Pagency Gdynia Tumnus - Jenson
The puppy we have sadly let down!
It was brought to my attention in 2014 that the story regarding the death of Jenson and our involvement throughout his life, is not the truthful version that is being portrayed, so it is necessary to write the full facts here to save any confusion.
The actions of his owner to euthanise this puppy in total secret, is evidence enough for us to believe that there is something behind this that they have yet to divulge.
It is alleged that the breeders who went on to sell further puppies to this person, have justified their actions by saying that we knew of his temperament problems and did not help the owner. This is very untrue. They went further and to mention on social media site, and I quote "lovely to meet you both, we are happy to restore your faith in breeders"
Our puppy was sold to a person in 2012 who we thought would give our puppy the love and care he deserved for the rest of his life. Sadly, something went tragically wrong and the puppy was euthanised in July 2013 by his owner.
Throughout the fourteen months of his life, I had been in constant touch discussing his progress; achievements; how happy the whole family were with this perfect puppy; described so in their own words many, many times. In our old guestbook, there were many posts praising both us as breeders and how this family were so in love with this perfect puppy.
They were in contact daily on social media with the owners to several of his siblings and also the Sire owner and another personal friend of ours at that time. At no time did they ever give anyone reason to suspect that this puppy had a temperament issue. They never asked anyone for advice on a puppy who was showing aggression, but later went on to say that he had shown signs of aggression on several occasions and that they had a behaviorist to him as they could not control him.
I was aware that the owner occasionally had difficulty handling him as he was a very strong willed puppy, I gave advice to his owner on a few occasions on how to deal with him, routine training being important at a young age, but his owner did not take up my advice to attend any puppy training regime. When he was just a few months old, the owner informed me that on taking him to a groomer for the first time, he had to be muzzled as he was not happy being in that situation. It is true to say that I told the owner that this was not acceptable to do this to a puppy of such a young age, he should have been coaxed gently over time and not forcibly muzzled and held. This puppy must have been frightened to death and while I am no expert in animal behaviour, I know that these actions could easily have made this puppy frightened of a dog groomer for the rest of his life. I wouldn't consider these actions to be professional and I would question anyone who thinks otherwise.
I went to their home in Kent to see Jenson when he was six months old, he was wary of me and backed away, giving me the impression that he was not very well socialised. I did comment that this was not usual but I did not consider this as aggression. I was surprised at the lack of knowledge of the breed by the owners; who were not new to the breed and who worked as a dog walker so should have known how to train and socialise a young Leonberger puppy.
I do remember giving advice when told that he was food aggressive, the owner was concerned about this and rightly so, having dealt with this problem myself in the past, the solution was an easy one, I told her to take back the control of his food, feed him by hand and that he did not own the food. I actually offered to have Jenson at our home to teach him food manners, but my offer was declined and I was told this problem no longer existed after a very short time.
When I saw him at a club show in November 2012, he was fine among other dogs, there was no noticeable issue, we were all in a group with many dogs and Jenson displayed normal behaviour. This was also witnessed by many other people.
He was entered for Crufts 2013 but I was informed that he was not happy in the show ring and so he did not attend the show, much to my disappointment as he was an excellent example of the breed, but I accept this is the choice of the owner. I was also told that he displayed distress when they took him to be groomed but after his first experience, this was not surprising. Having had in total thirteen Leonbergers at that time, of which many have been shown at Championship level, we have never had the need for a professional groomer, I have little sympathy for people who only have one dog and who are unable to groom the dog themselves. While we all like to show to best possible standard, it's not difficult to bath and brush a Leonberger.
The following three months there was contact exchanged between us and even up until the 9th July, those people were still praising their puppy Jenson in social media comments with many photo's proudly displayed most days. They made quite clear to everyone what an amazing puppy they had and at no time did they mention to me or anyone else that they were experiencing any behavioral issues. My last contact with them had been while I was away on holiday in early July, they had said that Jenson was struggling with the heat.
It was one week following the death of Jenson in late July that I was contacted via social media and given the news that he had been put to sleep and I was shown photographs of a serious wound. I was not happy to hear this news and shocked that they had not kept us informed about such a severe decision. Even more shocked to learn later that they had involved a behaviorist due to his aggression. With no mention to anyone? These people are known for continuous posts about everything they do and a friend of mine at the time actually raised this question! I see that she is also now on the Leonberger Club of Great Britain committee.
I told the owner that even if he did have aggression issues, putting him to sleep was not the answer, they knew that I would have had him here with us and the owner admitted that he would probably have been fine here with our dogs. She said that he couldn't be trusted with children to which my reply was that if this was the case, he wouldn't be allowed near children. There exists many aggressive breeds of dogs who are not euthanised, they are usually with people qualified to care for them and not put in a position where they may bite someone. If we had bred an aggressive puppy, it is something that has to be addressed and discussion is important between an owner and a breeder to establish why this has happened. The response to all my questions from this owner was that she owned Jenson and it was her business only, she could do what she wanted. This is not the response I would usually expect from a person who has portrayed their puppy to be perfect, her attitude was aggressive towards me rather than being upset at losing a loved pet. From a breeding point of view, I needed to know the details but the owner refused to explain why they had not mentioned any of those problems to anyone, friends, sibling owners, Sire owner, nothing.
