try to keep him with you and play with him/her as much as possible. Talk to your fox, no matter what the conversation might be.  Keep in mind, foxes do not like to be hugged, petted all the time, and picked up. Don't force him/her, this will only confuse or upset the fox.  I am mostly referring to adult foxes.  There may be times, when your fox will come to you to be petted, or scratched. but, they do have their time limits.

Darla likes to groom the other foxes, even the dogs. I found it very interesting to watch her do this. She takes her teeth, and starts at the skin, and gently pulls up on the fur in a zig-zag way.

I tried this on Daryl, and he will sit still much longer when I do this. Another petting method that Daryl loves, is when I gently scratch the inside of his ear. (not deep in his ear, just at the top) Daryl also likes the outside of his ear gently scratched, he even likes when I rub his shoulders.  when shedding season comes (usually starts around February and continues thru the summer.  I also introduced a stainless dog comb to Daryl, he loves it, and looks forward to it. 

Foxes like toys. They will play with toys on their own and you can also a try a small dog tug-a-war rope, squeaky  toys or something similar. 

If your fox attempts to bite you, tell him/her NO, and a light tap on the nose. The key here, as it is with any correction for any animal, is "precise timing" The fox needs to understand the connection.
If he/she is viciously biting, then there is a problem somewhere. None of my foxes have bit me out of aggression.
Actually, they never bit me.  You should be able to tell by their behavior if they are going to bite, but, on another note, foxes are quick, and can attempt to bite in a split second. You should keep your eyes on your fox every second when petting him/her or playing with him/her.  Some foxes might attempt to bite due to other sudden sounds or movement from something else. 

As they get older and their teeth are more developed, you can grab one of the canines and gently tug and tell the fox "NO"  but you need to be quick about it.  When doing this, it should be done in a way that the fox cannot clamp down your hand hand.  If the fox is being aggressive, then don't do this.  something is wrong, maybe the fox don't trust you. 

 
Foxes with other species or second Fox Kit
i
f you have other animals. Most foxes like dogs. But, it depends on how your dogs are. Are your dogs pretty calm, easy going or well behaved?  Can you trust them with a fox this size? All my dogs are use to smaller animals, so I don't have any trust problems with any of them. 

Cats and foxes don't mix well, especially kittens.  NEVER put a kitten with an adult fox. They MUST be kept separate.  I had an older cat when I got Daryl. Daryl, never bothered the cat, just ignored her, even through adult. Then about 5 years of age, Daryl tried to killed the older cat.  I believe it was due to jealousy. but, I am not sure.  He did this twice.  Thereafter, I kept the cat separated.
NEVER leave a cat and fox unsupervised. Better to be safe than sorry.

If you already have a fox  and adding a second or third, I don't recommend putting any kits with the full grown ones until the older ones get use to the new fox. It is important to introduce them first.  It will take a while. Let the adult foxes or dogs see the kit, but keep control of the kit at the same time.  When I do introductory with very young and small animals, I kept the young one in a large 3x4 cage, so the other animals could see it, sniff it.  but, keep a blanket on the a part of the cage, in case the young fox gets scared, and has somewhere to hide.

Some foxes will be "helper foxes" My male fox  (Daryl Dee) is a "helper fox"
If you don't know what a helper fox is, it is a fox that will care for a baby fox, bring it food and toys.  It is important to let the older fox see the baby fox, but don't let them loose together until you are positive the older fox won't hurt the younger one.  I started mine a little at a time. I put them both in a room where I can supervise, but, I didn't do this, until the baby was a little older. The adult fox or dog should be familiar with the kit before letting them in a room together.  Letting the baby fox in a large cage while the dog and/or older fox can see the younger fox would be a good start.  Dogs, foxes and other animals will want to smell the new kit, being  close to the cage would be enough for the older fox or dog. but, do not let them have any contact at first. 

However, it is best to let the new kit adjust to it's new environment first. Depending on the age of the kit, some might take longer than others.
Usually a day or so would be fine.  If a fox is purchased that is older than about 6 weeks.  It will take longer for the kit to adjust to it's new environment.  some people make the mistake of not giving their kit ample time to adjust to it's new environment, therefore, a kit will be much harder to work with and could be discouraging for the new owner.

There are some breeders that pull the kits early and will give the kit a lot of human contact.  This would be easier for the new owners.
On another note, the kit will still need some adjustment time in it's new home.


HARNESSES/WALKS
I do recommend putting a harness on a fox. If you do, start them at a young age.
Some fox owners will take their fox for a walk with their harness. But, the problem with
walking your fox in public, is "the public".  There are many people out there that don't agree on keeping a fox as a pet, or any exotic animal for that matter. These type of people will not hesitate to report you.
(depending on your state) Anymore, most states have been becoming very strict with their regulations.
My honest opinion is to NOT take your fox for walks where there is a lot of people.
If you want to take your fox for a walk, do it on your property.
By taking your fox for walks, you take the chance of losing your fox, due to people complaining.
I have heard this happen. So, better to be safe than sorry.

BONDING
Some foxes will bark and sound like more like a dog.  Some outgrow this.  To help even further with bonding, make the same noise to your fox, as close as you can. You don't have to do this all the time. but, once in a while. This way, the fox will think you are his family and could help bond that much more.  Remember to also talk to your fox.
 

 
Litter Training a Fox
The urine of a fox is not very pleasant. it is almost like a skunk smell.
The males seem to smell less than the female (in my experience).  I had a difficult  time with my first  female using the liter box.  The male seemed easier easy to litter train.

When I first brought my male fox home, I made sure I had plenty of litter boxes for him.  I would keep my fox kit in a 4ft cage at night only, in that cage was a liter box and a small food dish and water dish. when he would poop out of the litter box, I put the poop in the litter box, with hope, he would  understand that is where he is suppose to go. It didn't take long for him to figure that out.

Line the litter box with newspaper for easier cleaning. Daryl (my male fox) is 99% litter trained now.  When the foxes are young, some might dig in the liter box and throw the litter out or bury their food in the litter. As a fox matures, they seem to quit doing this. However, over filling a litter box will only encourage your fox to use this to bury their food or toys. 

You do not need a lot of litter in the pan as you would use for a cat. Foxes don't bury their poop.  A thin layer is fine, this way, it lessens the chance of the fox digging and burying food or toys in it.

When the fox gets a little older, they seem to prefer larger litter boxes.  Most cat boxes are too small.  I have found that a small cement mixing pan seems to work good. It is not real big, but, not too small either. They are a lot  cheaper than most kitty litter pans.  I recommend putting at least two litter boxes for your fox.

Some foxes will take longer than others to litter train. but, don't get discouraged, keep trying. they should eventually get the idea.  If they dirty on the floor, clean that up as soon as possible with a good cleaner.  It could take from a few days to a month or so for them to get the idea.

If you keep your fox in a room, then obviously, you want to put a litter box  or two in that room. If the fox don't use the litter box at first and seems to dirty more in a specific part of the room, then move the litter box where the fox is doing his/her business.

I have about  4 litter boxes though out the house for my foxes and three in their pen.  However, I have 2  raccoons that also share the litter boxes.  I make sure I keep the litter boxes clean. I change the litter  every  day or every other day. (depends on how messy it is).  If the foxes litter box is not kept clean, they will be more apt to go outside the box.   If the litter box is not real messy, you can scoop the feces for your daily cleaning.

I get those 4x3 cardboard sheets that come on pallets. (most stores will give them to you)
these can be placed under the litter box. (they sweep very easy) when cardboard sheet gets too dirty,
then replace it.

Spaying/neutering and age seems to help lessen their marking and the odor. But don't except miracles. 

 
Spay/Neuter

If don't plan on breeding your fox,  I highly recommend spaying the female and neutering the male.  This should be done by 6 months of age, or before they reach maturity at one year.
I feel this makes a big difference in their personality. It never changes, even at breeding season.

spaying and neutering will also help diminish some of the odor and their marking.
However, don't expect this to be a 100% cure for marking and odor, because it is not.
A fox will always mark and always have an odor, but, it don't seem as bad as when the fox spayed or neutered.

It is important to make sure you find a vet that is familiar with foxes, or at least willing to research prior to these procedures.
 
