This is such a heartbreaking story.sad that there are so many worthless people .When they tested poor Badger were there leesions on his brain? Since starting with these dogs ,we have sold three litters .If even now someone came to me with such a story . I would take back the dog refund thier money.Add extra for trouble and feed .Wife would throw a fit .But right is right . I have seen my big male take a got by the horns and pen it to the ground for trying to eat his food.Scared the heck out me the first time he did it .Five minutes later the same goat was laying beside him.I love them all .Hard to let a single puppy go. Only thirty ago I watched Joe and Bella take off after a coyote .Well at least I think that is what it was.
Before Cesar Millan, there was a British lady, Barbara Woodhouse (anyone else old enough to remember her, lol?). In her book, she mentioned a dog (a Boxer, I think it was) that had what she called psychotic episodes - going along fine, everybody's happy, and suddenly the dog attacks the person holding the lead (or anyone else within reach). Totally random, and when it was over, the dog was his usual sweet self. If I recall correctly, the owner of that dog was so in love with their dog's "normal" personality, they chose to keep a muzzle on the dog all the time rather than put him down. Can't imagine living like that, and I've no idea whether anti- seizure medications may have helped. In any case, a working dog needs to be sound of body and mind; even with medication, I'm not sure I'd ever be able to trust an LGD to be able to do its job (and he certainly couldn't do it muzzled!).
I am sorry to hear that you went through this; it sounds like a wretched experience all ways 'round. As painful as it was, you made the right choice; poor Badger was a bomb waiting to go off on some unsuspecting person (rather like his breeder!).
Unfortunately I had my warning signs with my dog, mostly on the day they came home. The main one was that she had her "pickup day" right on their eight weeks birthday. And the pups were all being treated for coccidia and upset digestive tracts the day they came home. Her instructions were to immediately take him off raw feeding, begin medicating, and start a new food THAT DAY. He and his siblings had probably also been receiving too much protein and had knuckled over and swollen joints and could hardly walk. And when I wrote her about him vomiting excessively the first day her response was to become defensive and claim none of the other puppies had that issue and it had to be something I was doing...except I hadn't had a chance to feed him anything, or let him eat anything, even grass. I literally had him in the house because he seemed lethargic to me. I should have taken the puppy back right there. But I'm a puppy noob, and I didn't know what was normal a dog so young (I've done this dog thing backwards, and mainly worked with young teen dogs or adults my whole life). It took several days to get the vomiting to stop. They also charge you every day they keep your puppy past 8 weeks, which is the state of NH required minimum age at which puppies can be sold. I really, really, really should have shied there.
And if I'd gone on yelp I could see they'd only been "farming" for 2 years at the time, so they were basically breeding and selling puppies from puppies at best. And none of their goats have listed pedigrees anywhere on their website. It's an "aww, so cute, don't you want one" kind of website. Backyard breeder.
Unfortunately the vet could not test his brain for anything. Because he had bitten and broken skin (on my 4 year old) within the last 10 days of being put down the state required he be rabies tested. The state of Massachusetts does not allow any further testing or autopsy on the brain unfortunately. We asked the euthanizing vet about that. He probably could have glanced if it was a surface thing, but I don't think he was legally supposed to because of the laws in the state we live in. It's really dumb.
I'm sure there are good breeders who take pride and love the dogs they produce like you and your wife @Hipshot , but this lady and her partner was not one of them. I guess I know better now.
I also know there are good breeders out there because our other LGD would NEVER have acted like that ever. She's extremely careful even when taking biscuits out of our hands. She doesn't want to even TOUCH us with those teeth. If we acted hurt she'd be mortified. She'd also NEVER knock us over, or bark or snap at us, and she gives the goats (and after a while of working with her, the chickens too) the same respect. Baby goats make her SO wiggly tail happy because she can lick them and cuddle them until they go back to mommy. She did defend food occasionally in the goat pen, but we don't feed her there anymore for that reason (also, sometimes she didn't defend her kibble, then she starves). And you're right hipshot, when the goats have occasionally tried to go to war with her over food, they know the gloves are off then but 5 minutes later with no food on the scene they are ready to follow her and lay down to sleep next to her again. LOL, but my nerves can't handle that, so she gets fed OUT of the goats reach (plus, I don't think the herbivore, ruminant goats should be eating dog food).
Personally, if I'd bred an animal someone was claiming was acting like that I'd take it back IMMEDIATELY for a long evaluation in quarantine. I'd want my own vet and a specialist to see the dog and pay for extensive testing with my own money. If I thought it was any threat to people I'd put it down and autopsy and want to council with my vet and evaluate my breeding animals for future problems of their own as well as future problems with their past and future offspring. And if I thought there was no problem with the dog in quarantine after a few months of watching in a kennel and testing I'd find it a home. Refunding of the purchase price is something I'd absolutely do, but after 6 months of raising a puppy purchase price is more of a token of goodwill. You can't put a price on falling in love with a dog, and working with a dog, then what followed with Badger. I wish she'd been responsible. I can't shake the feeling that someone else is going to have this happen and may die and I'm the only one who knows about it. But I've done all I can.
For a while there she rebutted my reviews by claiming I was making up this whole story so I could get money, but I don't see how buying one of her dogs, getting it normal puppy vet care, feeding it premium dog food, buying it the things it needs, investing the required time (and loving it, good grief, that hurts the most) then making up a story, getting the tests the vet recommends done and returning the dog would make me any money. Even if the purchase price of the dog had been refunded we'd still be out several thousand. I'm not sure, nor do I care what her rebuttals or follow ups to my reviews say now. For all I know her partner may have rewritten them and they say something more cutting or less insane sounding in response, but what happened happened whatever they claimed and it's over now. Two of the three reviews/warnings I left have been "disappeared" by google and FB, and only the one on yelp remains and I've chosen not to check on that. She didn't even want to see him again if I GAVE him to her, forget her getting him seen by her vet (although I'm not sure what she would have done with him and how it would have ended for him after seeing what kind of person she was-what if she'd hurt him, neglected his care, dumped him, or worse, taken him to a shelter as "adoptable" and he'd gotten placed with a baby or other small children?).
Honestly, after it's all over, I think I may have gotten a dog from a lady who had serious unmanaged mental health issues and is going to kill someone with the dangerous dogs she's breeding and I got lucky because mine fell apart at 6 months and 90 lbs instead of 3 years and 180 lbs. I am very, very lucky.
Maybe someday we'll try again, but right now I only want my one dog, who has more than earned my trust.
Anyway, thanks for letting me fret and vent. Time to brave the ice and cold and feed the beasts!