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new fox owner - question about timidness

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copper-coyote
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new fox owner - question about timidness

Postby copper-coyote » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:32 pm

I just recently aqcuired a male red fox from a friend of a friend who could no longer care for him due to their long work hours. He's nearly a year old, and I guess he went through the "october crazies" and the previous owner was not prepared to deal with the behavior changes. So they started keeping him in a crate inside their house during they day while at work, and tied up to a chain w/a harness while they were at home. They said he was having some aggression problems when all of this started happening, and it sounds like he was getting a lot of negative reinforcement because of it (hitting, yelling, etc.).

So he is pretty timid, and he really dislikes men. He allows you to pet his head and his neck but anywhere past his neck he lets out a little growl and runs away. He has not bitten me (yet). He gets along really well with my dogs, and you can tell he really REALLY wants to play with them but they don't know what to think of him yet :lol:

So my question is... how hard will it be to get his trust back with people? Is there anything I should be doing to help ease him into becoming more comfortable and friendly around me, or is that a lost cause given his age and how long he's been like this?

Also, he is NOT neutured... I do plan on neutering him - would this help as well?
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pat
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Re: new fox owner - question about timidness

Postby pat » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:04 pm

welcome to sybil's message board.

It breaks my heart to hear how the previous owners treated this fox. icon-sad

the first thing to do is let him adjust to his new environment. in other words, don't try and do too much too soon.

you can sit or lay on the floor with a treat in hand (extend your arm out) if he don't come to you. drop the treat closer to him,
hopefully, in time, he will understand you are not going to hurt him. Don't do too much at one time.

I doubt the neuter would help much, but, it won't hurt either. if possible, get that done and out of the way. then start working more with him.

also, you should start thinking about an enclosure for him. However, don't try and make too many changes too soon.
For now, focus on letting him adjust to his new environment and to you.

The other members will most likely give you more ideas.
Please keep us updated on his progress.

thank you again for joining us.
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: new fox owner - question about timidness

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:23 pm

Neutering might actually make him more fearful due to less testosterone. Different species but my bunny would go up to anyone then had him neutered and he became fearful of strangers and more jumpy in general.

I wouldn't get your hopes up too much if he was abused. I believe Aurora was abused because she has never been able to warm up to people. She's actually better out and about than "at home" for some odd reason but she don't like people and will run when she sees me move. She will come for a treat long as it's safely up on her shelf not down where I can get at her. She's an anteater but they are normally friendly critters and even wild ones calm down quickly and become playful with people, but not her.

Will depend on how resilient your guys is but he may never enjoy petting and such. Though he seems to have come a long way in a short time since he does let you touch his head so he may keep slowly getting friendlier as he learns to trust and get used to you. Just warning sometimes a critter can't get past their fear sounds like he may have a chance though. Just keep taking it slow.
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Re: new fox owner - question about timidness

Postby copper-coyote » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:46 pm

Thanks so much for your responses! Thought I'd give an update, since its been a little over a month having him here. I am pleased to say he's like a completely different animal now! I've been keeping him indoors only (i know.. shame, shame), but he's doing great. He's got a 5'x3' cage he stays in only when I am not home - I work from home so he's really only in the cage at night... and he's got full roam of the house when I'm here/awake. He's using the litter box consistently, and my biggest dog has even started to play with him and chase him around the house.

He appears to have zero fearfulness toward people now, even men. He lets me scratch him all over (even his back now!) and pick him up and snuggle him.. sometimes :p

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Re: new fox owner - question about timidness

Postby copper-coyote » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:54 pm

Oh, and I've even taught him how to sit!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrfykIP78C4
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Re: new fox owner - question about timidness

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:58 pm

That's great he's doing well.
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Re: new fox owner - question about timidness

Postby Ash » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:52 pm

I'm so glad it's all working out for you. :) He's such a cutie. I love the picture of him with the dogs!
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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Re: new fox owner - question about timidness

Postby Aluna » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:07 pm

Omg so pretty!!! What kind of fox is that?!?!

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