PUT EXTRA MONEY IN YOUR POCKET
https://www.ebates.com/r/SYBIL414?eeid=29041

New Aggression

Topics include: Tricks, litter, toys, aggression, personality, walks, etc

Moderators: Ash, TamanduaGirl

mklipscomb
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:36 am

New Aggression

Postby mklipscomb » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:36 am

I am a VERY new fox owner and to the message board. I have a two month old male fire and ice red fox and he has behaved very well until this weekend.

Since I've brought him home he will play bite and we've been working on keeping it gentle. I brought home some new toys yesterday which he has been enjoying very much. However, unfortunately one of his toys needed to be taken away as he was swallowing rubber pieces of it. This is where his aggression started to get worse. I managed to get the toy away from him and replaced it with a different plush toy.

The following morning, he began playing with his new plush toy again and got very defensive when I walked by him on the couch where he started to pee. I shooed him off the couch and he jumped back up. I shooed him off again to move the cushion. This time he bit me bruising and drawing bleed. He then ran behind a table. I walked toward him to put him in his crate so he could calm down when he came at me and bit my leg. I was quite terrified. I was finally able to grab him to calm down in his crate. He is finally sleeping in his crate and I am sitting next to him talking with him in a soft calm tone to help him relax.

I know his biting is my fault and I understand that, but I am afraid it will not get better and he will never trust me again. How do I earn his trust back after something like this and will it get better and stay better?

Thank you for the help!
User avatar
pat
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 6499
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:25 pm
Location: pa
Contact:

Re: New Aggression

Postby pat » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:51 am

welcome,

how old was your fox when you got him?

1st thing, never playbite with your fox. if you do, use a stuffed animal.

how are you approaching him? try and let him come to you for now.
sit or lay on the floor with a treat in hand, and let him come for the treat out of your hand.

when you do approach him, do it slow, he has to see what you are doing. too fast of a movement
will scare him. he is still young, it will take time, but, he will overcome his aggression.

you should try watching his moods and when he looks like he might start to bite, he needs to learn the word "NO"
it will take time, but, will eventually learn.

for now, don't try to overwhelm him with too much at one time.
not sure exactly what you did when you took the dangerous toy from him. but, the key is "distraction"

remember, foxes are are not like dogs, therefore, they must be handled different. at his age, it is crucial to try bonding with him. basically, don't try and do too much at one time. slow movements on your part is better.

there are some care sheets at the top of this forum. not sure if you read any, if not, read thru them.

hope this helped. hope to see pictures and updates of your fox.
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
mklipscomb
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:36 am

Re: New Aggression

Postby mklipscomb » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:41 am

He was 4 weeks when I picked him up from the breeder. We have also been learning to play bite only with toys. Normally I haven't had any troubles with approaching him or playing with him. I will work with him more this morning on being gentle.

I thought this out burst of aggression may also be a temper tantrum and he is relaxing in his crate now until I feel comfortable (and safe) letting him out today.

Thank you for your immediate help to my situation.
User avatar
pat
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 6499
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:25 pm
Location: pa
Contact:

Re: New Aggression

Postby pat » Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:21 pm

how often is he is in his crate? and how often in the house?
are you planning an enclosure for him? he will need one as he gets older.
keep covers on your couch for now.

foxes can be like spoiled kids. everything is theirs and they want their own way.

also, keep anything leather or items you don't want stolen or destroyed out of reach.

keep us updated on your progress.
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
User avatar
Ash
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 7917
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:38 am
Location: Utah

Re: New Aggression

Postby Ash » Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:21 pm

Sorry you're having troubles with your fox. :/

It sounds like this was just a one-time thing. I would check on him and keep playing with him and see if the behavior is still here. It would be difficult to "diagnose" why he acted the way he did if it was just a one-time thing. You may have done something that just really spooked him and not realized it.

You mentioned putting him in a crate. At this age, he should be outside in an enclosure. Do you have an enclosure for him? Foxes can start getting behavior issues if they are not kept outside or have a big space of their own. He might be feeling confined and this could account for his change in behavior.

If the crate is for discipline only, I personally suggest to only use positive reinforcement. With my first fox, I used "punishment" methods like putting him back in his enclosure, squirting him with water in the face, etc. It took him a while to stop doing all the undesirable behaviors. So with my second fox, I ONLY did positive reinforcement. She is a crazy fox, but her behavior was under control a LOT quicker than my first fox's was. So I really do push for positive reinforcement, having had done both methods myself and being able to compare the results. Don't get me wrong--both of my foxes are really nice and tame. It just took my first fox longer to get to that point.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. :) I hope you're able to nip this behavior in the bud. Don't be afraid of him--it will only make things harder. Remember, he's still a juvenile animal. His bites may have hurt and been much worse, but try not to let fear get the better of you. Easier said than done, I know.

