Margali's Griffin Wood Ranch

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
33,882
Reaction score
102,361
Points
873
Location
East Texas
I am heartbroken for you and your family. Bruno was a good dog until he wasn’t. Fortunately you caught him in the act . Hard as it is, this should end the attacks and you can recover from your losses. You work so hard, sometimes you text me from the barn, 10:30 at night, to ask a question, send a picture and I admire you so much for the love and care you show for your sheep. I am deeply sorry. I’ve never suffered losses like this, I can only imagine the hurt. Big hugs my dear friend.
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
10,520
Reaction score
40,355
Points
748
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
I am so very sorry and hurting inside for you. There are no words and there would be no breaking him of it I am afraid.
I had a similar situation twice... a shepherd I had, was finally caught killing chickens and ducks in the field... she would ignore them when I was around... a sneak killer... I parked at the neighbors like I was going to work and walked down through the field and caught her in the act...Hadn't been an hour since I left, and she was out there in the yard with them all around her just like it was nothing... ignoring them. I was heart broken that she was such a sneak, but she showed no remorse when I caught her... she got chained and then I got the gun and dispatched her on the spot.
Had a real nice big white shepherd that was adopted from the animal shelter, back in CT when first divorced, that was a great watchdog and one day came home from work in the afternoon, and one of my calves was literally chewed up the back legs... and he came to me with blood on his coat, and then went back to chase the calf again... and he was caught and when he growled at me for taking him away from his prey, I also put him down... I was scared to death that what would happen if he went after my son ( 7 years old at the time) when he walked up the driveway from the bus... or was out playing... since he was an adult and had issues with men, he was a great watch dog... but no way could I justify keeping him then... I had to put the calf down too... a nearly 300 lb milk fed veal calf just about ready for butchering..

Explained to DS at the time that if he got loose from the chain and tried to bite him (DS) coming up the driveway, I would never be able to live with myself, so he had to be stopped before he hurt something else... DS was more sad for the calf I think.,... it was a good but very sad lesson for him...

So, believe me, I understand more than you realize... and feel for the pain... but you did what you had to do and it was only right to do it... Telling the kids that was good also... sometimes they need to understand part of it without the whole sad details... they saw the destruction so understand how bad he was being.
It could have been them next....
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
6,859
Reaction score
23,514
Points
693
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
I am so sorry about Bruno. We had the same experience just before we got Rika. Our male Weimaraner had been fine with the sheep for several years. All of a sudden, we began getting more attacks on the sheep. Some were coyotes, but some were daylight attacks. We brought Rika home and had 2 more attacks. We tried to figure out how the predator was getting to the sheep with an Anatolian and 2 other large dogs. We never had any attacks by our own dogs before.

We were losing sheep to coyotes after the death of our last Pyr. We kept replacing the ewes. The ram was massive and hung out with the mule so he was apparently not at risk. (An interspecies romance - don't ask!) We had 2 Wemaraners, an older female and a young male. The male was a bench champion and co-owned. Neither of them had ever gone after the sheep. They did go after coyotes, but were house dogs. Although we locked them in the barn at night, sometimes they were out after dusk. We had lost 6 ewes and a lamb to coyotes - about $3000 in sheep and the ewes were right at term with twins when they died. We needed a livestock guardian immediately. We brought Rika home at 18 months of age from Erick Conard in Texas.. She was trained and capable of protecting the sheep. Everything went well for several months. We had 2 ewes left, one in the barn lambing, and the second with a lamb with a broken leg. Both of them were locked up. With our new guardian dog on watch we felt secure enough to buy another couple Dorset ewes (Dorsets were our breed at the time). Within a week of bringing them home. the best ewe lamb was killed in the gully. Rika was very upset and stayed by the carcass until we went down and retrieved it. The area where she was killed was brushy and somewhat easy access for a determined coyote because it was remote. It was a fluke we decided. A week later we lost another new ewe. This was a different situation, puzzling, and expensive.