 
Foxes Scent Gland and Odor/Defanging
Foxes have scent glands that can throw off a skunk-like odor. but, when this happens, it is because they are scared. however, by removing this gland, it will not help the urine odor.  Generally, once they get use to you and their environment, they generally don't get scared.

Foxes have many different glands, the one that relates to the urine odor, is not the same one that throws an odor of a scared fox.

I DO NOT recommend removing this gland. This procedure is more complex than skunk glands. It can be unsafe for a fox and possibly deadly.  This procedure WILL NOT affect the urine smell.  This procedure will only put your fox in danger, with no results.

NEVER even consider having the their canine teeth removed. This will not help any type of tameness.
also, you stand the chance of breaking the foxes jaw.  It is CRUEL to even consider it.
If a person is even considering it, then it most likely is a problem with the owners inability for caring for their fox.

 
 
Activities for Foxes
Toys is highly recommended. They love squeaky toys. The more toys and things for him/her to do, the better. Foxes are thieves, they will steal items and hide them.  You should fox proof your house, or rooms the fox will be in.

The more they have to do, the less trouble they will get into.
My foxes have  each other, dogs and raccoons to play with, which also helps.

Also, re-arrange their pen once in awhile. They seem to like changes.

Sometimes, I hear fox owners complain about how destructive their fox is, chances are, the fox is bored, and don't have enough activity, playmates or pen with lots of hiding places and activities in their pen.

If a fox is cooped up in a small cage or pen for many hours, the fox will be full of energy and be more apt to be destructive. A bored or unhappy fox will put holes in the walls, rip up your furniture, chew up everything it can find. This is another reason, a fox should have a nice size pen with a lot of activities  and where they can feel comfortable and safe.

 

 
Feeding a fox
Feeding foxes can be easy. I feed mine, a little bit of grain-free dry dog food, a little of  dry and canned cat food.
I also feed them cooked chicken, turkey, beef very sparingly.  My foxes love deer meat. They also get chicken giblets (which they love) Unfortunately, it is not always easy to obtain.  At times, I will give my foxes raw meat, but, that is not their steady diet.  My foxes seem to do quite well on this diet.  You can offer a plate of a few different foods, fruits and see what the fox prefers.

I  do not feed my foxes live food. Some fox owners do. But, the way I think of it, the foxes will think that any small animal that moves, is "fair game"  Of course, I can't say for sure this is true, but, this is only my observation of it.  unfortunately,  foxes generally will kill chickens, kittens, rats, mice. (the rat and mice is OK with me, because they are wild pests)
 
Eggs are their favorite. I give my foxes a whole egg as a treat (shell and all).  Fruits is another type of food. Some foxes seem to have different tastes than others. It is best to offer different types and see what they will like.  Marshmallows are also generally a treat for most foxes.  My foxes don't prefer fruit or veggies.  but, sometimes I will grind up carrots or greens and mix with their food. 

There are some fox owners that feed their foxes raw food or/or live food as a steady diet. I personally don't find it necessary.  I just want to keep their food as safe as possible. Feeding raw food could require frequent worming. some people swear by raw diet.  I honestly don't really know for sure, so I cannot say if the raw is any better than cooked.   I sometimes hear fox owners, or any animal for the matter, swear by raw diet, they said it makes their fur softer and seem healthier.  I certainly am not going say it is not true. but, on another note, what type of food was the animal eating prior to the raw diet? if is was junk kibbles, then any change,
wheather it would be cooked or raw would be an improvement.  my dogs, foxes and raccoons get home cooked food, along with grain-free dog or cat food.  I honestly have noticed the difference from the dogs I had before.  seems I was always taking my dogs to the vet, they had lumps, most of them died from cancer.  

Foxes will mark in their food dish or any empty dish, even their  dishes.  To resolve this, put their food and water dish in some type of enclosure, so the fox can only reach his/her head in the enclosure.

I have a couple feeding stations for my foxes and raccoons.  Some are inside and some in their pen. I keep their food dishes inside cat condo.  Their outside  pen has a  tower, with shelves.  I put another food dish and water on the shelve.  it is low enough that makes it difficult for them to mark in their dishes.   I also have a stainless steel water bucket for their water dishes.  it is high enough that they can't mark in it, but, low enough they can drink water.  Foxes like fresh water, there water should be changed daily.

If you have dogs or cats where your fox can access their food dish, you might want to take those dishes off the floor. But, the easiest thing to do is, don't let the foxes in your kitchen or where ever you might have other animal food dishes.

If you allow your fox access to your kitchen, then keep your counter and table cleaned off, especially plastic bags. For some reason, they seem to like to mark on plastic bags. I keep my kitchen door closed so the foxes don't have access in their. 

Leather is also appealing to foxes.  When your fox is in your house, remove anything that is leather, including shoes (unless you are wearing them).

 
Foxes Life Span
I believe a captive-born  fox life span is about 10-15 years old..
I have talked to a few people that had a fox that lived to 15 years old.
.
Training an Older or Full Grown Fox
Usually young foxes under  six months of age are fearless. This is one reason why it is very important that you spend as much time everyday with your fox to help with the bonding process.

If your fox should begin to shy away from you or if you already have a fox older than six months and want to get him/her more friendly. Then here are a few ideas to try.
1 Sit her lay on the floor where or near your fox is.
2 Softly talk to your fox. (they will hear you)
3 Have a treat in your hand that he/she really likes.
(mine loves whole eggs, shell and all)
4 Hold the treat with your arm extended out. Most likely, your fox won't take it from your  hand the first time, or even second, third try or even day.
5 When your fox see's the treat, he/she will want it, but will be afraid.
Do NOT give the fox the treat unless he/she takes it from your hand.
Try to do this everyday and as many times as you can. 

Most likely, your fox will be scared the first time you are down on the floor if you have never done this before.
Keep in mind, many foxes are intimated by a person because we are not at their level/size.
6 When your fox finally takes a treat from your hand, remain on the floor at his/her level.  However, the fox will most likely take the treat and run.. but, he/she will be back for another.
7 Once your fox gets use to the idea of taking a treat from your hand, next hold the treat and extend one finger out to pet his nose. If your might get scared and run, but should return.  If your fox is still scared that you extended your finger, wait a couple more times to try that.. Eventually, your fox will let you touch or pet his nose. Actually, my Daryl Dee (my male) is to the point where he thinks this is part of the treat. He won't take the egg or treat unless I touch his snout.  I
8 If you do this everyday and as often as you can, your fox should become more friendly.
It will take a while, but, it should happen.   My foxes love to have the inside of their ears scratched. (do it gently when they are ready for this point)
 
9 Daryl Dee made a very big change since I started doing this.  He now comes to me when I call him. He comes and nudges me to be petted. He lets me pet him anywhere, his back, rear, head.    When I am laying in bed, both foxes will come to me to be petted. Sometimes they will sleep on the bed with me at night.  Daryl Dee will jump up at me for treats and follows me around once in while. 
 


With Daryl Dee, I made the mistake of not spending as much time with  him when he was younger. I didn't hold him. pick him up as I should have.

With Darla Jean, I started out ok. but, then did not pursue the contact she needed.
She is friendly, but, not as friendly as Daryl is now. She is getting "better with age"

 
CLEANING PRODUCTS

Fox odor is very difficult to remove. If you really want to cover up fox odor, try Creylon. This is sometimes sold at farm/feed stores. 
I use "odor-ban" and zep cleaner and sometimes creylen mixed together. 

when cleaning a fox pen or wherever the fox stays most of the time,
a more safer cleaner would be "simple green",  "vinegar, water and a little dish soap"  (this also helps deter flies)  I use this mixture  to spray the bottom of their litter pans.  then let it dry, and add newspaper, then a thin layer of litter.  I also spray this on the window sill in their room.
I hang a fly strip above the window and in their pen.  since I have been doing this, I have noticed a big decline in flies.
 
For the rug, you can sprinkle a little moth crystals, baking soda or/and rug deodorizer before vacuuming.
Prior to this, it is best to try and clean up the spot where the fox marked. 
 