Fire and Ice is a beautiful color (I'm jealous, lol).
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
mklipscomb
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:36 am

Re: New Aggression

Postby mklipscomb » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:09 pm

Pat
He is in his crate while i'm at work during the day and out with me the rest of the evening. I am certainly looking at my options for creating an enclosure!


Thanks for the advice Ash!

My breeder recommended he stay inside the first few weeks... he does however have lots of running space in my home. I also started out with the squirt bottle as well and he definitely didn't like that so I stopped and I'm trying a more positive reinforcement. Even when I put him in his crate I keep a calm tone in my voice and assure him it is okay.

I also tried to post a picture of the little guy but it was too large, but I will try again!
dragonking
Posts: 514
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:32 am
Location: Washington

Re: New Aggression

Postby dragonking » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:36 pm

How big is his crate? You can set up a decent sized play area (a few feet by a few feet) that he can spend the day in and have more space.

If the pic wouldn't upload, you can use a free image hoster to upload it and just put a link here.
mklipscomb
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:36 am

Re: New Aggression

Postby mklipscomb » Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:36 pm

Just wanted to stop by with an update on my little fire and ice man, Felix, and his biting...

Just since last week I've already seen an improvement in his behavior! The only trouble I have with him is when he takes something that isn't his and he doesn't want to give it back so I distract him with a toy to get it away from him. I've also noticed since we travel a little bit sometimes on the weekends he does "happy biting" when we get home but again I give him a toy and he seems fine.

And if you're wondering Felix does great in the car and loves being around my family if we travel to see them (he only spends about 2 hours in the car)

I'm also including my facebook page so you can see some of the pictures and videos I've posted of him :)

https://www.facebook.com/katie.lipscomb.16
User avatar
Ash
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 7917
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:38 am
Location: Utah

Re: New Aggression

Postby Ash » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:17 am

I'm glad things are improving. :) Soon he should grow out of it, and his teeth won't be the sharp little needles that kits have.

It's very normal for him to gekker and become possessive over something that he's taken. Chances are this behavior is going to stay, but you can still work with him to curb it.

Fable was a gem--I was able to teach him that it wasn't acceptable by taking/giving things to him when young and rewarding him for when he let me take his things without acting up. But then when he was about 2 years old, it returned and is here to stay. LOL, he gets the most possessive over screwdrivers for whatever reason! :lol:

Ifrit does not get aggressive when I take things from her. Of course, she doesn't like it and she makes a big wailing fuss--but at this point in time she will not bite me if I take something from her that she wants.

The best way to start working with your fox to curb this behavior is to trade. Give them something enticing in exchange for what they have. This way, your fox will learn to trust you. Their instincts are very powerful though in this area, so don't feel like you failed if your fox won't let you take their stuff without giving you a nasty bite. It's just what they're like naturally.

I'm very lucky that I had temporary success with Fable, and also very lucky that I am still successful with Ifrit.

Just remember not to take it personally or to feel like you're doing something wrong if they bite you because you try to take something. If curbing the behavior doesn't work, you will just have to give them their own space when they get something, distract them from it, or trade.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
LTJS87
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:11 am

Re: New Aggression

Postby LTJS87 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:42 pm

I rescued my arctic fox kit, and she loves my wife, but she is super aggressive towards me. She it tearing chunks out of my wrist. The aggregation is coming from nowhere, as I am not taking anything away or towering over her. The only method of discipline I use is a spray bottle. I sometimes crate her when she really acts up.

Any ideas on curbing this aggression?
User avatar
Whisper
Posts: 175
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 9:26 am

Re: New Aggression

Postby Whisper » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:06 pm

I got my red at two months, and also had some trouble with aggression issues. I'm pretty sure that part of his aggression was due to his diet, he had no real meat and his poop was kind of runny. (He was on purena dog food)
Any way, mine hated my dad. Really for no reason, either. We tried treat, but as soon as they were gone, me would start biting again. Recently, we have started taking him on hikes. my dad drives, and zorr loves car rides as much as he loves the hike. (He stands up, and tries tries to balance around turns, until he falls over and comes to sit on my lap) now he is finally better with my dad.
Also, I used a spray bottle, but once he got comfortable with me, I started " nipping" him with my hands if tried to play bite to hard, and found it much more effective. Apparently it's okay to bite me, but I can't bite him.(:
Hope that helps(-:
Owner of a Red fox, magpie harlequin, and a Netherland dwarf

Return to “Training, Behavior & Enrichment”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest