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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2006, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Outta control attack skunk!

We just got a baby skunk about a month ago (so he must be about 10-12 weeks old now) and he's totally out of control! Here's a few of the issues we're dealing with - any advice on how to correct/adjust/discipline/whatever the skunk, please advise. We're trying our best to be loving parents to the lil' critter, but he's a little devil.

1. He bites. A lot. Sometimes it's play-biting, which we discourage, and sometimes it's vicious hissing biting. The play-biting isn't strong, the hissing-biting-masticating monster is strong enough to break skin. He bites hard when he doesn't want to be picked up (when he's digging at a corner, for example, or when he's guarding what he perceives to be food). He also sometimes just charges your hand (if it's hanging there) bites hard, hisses, and then shoots off, especially if we're leaving out the front door and we try to assuage him before leaving (he runs right up to the child-gate when we leave). Disciplinary techniques we've tried to use include the whole 'pick him and say "no biting"' thing, which doesn't really work, squirt bottles, and putting him the tub. The tub usually works for a little bit, but inevitably he returns to masticating mommy and daddy.

2. He defecates and urinates all over creation. Okay, maybe not *all* over the place, but the corners he originally picked (and where the litter boxes reside) seem to have been forgotten, and he prefers to leave his business at the front door and in the kitchen, with occasional forays behind the toilet and a few visits to the corners he used to go to. And he goes outside the litter boxes every time. We've tried moving the litter boxes to his newest locations but he just goes outside the box every time. Sometimes he'll look us right in the eye while peeing somewhere. Trying to discipline him (i.e. picking him up, aiming him at the feces, saying something along the lines of "NO!" and taking him to the litterbox - about 3 inches away - results in biting, hissing, and usually more defecation or urination outside the litterbox.)

Everything we've read indicates this is a sign of an angry or unhappy skunk. We feed him regularly, we vary his diet according to suggestions, we play with him *constantly* and give him attention all the time. We suspect separation anxiety for some of this.

We've tried any number of techniques to stop his behaviour (or at least get him to go in the litterbox!) but nothing seems to work. A friend of ours that raises ferrets claims that they're similar, and has his own ideas about training/disciplining the skunk, but I'm looking for advice from experienced skunk-owners on this.

Please help!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2006, 11:58 PM
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ive read that pouring viniger in areas hthier not supposed to use for the potty deters them because of the smell. get him Nuetered ASAP this also may help.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2006, 09:47 PM
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I have no experiences with skunks, othre then holding them in a petstore, but do you have any other pets that may be aggitating him?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 10:51 AM
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Where did you obtain him from? Petstore, breeder or rescue baby? If from a breeder then that's the person I would recommend you call. If this is a rescue baby then the "wild" part may be an issue. If from a petstore then maybe contact them and inquire about the breeder. Alot of it could be from where and what kind of setting/enviroment he was in prior to coming to you.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 12:06 PM
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Wow a skunk? That has to be one of the coolest pets..lol Don't they stink? and where did you get him?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 07:44 PM
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I know nothing about them.I did used to have a penpal tho who had two skunks!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2006, 09:34 PM
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i never knew ppl kept such a thing...on our family ranch back home we had to 'get rid of them' but that was b/c they would eat our cats
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 04:58 PM
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I knew a guy who had a skunk and he would just sit on whoever's shoulder. He was a friendly little guy - I've wanted one ever since just for the novelty of having a pet skunk.

I don't know much about them, but if you can neuter a skunk then that's the road you should take. I know neutering my boys (especially Charlie and Rocko) made all the difference in them using the litterbox, and they had just all around better behavior.

BTW - What's his name? just curious...
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 11:15 PM
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Are they allowed in Florida? im from hollywood and i know it's hard to have some wild animals as pets. Back in canada we had a raccoon as a pet but I don't think they even thought of not allowing it down there

I have rabbits, never had a skunk, but maybe just having her enclosed at first and teach her how to use the litter box will help. Then from there, once she learns how to use the litter box in that confined space, you enlarge her living space until it becomes the whole house

I don't really know anything about skunk as pet thought
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 08:59 PM
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I agree with confining him to a smaller area with several litter boxes. As he gets used to doing his business in the litter boxes, slowly expand his living quarters. It may just be too much for him to have the whole house and it's stressing him out. Go slow. He's still young and has a lot to learn. As for the aggressive behavior, get him neutered as soon as you vet says is safe. The thing you have to remember is these are not cats, they are still wild animals. So go slow and help him to learn what is acceptable and what isn't. But definetly confine him to a smaller area and let him get used to it first. If neutering and confining him doesn't help, you may want to seek the advice of an animal behaviorist. Good luck
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 09:07 PM
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From what I have read males need to be "nipped" at about 3 months or they will get rather nasty. Are you absolutely positive about his age? Also don't let him near anyone that will report a bite. Unfortunately if someone reports a bite they automatically assume he has rabies and test him for it. You know what that means... The sites that I read also said double check what the vets office will do should he bite someone there.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 08:56 AM
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Skunks are ALOT like Ferrets in temperment and behavior but more stubborn.. and no they dont stink .. Breeders etc remove the glands they use for the stink bomb.

Chinchilla girl mentioned alot of good things that you should follow.

Also remember he is a baby and he is testing you to the max. NEVER let him bite you.. playing or otherwise. If he thinks he can playfully bite you he will have no qualms biting you when hes mad at you. Consistancy will solve that problem, the second he does it I would correct him.. I used to try and startle my skunk when he started to nip "Jump and yell no loudly" .. it didnt take long before he caught on.

He also has to much free range of your house, so the potty problem wont stop unless you confine him like chinchilla said.. Heck why use the litter boxes when he has SO many fun other options!

Most importantly of all altering him and patience.. he is just a baby and like most exotics require ALOT of work to turn them into acceptable citizens in our eyes.. Just cuz they look cute or you saw one with someone and "He was so nice!", that someone spent alot of work getting them there.

Also where you got him could explain his temperment.. it sounds as if he was not handled alot as a baby.

I hope this helps some and look forward to pictures
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 03:56 PM
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A lot of info up there is good but i also want to mention that you shouldn't be playing with him with your bare hand and never roughly either.

A skunk who was played with roughly is more likely to become aggressive. Your best bet is thick mitts for playtime or other non-edible toys.

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