A few weeks later, other things began to materialise regarding a vet opinion and a behaviorist reports, all who thought this puppy to be seriously ill, even brain damaged. So why was all this kept a secret by them?
Surely most people in this position would speak to someone about it, if they couldn't approach me, (which was not the case as we were in contact until a week before he died) why did no one know about this and why keep up the pretense to the world that a puppy is perfect if the opposite is indeed the truth?
Here is a reply written by his owner
when I questioned them as to why they didn't tell me.
"Just one other thing in my dictionary when you sell a puppy to someone for a£1,000 pound , that puppy belongs to ME end of story , and there again you wont believe me but , we had jenson for all that time and we are not novice owners like you would like everyone to believe , jenson had unpredictable aggression , which means no two days where the same ,and one day we would take photos with kids the next a dog or whatever would be flattened , and it became like you would be happy to keep him , on the lead all the time , even though mick would walk him for miles , then after this had to wear a muzzle , kept away from other dogs ect , you will never know , and again it was OUR dog and we did what we new was best for OUR puppy ."
I have to disagree with them, a breeder is responsible for that puppy for the rest of his life and we need to know if there is a serious illness. It is imperative for our future breeding to know if we have bred an aggressive puppy. Many breeders have been criticised for not supporting people when the money is exchanged but we were not allowed to give our support as the puppy was already dead. Jenson could have been re homed quite easily to a home where he would have been of no threat to anyone. His Sire owner at that time had a Fila Brasileiro, a banned dangerous breed in England , but they are experienced people who can deal with a potentially aggressive dog. There are always people who will take on a dog with such intense needs, the answer is not to destroy the dog simply because you own it!
In June last year, again photos of the supposed bites were displayed in a public discussion condemning us for asking them to provide us with evidence to which they claimed to have and for asking why they had kept all this a secret? Those photos were not the ones sent to me and at no point have these people been able to justify what they did to this puppy.
I was told that due to my total disgust in them, they would not provide me with the written evidence that they had. I strongly suspect that no such evidence exists, if it does, I hope those two people who went on to sell them further puppies saw those copies first?
The people who then went on to sympathise with this couple over having to put their puppy to sleep, did not mention why they had not contacted us to tell us of this problem, which is very strange as these are people who regularly criticise breeders for not helping puppy owners.
Not one person who viewed those photos noticed the absence of another canine tooth wound from the lower mandible, which would have been noticeable as an animal uses this to puncture and grip. The wound channel is one cut/puncture/tear line indicating the animal did not close it's mouth as there is no puncture wound on the other side. Unless of course, the dog had only one single canine the size of a sabre tooth tiger? Any dog bite will show signs of another canine present, usually four puncture wounds, those photos did not.
There are other significant differences between the wound made public, to a vicious bite from a dog if people would care to see the comparison.
I have always made clear to the people concerned that I do not believe this was done by a young fourteen month old Leonberger, the wound looking more like a slash/cut. If I am wrong in my assumption and from professional opinion and Jenson did indeed bite his owner, the important question that no one seems to understand is firstly, why was this all kept a secret? why did they not inform anyone that their dog was indeed dangerous and why have they so far been unable to provide any documentation to back up their story?
If I had been accused of killing a puppy unnecessarily, I would have been on my soap box proving beyond doubt that my actions were justified and I certainly would not have kept it a closely guarded secret.
The only thing that this owner has ever done, along with hurl abuse at me for daring to question them, is to force me to keep quiet about this horrendous incident by contacting my previous website host to force me to remove my written article. Not once have they provided me with any evidence and until they do, I will castigate them for their actions, whether on this website or another. If you love your pet enough, you would allow him to continue his life with another owner rather than subject him to death. Just because they have paid for and own the dog should not mean that he is deprived of his life. A loving owner would surely not want a dog to die for just one bite?
I will also condemn those who support them, some with the full knowledge of what happened and who also suspected something untoward at the time, and those who have gone on to sell them further Leonberger puppies knowing what they had done to Jenson. It is not a coincidence that those breeders may have been instrumental in a very public hate campaign against me since 2010, and are on the committee of the Leonberger Club of Great Britain, acting in the capacity of welfare. What an absolute joke and a mockery of that position! This appalling act of cruelty is supported by the very people who represent our breed in the UK.
All of these people associated with this and other incidents have acted in a very cowardly way, they are totally unable to confront me, preferring to write on their social media pages of which I cannot see and therefore unable to defend myself against them. When I have made contact, they put down the phone, won't reply to emails, block emails, complain to my web hosts, anything to avoid communication with me directly. In other words, they can only use bully boy tactics and spread malicious rumor, when they have their supporters backing them up and using dirty tactics to prevent me from speaking the truth. Cowards indeed!