 
RUSSIAN FOXES

SCAMS:
THERE ARE MANY ADS CLAIMING THEY HAVE DOMESTIC FOXES OR MAKING IT SOUND IF THEY ARE COMING FROM RUSSIA.
SOME ADS CLAIM THEY HAVE RUSSIAN FOXES FOR SALE AT $1200.00. THIS IS NOT TRUE.  A RUSSIAN FOX COST $8000.00 and
they are not easy to obtain.  There is only one breeder that sells Russian foxes, and he is from Florida.
AT this time, there is only one person in the United States that owns a Russian fox as a pet.  She is a member on my message board. She helps the breeder from Florida.

FOX TERMS:
Some people or breeders will refer to their foxes as "domestic fox".  Actually, the word "domestic" can be viewed in different ways.
Here is the true definition from dictionary.com

 
1. to convert (animals, plants, etc.) to domestic uses; tame.
2. to tame (an animal), especially by generations of breeding, to live in close association with human beings as a pet or work animal and usually creating a dependency so that the animal loses its ability to live in the wild.
3. to adapt (a plant) so as to be cultivated by and beneficial to human beings.
4. to accustom to household life or affairs.
5. to take (something foreign, unfamiliar, etc.) for one's own use or purposes; adopt.

The way I see it, is yes, all captive born foxes, can be classified as a domestic fox.
some people think, that foxes born in captivity are not domestic.
Now, this term could get confusing, because some people think only Russian foxes are classified as Domestic.


RUSSIAN FOX VS OTHER FOXES:
I have seen articles online claiming the Russian fox is the only way to have a "domestic fox" and
refer to captive born foxes as "wild" and hard to work with. This is not true.

The Russian fox experiment was started over 50 years ago, but, their goal was to achieve many different colors.
They try to breed the calmest foxes, which I am sure they did. 

For some reason, many people seem to think that the Russian foxes are completely different than than
the captive born foxes which is not true..  The Russian foxes still mark, they still have the same glands and cannot be left outside without a pen.
so, what is the difference?  $7600.00 is the difference.

When buying a fox, it is important to understand them, spend a lot of time with them. (This applies to any type of fox)

The way I see it, if someone wants a fox that don't behave like a fox, then get a dog.

 

FOX BREEDERS
 
Indiana Ohio UK
Lost River Game Farm

Tiny Tracks

Hillview Exotics

Wess Exotic Animals


Wild Adventures
Flashman Foxes


Remember, please make sure you know the breeder. NEVER  buy a fox or any animal from online unless you know who they are.  If you see a fox for more than $500.00, you are being ripped off.

Also, please make sure you get a bill of sale with the breeders USDA license on it.
You MUST have this to prove the fox is legal to your state.
 

FOX BREEDERS TO AVOID

 

1. TAME THE WILD from Quebec Canada 
they claim to have many different foxes and try to claim they "domestic foxes"
AT this time, it is possible (but not proven) they have a fur farm permit.
It is possible the kits they sell could be illegal, mostly for importing/exporting.
The cost of their foxes is about $1200.00. These fox kits are fox fur farm kits" and some
or most will not be as tame as they claim.  If you are paying more than $450.00-$500.00, you are being ripped off.
and could end up with a difficult fox.   Also, their care sheet has a lot of incorrect information.
 

2. ANDREW KOZAK-breeder/buyer  
AKA: KRAYON KOZ/ZIGGY KOZ please be aware of this person. he is buying and selling foxes illegally. he does not have any permit for foxes. please alert all breeders and buyers of this person.
he is from NJ.


3. Wesley Kenyon (Florida)  while not currently breeding he has expressed desire to try. He has repeatedly gotten foxes and other pets then gotten rid of them once they grow up and are no longer cute kits or puppies then goes out to get a new kit. Also, most his fox care is information is incorrect.

Please make sure you research any breeder you are considering.  Ask us on the  message board  for any breeder you are considering.


If you see a fox for more than $500.00, you are being ripped off.
 

MORE INFORMATION ON FOXES ON MY Q&A


This care sheet written by Pat (owner of Sybils Den web site)

(I do NOT sell or raise fox kits or any other type of animal.)
The information provided is only based on my experience to help others .

If you are looking for a fox kit, please see my link page and Message Board
Remember, please make sure you know the breeder. NEVER  buy a fox or any animal from online unless you know who they are. 
 

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