This ewe had been locked in a small pen below the old milk shed. The pen was surrounded by our field where Rika was on guard. I found this ewe at the bottom of the pen with all 4 legs pulled through the chain link fence. Rika was next to her and very upset but not barking. I couldn't figure out how any predator could have gotten past her into the pen The ewe had been partially eaten. At the time we were keeping the Weimaraners crated during the night. In the morning the poop in the crates was a giveaway by the overwhelming odor of lamb. I still couldn't figure out how the dogs had gotten into the pen with the ewe to kill it or out of the pen afterwards. When I went to investigate the pen, I realized the dogs were in the habit of going through the old milk shed and out the windows which opened into a feeder. We used to keep hay in the milk shed and feed through the window. Since there was a gate at the bottom of the steps to the pen, the window was a short cut when coyotes were around.

My first instinct was to get the rifle and shoot them. Then I realized that I couldn't put the dog down myself since I was not on the papers as his owner. The dogs were kenneled and I called the co-owner who was also the breeder. She co-owned him with another person who wanted him in her name while she fulfilled the requirements for a judges' license. In addition, he was scheduled for stud service to another champion. I told her what had happened and that technically I could destroy him. She found another home for him in 3 days. I warned her that he could never be off leash around livestock. He was a sweet, beautiful dog but as a sheep killer he had a death sentence on him. Our youngest daughter had raised him and was devastated, but understood.

I could not understand why Rika had not attacked the dogs, particularly Ricky since he was obviously the ringleader. DiDi was a timid personality and had been beaten up multiple times by Rika already for such infractions as looking at Rika funny or cringing when Rika walked past. (Cringing is apparently a rude insult in Anatolian talk.) However, in dog psychology, Rika was the Alpha bitch. Rika had never attacked Ricky. Apparently, as the resident male he became the Alpha male and immune. This must be what happened with Bruno. He was already established as the Alpha male on the property when you brought Hera in. She acknowledged him as such. Leonidas also acknowledged him as Alpha since Leonidas is younger and has not reached the age of asserting dominance over other males.

I am so upset for you. Aside from the $$ loss of so many of your sheep and lambs, them being killed by your own dog hurts more. Our dogs are our friends and family and when one does something like this it is an absolute betrayal of loyalty, and we feel it more than if a strange dog or coyote had done the killing. The original dead lamb last year may have been the initial Bruno incident. It was probably an accident - that is how it often starts. We had a lamb get out on the drive while we were at church one Sunday and came home to find it dying from 4 punctures in neck and skull. Probably Ricky's fault and an accident since it was the first of the dog killings. They get better at killing and enjoy it more as time goes on. Ricky's kills were all 4 throat punctures like Dominic's wether. The first carcasses killed were coyote kills at night and completely eaten. Ricky did not eat the first carcasses he killed. After a while they like the taste and start to eat the carcasses. The killing is easy for your own dog since they can walk right up to the sheep quietly and seize them by the throat.

At least you know what the problem was and that it will stop. You have lost a lot. Time to heal. :hugs
 

Margali

Herd Master
Joined
Apr 23, 2011
Messages
1,787
Reaction score
7,562
Points
438
Location
Fort Worth, TX area
As I posted on Leonidas' thread, Oreo had a beautiful ewe lamb! 🥰 She is 7/8th registered Katahdin and potentially upgradable to 100% after yearling hair coat inspection. Only thing is she has an extra nipple on one side. Katahdin standard is vague so I don't know if that is a big deal or not.
 

Margali

Herd Master
Joined
Apr 23, 2011
Messages
1,787
Reaction score
7,562
Points
438
Location
Fort Worth, TX area
I will be taking the 3 ram lambs to Hamilton auction Sunday evening to be sold Monday. Last week the 40-70lb lambs were running $230-310 per 100lbs.

My last weight on lambs were 45 - 48 lbs about April 1st. They've been on creep and hay since gaining weight. 🤞price stays good. I hopefully should clear the remaining $400 I need for the 2 registered ewes I have deposit on.
 
Top